Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sev Batata Dahi Puri (SBDP)

I can admit without any resentment that I have spent the better part of the mornings of growing years at Hotel Vaishali. There’s no other place that embodies the slow paced, there’s-always-tomorrow sprit of Pune city more than Hotel Vaishali. Any regular visitor can tell you with their eyes closed what the scene at Vaishali is like in the mornings. Sadly, they can also name the people who will be there at any given time and the area in which they might be sitting. I first started visiting Vaishali for the food. I have yet to find a single thing or item on the menu to complain about. However, years went by, and although the food never took a back seat, mornings at Vaishali became more of a social event than a strictly culinary visit. Although, as fun as the mornings at Vaishali were, evenings at Vaishali just as awesome. And the one thing that made that possible was that the Chaat bar would open at 4:30 p.m. And the crowning jewel of the Chaat bar was the hero of the evenings, the Sev Batata Dahi Puri known simply as “The SBDP”. I have eaten this dish pretty much all over the country, but none even comes close to the SBDP at Vaishali.

2 boiled Potatoes, cut into small cubes
1 finely chopped Onion
2 finely chopped Tomatoes
1/4 cup Cilantro finely chopped
1/4 cup Mint finely chopped
1 pack Chaat Puris
1 cup Yoghurt, slightly sweetened and whipped
1/2 cup Tamarind Pulp
1/2 cup Date pulp
2 tsp Jaggrey
1 cup Sev

In a pot boil 2 cups of water and add the jaggrey, date pulp and tamarind pulp stirring it to make sure it is a homogenous mixture
Reduce the mixture to half or till it is a thick liquid
Place aside and allow it to cool
On a plate place a few puris (if the puris are puffy, make a hole on one side and place with the hole facing up)
Place potato on the puris (or in)
Place the tomato and onion on the puris (in that order)
Using a teaspoon drizzle the Tamarind chutney over the puris so that each puri gets at least a spoonful
Drizzle some yoghurt over each of the puri (1/2 tsp per puri)
Top generously with Sev
Garnish with cilantro and mint
Serve immediately before puris get soggy