For someone like me, weather is hardly a determinant of my hunger. Hail storm or scorching sun, if there’s something delicious in front of me, I can just eat. But I don’t know what it is about the rain and food in general, my hunger button is perennially on or should I say cravings button? And then a new chapter of gluttony unfolds.
I just have very fond memories of rain and food. At home, the smell of rain had to be imbued with the aroma of pakodas and hot cup of chai. The only time the hot-blooded, coffee fanatics down south would bend their rules a little bit is when it rains. The idea of fried stuff and coffee is good, sure, but the idea of oil-dripping, hot pakodas with chai is sublime.
I would say India is the heartland of fried stuff – special occasions and festivals are incomplete without goodies that have been bathed in oil or ghee. I know it sounds unappetizing when I put it that way, but believe me, when made well with fresh oil, there is nothing more delicious than fried Indian snacks.
I always associate monsoon with a 9-day doll festival called Navratri. Torrential downpour wouldn’t deter people from visiting each other’s homes to watch the beautiful display of golu (dolls). And there was food, plenty of food, from fried stuff to sweets.
The Spanish churro reminds me of a less crispy version of our good old Murukku. I don’t know why it hasn’t taken off as a street food favourite in India; I really think it could work. If you are reading this, I’ve given you an idea for a viable business – I’ll have my commission in the form of lifelong free churros, thank you.
A batter made of flour, butter and eggs is piped into piping hot oil and fried till they are golden-brown on the outside. The churros are then rolled in a mixture of sugar and cinnamon (of course). Something so crunchy and vibrant needs a dark friend; so the churros are dunked in a rich, chocolate dipping sauce. This is what the Spanish eat for breakfast apparently; beginning the day with a kick from chocolate, I won’t be complaining.
- 75 g (1/2 cup) plain flour
- 63 4 (4 tbsp +1 tsp) unsalted butter
- Pinch of salt
- 125 ml water
- 1 egg
- Oil, to fry
- 4 tbsp caster sugar
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
For chilli chocolate sauce
- 50 ml cream
- 50 g dark chocolate, chopped
- ¼ tsp chilli powder
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- In a saucepan, combine water, butter and salt. Bring to the boil. Once it boils, quickly add flour and salt and whisk with wooden ladle until the flour comes together. Add the egg and combine till a shiny dough forms.
- Fill a piping bag fitted with star shaped nozzle with the batter. In a work, bring some oil to 340 F. Holding the piping bag at a 90 degree angle, pipe the batter into 3-4 inch pipes and release. Pipe 12-13 churros at a time. Once they’ve fried to golden brown, roll them in sugar-cinnamon mixture.
- For the chilli chocolate sauce, in a double boiler, melt chocolate and cream. Once melted, add chilli powder, ground cinnamon and vanilla extract. Stir to combine.
- Serve hot churros with the chocolate sauce on the side.