Roasted Veggies, Served Street-cart Style
The Desi Quotient (DQ), or Indigenous Quotient, is a darned thing. We score high on it, naturally, sometimes to the point of being unapologetically crude. Which you'd be too, if you were raised on a diet of "munchies" or "fillers" that are messy foods, for one, and best relished with the table manners of a slob. While being street-food-like or even junk-food-like for the most part, these snacks always had a dose of nutrition hidden somewhere in their depths.
Now, being hopelessly hungry for these varieties of snacks, or chaats, to be specific, we're constantly revisiting our favorite recipes and tweaking them so as to befit the nature of the everyday diet these days, given how everything is hinged on sugars and fatty acids, colors and additives. We love to put a dreamy-eyed spin on things and let our kids have fun with their food, all while sneaking veggies into their meals either in camouflaged form or dressed up skillfully so they no longer seem blah.
This Roasted Veggie Chaat, for instance, is packed with flavor and spice, and certainly didn't warrant the twisted mouths and flared nostrils when it was served as an after school snack. And we're not even tallying their DQ, just as yet.
Roasted Veggie Chaat
- ¼ Cup green chutney (recipe follows)
- Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F. Prepare a large baking tray by lining it with parchment or foil and greasing well.
- In a large mixing bowl pour the oil and add the salt, red chilli powder, coriander and cumin powders.
- To the bowl add all the veggies and toss well using a large slotted spoon.
- Spread the veggies on the prepared tray in a single layer. Place in the oven. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes or until the pieces are tender and browned, tossing once after 25 minutes.
- Wipe out the bowl used earlier with a paper towel and set aside. Transfer the roasted veggies back to the same bowl. Sprinkle black salt, chaat masala and add the chutney. Toss lightly. Serve as an appetizer with a side of radish slaw (recipe follows).
* From the Himalayas, Black Salt is a special type of mineral salt that is pink-gray in colour and has a distinctive taste.
** A blend of select spices, Chaat Masala is available in Indian grocery stores and is used to impart a delicious tang to street food.
- Blend all the ingredients in a blender or mixie until smooth. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.
- 2 Tender, young radishes
- Finely grate the radishes and carrot. Toss with the lemon juice, red chilli powder and salt. Serve immediately.