Friday, 9 February 2018

SWEET POTATO & PEANUT SNACKER WITH MINT-PINEAPPLE-GARLIC CHUTNEY



The entire evening yesterday was spent doing this platter of SWEET POTATO & PEANUT SNACKER WITH MINT-PINEAPPLE-GARLIC CHUTNEY. This obviously is an evening teatime pleasure, but yesterday it was made as a part of dinner menu with some cumin / jeera rice and a quick egg curry, the recipe of which is to be shared later! What about the dal share S? Oh! it can wait for few more days.... back to back two dal shares do not sound great. Besides, I may not have promoted my blog at all in this island for the reason that I cannot cook the dishes that the natives here prefer and I am not so keen on being close to the people of my clan here except for the few known..... Then it is also true that there is a big upcoming event to be held in this island and we should well be a part of it. Why not use ingredients that people of this island and that of the country of my birth both eat, and with love? As of the rest of the vast world... I think most of them eat sweet potato or say peanut..... Well, I should think about them too and this platter should appeal to a majority! My exposure to the world beyond Bengal was only through few books for a long period..... and they were not necessarily on culinary art... at large. Had I knew that I have a natural passion for cooking... I would have pursued it after my 12th and would not be scared to go for recipe contests judged by the master chefs! Oh! I have a general apathy towards any kind of examinations and competitions.... If in a contest.. the judge asks me to prepare a "jilipi".... I will simply start shivering like "Jalebi Bai".... I have no qualms in admitting my shortcomings.... that makes me an "average brat".... One should have some amount of confidence and self pride in them to move ahead in life! I go back in time and see I have a so called master's degree in a subject I never loved.... I could have done something if I studied Archaeology, Anthropology, Sociology or Psychology or say even this Culinary Arts! The pain of choosing a wrong subject and the failure of trying to get crisp "jilipi or amriti" gets me to prepare something that majority of the people will love. I however have the feel that maximum of the people love fries and fritters. Moreover, when I have the feel that people are trying to bind me within a particular region, I prefer to take a shift and will definitely not conform to their wish. So, all the effort that took to this divine platter of SWEET POTATO & PEANUT SNACKER WITH MINT-PINEAPPLE-GARLIC CHUTNEY  is worth!

Bengalis use Sweet Potato / Ranga Aloo in "pithe-puli" usually... The Hindi-speaking belt back in India use it for a Shakarkhandi Chaat? may be.... and I know the Southern India eat it often. Sweet Potato / Ranga Aloo / Shakarkhandi.... this root vegetable is very much loved by the people of this island. They even eat its leaves which I never got home. I ate it outside may be in a soup or in a stir fry, did not find any distinct flavour or taste, it tastes like any other greens to me. Back in 2012, when our mother visited us here.... she jumped at the sight of the sweet potato leaves, she  mistook it for "kharkon / ghatkol pata".... a special kind of leaf we get during monsoon in Bengal and prepare a bharta of it with or without prawns.... it is perhaps a "Bangal" thing.... I so much crave for it and comb searched the island for it, never got! What I get here I do, from "loti to shorshe-narkol diye kochu bata"..... the rest in the family eats it or not. I am mentally prepared for such phone calls in future from one Olive Oyl... "mumma we had pasta with lots of greens n shrimps tonight, had some baked rice with roasted french beans yesterday"..... How much the senior says I will prove to be the worst mother-in-law.... I see myself giving a broad smile over the phone and say thats fine dear... have it hot and fresh.... She might be just back from her work unlike her useless mother-in-law and pretty tired. Come on this lady is not so horrible either, the only medal she got till date except for those race finisher ones is for Best Conduct back in school... haha.... The husband has to say something about it too!.... He says I am his wife and he knows me the best that it was a wrong selection, that our Bengali teacher Iva Dutta miss loved me too much, was partial towards me and the right candidate was sidelined.... I am partial too and make it a point to visit her every year.... The husband is always right... so why does he tag me to be the worst mom-in-law and says he will not allow the kids to stay with me for a single day after their marriage? Perhaps because I have rehearsed a several times by now what to say to my Olive Oil.... "Every little thing of mine is yours and only yours.... given my son features as prime in your life!"..... That sounds very much patriarch right?.... That is why I always say it is not the males alone who are patriarch.... we are prisoners of a system. Anyway, what I kept in mind while preparing this platter of SWEET POTATO & PEANUT SNACKER WITH MINT-PINEAPPLE-CHUTNEY are... people of this island should be able to have it now or later, I am an Indian who runs an Indian food blog... so the entire snack loving nation should be able to have it.... Today, the movie Padman releases.... it speaks of those needy women who cannot afford personal hygiene.... I wished to keep the ingredients low cost! We will watch it and Aiyaary both. I can see some people have already started criticising some associated with the movie as publicity stunts, pets of the ruling party. Come on, we should not associate religion and politics with everything.... focus on a particular issue.... So what if they earn money... they are spreading awareness for a right cause too... I have left leanings, even I did not allow my husband to waste his life in meetings, processions with party flag.... How much my dedicated party worker paa-in-law denies that during his party's rule.... the Calcutta University did not allow anyone through the back door.... in reality it definitely was in practice... may be less... His party removed English from the syllabus of West Bengal schools, while the party leader sent his own grand daughters to city convents and lived in a city mansion. I do not understand politics, but you all know that I give big talks... Marxism was part of my syllabi till the university level... isn't it a very good ideology that failed miserably in application. I am against the ruling parties both of India and in the state of West Bengal... they fuel the religious sentiments of the commoners, What is the opposition doing?... same thing... vote bank is all that matters.... We need not criticise every action of the ruling party once we lose the chair.... Selling pakoras will definitely not contribute to a country's economy, but it is always better to do something than sitting idle at home and curse. All separatist movements are fuelled, watered and nurtured to stay in power... who ever sits in the throne does it.... doing it since independence. How will the  arms industry function and flourish if not the civil wars are fuelled? The lady giving big talks will not go and work at the grass root level but will go to the parlour for pedicure, manicure and then selfies... why? because she is a coward... she does not want similar fate as of one Gauri Lankesh. Yet, we need not be too critical of the chair at all times.... to handle a diverse country with an exploding population is not an easy task..... specially if its citizens are selfish like me who is scared to take back her son to his roots.... where a son is stabbed in the name of honour killing.... a daughter is raped every hour. How can I call myself a "desh premi".... Anyway, I see a future for myself back there.... I have a quite big kitchen done up by our very own Godrej.... where I can prepare this superbly delish evening snacks with sweet potato, peanuts, onion, coriander leaves, few spices and supply to different homes.... here the government is so strict with its laws! The green chutney is made with pineapple-mint and garlic! Let us do the SWEET POTATO & PEANUT SNACKER WITH MINT-PINEAPPLE-GARLIC CHUTNEY following the stepwise pictures.



INGREDIENTS : [for the chutney]

Pineapple Cubes : 1medium cup
Mint Leaves : 12-15
Garlic Cloves : 2medium
Green Chilli : 2
Black Salt : 1/4tsp

Take the pre washed pineapple pieces, garlic cloves, mint leaves, green chillies and the black salt in a grinder.



Grind to a fine paste pausing in between... It may take 1-2 minutes.



Transfer to a serving bowl and refrigerate until the snackers are ready to be served with it.


INGREDIENTS : [for the snackers]

Sweet Potato : 4medium sized [peeled, halved and pressure cooked adding water unto 1 whistle]
Peanut : 1/2small cup [chopped]
Coriander Leaves : 1small cup [chopped]
Onion : 1big[sliced and fried lightly]
Green Chilli :2[chopped]
Cumin Powder : 1tsp
Coriander Powder : 1/2tsp
Red Chilli Powder : 1tbsp
Turmeric Powder : 1/2tsp
Chaat Masala : 1tsp
Lemon Juice : 4-5tbsp
Semolina : 2tbsp
Refined Flour : 1tbsp
Salt : As Required [add little at a time]
Oil : 2-3 tbsp +1tsp

METHOD :

Take the boiled sweet potato pieces in a wide mouthed, big bowl.



Heat 1tsp oil in a wok and fry the onion slices lightly.



Add all of the spices, chopped coriander leaves and green chillies, chopped toasted peanuts, lemon juice and salt to the sweet potatoes.



Mash and mix very well. Add the fried onion slices, semolina and refined flour.



Mix well further. Prepare cutlet shapes from the mixture.



Once done, refrigerate them for about two hours.



Heat 2-3 tbsp oil in a pan. Take out the cutlets and gently place atop the oil. Remember, they are soft because we used lemon juice which is required to balance the sweet tone of the sweet potato.



Once one side is little crisp and brown, turn over and do the other side. Do at low heat to avoid burning.



Place them gently on  a serving plate along with the chutney, take some salad alongside and enjoy with tea / coffee!


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