Growing up, one of my favorite activities, undertaken about twice a year was Mom and Daughter outings with my mom. We would go down to South Bombay and do all our favorite things.
Shopping for thrifty yet chic clothes at the aptly named ‘Fashion Street’, hitting Crawford Market for foodie goodies, stopping at Flora Fountain for the latest paperback additions to my ever-expanding home library…
Those days were full of laughter, long talks, lots of shopping and stops in between to catch quick bites to eat and drink from a fabulous array of street food. One of our favorite haunts on such days was the Khau Galli: a narrow lane connecting Fashion Street to SNDT University. ‘Khau Galli’ literally means Food Lane 😀 and it really is a street-food lover’s dream!
First, it is a lane that thousands of people pass through everyday, since it is smack in the middle of the commercial district and also close to colleges and universities. So the food here is quite fresh, lip-smacking and affordable, like street food should be!
Rows and rows of vendors selling the most scrumptuous Vada Pav, Chaat, Misal Pav, Tava Pulao and of course, Pav Bhaji. And plenty of stalls selling freshly squeezed fruit juices and milkshakes to wash down all the spicy food! Oh, Sugarcane Juice, how I miss thee!
One of my favorite meals was piping hot Pav Bhaji (a spicy ragout of vegetables, served with hot buttered & toasted rolls, so good!) followed by a luscious Dry Fruits Milkshake.
Pav Bhaji deserves a post of its own (soon!), but in the meantime, let’s talk about that Dry Fruits Milkshake. It was so thick, you could barely swig it through the straw, so the vendor also gave you a spoon. It was full of figs, cashew nuts, raisins, almonds and dates blended with milk and ice to velvety goodness and then topped with loads (and I mean loads) more nuts.
Absolutely delicious and re-energizing, so we could continue on our quest for the next bargain 😀 Mom and I both really loved that shake, so we also started making it at home all the time.
I developed a craving for it this weekend, but wanted to serve it more like a pudding. So to thicken it even further to pudding consistency, I used that most extolled of superfoods, Chia Seeds.
This is one of the easiest puddings you can make. There is absolutely no cooking involved. All you need to do is soak the ingredients and then blend the heck out of them. That is it! This treat is creamy, nutty, delicious and so, so, so good for you! And did I mention it is sugar-free?
You can top it with anything: naughty or nice, your choice 😀 Nuts, granola, chocolate chips, berries, puffed rice… You can even layer it up with some chopped fruits for a gorgeous breakfast parfait. Health never tasted this good 😀
Here’s the recipe.
Chocolate, Chia Seeds & Dry Fruits Pudding
1/2 cup Chia Seeds
2 cups Milk (or Almond Milk)
2 tablespoons unsweetened Cocoa
10 Dates, pitted
10-12 dried Figs
1/4 cup Raisins
1/4 cup Almonds
1/4 cup Cashew Nuts
Honey or Maple Syrup (optional)
Topping Options (Mix and Match!):
Soak all the ingredients together and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
Blend together in a heavy-duty blender, till smooth. Check sweetness and add honey or maple syrup if desired.
Serve chilled with any combination of toppings.