I am actually at the time of the year, when I am begining to enjoy the Christmas music, all the tinsel and bells and even the Salvation Army buckets outside the grocery stores. It is December, and it is now countdown to a year that is slowly slipping by and of course, the begining of a new one that is on its way. Winter is here and I love savory foods this time of the year. Warm and savory that it!
So, here is a wonderful spice blend, called Chat masala. A chat, loosely translated is a spicy but normally cold salad. The essential ingredient that gives this characteristic North Indian salad its characteristic taste is this spice blend call chat masala. This is also a spice blend that is available, pre-made in Indian grocery stores and I tend to buy it pre-made mostly because it tends to include some spices such as powdered ginger and mint that I do not often have readily available, since I do not use it for other things and then once in a while I do make my own blend.
If you do feel adventurous, here is a from the scratch recipe that you can try. This is the recipe that I do use.
The chat masala is a spicy, sweet and tangy blend that wakes up all your taste buds in a gentle and delightful way. Today, I used this for a quick fix recipe that uses sweet potatoes. I have been coaxing myself to work a lot more with sweet poatoes, especially in lieu of potatoes. The color goes a long way for me in being persuaded.
In this recipe the flavors worked very well. I used the concept and flavors of a cold chat or Indian savory salad but made this a warm variation. We had some friends over today and they pronounced this recipe was worth a thumbs up. I am sharing it with you here to see what you have to say. The pecan added a nice dimension and if you want more texture and color I think that you can through in some pistachios into the mix as well. I tend to keep a lot of assorted nuts handy to add a nutritional boost to foods, along with of course texture and color.
This recipe make a wonderful side dish, and of course a great addition to a holiday table.
Speaking of the holidays, I do hope that you will keep my cookbook on your list of holiday gifts for the foodie in your life.
Rinku Bhattacharya is a daytime financial professional, who spends the rest of her time immersed in food. Rinku is the author of the blog, Cooking in Westchester, where she shares her life experiences, original recipes that combine Indian spices with produce from her backyard and local farmers markets. Rinku is blessed with a gardener husband, who always surprises her with a prolific and fresh supply of produce to keep her creative instincts flowing. Rinku has been teaching recreational cooking classes for the past six years, and has found her classes a great way to teach and learn.