Sunday, November 29, 2015

Churma Crisps

"What family would want a daughter-in-law who can run around all day kicking a football but can't make round chapatis?"
(~Mrs Bhamra, Bend It Like Beckham)

I love Mrs Bhamra because she reminds me of my grandma! Except my grandma, being from a much older generation and a small town background wondered what family would want a DIL who could read, write and speak English but couldn't make round pathis! Oh, 'pathis' as she called them are cow dung cakes, mixed with a bit of chopped hay, kneaded (ugh!) with bare hands, and then rolled and patted into cakes which are then slapped onto a wall, like a backyard boundary wall or any available one I guess, and left to dry.

I used to sit and watch her go at it with gusto while my tummy churned and my nose protested. I found it disgusting but sat and talked to her and watched her knead and pat the precious fuel for her chula because it fascinated me too. I was ten, and we had just moved lock, stock and barrel to a one-horse town in the Punjab!

"Learn to make these," she said to me one day.
"Never, Grandma," I said horrified. "Why should I?"
"How will you get a good husband from a good family if you don't learn how to make chapatis, dal, sabzi and pathis?"

Long story short...I took her advice, learned everything she said except the 'pathis.' To compensate, I learned to make excellent chapatis! I also learned how to recycle leftover ones from last night's dinner.

Apart from the Chapati-samosa filled with fresh or leftover veggies or meat, Chapati-pizza, or click here for Chapati Flautas...there's a list of other things among which Churma figures in a big way too...there are all kinds of things one can do to save that chapati from going into a bin. Churma ladoos are one of my favourites as is Churma Crisps. So what we're going to make here today is churma crisps. I have to give the credit to this form of churma to my niece on my in-law's side. The one she used to make didn't have the nuts...that's my addition, as is the desiccated coconut. I do not, however, use coconut when my elder son is around...he can't stand it! To each his own...fortunately, it does not alter the churma in any way by it's absence.


Chapatis.............................................fresh or leftover, as many as are there
Ghee/oil according to number of chapatis. You don't need much, just enough for roasting
Green cardamom.............................whole, as required, abt 4/10 chapatis, thin, small ones required, abt 5/10 chapatis               "        " required, abt 1" pc/10 chapatis         "        "
Cashew required, chopped required, chopped or coarsely powdered required, chopped or powdered
Dessicated coconut (optional)
Sugar..............................................acc to taste, fine grain sugar preferably brown organic

Break the chapatis into bits and blitz in the mixer until they resemble coarse breadcrumbs.
Heat some ghee/oil in a non-stick pan.
Add the cardamom, cloves and cinnamon. Give it a stir.
Now add the chapati crumbs. Stir briskly, so the crumbs get a bit of oil over them.
Lower heat to medium and contunue to cook, stirring constantly.
When the crumbs become a light golden and are crisp, lower heat to a simmer, add the nuts and coconut, stir to mix them into the chapati crisps...10-15 seconds.
Add the sugar. Give it a good stir.
Remove from the stove top and spread on a butter paper, allow to cool.
Munch away on spoonsful of chapati crisps. It's a great snack.

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