Friday Feature: Faces of India

Who: Street vendor
Where: At Chokhi Dhani, a village set up every night, near Jaipur, Rajasthan
What: This street vendor sells one of the most popular street foods, chana jor garam, that has been memorialized in many a Bollywood movie. Fried flattened chickpeas are tossed with onions, green chiles, and cilantro. Each vendor has his secret tangy spice blend that he sprinkles liberally into his mixing bowl, and then douses everything with fresh lemon juice. This street vendor charged Rs. 10 per cone, more expensive than if he were standing out in the streets, perhaps even calling out Chana jor garam, Babu, mein laya mazedar

Chana Jor Garam vendor
Chana jor garam vendor

Onions, cilantro, green chiles, yum!
The magic begins to happen in his mixing bowl

Squeezing the lemon juice
dousing it with lemon juice

Mixing it all up by hand!
mixing it all up by hand

Putting it in a newspaper cone
newsprint only adds to the flavor

Here's a related video:

Spice up your weekend with some chana jor garam!


Anonymous said...

This is one of my fav fav fav street food. When I moved to US.. i used to miss it and then the darling hubby of mine happened to find a packet of the same in Indian store.. So now we make it at home. AT times I tie a towel on his hand (oh yeah, he loves to make it.. i am not allowed :D) and he will serve it to me in a dramatic manner :D
I recently discovered your blog and it's beautiful and so different from many blogs.

Panfusine said...

BEATS the daylight out of any dinner and a movie post. Hats off, the fuzz of the moving arm squeezing the lime sez it all!

Anjali Koli said...

There is one more version with roasted vatana. The pics talk to you... superb!

Priya Sreeram said...

o my- I have such nice memories from the choki dhani long time back ! as u said the newsprint & mixing by hand does infuse its widely loved tatse & flavour ! nice read

Anita said...

Accha, so now newsprint is only adding to the flavour now!

Rs10 sounds very like streetside price. These NRIs, I tell you! What can be cheaper than that - it is chana after all. Only matar is cheaper! Did you see any of those matar-chaat khomchawalas?

Indian Food Rocks said...

Sunshine, where were you this past week? We had only rain! Just kidding! So glad you're here.

Thanks for your sweet words! You guys seem to have a lot of fun.

Niv, dinner and a movie? Not many of those posts on this blog. Maybe a dinner. Maybe a movie. But not together, for sure.

It was so dark with low lighting that I did the best I could. Glad you liked that particular pic. It's one of my faves, too!

Anjali, there's a new rule for you. You are no longer allowed to say there is one more version with xyz and then take off without telling me more. Please always give me the details!

Priya,, thank you! Isn't Chokhi Dhani such a fun place?

Anita, you know I love you, right? And I love you even more when you take bait! You will just have to take me to those matar-chaat khomchawalas. Also, you know who is going to be furiously looking up khomchawala, don't you? ;-)

Anjali Koli said...

LOL! Ok will try to obey orders, inliue you must watch Balgandharva. Anita you too. It's a must for Maharashtrians and adopted ones too ;):) I have a post on my blog about the movie. Another one is a documentary called Gajar on Pandharpur Vari culture. Both are class apart.

Now coming to the topic of Vatana version. Remember all those Chanawala bhaiyas all along our mumbai seashore with the basket resting on their belly. They always sold 2 things, roasted vatana to break your teeth and chana chor for your grandparents as they would not have any. At the time I always wondered, why they din call it Vatana or Matar Chor garam, until I bought a packet of Haldiram which sells "Chana Chor"