The distinctive street food of Mumbai is renowned throughout India. As a child visiting what I affectionately call Bombay, I was prohibited from eating any actual street food, as my parents never thought that my constitution was strong enough for the 'real McCoy' and I was only permitted the feigned 'luxury hotel' version. Although, when spending a year in this flamboyant city in my late teens, I experienced everything from dosa, to papri chaat, to bhel puri to pau bhaji, to pani puri to ragda patties, and the list just goes on and on.
Chaat and its combination of savoury, crispy papri with cool spicy yoghurt, tangy tamarind, soft potatoes, chickpeas and crunchy sev creates the most magical flavour explosion. In this post I have made a quick & easy chaat appetiser to go with drinks; great for when friends just pop over.
- 24 Croustades or Canapé Cups (these are available from the supermarket)
- 2 Medium Potatoes, boiled, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 Can of Chickpeas, drained and washed well under cold water
- 225g Natural Yoghurt
- Chaat Masala (available from Asian Grocers)
- Tamarind Sauce (available from Asian Grocers)
- 50g Sev (crispy gram flour noodles available in packets from Asian Grocers)
- Cover a baking tray with baking parchment and place the canapé cups onto the tray.
- Bake at 160ºC for 3 minutes to crisp up. (Keep an eye on them and put a timer on, they burn very easily!)
- Allow to cool.
- Place the chick peas into a bowl and mash half of them with a fork, leaving the rest whole or partially whole.
- Add the potatoes to the chickpeas and mix well adding salt to taste. (I usually add about half a teaspoon).
- In a separate bowl add the yoghurt and mix in 1 dessertspoon of chaat masala.
- Take a canapé case and fill it with the potato & chickpea mixture, top with a teaspoon of the spicy yoghurt and then put half a teaspoon of the tamarind sauce on top of that. Sprinkle the canapé case with the crunchy gram flour sev noodles.
- Repeat with all the canapé cases and arrange on a platter and serve immediately.
- If you have any leftover ingredients, layer them in individual bowls in the order that I've described and devour!
- If you want to make this chaat in a bowl, you can make the papri or just buy it from the Asian Grocers as a substitute for the canapé cups and place those at the bottom of the bowl and then layer the other ingredients as described above. Everyone can just help themselves.
- Tamarind or Imli chutney (also know as 'Saunth') can be made using a block of tightly packed seedless tamarind which is soaked and blended with added salt, sugar, red chilli powder, ground coriander and ground cumin.
- I would recommend you enjoy these with the Pomegranate & Orange Martini!