You know I love Indian food, right? If you have visited me more than once, it might be self evident. One of my favourites is Channa Chat, made with that amazing spice powder, Chat Masala, which gives the food an amazing tang. You can find the recipe for Chat Masala here and for Channa Chat here.
In my post on Channa Chat I wrote:
It is an amazing tease of contrasts. Sour yet sweet. The bite of onion with the smoothness of chickpeas and potato. The mineralisation of rock salt with the tartness of mango powder and lime juice. It is an amazing dish.
Just a word of warning – this is real Indian. Not the restaurant Indian that is served up and called Indian food. At least here in Australia. Really quite different flavours. Not an easy eating dish. Not a comfort dish that eases your mouth and your body into a state of relaxation. This is a “Woh-hoh” in your mouth. An assault of wonderful flavours that wakes up all your senses. Be brave, but be warned…
Oh, my mouth is watering already.
Imagine my surprise when on a beach in Kovalam, Kerala in India, I found a man, on a bike, making Channa Chat on a board strapped onto the back of his bike. If you are from India, or have been to India, you will know what I mean. It is usual to have wonderful food available exactly where you need it, be it piping hot cups of chai from an urn on the back of a bike, or icecream, or an alcoholic toddy made from coconut sap, or other wonderful snacks.
BUT ….. although I am quite adventurous in India when it comes to street food, there is still one thing I am very nervous about. Uncooked vegetables. The reason is that they are probably washed in non-bottled water, and non-bottled water is the biggest no-no for foreigners in India.
SO ….. there I was, with a man who had my most favourite Indian food on the back of his bike, looking for all the world exactly like I make it (amazing!), smelling absolutely delicious, with hot channa and cool veggies that looked so fresh they were probably (no kidding) picked that afternoon, and I could NOT eat it.
All I could do is take photos.
Oh the agony of it. Oh how I want beetroot in my channa chat too.
Mr Channa Chat man, I am still really sorry I did not give into temptation.
But on the way back to the hotel I found a man selling toddy ….
BTW, Channa Chat is made from Chickpeas (garbanzo beans).
Travel Thursday Series
- 7. Geraldine Cox’s Orphanage in Cambodia
- 6. Staying in Pilgrim Hotels in India
- 5. Eating from Banana Leaves in India
- 4. Dosai cooking at the Train Station
- 3. Siem Reap New Market, Cambodia Part 2
- 2. Siem Reap New Market, Cambodia Part 1
- 1. A night in Singapore
- Creamy Pearl Hummus Salad
- Chickpea, Almond and Sesame Spread
- Chickpeas with Ginger Root Salad
- Chickpea Keep it Simple Salad
- Chana Chat with Chat Masala
- Cheat’s Hummus – Hummus made from a can of chickpeas or butter beans
- Chick Peas
- Meet Mr. Channa Chat Man, selling chickpea snacks on the beach at Kovalam.