Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Painda for Chotee Chotee Bhook

i am looking for quick healthy snacks all the time. Something that is not completely dry. And something that is juicy, chew able, which is also full of flavors with some raw freshness added in.

i know and make salads and in that my all time favorite is the sprouts salad into which i keep adding and subtracting ingredients when i get fed up of a particular taste or flavor. But last time on my trip to Mukteshwar (Nainital) i came upon this. Thought then that through my blog i must share not only the recipe but also save the recipe lest my fickle mind forgets it. Besides other subjects might also take precedence. i mean the talker in me might want to talk of other stuff and forget entirely about this simple yet tasty snack for chotee chotee bhook .

Mr Manoj thank God he beckoned me with his lovely smile and the warmest call that i can ever remember to try it when disgusted with all that garbage and muck at that spot which supposedly was one great scenic spot of that area i was returning quite upset. Cursing within myself as to when my country folks will ever learn to keep their surroundings clean. Animatedly telling my husband if the 'Swachata Abhiyaan' ( Cleanliness Drive) will ever take off in a major way. As if my poor soul of a husband was responsible for the stench and the garbage that was there. Yeah i was going on and on. "... Has it really taken off if at all or is it restricted to those biggies sweeping the already clean roads with a brand new broom and their photos flashed in the dailies...''

Mr Manoj stopped me and my ranting with his gentle call..."Madam jee naraaz mat ho,  aao Painda khaa lo..."
i at once my walk and my angry talk...
Looked at that face with the neat hair cut who had pleasantly asked me to quit being cross and just eat his snack. Was surprised too how my facial expressions must've conveyed so much for him to make that passing observation, 'Cross' if at all it was one or did he understand every word i was saying to my husband. Oh God was i that loud !.
i bet that i would've been. Family members have often reminded me time and again to speak softly.
Painda. Pronounced not as the D in English but that which we have in Hindi Devnagri script. In fact we have a proper word 'painda' in Hindi which means bottom or base of anything. For example the base of a vessel or anything. We also have a proverb too ' bin painde ka lota ' which translated would mean a small round pot with a round bottom...the application thus suitably would be a person who is of highly unreliable character or has varying conduct. A chameleon character maybe.
So Painda with that D...

Then because my mood was rotten...i glanced at that offering dismissing it perfunctorily as, " Oh no...not another Chana Chaat is it..." .
Then looked at that colorful basket with the lovely fresh greens and reds and the shining in the sun goldens. 
 Okay this potpourri looked slightly different. This must surely be different to those i have had in Patna my native place or in Delhi where i am residing now. 
 i chided myself inwardly for being so miss- know- it- all. But could i help myself for being so. After all Chana Chaat or Bengal Gram Savory Snack Vendors are there everywhere in India aren't they ...
i must confess...the entire looked not only appetizing but there was a faint delectable aroma too...a tangy spicy aroma and the sight of those perfectly chopped fine pieces of fresh cucumber, tomatoes, coriander started it's tricks on my tongue which instead of wagging and making sounds was moistening by now and i felt that quietening down deep inside. What then caught my attention apart from the boiled gram was the deep fried Bengal gram lentil glistening golden and looking very fresh and crispy too. Was that to be added to the preparation or was there an entire different preparation with that one ? i was mulling over the idea of asking the vendor man to do one of that too if it was another.
i waited and watched with fascination the entire procedure as the hands set to work the moment i placed my order for three 'Paindas'.
So then, my curiosity was taken care of when i saw that the deep fried daal ( Bengal gram lentil) also went into it plus that secret spice and finally a dash of fresh lime juice.
 The three of husband, our taxi driver and me hardly talked but chewed on to this sheer simple tasty delight which had it's juices, the crunchy freshness and took care of that chotee bhook which had actually made me more irritable than i normally would've been. i finished mine and went back to drop those paper cups in the makeshift cardboard bin that Mr Manoj jee had kept by the side of his little vending hand basket. It was then i thanked him for introducing me to this lovely snack and then happily i asked him about that area and talked to him for a while. Came to a deeper understanding about the garbage and the stench too which was primarily because of those horses there that took the tourists uphill.
 But in all this talking i forgot to ask him if the word ' Painda' was it a local word for the chat he served...
And i now am left wondering if it was Garhwaali or Kumaoni... 
i cannot quit before explaining what Chotee Bhook is... 
It is not so much of a hunger but that intense desire to munch on to something in between meals, movies, tv programmes, get-togethers or even just like that. Period.


  1. Your expression of words n lines were such that I could visualise the scene.Very interesting.... hilarious the way u mentioned'biggies' n your bantering to your poor soul of a husband.Now feel like eating painda.Sometimes strangers help to calm good souls like you.

    1. Exactly sis sometimes 'Na jaaney kis bhes mein Narayan mil jayein'...not only to quieten the irritable barking doggie in you but also to feed you...and feed you well.
      Thanks for your kind words and also for stopping by. :)
      Guess it's Painda then for this eve... bon appetit <3

  2. Wow! This looks delectable! Wanna try the Painda.
    Great that you clicked pics while the preparation was on :)
    Am hungry already though I just had lunch :)