This Kachoris-and-Sabji seller set up his business recently near Uttam Nagar East Metro Station in August 2017.
Capped and aproned, with prices clearly and proudly displayed on a small board next to him, he serves his stuff from a clean, specially designed cupboard; very much like a McDonald’s employee. If you look around here closely, you will notice that no other hawker is as obviously fussy about cleanliness and style as he is. His stall seems to be like a little lotus in the middle of a murky pond. His shop is right outside a busy bus terminal and he is surrounded by autos, gramin seva minis, and e-rickshaws; a Sulabh toilet; and other street vendors. He is, I think, the first street food hawker in this area who has responded positively to the challenges of rising living standards and higher expectations of the general public. By setting himself apart and walking the extra mile, he has already ensured that he stays ahead of competition.
A lot of health-conscious people like me who don’t normally trust street food might be tempted to try out his kachoris on their way to work during morning hours.
Inspired by my recent success with Saffola Oats tikkis, I recently tried to make oats poha. Like I do with chirwa, I put the oats in a sieve and put it under running water. Unlike chirwa, however, it became too soft and when I put it on the sauted mixture of boiled potatoes, tomatoes, onions, curry leaves, green chillies, and spices, it turned into an upma! Well, something is always better than nothing, isn’t it? To my pleasant surprise, not only was it quite edible, it was quite tasty.
Here are the step-by-step pics.
Put oats under running water.
2. Peel the potatoes.
3. In a karahi, add some oil. When it gets hot, add turmeric, 1/4 teaspoonful sugar, some dry fruits, chopped onions, curry leaves, sarson, and some green chillies.
4. Stir a little bit and then add tomatoes and roughly mashed potatoes. You may also add some jeera powder and coriander powder.
5. Then add the oats, stir the whole stuff well, and turn off the heat. Voila! Oats upma is ready!
A few days later, on a relaxed, leisurely Sunday, I made a second attempt at making oats poha. This time, I put Saffola oats straightaway on the fried mixture without wetting them under running water. My daughter didn’t like it at all. She said it was too “dry” and felt like eating sand mixed with potatoes, onions, and tomatoes. I accepted her judgement gracefully with a smile, but I didn’t have the heart to discard it. So I quietly put it in a utensil and kept it in the fridge. While keeping the bowl there, I noticed that it had good company. It sat right next to a 2-day old black chana curry containing all the rich flavours of tomatoes, onions, and spices. An idea came to my head at that moment and I decided to use it at the earliest.
That night, I mixed the leftovers, oats poha and black chana curry, with some water in a mixie and turned the whole stuff into a paste. I mixed this paste with some atta and kneaded it all into a hard dough for making pooris. I added some salt and ajwain and kept this in the fridge.
Next morning, I made pooris out of this dough and served them hot with dry potato subzi and dahi.
Here are the pics.
The ill-fated Oats poha
Dough of Oats poha and black chana curry
Pooris, the end-product. (I took out little balls from the dough, dipped each one a little bit in hot oil in a karahi and flattened it with a rolling pin on a chakla. Then I deep fried each one of these and took them out after they turned brown on both sides).