Recipes: How to give your fare a touch of zesty, street-food flavor 

Eve Aronoff's Sweet Chili Mayo

Makes about 2-1/3 cups

2 cups traditional mayonnaise

1/3 cup sweet chili sauce, or more to taste (we use Mae Ploy brand, which is available at most Asian markets)

Stir together mayonnaise and sweet chili sauce in mixing bowl until desired flavor.

Eve Aronoff's Picadillo

Serves four

3 cups onions, diced

2 tablespoons garlic, minced

3 tablespoons olive oil

3/4 cups green pepper, small dice

3/4 cups red pepper, small dice

2 teaspoons jalapeño, minced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons oregano

1/4 teaspoon plus pinch all spice

1/4 teaspoon plus pinch cayenne

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon plus 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 pound ground beef

1 cup Roma tomatoes

1/2 cup golden raisins

1 teaspoon capers, rough chop

1/2 cup Spanish olives, rough chop

1/4 cup sherry

2-1/2 tablespoons sriracha (we use Shark brand) — or to taste

1 tablespoon pickled jalapeños, minced

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 heaping tablespoon or more to taste brown sugar

1/2 cup cilantro

1/2 cup parsley

Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil in large sauté pan.

Add green and red bell peppers, jalapeño and spices.

Add ground beef, brown and strain off excess grease — drain quickly.

Add tomatoes, olives, sherry, raisins and capers. Continue cooking for about 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Add sriracha and pickled jalapenos and Worcestershire

Adjust seasonings generously to taste. Turn off heat but keep warm on stovetop.

Neehee's Top Treat

Try your hand at authentic Indian street food, chole, a spicy, tangy, chickpea gravy, with bhaturas, poofy Indian bread.

Neehee's Chole Bhature

Main ingredients

1 cup dried small chickpeas or 1.5 cups regular dried chickpeas.

1 green chile, slit (hari mirch)

1 teaspoon coriander powder (dhania powder)

1/4 teaspoon red chili powder (lal mirch powder)

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi)

1 teaspoon garam masala powder or chole masala

1/2 or 1 teaspoon dry mango powder (amchur powder)

a pinch of asafoetida/hing (optional)

black salt or rock salt as required

2 cups water to be added later

Whole garam masala/spices

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 large Indian bay leaf (tej patta)

2 inches cinnamon (dal chini)

2-3 cloves (laung)

2 green cardamom (choti elachini)

2-3 black peppercorns

Ground paste ingredients:

1 medium size onion, chopped

2 medium size tomatoes, chopped

1/2 inch ginger (adrak), chopped

3-4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 green chile, chopped

First soak the chickpeas in enough water overnight or for 7-8 hours.

Drain the water and cook the chole with water and salt in a pressure cooker or a pot.

You can also add a pinch or two of baking soda while cooking the chole.

Strain the chole and keep aside.

Make a fine paste of the onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, and green chile in a grinder or blender.

No need to add water while making the paste, as the juice of the tomatoes will help in making the paste.

Keep the paste aside.

Heat oil in a pan or wok.

Fry the whole garam masala and spices mentioned above until the oil becomes fragrant. Don't burn them.

Add the ground paste and sauté till the oil starts to leave the sides of the paste.

Stir while sautéeing so that the paste does not stick to the pan.

Add all the dry spice powders (turmeric, red chili powder, coriander, and dry mango powder).

Stir and sauté for a minute.

Add the cooked chole and stir.

Pour water.

Add salt and stir.

Simmer on a low or medium flame for 12-15 minutes till the curry thickens.

Don't cover the pan.

Stir occasionally.

Add slit green chiles and garam masala powder or chole masala.

Stir and simmer for a minute or two.

Check the seasoning and add more salt or spice powders if required.

Garnish chole with coriander leaves.


Main ingredients

2-1/2 cups atta or whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon salt or as required

1 tablespoon oil or ghee or butter

1/2 or 1/3 cup warm water

vegetable oil for deep frying

For overnight fermentation

3/4 cup (150 ml) plain curd, yogurt, or cashew curd

1/2 tablespoon sugar or brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 cup all-purpose flour/maida

1/4 cup water (optional)

You'll have to start the night before.

In a bowl take the yogurt, sugar, baking powder and all-purpose flour.

Mix well all four ingredients for overnight fermentation.

If the yogurt has whey in it, then you don't need to add the 1/4 cup of water mentioned above.

If the yogurt is thick, then to thin the batter, add 1/4 cup water.

Cover the bowl with a cloth and set it aside in a warm place overnight or for 8 hours to allow natural fermentation to take place.

The next day, you'll see tiny bubbles on the surface of the mixture. The mixture is ready for the next step when tiny bubbles appear on the surface.

In another bowl, mix together the wheat flour with salt and rub the ghee or butter into it with your fingertips. Into this bowl, add the fermenting mixture and the warm water. Form a dough with these two mixtures.

Knead the dough for 5 to 10 minutes or until it's silky smooth. Add a little flour if it's too wet. Gather the dough into a compact ball and cover it with a damp cloth. Again, set it aside in a warm place for two hours.

Knead the dough again.

Form it in to 15 balls and roll them into 5-6 inch discs. Heat oil or ghee and deep-fry the bhaturas.

Serve the bhaturas hot with chole and wedges of lemon and sliced onions.

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