link rel = "image_src” href=”preview-image-here.jpg” / expr:content='data:blog.metaDescription' link rel = "image_src” href=”preview-image-here.jpg” / expr:content='data:blog.metaDescription' Sukanya's musings: HOME MADE CHIPS

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Monday, September 5, 2005


Homemade Potato ChipsTalking of homemade chips conjures the finest memories of my childhood. Living in a Mumbai suburb, a co-operative society, a cosmopolitan neighbourhood. We were quite united and as thick as a family. Living in this atmosphere can help you to reap the benefit of learning and enjoying multi cuisines.
During our summer vacations, my mother and our neighbours, a Punjabi, a Gujrati, A Maharashtrian and we South-Indians used to negotiaite a deal with the local vegetable vendor situated below our building and buy a sack of potatoes, my neighbour aunty used to warn the vendor, "Heh, Juna batata hi dena ha bhaiyya"(please give us only old potatoes. When my mom used to raise her eyebrows in surprise, aunty used to explain to mom, "You should be very careful when you are buying one goni(one sack), these people will put new potatoes and the chips will be ruined as it will smell of the mud.
So the vendor used to bring the sack upstairs to the fifth floor, where we used to live. The venue was decided, (our Punjabi aunty's house), as their house was big, they were staying in a joint family, there were 2 ladies under one roof, also they had stoves and big size vessels. It was decided that all of us will work together and share the expenses and the chips equally.
We were so excited, that we will be able to work and play together, adding to the joy of eating and tasting the chips. We all ended up in the bathroom washing the potatoes in huge buckets and passing the washed potatoes to the kitchen in another bucket. There was one group which was given the task of peeling the potatoes. Buckets, peelers, knives were brought from all the houses sharing this task of making the chips. The doors of our houses were open giving it a wedding feel. It felt like our regular flats were transformed into a mini factory.
There was such a flurry of activity, with one group, washing the potatoes transferring them into buckets, one group peeling and putting them into buckets filled with water, one group slicing the potatoes and putting them into buckets filled with water.
After some time we took turns in our activities so that we dont get bored doing the same thing, While our group was peeling the potatoes...the Gujrati aunty started saying, "Faster, you girls are so slow, peel faster, we dont have any potatoes for slicing". The slicing was given only to the expert adults, as slicing was the dangerous part where u could cut yourselves.
Once we had 2 buckets full of sliced potatoes. Our 2 Punjabi aunties started their stoves and kept the huge kadais with 10 litres of water and started boiling the sliced potatoes. Our downstairs Kutchi aunty who is the expert came up to guide as to how much the sliced potatoes should be boiled and for how long. The kids were asked not to come near the stoves for fear of the hot boiling water falling on them.
Once the potatoes were boiled they were put into some cold water and we kids were assigned the task of carrying small basins of potatoes to be dried on the terrace, 2 of us spread bedsheets, plastic sheets and mats taken from our houses and fixed them with pegs, stones that were picked from the ground. and we started spreading the potatoes on the mats/sheets. once it was over the delivery team were asked to go down and collect more of the boiled potatoes for drying.....our mini factory with a brigade of workers finished the whole process in 3-4 hours. So one afternoon of our vacation was spent fruitfully.
The next day we went up to the terrace to flip the potatoes and this continued for 3 days until they were totally dried. Once they were dried, we brought it down and it was divided equally with a weighing scale.
All were so eager to try the potato chips which we all contributed to make.
The moment the potato chips were received all proceeded to fry it in their respective homes, I remember our excitement to see the first chip dropped in the oil, fluff up, and how me and my brother were waiting to taste the success of our labours.
It was a huge success, so much so that, the chips got over in all the households a trifle sooner than it was decided that we must do it once more, this time maybe we should add a little more salt, maybe the chips should be boiled a little longer, so all the improvisations were made and it was given a second shot. Had it all been done by one person alone, Iam sure it would have been such a tedious and laborious task and tired the person to no end, but, working like this was not only fun, but also easy on all of us. Many hands as they say make light work
Here is the recipe for the Potato Chips.........
Homemade Potato Chips
5 kg. White potatoes (Always buy old potatoes, new potatoes will give a mud smell and your chips wont turn out good)
2 tbsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Alum
Large Pan or Kadai for boiling (can hold atleast 10 litres)
Thick clean Plastic Sheets, old mats or even an old bed sheet will do for drying.
Fill a large vessel or clean plastic basin or bucket with cold water.
Peel the potatoes
Slice them with a potato Slicer. Slice them into thin slices using a sharp blade.
Immerse the slices into water. Cover and keep aside overnight.
In a large Pan or Kadai, heat plenty of water, bring to a complete boil, Add salt and 6-7 pinches of powdered alum
Drain out potato chips from the water and drop them into the boiling water.
Boil till chips change colour and are just a little tender.
Do not allow to overcook or they will break on draining.
Undercooking will make the chips blackish on drying.
Drain out the water completely.
Spread the plastic sheet in the hot direct sun and peg down with some weights on all corners.
Spread out the chips in single layer all over the sheet.
Allow to dry till brittle.
When all moisture evaporates, heap them indoors on another sheet. It will look like dried papads.
Bring the chips to room temperature and store in a clean dry airtight container.
To eat :
Heat oil in a frying pan till hot.
Put in 10-12 chips, allow to expand.
Drain quickly with perforated large spoon.
Put on absorbent kitchen paper to soak excess oil.
Season with salt, if u like it plain salted, Salt and chilli powder if u like it hot, Salt and pepper or chaat masala as per your taste and desire.
Toss lightly to coat all chips.
You can serve it as a Tea-time snack, have it with lunch, just gobble it up like that, eat it with dips, Take it in your lunch box, or for a picnic. Serve anytime, anywhere, with anything.
People from all age groups will love them.
Makes: 3 kg. Approx.of dry chips
Shelflife: Dried chips: 1 year or more
Fried chips: 1 week or more if they last upto a week that is.
Please do try them and if you have a neighbourhood like ours Iam sure making it would be as fun as eating it and it works out to be very cheap.

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