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Recipes: Egg Tikka, Kashmiri Mutton Tujj

December 14, 2023 12:39 IST
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'For me it is no coincidence that the word 'chaat' rhymes with 'heart'.

'Right from the living rooms on Altamount Road in Mumbai and the weddings at Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur to the chaotic streets of Old Delhi, chaat is an omnipotent category of dishes (food group, if you may please), the sheer accessibility of which binds people together, no matter what their social or economic status.

'A ubiquitous part of the collective Indian culinary identity, irrespective of background, of region, of affordability, the love for chaat is similar to a religion that suits everyone: You don't like the spiciness of teekha pani puri, let the sweet potato tikki chaat soothe your palate.

'You don't like the zero-textured dahi vada, let the crunchy papdi chaat rescue you.

'Unable to get the kids (and some adults) to eat their fruits and veggies? In comes my original recipe, vitamin bhel.

'Truly, the road to our hearts is paved with chaat thelas.

'However, the most debated aspect of chaat isn't Mumbai versus Delhi'. Cookbook writer Sonal Ved has clearly found a winner in Delhi.

It's the origin of it that intrigues her. In her latest book, India Local: Classic Street Food Recipes, she writes, 'According to one story, when Emperor Shah Jahan fell ill, a royal hakim advised him to eat food loaded with spices to strengthen his immunity.

'The palace khansama came up with chaat, a dish that was light on the stomach but tasty at the same time.

'There is another legend from the same period about a canal (perhaps the River Yamuna) supplying water to the local homes becoming polluted, because of which the court hakim advised the locals to cook using a lot of healing herbs and spices like tamarind, coriander, and mint.

'I believe that these are just tales, since some version of dahi vada can be traced all the way to Manasollasa, an early twelfth-century Sanskrit text composed by the Kalyani Chalukya (the Kannadiga dynasty is sometimes referred to as Kalyani Chalukya), in which King Someshvara III shares much socio-cultural information that gives us a view into the Chalukya dynasty's culinary life.

'This scripture mentions the existence of dishes that combined vadas, purikas (similar to the puris of pani puris or papadis), curd, and a variety of spices.

'Though chaats may have become well-defined during the Mughal period, they existed in various forms earlier too.'

Besides favourite chaats and street foods such as sukha and geeli bhel, dahi bhalle, peanut chaat, frankie, kanda bhajiya, vada pav, Maggi noodles, and paneer tikka, this book also delves deeper to bring to fore some lesser-known dishes like the Burmese Atho from Chennai, Darjeeling's Laal Aloo Wai Wai, Sikkim's Sel Roti, Indore's Egg Banjo, Uttarakhand's Kumaoni Badas and much more.

Sonal has also shared recipes of some unique chaats 'that were born not in the sun-kissed streets of Lucknow or the noisy alleys of purani Dilli', but in her Gujarati home.

'My family is obsessed with chaats and we don't repeat recipes often, which leaves me with only one option -- to come up with unique ways to transport those flavourful chutneys, crispy papadis and sev into my mouth.'

Presenting two interesting recipes from Sonal Ved's cookbook.

Egg Tikka

Smoky, marinated egg skewers

Serves: 4


  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion + ¼ cup diced onion
  • 1 green chilly, finely chopped
  • 1 cup diced green and red capsicum + ¼ cup diced green capsicum
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped green dhania or coriander or cilantro leaves
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp red chilly powder
  • 1 tsp dhania or coriander powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 5 eggs
  • Salt to taste, around 1 tsp
  • Dash black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp butter

For the marinade

  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup thick dahi or yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp besan or chickpea or gram flour
  • 1 tsp red chilly powder
  • 1 tsp dhania or coriander powder
  • 1 tsp jeera or cumin powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp tikka masala
  • Salt to taste, around 1 tsp
  • 1 tsp black pepper powder
  • 1 tsp chaat masala

To garnish

  • Finely chopped capsicum
  • Finely chopped onions


  • In a bowl mix the finely chopped onions with the green chilly, diced capsicums, coriander leaves, minced ginger, red chilly, coriander powder, garam masala.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and add the vegetable mixture to it.
    Combine well to form a thick batter.
    Season with salt and pepper.
  • Heat the butter in a frying pan over low heat and pour the egg batter into it.
    Cook the egg like a frittata for 6-7 minutes until just done.
    Cut the frittata into thick squares.
  • To make the marinade, whisk the yoghurt with the chickpea flour, red chilly, coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala, ginger-garlic paste, tikka masala, salt, black pepper.
    Mix in the egg squares, diced onion and the green capsicum.
    Heat the oil in a grill pan over medium heat.
    Fry the egg, onion and the capsicum for 2-3 minutes per side.
  • Alternately, thread the egg, capsicum, onion onto skewers while you heat oil in a grill pan over medium heat.
    Brush oil onto the skewers.
    Grill the skewers on all sides until deliciously charred and smoky, about 2-3 minutes per side.
    Take off heat, sprinkle chaat masala, garnished with the chopped onions and the chopped capsicum and serve hot.

Kashmiri Mutton Tujj

Minced mutton skewers marinated with a Kashmiri spice mix

Serves: 1


For the tujj masala

  • 2 tbsp jeera or cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp dhania or coriander seeds
  • 2 bara elaichi or black cardamom
  • 5 green elaichi or cardamom
  • 1-2 lavang or cloves
  • ½ tsp ajwain or carom seeds
  • 2 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 2 pieces javitri or mace
  • 1½ tbsp kasuri methi or dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1½ tbsp Kashmiri red chilly powder + 2 tsp extra
  • 1 tbsp red chilly powder
  • 1 tbsp ginger powder
  • 1 tbsp kala namak or black salt

For the kebabs

  • 2 tbsp dahi or yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp tujj masala 
  • 1 tsp haldi or turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 cup cubed boneless mutton
  • Salt, to taste, around 1 tsp
  • 2 tbsp oil

To serve

  • Mint-coriander chutney
  • Sliced onions
  • Lemon wedge
  • Fried green chillies
  • Red chilly sauce or ketchup


  • Roast the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, black cardamom, green cardamom, cloves, carom seeds, peppercorns, mace in a frying pan over low heat for 2-3 minutes until the spices release a faint aroma.
    Take off heat.
    Once the roasted spices have cooled, put them in the jar of a masala grinder along with the dried fenugreek leaves, Kashmiri chilly powder, red chilly powder, ginger powder, black salt.
    Blitz to a fine powder.
    This is the tujj masala.
  • Whisk the yoghurt in a bowl with 2 tbsp of the tujj masala, 2 tsp Kashmiri chilly powder, turmeric powder, garlic paste.
    Add the mutton pieces and season with the salt.
    Refrigerate for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.
    Take the marinated meat out of the fridge at least 45 minutes before you want to cook to allow it to reach room temperature.
    Thread the mutton onto skewers and brush with oil.
    Cook the skewers on an open flame or a grill until the mutton is cooked, for about 17-20 minutes.
    You can also cook the skewers in an oven at 200 degrees C for 20 minutes.
    Preheat the oven while you begin threading the mutton onto skewers.
    Serve with mint-coriander chutney, lemon wedges, chillies, sliced onions, red chilly sauce.

Editor's Note: Make your own mint chutney. Use Lahu Kapduskar's recipe for Green Mint Chutney.

Excerpted from India Local: Classic Street Food Recipes by Sonal Ved, with the kind permission of the publishers Roli Books.

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