Vibey, loud, colourful and unapologetically themselves … we absolutely love everything about Bachao, especially their food! Situated at the Umhlanga Arch, this Indian street food takeaway spot is full of fun, flavour and authenticity. Owner Tarannum agreed to share some exciting recipes with our readers …
Bachao (which means ‘save me!’ in Hindi) all about is bringing a real taste of authentic Indian street food to the North Coast. Having lived grown up in India, and eaten food from different street corners around India, Tarannum is determined to introduce the local community to a new way of thinking about Indian street food. “We want people to taste and appreciate foods from all corners of India and urge them to experiment with different textures and flavours and challenge their taste buds. Indian food can be delicious and nutritious (very often completely vegetarian) and does not necessarily have be soaked in oil or burn a hole in your cheek!” The food at Bachao is served in bespoke packaging made to look like newspaper print and all their spices and chutneys are made completely from scratch from old, traditional recipes. The menu changes seasonally, so keep an eye out for their autumn and winter specials which are sure to keep away the chills! In the meantime, why not try recreate one these yummy dishes at home?
Details: Bachao, Umhlanga Arch, FB: @bachaostreetfood, IG: @bachao_indianstreetfood, [email protected]
You’ll need: 2 large onions, sliced length-ways, thinly, 100g chickpea flour, 1/2 tsp ground coriander, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp red chilli powder, 1/4 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp salt, 20 curry leaves, roughly sliced, 2 to 4 green chillis, thinly sliced, 200g cooking mozzarella, 6 to 8 tbsp water, 2L oil for deep frying.
To make: Heat the oil to 180°C in a large saucepan. The oil shouldn’t come more than halfway up the sides of the pan. Cut 12 x 1,5cm squares from the mozzarella and grate the rest. Cut the onions in half and top and tail them, and remove the outer skin. Slice thinly, length-ways. Mix the gram flour and powdered spices together. Add the sliced onions, chillies, curry leaves and grated mozzarella and mix all together. Add a few tablespoons of water so that the flours stick to the vegetables. Take a spoonful of the mixture and put a square of mozzarella on it, then top with more onion batter mix so the cheese is covered. Gently drop it into the hot oil. Add one or two more pakode depending on the size of your pan: don’t crowd it. Cook for a few minutes until golden brown, turning occasionally if needed. Drain on kitchen paper while you cook the rest. Serve immediately, with either Mrs Balls Chutney or a chili/tomato sauce.
KERALA PANEER PEPPER FRY
You’ll need: 2 tablespoon coconut oil (or sunflower oil), ½ teaspoon mustard seeds, 1 large onion or 1 cup thinly sliced onions, ½ teaspoon ground ginger and garlic, 200g 1 inch paneer cubes, 1 medium green pepper, sliced thinly, 1 green chili, sliced or chopped, 10 curry leaves (chopped) or 2 teaspoons chopped curry leaves, can also add 1 teaspoon curry leaves or 4 to 5 curry leaves (chopped), 1 tsp black pepper + 1 tsp fennel seeds, crushed to a coarse powder in a small grinder, ½ tsp coriander powder (ground coriander), ½ tsp cumin powder (ground cumin), 1 pinch of turmeric powder, salt as required, 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves (cilantro leaves)
To make: Grind black pepper and fennel seeds in a dry grinder or a coffee grinder to a coarse powder. Slice the onions, green peppers, and green chillis. Making mushroom pepper fry: Heat 2 tablespoons coconut oil in a pan. Add 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds and let them crackle. After the mustard seeds crackle, add the thinly sliced onions. Mix the onions very well and saute on a low to medium flame, till they start to turn light golden. Then add 1/2 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste and saute till the raw aroma of ginger-garlic goes away. Now add the paneer. Mix very well and saute on a medium flame. Then add 1 cup sliced peppers and mix well. Saute the pepper slices till they are half cooked. They should have some crunch in them. Then add 1 green chili, sliced or chopped and 2 teaspoons chopped curry leaves and mix well. Now add the coarsely powdered black pepper and fennel seeds along with 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder, 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder and a pinch of turmeric powder. Mix all the spices very well with the paneer and pepper mixture. Season with salt. Mix again and then switch off the flame. Check the taste and add more salt if required. Add 2 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves. Stir. Serve paneer pepper fry hot with rotis/parathas.
Text: Leah Shone