Sev, the Indian snack made from gram flour, is commonly used in various ways in Indian cuisine. It is a versatile ingredient and is particularly popular for its crunchy texture and ability to add flavor to many dishes. Here are some common uses of sev in Indian snacks and dishes:
1. **Chaat Dishes:** Sev is an essential ingredient in various chaat dishes, which are popular Indian street foods. It is used as a topping to add crunchiness and flavor. Some examples of chaat dishes that use sev include:
- Bhel Puri: A savory snack made with puffed rice, chopped vegetables, chutneys, and sev.
- Sev Puri: Small, crispy puris topped with mashed potatoes, chutneys, onions, tomatoes, and sev.
- Dahi Puri: Similar to Sev Puri, but with the addition of sweet yogurt (dahi) along with other toppings.
2. **Poha:** Sev is commonly sprinkled on Poha, a popular Indian breakfast dish made with flattened rice, onions, and spices. The addition of sev enhances the texture and taste of the dish.
3. **Sandwiches:** In some regions, sev is used as a crunchy layer in sandwiches, especially in "Mumbai-style" sandwiches. It adds a unique twist to the sandwich fillings.
4. **Dahi Vada:** Dahi Vada is a popular dish made with lentil dumplings soaked in yogurt and topped with various chutneys and spices. Sev is often sprinkled on top to provide a contrasting texture.
5. **Ragda Patties:** Sev is used as a garnish on Ragda Patties, a dish consisting of potato patties served with a spicy white pea curry.
6. **Chaat Street Food Snacks:** Sev can also be found on many other chaat-style street food snacks, such as Samosa Chaat, Papdi Chaat, and Kachori Chaat.
7. **Farsan:** In Gujarati cuisine, sev is used as part of various farsan (snacks). It can be enjoyed on its own or mixed with other ingredients.
8. **Mixture/Namkeen:** Sev is a common ingredient in Indian savory snack mixes known as mixture or namkeen. These mixes often combine various fried snacks and nuts.
9. **Garnish:** Sev is also used as a garnish for other dishes, adding an appealing touch to certain curries, salads, and rice dishes.
These are just a few examples of how sev is used in Indian cuisine. Its versatility and ability to enhance the texture and flavor of dishes have made it a favorite among snack enthusiasts and chaat lovers across India.
Here's how Sev is typically prepared:
- Gram flour (chickpea flour)
- Turmeric powder (for color and flavor)
- Red chili powder (for spiciness, optional)
- Ajwain (carom seeds, for flavor, optional)
- Oil (for deep frying)
1. **Preparation of Batter:**
- In a mixing bowl, take gram flour (besan) and add a pinch of salt, turmeric powder, red chili powder (if using), and ajwain (if using). These spices are added to enhance the flavor of the sev.
- Gradually add water to the gram flour while whisking continuously. The goal is to form a smooth, thick, and lump-free batter. The consistency should be such that it can easily pass through the holes of a sev press.
2. **Heating the Oil:**
- Heat oil in a deep frying pan or a wok on medium heat. The oil should be sufficiently hot but not smoking.
3. **Making Sev:**
- Once the oil is hot, take a portion of the prepared batter and fill it into a sev press or a sev maker. A sev press is a kitchen tool with different disc attachments that allow you to create various shapes and thicknesses of sev.
- Hold the sev press above the hot oil and press the handle to release the batter through the disc holes into the oil.
- Move the sev press in a circular motion or back and forth to form a nest-like pattern of the sev in the oil.
- Fry the sev until it turns golden brown and crispy. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan as it may lead to uneven frying.
4. **Draining and Cooling:**
- Once the sev is fried to a golden brown color, remove it from the hot oil using a slotted spoon and place it on a plate lined with paper towels. This helps to drain excess oil.
- Allow the sev to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container. Properly stored, it can stay fresh and crispy for several days.
Sev can be made in various thicknesses, ranging from fine and thin to thick and more substantial. The choice of spice level can also be adjusted according to personal preference. It is a versatile snack that can be enjoyed on its own as a tea-time treat, used as a garnish for curries and chaats, or even added to other snacks like Bhel Puri and Sev Puri to enhance their taste and texture.