Just like American food has its hash brown or fries, we got the chokha on the side.
The delectable dal-chawal combo is a comfort meal that possibly cannot be replaced with anything in Indian households. But there is one item that completes this relish-worthy staple meal - the mash served on the side.
When it comes to comfort food for Indians in general, it has got to do with simplicity, warmth and indulgent food that is best eaten with hands. Besides all the etiquette and tips around eating Indian food right, there exists one dimension where food is comfort, and comfort knows no rules. Rice and lentils form one such comfort food item, of course with a generous serving of mash on the side. Just like American food has its hash brown or fries, we got the chokha on the side. Take a look at these five innovative chokha recipes that are a tad different from the ones you catch up on YouTube.
1. Paneer Laced Aloo Chokha
Mash some potatoes and add loads of green chillies and fresh coriander. Then, add the spices and seasoning of choice, while you grate some fresh paneer right on top. Serve in small balls along with lime pieces.
2. Brinjal Chokha
Give the good old brinjal a steam in your cooker and sauté the mashed version in well heated mustard oil with some mustard seeds and jeera tadka. Add dhania powder, salt and some red chilli. Top it off with chopped onions and a small spoonful of raw mustard oil. Wait until you try this, and you will not go back to betting on only aloo chokha.
3. Karela Masala Chokha
Boil a well-cleaned karela that is ripped off its seeds. Soak it in salt water for some time to cool down and for the bitterness to scale down. Add a drizzle of raw mustard oil, some black pepper and rock salt. Delightful to say the least, this chokha is an acquired taste but one that is awesome.
4. Aloo Chokha With Kaddu Topping
Boil some pumpkin that is not too ripe or too white. Mash it along with the potato. Add green chillies, some crushed cheese on top and a dollop of ghee. This is a fusion of old and new, but the taste sticks around to stay a favourite with chokha lovers.
5. Parwal Chokha With Poppy Paste
The classic posto or poppy seed is an awesome combination for any comfort food dish. So much so that steaming poppy paste drizzled with raw mustard oil, along with boiled parwal or water gourd is blissful to gobble up. All you need is some seasoning, boiled rice and some ghee-laced plain moong dal minus any rich spices.
A comforting note: Chokha recipes are never a book-based outcome. It differs in every home and has endless versions based on individual taste. The sky is your limit when it comes to making chokha.
Satarupa B. Kaur has been writing professionally since a decade now. Always on the go; she loves travel, books, playtime with her toddler as she explores new places and food!