Category Archives: Street Food / Chaat

How to sprout Mung Beans @ home


Anyone who maintains a vegetarian lifestyle probably gets asked the same question over and over again: where do you get your protein? Often, the answer is, “beans!”

Mung beans make a great addition to a vegetarian diet – they’re light on the stomach and filled with nutrients. They’re used in weight loss because of their high fiber content (they fill you up, not out). They also have quite the reputation….

In Chinese medicine, mung beans are known for their anticancer properties. They reduce inflammation, which scientists now believe is a main cause of malignancy.


  • 1 cup mung beans
  • 2 tsp. oil
  • pinch of asafoetida
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 2 tsp. grated ginger
  • 1 tsp. of black salt
  • 1/2 tsp. regular salt
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. chili pepper

How to prepare:

  1. Pour 1 cup of mung beans onto a plate. Check for stones.
  2. Wash mung beans very thoroughly (four to five times in a warm water).
  3. Fill water in a bowl 2 inches above the beans.
  4. Let it soak overnight.
  5. In the morning, wash beans thoroughly without touching them. Drain the water completely.
  6. Place inside an airtight container.
  7. Turn container onto its side.
  8. Let sit for 24 hours; you will see sprouts coming out. They’ll become more multiple.
  9. After 24 hours, the sprouts are ready.

You can also prepare mung beans with stir fry. To prepare in this manner take the following steps:

  1. In medium saucepan,  heat oil.
  2. Add asafoetida, turmeric, and chili flakes.
  3. Add washed sprouted mung beans, the seasoning, and two tablespoon water.
  4.  Let it sizzle then add lemon and stir.
  5.  Healthiest item on the planet is ready! Enjoy!

For spicy mung beans, check out our recipe here.

Mung beans are filling – they take care of hunger. And they’re so nutritious, they might keep you younger.

Original Bombay Sandwich

I’m a fan of CHOW reciepes and loved the Pickled Radish and Sweet Butter Tea Sandwich. It reminded me of the Original Bombay Sandwich that I would enjoy as a midafternoon snack.

Original Bombay Sandwich

Good thing about sandwiches are that you can make layers of different kind of vegetables and spreads. Here I have spreads as cilantro chutney which is flavorful, made from scratch. I have layered with boiled potatoes, beets, crunchy raw onions and cucumbers, sprinkled with sandwich masala. Butter, chutney and ketchup are used as spreads. Which gives spicy, tangy and sweet taste that is unique to Bombay sandwich.


  • 8 Slices of white bread I prefer pepperidge farm bread thin slices. Remove the edges.
  • 1 Small garden cucumber cut into round pieces
  • 2 Medium firm tomatoes cut into round pieces
  • 1 Medium red onions cut into round pieces
  • 1 Boiled beet and cut into round slices
  • 2 Medium boiled potatoes cut into round slices
  • 1/2 Stick of room temperature butter
  • 5 spoons of ketchup optional
  • Small bowl of green cilantro chutney
  • Salt and Pepper or Sandwich Masala or chat Masala

Slices of vegetables and Spreads

How to Make:

  1. Apply butter on four slices. 
  2. Second layer will be chutney spread all over so it covers all the corners. 
  3. Third layer will ketchup if desired. 
  4. Cover with cucumbers, tomatoes, potatoes, onions and beets on top of one another.
  5. Sprinkle chat masala on in between each layer. 
  6. Cover with another slices and cut diagonally or into three pieces.

    Layers of cut vegetables 


    Slice As you like it

    How do you enjoy your sandwich? Did you prefer raw or cooked vegetables? I am eager to try different ways of making sandwiches. Let me know in your comments!


    How to make Pav Bhaji

    The Final Product: Delicious Pav Bhaji

    Pav Bhaji is a famous street food all over Mumbai, India! If you have never had it, it is a mouth watering and tantalizing to your taste buds. The perfect end to a late night party 😉 This dish is popular to young adults and kids alike. Each cook has their own variation to their Pav Bhaji reciepe, this one below is my favorite because it easy to cook and tastes amazing!

    • Serves: 4
    • Prepration time: 30 minutes
    • Cooking level: Easy
    • Want to make it Vegan? Replace Butter with Oil
    • Want to make it Gluten Free? Just use GF Bread


    For Bhaji:

    • 3 Medium boiled potatoes boiled and smashed
    • 2 meduim chopped onion
    • 2 Medium tomatoes crushed
    • 1 and 1/2 cup Frozen Peas and Carrots smashed
    • 1 Small green chilli
    • 1 Small piece of ginger
    • 2 Cloves of garlic
    • 1/4 tsp of salt
    • 1/2 tsp of Badshah Pav Bhajji masala
    • 1/2 Cup of tomato sauce
    • 2 tbsp oil or butter

    For Breads:

    • Stick of butter softened
    • 1 tsp pav bhajii masla
    • Chopped cilantro to garnish
    • Lemon wedges

    Time to Cook! How to prepare:

    1. Chop Chop Chop!
    In a handy chopper chop the onion, garlic, ginger and green chili. Take it out in a bowl. Set aside. Chop the tomatoes place in a bowl. Set aside.
    Boil and smash the peas and carrots. Set aside.

    2. In a wok or big pan on medium heat add butter. Add onion, garlic, ginger and chili. Sauté them. Soon onions will be translucent.

    3. Add tomatoes and stir fry them till it cooks and changes the color.

    4. Now add salt and Pav Bhajii masala and mix it properly.

    5. Add boiled peas, carrots and potatoes. You may need to add 1/2 cup of water at this time.

    6. Simmer for 3 minutes and add tomato sauce.

    7. Simmer for 5-7 minutes and cover on low heat.

    Bhajii should not be watery or dry so keep heating until the Pav Bhaji consistency is preferable to you.

    8. The “Pav” in Pav Bhaji means bread on a skillet medium heat, add butter, add masla and roast the bread on both sides. Add cilantro for added flavor.

    Let me know how your Pav Bhaji turned out in the comments!

    Serve with a slice of lime for an extra zest!

    Vegetable Cutlets

    Vegetable cutlets are popular everywhere.  As a child I always savored cutlets and look froward having it on the weekends.  My mother used to make it and I learned watching her as i grew up. Cutlets can be used in so many different ways. Here I tried basic method the way I learnt.
    I use left over cutlet as a patties for veggie burgers. Sometime I use as  veggie balls with spaghetti. If you have not tried  it is must and you will sure enjoy making it and eating it.

    Cooking Time: 50 minutes
    Cooking Level: Medium with effort

    Receipe Types
    DF = Dairy Free, GF = Gluten Free
    LS = Low Sugar, V = Vegan


    6 medium potatoes, boiled and smashed lump free
    1 cup boiled and drained peas
    1 cup boiled and drained cut french green beans small pieces
    1/2 cup chopped onions
    1/2 cup grated carrots
    1/2 cup beets boiled and grated optional  i did not add
    1 tsp salt or to taste
    1 tsp green chili paste
    1 tsp ginger paste 
    1 cup chopped cilantro leaves 
    1 tsp amchur powder 
    1/2 tsp garam masala optional
    Oil for deep or shallow frying
    1-2 cups of bread crumbs
    1/2 cup of all purpose flour

    1. Boil and smash the potatoes with out any lumps
    2. Boil peas, french cut green beans and drain the excess water and keep it to side.
    3. Add peas, carrots, french cut green beans and onion and all spices (salt, green chili, cilantro, amchur powder)
    4. Mix all the contents and make a oblong shape potato mix.
    5. In a small bowl, add all purpose flour and 1/2 a cup of water to make a thick batter
    6. Dip the oblong cutlets into the batter and bread crumbs

    7. Fry the cutlets according to your choice (deep or shallow).

    Deep Frying
    Heat 3 cups of oil in a pan and fry the cutlets turn golden brown in color on both the sides

    Shallow frying
    On a medium high heat, add 1/2 a cup of oil and fry the cutlets until they turn golden brown in color on both sides

    Put the cutlets on a paper towel to absorb the excess of oil. Cutlets can be enjoyed with various chutneys such as cilantro or sweet chutney and ketchup. 

    Various Chutneys

    Aloo Batata/Potato Wada

    Potato Wada

    Potato Wada is the fried potato dumplings. It is one of the yummy snacks enjoyed with ketchup or pickle on holidays in Gujarat, India. When I moved to USA in 1970s’ Italian, Mexican, American, pizza were all new to me and I used to make these wada it home for my family.

    DF = Dairy Free GF = Gluten Free V= Vegan

    Preparation time: 10 Minutes

    Peeled and mashed potatoes

    Cooking time: 25 Minutes
    Cooking level:  Easy

    Ingredients for Potato
    5 medium Idaho potatoes
    Salt to taste
    1 tsp of grated ginger
     2 tsp of grated garlic
    1 tsp of cumin powder
    2 tsp of lemon juice
    1 tsp of green chilli paste

    Ingredients for Tampering

    Ready to fry wada

    2 tbsp of oil
    2 tsp of mate pa beans/ Urad dal
    Finely chopped full curry leaves
    1/2cup of chopped cilantro
    1/4 tsp of turmeric powder

    Ingredients for Batter
    8 tbsp of besan or chick pea flour
    1 tsp of red chili powder
    salt to taste
    1/4 tsp of turmeric
    Pinch of baking soda
    water to make batter
    1 and 1/2 cup of oil for deep frying

    1Boil the potatoes and mash without any lumps in order to make smooth dough balls.

    Batter for Wada
    Deep frying potato wada

    2. Add ginger, cumin powder, lemon juice, salt, green chilli to the mashed potatoes
    3. In a small pan,  add 2 tbsp of oil on medium heat,  add mate pa beans/ urad dal until it turns golden brown
    4. add garlic, cilantro, finely chopped curry leaves
    5. add the tamper to the mashed potatoes
    6. mix the tamper and mashed potatoes and make 20-25 medium size balls as shown in the picture above
     7. For the batter, In a mixing bowl add chickpea flour, red chili powder, salt, baking soda, turmeric and water so that the it makes a correct consistency which is neither  thick or watery. 
    8. In a frying pan, add oil and heat it for deep frying. Add the potato balls/wada into the batter and deep fry the dumplings.
    9. Turn the dumplings in order to cook it evenly
    10. Place them on the paper towel in order to absorb the extra oil
    11. Serve with your favorite cilantro, Mint, Tamarind, or ketchup.


    Dry mango powder/ amchur powder can be substituted for lemon juice

    Bhel Puri

    One of my favorite chaat is Bhel Puri. The best ones I’ve found are sold by street vendors at their stalls.  It is a very famous push cart food in India. It is similar in style to America’s food trucks.  Bhel has been very famous in the Gujarati community for centuries. It is eaten as a snack, sometimes as an appetizer and sometimes as a main meal. In any form, Bhel is always appreciated by any guest and host, too. It is a medley with an array of flavors to tantalize the taste buds including sweet, sour, crunch and rich aromas.

    Cooking Time: Varies
    Assembly Time: 5 minutes
    Cooking Level:  Easy
    Recipe Type: Vegan
    For Jain Recipe: Omit potatoes & onion & add cubed apple and/or cucumber


    1/2 lb. Mamara (rice krisipes) available at Indian store
    (Bhel mixture is readily available at Indian stores)
    1/4 lb. Thin Sev (crunchy noodles available in Indian store)
    3    TBsp Roasted Peanuts
    2    Small Potatoes, cubed
    1    Small Onion, cubed
    Green Sauces (also ready-made available)
    Date Sauce
    Garlic Sauce
    Few Cilantro Leaves, chopped
    Lemon Wedges, optional
    1    Small Raw Mango, cubed


    1. Mix all the ingredients very well. 
    2. Garnish with thin sev, cilantro and onions.

    Let me know what you think by leaving a comment! I love to hear from my readers!

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    This Week’s Healthy Tip

    Popular North Indian Chaats (Snacks) & Their Health Benefits 


    Aloo Chaat: Crisp brown deep fried potato pieces served with, chaat masala and a mixture of sweet and tangy chutney. Potatoes are healthy, but deep frying them makes them unhealthy. So, clearly this chaat is not something you can indulge in, when you’re trying to watch your weight. If you want to make it healthier, you can pan fry or bake the potatoes with less oil, but it still doesn’t make aloo chat healthy :) . So follow the golden rule ‘mind the portion size’ while eating aloo chaat.

    Calories: Approximately 350 calories (based on serving size)
    Bhel Puri:  Made from puffed rice (murmura, muri) with mash boiled potatoes, sev (yes, they are fried) with, tomatoes, onions along with tangy tamarind sauce and spicy coriander sauce. Bhel Puri is a healthy option in chat and and a good snack if you’re watching your waistline.
    Calories: Approximately 200-250 calories (based on serving size)
    Pani Puri:  Called by varied names across India- Puchka, Gol Gappa, Bataashaa, Gup Shup, is a round hollow fried crispy shell, and filled with water mixture of tamarind, chili, chaat masala, potato, onion and boiled chole (chickpeas).
    Yes, the shell is fried, but the filling is mostly healthy, so this one is on our approved list of chats.
    Calories: 150-180 calories for 4-5 medium sizes pieces.
    Papri Chaat: A mixture of crispy fried dough wafers made from refined wheat flour, chick peas, boiled potatoes and yoghurt, tamarind chutney which is garnished with sev. This chaat is a borderline case. Its got the benefits of the boiled vegetables, and the benefits of yoghurt nutrition, but the base (papri) is fried and made from refined flour, which has a high glycemic index and is loaded with calories and fat.
    Calories: Approximately 300 calories for a medium size serving.
    A really healthy chat is yellow matar chat or a fruit chat. As you can see, with most chats, there is a part of it that’s unhealthy. Now, you know what is unhealthy, and what to avoid. So, next time you’re at a chat stall, you won’t be left wondering about the nutrition. If you like to indulge occasionally, its alright.  Just make sure you eat healthy most of the time and you get your exercise in!

    Cottage Cheese Fritters – Bhajia

    Cottage cheese fritters or “Pakoras” are a Saturday treat in my house. This is a guilty pleasure. This recipe is very simple and calls for a few ingredients.  Once done, they taste amazingly good.

    Preparation Time: 10 minutes
    Cooking Time:  20 minutes


    1    12 oz. Package Cottage Cheese
    1    Medium Onion, diced finely
    1    Tsp Cumin Powder
    Salt to taste
    1    Small Jalapeno, seeded & finely chopped
    2    Tsp Cilantro, chopped
    1/2 Cup Flour, white
    2    Tbsp Cornstarch
    Oil for deep frying


    1. Empty the cottage cheese into a medium bowl. 
    2. Using a hand blender, blend the cottage cheese so it is smooth.
    3. Add onion, salt, cilantro, chili and cumin powder.
    4. Heat the oil in a fryer on medium heat.
    5. Spoon the mixture in a frying pan. Care should be taken at all times not to scald yourself.
    6. Deep fry until golden brown. 
    7. Serve hot with your choice of sauce.

    date sauce
    green chutney

    Enjoy with different sauces.

    You may also like vegetable pakoras. Try my recipes for Onion Pakora and/or Vegetable Pakora.

    Nutrition Facts are for Entire Recipe.
    Let me know what you think by leaving a comment! I love to hear from my readers!

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    This Week’s Healthy Tip

    The Health Benefits of Cottage Cheese 


    Cottage cheese was originally made in small cottages as a way to use leftover milk. In addition to being versatile, cottage cheese can be a nutritious addition to almost any diet. 
    It’s Low in Calories and Fat
    Even four percent milk fat cottage cheese is low in calories with about 120 calories per serving, but you can also buy low fat and fat-free versions which only have around eighty calories. Standard cottage cheese has anywhere from four to six grams of fat, while the fat-free is completely free of fat, although fat-free may have added starches to compensate. Because cottage cheese is filling, a single serving of this low calorie food can be quite satisfying.
    It’s High in Protein
    A single serving of cottage cheese has up to fifteen grams of protein, much of it in the form of casein, a slow digesting form of protein. Although not as high in protein as meat and poultry, it’s one of the best non-meat sources of protein around. The high protein content of cottage cheese and its high casein content make it a high satiety food so it reduces hunger for longer periods of time.
    It’s Low in Carbohydrates
    Most cottage cheese is low in carbohydrates with carb contents ranging from three grams to six grams. The low fat versions are often higher in carbs since they have added starches.
    It’s High in Bone-Building Calcium
    Calcium is important not only for building strong bones, but also for maintaining normal blood pressure. With around seventy grams per serving, cottage cheese can go a long ways towards meeting the daily calcium quota.
    Don’t forget about the versatility of cottage cheese. It can be used as a healthy, low fat substitute for other higher fat soft cheeses. When pureed in a blender, it can be a base for a heart healthy, but tasty dip. Simply sprinkle in some herbs and spices to add flavor. It makes a refreshing warm weather side dish or dessert when served with fruit. Use it instead of sour cream on baked potatoes or as a substitute for ricotta cheese in lasagna. Mix it with yogurt or puree it into a smoothie. It also tastes great as a side dish with just a little added seasoning. You’ll find lots of other exciting ways to use this healthy, versatile food. Enjoy the health benefits of eating cottage cheese!

    Pani Puri – Gol Gappa

    Pani Puri with Potatoes, Mung Beans, Chickpeas and Date Sauce

    I grew up in India. The thing I miss most are the tasty bites of food from the street vendors which are famously called “chaat.”  Here, I’ve had the chance to eat seven course meals many times. I’ve been to fancy Italian Restaurants and have savored the food of many different ethnicities.  But still today my taste for chaat remains the same. I have inherited this from my mother and I think I will pass it on to my daughter, too.

    At the top of the list is Pani Puri or famously known as Gol Goppa.  It is medley of sweet tastes with little sour touch with spices which tantalize the taste buds.  Chaat is pushcart food which is very likely originated in Northern India.

    Cooking Preparation Time: 45 Minutes
    Cooking Level: Easy   
    Recipe Type: Vegan
    Serves: 6            


    2    Medium Potatoes, boiled and smashed
    Red Chickpeas, soaked and boiled with salt
    1    Cup Sprouted Mung Beans
    2    Tsp Fresh Ginger Paste
    2    Tsp Fresh Green Chili Paste
    2    Cups Fresh Mint Leaves, washed and plucked
    Fresh Cilantro
    Salt to Taste
    Pepper to Taste
    1    Tsp Black Salt or Kala Namak
    2    TBsp Sugar
    2    TBsp Fresh Lemon Juice
    Tamarind & Date Sauce (Recipe on Blog)
    Roast & Grind in Coffee Mill:
    2    Tsp Cumin Seeds
    2    Cloves
    2    Cinnamon Sticks
    2    Tsp Fennel Seeds, roasted

    How to Prepare:

    1. Boil two potatoes and mash them.
    2. Season with salt, pepper, red chili and cilantro. Set aside.
    3. One cup of mung bean sprouts that has been boiled with salt.
    4. One cup red chickpeas boiled with salt. (optional)
    5. Pani means “water with spices” which is the main taste. To make pani for pani puri: blend fresh mint with green chili, ginger paste, sugar, lemon juice, black salt, 2 tsp of grounded powder of cumin seeds and regular table salt.  Set aside. Refrigerate for couple of hours.
    6. Microwave puris for 30-40 seconds.
    7. Crack open puris and fill with mung beans, potatoes and red chickpeas.
    8. Dip stuffed puris into water and eat it right away otherwise it will get soggy.
    9. Yum! Delicious!

    Pani Puri or Gol Gappa

    Chaat is a Hindi word for delicacy or possibly pakrit for devouring with relish whatever it is it is always fun to eat with friends.

      Onion Pakora – Fritters

      Onion Pakora
      Onion fritters are very popular all over India. It is a great wonder that even though hygiene is still very poor, the rate of illness is very low in India.  Research shows that most of the poorest people eat warm or hot both in temprature and in taste.  Even today, when I visit India, I try to stay away from cold cuts.  Pakora is deep-fried, instant and satisfying. Another benefit is that after eating pakora you want to drink more water to help it digest.  In warm weather it is good for you to drink alot of water.

      Preparation Time: 15 Minutes
      Cooking Difficulty Level: Medium
      Recipe Type: Vegan & Gluten Free
      Cooking Time: 20 minutes


      1    Medium Onion Peeled and Cut Lengthwise
      1    Medium Pepper of your choice
      (bell pepper is not too spicy or two Jalapeño
      cut length wise, seeded)
      Oil for deep frying
      2    Cups Chickpea Flour or Sifted Besan
      1/4 Cup Rice Flour
      Salt to taste
      3/4 Cup Water as needed
      1/4 Tsp Chili Powder
      1/4 Tsp Turmeric
      1    Tsp Coriander
      1    Tsp Cumin Powder
      1    Tsp Lemon Juice

      How To Prepare:

      1. In a mixing bowl, mix the cut onion, green chili of your choice (mild, hot and/or finger hot chili), salt, lemon juice, red chili, coriander, cumin powder, rice flour and chickpea flour . 

      2. Mix with fingers. 

      3. Add water as needed but do not add too much water.  You want the batter to be dry but mixed properly so that the flour and spice coat the onions.

      4. Heat the oil in a fryer.

      5. Once the oil is heated, precautions should be taken all the time when frying so that you do not scald yourself.

      6. Add the onions coated with batter to the frying pan. 

      7. Fry until golden brown.

      8. If the temperature is right, the fritters will pop up right away. 

      9. Take them out and place on a paper towel.

      Serve with chutneys: 

      Sev Batata Puri

      Recently, I read an article in the New York Times about one of my favorite foods. I am always very interested articles about food.  I may even be one of those “foodie-frenzy” people.  
      I read a very interesting article about Vik’s Chaat Corner, 2390 Fourth Street, Berkeley, CA.  I am very happy that the trend is picking up here.  Kudos to Vik for his creativity and passion to serve fresh food.  I do know that it is very time consuming and requires great effort and confidence. If I ever visit Berkeley, I will be sure to visit his place.  
      Many great chefs of five star restaurants have no idea about chaat recipes, but I am a big fan of chaat.  I always enjoy making, serving and eating the many different types. I know it is not very prestigious, but I’ve always enjoyed chaat from a pushcart chaatwalla. The word “chaat” is a Hindi word for “a delicacy which is tantalizing to the taste buds.”  It is a well-blended medley of sweet and spicy flavors.
      My few friends and I will always hang out by famous chaatwallas. Yes, a few are very famous for their specialty.  Here is one of their recipes foir Sev Batata Puri.   Enjoy!
      Sev Batata Puri


      1-2 Cups Fine Thin Sev (crunchy noodles available at Indian grocery stores)
      10-20 Flat Round Thin Puris (also available at Indian stores)
      2-3 Small Potatoes boiled and cut into round pieces
      1 Small Red Onion peeled and cut into very small pieces
      Small Raw Green Mangoes finely chopped (optional)
      Small Garden Cucumber finely chopped
      Fresh Bunch Cilantro washed and finely chopped
      Sweet Tamarind Chutney and Spicy Green Chutney
            (recipe in my blog)
      Salt and Red Chilli to taste
      Small Cut Lemon

      How to Prepare:

      1. Lay out flat puris in a plate. Add on top of it potatoes.
      2. Add onions and mangoes and cucumber (if you have them).
      3. Then add chutney and top it off with Sev.
      4. Top with cilantro to garnish.  

      Voila !!!!   MY favorite Chaat.