Now let me tell you I am not from Nepal, but had an encounter with this dish in Leh.It so happened that my friend’s hubby was posted close to Leh, in a Gorkha battallion.They invited me over to attend their Dushera celebration.Iwas oblivious of what was in store for me.
Leh needless to say is a beautiful place, with its Gomphas,colourful mountains,turquoise stone jewelery etc–After a along drive we reached the unit where an army doctor examined us for high altitude sickness mainlyBP.Iwas impressed with the officers in uniform disciplined life and courteous behavior especially to women.Ladies are treated with great respect here ,in the Indian Army.Iwas enjoying all the attention. Coming from a civil backround where no one offers you a seat , pulls a chair for you,I felt very special.But the life of an officer or the jawans is not rosy at all.Iwill write another post on this later!!
Now the ‘Dassai ‘celeberations–This lasted for 3-4 days,entertainment programme where some gorkha johnnys(jawans)dressed up as girls danced to the tunes of latest filmi hits .Mostly these jawans have no moustache, have cute chinky innocent faces, no one can ever make out they are not girls.I found that these men enjoy singing , drinking, dancing.This is their only mode of entertainment in the villages which are tucked away in the Himalayas in Nepal far from the main city.
The Dassai festival is incomplete without the Bali on Ashtami day. Iwill not describe it in this post as most vegetarians like me will not read further .You need to have a strong heart to see the ritual. I fully respect their custom and traditions.Ikept my eyes closed through out, it was a night mare for me.
Now the’ Bada Khana ‘.This is attended by both the officers, families and jawans. It is like a mela, with tents arround. Men enjoying their drinks, n snacks. The Gorkha band is famous.Some of them sang such melodious nepali numbers, I felt as though I was in Nepal already.What I kept avoiding was the sight of a pig skewered for barbeque.The ginger garlic nonveg smell was lingering every where. It was really nauseating.
By now my tummy was growling .We were led to the dinner table where this Gorkhali Chatni caught my fancy.
With very little choice for a veg like me I loved this dish.This chutney is not mashed or ground in a paste.So here I want to share the recipe with you all.
Ingredients:-Potato-4 medium size
Til seeds -1 tbsps
coriander seeds-1 tsp
Mustard oil -1Tbsp.
Tamarind pulp -2Tbsps
Tomato-1 medium salt to taste.
Methi seeds 4-5 seeds
Method:-Boil potatoes peel n cut into small pieces.Cut onion and tomato in small pieces.Dry roast the til, red chillis and coriander seeds . Grind the three in a paste using little water.. Cut the green chilles lenthwise into two.Fry the green chillis in the oil. Keep aside.Then in the same oil put methi seeds, fry till brown in colour.Mix all the above ingredients with your hands . Garnish with coriander leaves n fried chillies. Use this as a side dish, in sandwiches etc
Hope you like it . I have yet to come out of the Dassai experience. How did you find it?