Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Come See The Chaunk On Friday At Rancho Gordo In The SF Ferry Building And Have Some Dal On Us!

   We've been working on a project the last several months that finally is sitting on the table in all its glory. The Chaunk, An Indian Spice Kit. After Paula Wolfert, Alice Medrich, and Steve Sando of Rancho Gordo New World Specialty Foods came to our house for an Indian lunch this Summer, Steve suggested that we develop an Indian Spice Kit to make cooking delicious Indian food easier for people. We immediately got excited about the project since one of the things I always hear about Indian food is "I'd love to cook it but where do I get all those spices?" The Chaunk makes that easy. It's all in one box.
   For years living in Los Angeles near a great Indian market, I was able to get everything I needed for my cooking quickly and easily. However, if one does not have a place like that on tap, cooking Indian food can be a fairly frustrating experience. Where to find, Methi leaves, Amuchur powder, Kalonji (aka Nigella)? Certainly not at one's neighborhood supermarket as I found out after we moved to Sonoma. 50 mile round trip drives to get the Indian pantry essentials I needed was a lot of work, especially if Indian cuisine at home is a new thing to someone. Which is why we came up with  The Chaunk.

   The Chaunk is a cooking technique used in the cuisines of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh where whole spices are fried briefly in oil to heighten their flavors then poured over the dish at the beginning or the very end of cooking. Where did the word "chaunk" come from? Some people say it originated with the muffled sound of the just fried spices being poured over the dish. Either way, it's the delicious "finish" that makes the flavors "pop". The Chaunk Box comes in two sizes. The smaller pack contains 8 spices and ingredients, the larger pack contains 12. Both packs include some of our favorite vegetarian recipes. The idea is,  one can open the box and start cooking great Indian food easily at home.
I will be at Steve Sando's Rancho Gordo Store at the San Francisco Ferry Building this coming Friday, the day after Thanksgiving from 11:00 AM on, where The Chaunk will be on sale. I'll be serving up delicious Dal Makhani made with some of Steve's great Ayocote Morado beans so c'mon down and say hello. We hope to make The Chaunk available online soon.


1 comment :

  1. Kathy ji,
    Hey, they do the chaunk in Bangladesh and Nepal too!
    In Kashmiri the chaunk is a "baghaar" or a "tadka".
    Be sure to aspirate that "ch" heavily to pronounce it correctly. The "ch" is more like a "ts" or the "zz" in pizza and mozzarella. It sounds more like "TZONK!"
    That'd make a good Bollywood hip-hop song & potential dance move - "Do the CHAUNK!" or maybe even "Do the MAHA CHAUNK!" & get super chaunky!
    Hope you & yours are having a wonderful Thanksgiving!
    I miss left over turkey sandwiches on a sourdough baguette from Basque Boulangerie with home made mayo & a leaf of Romaine lettuce....Mmmmm!



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