Fasting or Upvaas as it is called in Sanskrit is a very deeply rooted practice prescribed in our heritage to purify (detox) the body but also the soul!! It asks us to observe restrain in eating by consuming fruits or light meals and no grains, the idea was to allow our internal systems to regenerate. But these days we are doing exactly the opposite. Infact fasting has now become feasting as rather than abstaining from food we have become indulgent towards fasting foods…..you must have observed that the list of Falahar dishes over the years has become quite exhaustive, we now have the Farali Dahi-vada, pakora, dhokla, pizza, pasta and what not…..indicating how much we have moved away from the rationale behind fasting!!! And we Gujaratis have conveniently abbreviated the self explanatory term Falahar ( fruit diet) to Faraal (don’t know it means:( ).
I have observed by Ba and my aunts observing Ekadashi fasts and they would hardly eat anything. They allowed themselves to eat some fruits and milk, thats it!!! My Ba was extremely disciplined with her food habits that allowed her to lead active and healthy life until she passed away at the age of 92!! I have seen how eating modestly helped her live a life that was free from any illness and ailments…
The recipe I share with you today of Shing Bataka Ni Khichdi or Peanut and Potato Jumble is a dish my Ba or Kaki would quickly rustle up for the guests who might be fasting, back then the guests normally arrived unannounced or as might be the case, a postcard sent to inform reached us after the guests arrived. The Shing Bataka Ni Khichdi is made using the basic ingredients available in the kitchen, no fancy stuff here. The Khichdi is normally taken with a dollop of fresh yogurt on the side hence, I have made Peanut Raita and baked Sweet Potato Chips to add that crunch to the meal. Usually, we have lot of deep fried potato wafers during fasts however since I like my freshly baked sweet potato chips with any meal and since it particularly sweet potatoes are consumed a lot during fasts, I thought of sharing the recipe here…..
Shing Bataka Ni Khichdi
Serves – 2
- 500 grams potatoes, boiled and mashed
- ¾ cup peanuts, roasted, skinned and crushed coarsely to chunky
- 2 tablespoons chili-ginger paste
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder
- 1.5 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 small stick cinnamon
- 2 cloves
- 1 spring curry leaves
- 2 tablespoon oil
- salt to taste
- chopped coriander to garnish
- Place medium sized Kadai on flame and add oil.
- Turn the flame to medium.
- Once the oil heats up add the cumin seeds, cinnamon stick and cloves.
- As the cumin seeds sizzle add curry leaves and ginger-chili paste.
- After sautéing the ginger-chili paste add the mashed potatoes and mix well.
- Follow it up with adding the coarsely crushed peanuts, chili powder, sugar, salt and lemon juice and mix it all well.
- Cover the Shing Bataka Ni Khichdi and cook it for 5-7 minutes.
- Transfer it to a serving bowl and garnish with chopped coriander.
- Serve with yogurt or Peanut Raita as I have done.
Makes 1.5 cups
- 1 cup thick yogurt
- ½ cup of peanuts – roasted, skinned and coarsely ground
- 2 teaspoons chili+ginger paste
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- a pinch of roasted cumin powder
- salt to taste
- In a bowl, add the yogurt and whisk it well to bring it to smooth consistency.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and chill it in refrigerator.
- Just before serving transefer it to a serving bowl.
- This Peanut Raita goes well with any of the Farhali dishes.
To make Sweet-Potato Chips….
- Wash and peel sweet potatoes.
- Using a mandoline or food processor make thin slices of the sweet potatoes. Soak the slices in cold water having little added salt for 5-7 minutes, drain and dry on a dry kitchen towel.
- Preheat the oven to 170 C.
- In a bowl put the sweet potato slices and add oil (I have used olive oil) just enough to coat the slices.
- Spread the slices each separate from the other, on a baking sheet and bake it for 10-15 minutes. Mine were done in 10 minutes but since each oven behaves differently please eyeball the chips until the first lot comes out. The baking time will also depend on the thickness of the sweet potato slices.
- Once done, transfer them on wire rack and sprinkle salt and pepper.
- Baked Sweet-Potato chips are ready to serve.