Monday, March 3, 2014

Jampot In My Kitchen

Jamshedpur, aka Tatanagar, Jampot, the city that Jamshedji Nuserwanji Tata on the banks of the Suvarnarekha and Kharkai rivers. This is where my husband grew up and this is 'home' to him. Though Jamshedpur has changed in many ways, it has also remained the same. The slow and simple way of life and the quietness is much the same. Sure, there are way more traffic lights, cars, coffee shops, and the like but the charm of places like the Bistupur market remains intact.
My daughter created this Wordle to try to capture what Jamshedpur means to us and some of the places and people we associate with it.

RinaDidi's Tomato Chutney
Whenever I see recipes titled 'Matty's Scones' or 'Mrs. Johnson's Vegetable Stew' I can't help wonder about the people in the recipe titles especially since there isn't always any information about the people and the reason why we should care about these particular scones. In the case of this recipe, RinaDidi cooks in my sister-in-law's kitchen in Jamshedpur. She is more like a multi armed Goddess straight from Hindu mythology. Only this Goddess wields cooking utensils and operates kitchen gadgets. RinaDidi is equally at ease making Burmese khao suey as she is making maccher jhol, sattu-ki-roti, or varan-bhaat.

4-5 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
3-4 dry dates, finely chopped
2 tsp oil, preferably mustard oil
1 tsp panchphoran
1/4 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp grated ginger, loosely packed
salt, to taste
Heat the oil to the smoking point and add the panchphoran. If not using mustard oil, do not let it smoke.
When the mustard stops popping add the ginger. Cook for about ½ a minute.
Add the chili powder, tomatoes, and dates.
Cook uncovered over medium-low heat till the tomatoes and dates soften; about 8-9 minutes.
Add the salt.
The resulting chutney should be sweet, sour, and slightly spicy.
If the tomatoes don't bring in enough sourness, add just a bit of aamchur or tamarind extract.
Cool completely before before serving.

Idli Dosa Chutney
This chutney is a fixture in my kitchen after tasting it first in Jamshedpur.
The recipe is courtesy my sister-in-law.
½ cup chana daal
A small knob of ginger 1 tablespoon oil
Phodni kit (mustard seeds, turmeric, and asafetida (hing))
1 (or more) green chili
Juice of ½ a lemon
Salt to taste

3-4 stalks of cilantro (optional)
4-5 curry leaves

Roast the chana daal till it browns slightly.
Transfer the roasted daal to a bowl and add about a cup of water. The water should cover the daal so add more if required.
Let the daal soak for 2-3 hours.
Drain the daal but retain the water. Grind the daal, chili and the ginger using just a bit of the 'soaking' water.
The chutney should retain just a bit of texture and shouldn't be pasty smooth.
Make the phodni/ tempering: heat the oil, add the mustard seeds. When they stop popping adding the turmeric, the hing, and the curry leaves.
Pour the phodni/ tempering over the chutney. Add the lemon juice and salt.
Enjoy with dosa or idli.

If you have any questions or comments, please write to me Thanks for stopping by.
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