I am absolutely obsessed with Indian vegetarian street food. Now by that, I don’t mean standard veggie fayre you get at a non-veg Indian restaurant, I mean the real deal. For those who don’t know, here are a few examples:
Pani puri – hollow crisp balls which are filled with tangy and spicy sauce and seasoned chickpeas.
Samosa chaat – a pastry samosa crushed onto a bed of spicy potato and chickpeas.
And the mother of them all… aloo and channa (potato and chickpea) chaat. This beauty combines spicy chickpeas and diced potatoes with the coolness of natural yoghurt, the tanginess of tamarind and the texture of Bombay mix. It is literally a flavour explosion in your mouth.
I‘ve tried this at several different restaurant, and I have to say, it’s usually the pure vegetarian restaurants that come up trumps. But the recipe is actually so simple that with the right ingredients, – some bought from Asian grocery stores – you could bring this Indian street food delicacy right to your own kitchen.
So here’s my recipe for the best aloo channa chaat:
Ingredients for aloo channa chaat
2 medium or one large potato, diced and boiled until cooked but still firm
250g natural yoghurt, beaten with a spoon
1-2 small green chillies, diced
1.5 tbsp chaat masala spice mix
1 tsp mint sauce (optional)
Handful Bombay mix (you ideally want the long strands and flakes within the mix, rather than the peanuts or peas)
For the tamarind sauce
You can either cheat by buying a ready made tamarind sauce from an Asian supermarket, or for extra zing, you can use tamarind, which is usually bought in a block. For this, you need to simply tear off a piece of the tamarind and immerse in boiled water.
Leave to sit and then stir in tamarind so it breaks down and you’re left with a thick, gloopy, dark sauce.
|The key ingredient, lots and lots of yoghurt!
Line the bottom of a bowl with half of the Bombay mix.
Stir through some chaat masala into the chickpeas and potato, then add the seasoned chickpeas and potato to the bowl. Pour over half the tamarind sauce and mint sauce.
In my opinion, the best chaat is drowned in yoghurt, so pour the whole lot, and don’t be intimidated if it looks too yoghurt-y!
Add the diced onions, green chillies and the remaining Bombay mix, tamarind and mint sauce.
Aloo channa chaat recipe – done!