- A handful of Chide (Bengali) aka chuda (Oriya) aka Poha (Marathi) -- these are dry rice flakes
- A table spoon of finely chopped onion
- A tea spoon of kalo jeere (Bengali) AKA kalonji (Hindi ?) AKA onion seeds (English)
- One finely chopped green Indian chilly
- 2 table spoons of Olive oil ( we live in a generation where is oil is a four letter world unlike in Didu's time)
- A bit of salt and black pepper powder
- Heat a tea spoon of olive oil
- Add the kalo jeere and let it crackle
- Add onion and chillies and let them fry (I love fried onions and fried chillies)
- Add the chide, stir
- Add a bit more oil and you will see the chide puff in glory
- Add salt, pepper, stir, end of story
A fantastic evening snack to have with tea or coffee, especially when it is raining, and takes less than ten minutes to make.
I got very excited and called Didu up in Calcutta after I had the chide bhaaja. These calls are not easy to make. It is very difficult to hear this superwoman, who had raised all of us without a single complain, talk about her ailments. Right now she is recovereing from jaundice, is weary of stomach stones, has a very bad knee pain, has to run the house, shop, cook, make the bed, put up the mosquito net, and look after my Dadu (my grandpa). Dadu, who is well into his eighties, has his set of illnesses, is hard of hearing and pines to go to Puri on a holiday. One feels very helpless since all one can do from another city across the country is to make the odd phone call. It is difficult to picturise her using a stick.
Anyway I told her about my making chide bhaaja. Suddenly a new life came into her weary voice as she begun telling me about how one has to fry the chide FIRST in a lot of oil till the chide swells up like flowers, then add onions, chillies, peanuts (which she asked me to keep at home) and green peas in winter. She said she used to often make it in Delhi.
Actually the order of chide first and then everything is similar to what was there in the Oriya food blog. But hey, that's me, I stumble upon recipes, I don't read and follow them.
Something tells me that Didu forgot her paining knees for a few minutes during the call as she narrated the chide bhaaja recipe to me.
What are your favourite granny stories?