There are many Indian snacks, appetizers and street food styles dishes that are referred to using the term 'chaat', derived from Hindi 'cat' meaning 'tasting', or a 'delicacy'. Chaat dishes come in many variations, which often include mixtures of potato pieces, crisp fried bread, chickpeas, tamarind, dahl, a wonderful array of spices and chili, various chutneys and sauces. They are often served with garnishes of fresh green coriander leaves, or mint, and yogurt. The dishes are served on bread, in wraps, in small bowls or on lettuce leaves.
There are many items available from Indian and Asian food stores that help to simplify the recipes. For example, 'chaat masala' is a sweet-sour spice, 'chaat puri' are puffed fried bread disks about the size of a small cracker, and canned chickpeas are also very useful. Fresh chickpeas take a lot of time to soak and cook. These products and many prepared Indian Chutneys can be used to make chaat recipes quicker and easier to prepare.
This article includes a collection of the best Indian chaat recipes you can make at home. Discover how to make, and enjoy these delightful Indian style snacks and appetizers.
For the mint yogurt
Heat the oil in a large deep pan or Dutch oven over moderate to high heat. Add the mustard seeds and cook in the dry pan for 2-3 minutes. Then, add about a quarter of the onion, plus the garlic, turmeric, cumin seeds, ginger and the amchur and stir fry for 4-5 minutes. Then, add the curry leaves, chili and potato pieces and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes, until the potatoes just start to soften. Add the chickpeas and 2 cups of water. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring the mixture to the boil, the reduce to a simmer cook with the pan covered for 5 minutes. Then, remove the lid and cook for another 10-12 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked and most of the liquid has evaporated. Next, add the chutney to a small bowl and mix with enough water to form a moderately thick mixture. Serve by adding the chickpea mixture to small bowls, spoon over some of the tamarind chutney mixture. Sprinkle some extra onion and 'sev' noodles and add a dollop of yogurt mixed with chopped mint leaves.
For the Hari Chutney
For the Tamarind Chutney
Make the hari chutney by placing the spinach in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside for about 30 seconds to wilt the leaves and then drain, squeezing out excess water, and setting aside to cool. The, blend the spinach with remaining ingredients to a rough purée. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Adjust the consistency by adding extra water if required. Stir well before serving. The chutney can be stored in the fridge for 5 days.
Make tamarind chutney, by breaking the tamarind apart in a bowl with your fingers or a wooden spoon. Next, pour over 1 1/2 cups of boiling water and use a fork to break up the tamarind further, and then aside for 20-30 minutes. Then, strain the tamarind through a fine sieve squeezing out as much fruit as possible. Discard the solids. Gradually mix the extract, adding the jaggery gradually. Taste frequency to ensure the jaggery overcomes the sourness of the tamarind. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well, seasoning with salt, pepper and some extra sugar, if required. Pour the mixture into a small saucepan and heat over low to moderate heat. Cook the mixture, stirring continually, for about 5 minutes, until then mixture starts to darken. Cool before using. The tamarind chutney can be stored in the refrigerator for about a week.
Cook the potatoes by placing into a saucepan half filled with cold, salted water and bringing to the boil. Boil vigorously for about 10 minutes or until just tender. Drain the potatoes and set aside to cool. Peel the potatoes and then cut potatoes into 3 cm (1 inch) thick pieces. Pre-heat a large heavy frying pan or Dutch oven over moderate–high heat. Mix the oil, chaat masala, chili and salt in a large bowl. Toss the cool potato pieces into this mixture in the bowl to coat all sides. Fry the potatoes, in small batches, until the slices are golden and crisp. Keep the cooked potatoes warm in the low oven while you fry the remainder of the potatoes. Combine onion, lemon juice and coriander in a bowl. Serve the fried potatoes with a small amount of the onion mixture and topped with fresh herbs. Serve with the two chutneys in small bowls or jugs.
Add the raw peanuts to 2 cups of water in a small saucepan. Add the turmeric and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cook the peanuts over moderate-high heat for about 20-30 minutes until the peanuts start to soften. Drain the peanuts in a colander and set them aside to cool. Next, combine the green chili, cumin seed powder, red chili powder, black pepper, ginger, 1/2 teaspoon salt, sugar, mango powder and lemon juice together in a small bowl. Mix the peanuts with the cucumbers and tomatoes, and then add the spice mix and toss to combine. Serve the peanut chaat in small bowls or lettuce leaves.
Wash and soak the matar in three cups of water, and leave overnight. The matar will absorb water and increase in volume two-fold. Dry fry the cumin seeds and the coriander seeds, until they are brown and aromatic. Let the seeds cool and grind to a powder in a mortar and pestle. Place the matar in a pressure cooker with 2 1/2 cups of water. Add the ginger, salt and green chili. Cook on medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, or 30 minutes in a regular saucepan, until the peas or beans are soft and tender. Add all the spices and season with salt and pepper to your taste. Serve warm, garnished with green chili, ginger and lemon slices.
Peel the boiled potato and slice into small cubes. Wash the chickpeas and soak in 4 cups water for at least 8 hours (overnight). Then, drain the water from the chickpeas and rinse several times with fresh water. Boil the chickpeas in a pressure cooker, or in a heavy saucepan, with 4 cups water, until the chickpeas are tender. Next, heat the oil in a heavy saucepan or Dutch oven over moderate heat, add the gram flour (besan) and fry for 1-2 minutes, until the color of the flour changes to golden brown. Add the minced green chili, grated ginger and stir fry for 1 minute. Next, add the chickpeas, salt, roasted cumin seed powder, salt, freshly ground black pepper and mango powder. Lightly mash the chickpeas with a fork, while combining with the spices. Cook using low heat for 10-15 minutes. Then turn off the heat and let stand on the stove for a further 10-15 minutes. Next, add the potatoes, lemon juices, garam masala and mix through. Set the dish aside covered for 30 minutes to 'rest' so that all the flavors permeate through the chickpeas. Serve warm, on lettuce leaves with a sprinkle of ginger and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Soak the chickpeas overnight, or for at least 8 hours in water. Then, wash the chickpeas and cook using a pressure cooker or saucepan until tender. Alternatively, you can use canned and drained chickpeas. Heat the oil in a large heavy pan using high heat, and fry the asafetida, dry red chili, mustard seeds and curry leaves. Then, add the onions and sauté until the onion turns golden brown. Next add the cooked peas and fry for 1 minute. Add the freshly grated coconut, mix everything together and serve warm in small bowls or lettuce leaves.
For the yogurt mixture
Wash and boil the chickpeas until tender. Boil the potato until just tender, then peel and chop into small cubes. Peel and finely chop the onions. Add the red chili, chaat masala, roasted cumin powder and salt to the yogurt in a small bowl. To prepare the dhai puri, gently make hole in the center of each puri and arrange 7-8 puri on a plate. Fill each puri with 1-2 teaspoons of potato, and 1 teaspoon of chopped onions. Finally, add about 2 teaspoons of boiled chickpeas. Drizzle a teaspoon or each of the chutneys on top followed by a dollop of yogurt and a sprinkle of sev. Serve dahi puri immediately they are assembled.