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Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chaat

A sweet potato and black bean chaat makes the perfect light lunch/meal. Bursting with flavour and beautifully colourful, this is a hit with anyone that likes indian street food.

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chaat

Happy Saturday folks! I hope you are having a lovely weekend!

I am about to talk about sad things so skip this bit if you wish! Yes I know, everything I put out should be wonderfully positive but that isn’t always how life is and some days I just need to honour my feelings and let things out. Sorry!

I am currently sat on my bed thinking about a party/dawat I have been invited to tonight. It’s a funny thing anxiety. Just when you think you have gotten over the hill and on to the other side, it creeps up on you. Usually when I get an invitation to go somewhere, (depending on what it is) the anxiety begins immediately. Lovely. Yesterday I had an anxiety attack and because it has been so long since my last one, I felt completely out of control and it escalated even quicker then it usually does. It wasn’t actually related to tonights event. It was a few things that had been building up and probably a lack of fresh air too.

About tonight though. Often I find that the thought of going somewhere is so much more scarier then the actual event. Also, I wouldn’t have been so nervous about tonight, if I hadn’t been ridiculed about my anxiety at another recent event by one particular person (who I will be seeing and who I thought understood my anxiety). They turned it into a bit of a joke. Some people have questioned my anxiety too. I don’t know which bothers me more. I am so tired of people who lack empathy commenting loudly and publicly on just about everything. Especially because, I know that this person isn’t bad. I love them. I know they love me. It is just a lack of understanding. Now I am thinking, it is also perhaps a lack of respect? When you respect someone and you don’t understand something, you don’t mock it right? You afford them the opportunity to VOICE their feelings. Anxiety already makes me feel like my voice has gone. 

I am growing tired of people telling me what I should be or how I should feel. I am old enough to know who I am and what I feel. That does not need to be dictated or hinted to me. I like that I am different. I like who I am. 

Recently I have managed to get to a stage where I am very aware of my triggers. So I can either prepare in advance or avoid being somewhere altogether. So for example, I will think through every little detail of where I am supposed to be. Sometimes I can’t because I am not aware of what all the venues on earth look like. Then I will think about where I will be in that setting and who with. If it doesn’t feel too scary at that stage, I make a decision to go. If it is too overwhelming for me, I don’t go. 

A lot of my anxiety stems from always wanting to keep everyone happy. I also have this constant niggling feeling that I don’t fit into the mould of a typical gujarati girl. There is a cut out mould in a lot of communities and I don’t fit into it. From the way I look, to the way I dress, to the way I behave. Anyone who is in those communities, will know exactly what I am talking about.

I don’t generally feel the need to fit in unless I am surrounded by loads of people from said community. If I am amongst those people, in a small space where gossip and judgements are flying around amongst cliques that fit the mould oh so perfectly, the anxiety is much worse. Think weddings. Often I find that amongst the older members of the community, there is an expectation that you should be this or that and if you are not either, you are some sort of a failure.

I didn’t realise that I didn’t fit a mould or indeed that there was one until I was in my late teens. Throughout my life, in a desperate bid for approval I have sometimes forgotten who I am and over worked myself. I have conformed and done everything that would be required of a girl/lady to win peoples approval. I have gone over and beyond. I have done it often and without impact because sadly once people have put you into a box and created a label for you, you will forever be that. All that the performing ever did, was make me sick. So so sick.

A lot of this is why I sometimes feel like I am trapped or in a cage and I want to be free. It is also the reason I walk a lot and like to get lost in nature or even cities. I love to escape. I also like to be around people where I can be me. 

So when I find someone who is a misfit, I automatically connect with them more. I see them. I get them. I celebrate them. In a world of cardboard cutouts, isn’t it beautiful be different? I am sorry for the rather grim post today. I am actually so much better then I used to be in terms of my anxiety but on the odd occasion it catches me by surprise and in those moments, a lot of stuff comes flooding back. 

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chaat

Ingredients

  • 2 Sweet Potatoes chopped into 1/2 inch rounds
  • 1 tin Black Beans drained
  • 1 tsp Cumin Powder
  • 1 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon Powder
  • A little Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Chaat Masala
  • Mint Chutney
  • 1 tbsp dried Mint Leaves
  • Very Small bunch Coriander
  • 1/2 Cup Yoghurt
  • Squeeze of Lime
  • Salt
  • 1/2 Red Onion
  • 1/2 inch ginger grated
  • 1 Green Chilli
  • 1 Clove Garlic crushed
  • A pinch of Chaat Masala
  • Date and Tamarind Paste
  • 2 tbsp Date Syrup
  • 1 tbsp Tamarind Paste
  • Toppings
  • 1/4 cucumber diced
  • A few sprigs Coriander chopped
  • 2 tbsp Sunflower Seeds
  • Handful Pomegranate Seeds

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to Gas Mark 6.
  2. Add the potatoes to a baking tray and roast in the oven for 30 minutes.
  3. Add all the ingredients for the mint chutney to a blender and blend.
  4. Add the black beans to a pan with a drizzle of olive oil, chaat masala, cumin, coriander and cinnamon powder and bake for 3-5 minutes over a medium heat.
  5. Combine the date syrup and tamarind paste in a small bowl.
  6. Dry toast the sunflower seeds in a pan for a minute over a medium low heat and remove from the heat.
  7. Combine the sweet potatoes and black beans in a large plate. Pour over the mint chutney and date and tamarind paste. Sprinkle over the toppings.
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