Monday, August 5, 2013

Papdi Chaat with short cut imli chutney

I am back after a fantastic vacation with family and friends.  We went on a cruise with two other families.  Our kids have grown up together, and with two of them going away to college, we thought that this might be something we could do as a group.  All of us had a wonderful time and it was a really memorable trip.  

We got back late last night.  It was around 10:30 by the time we reached home.  Everyone was hungry.  Luckily, before we left, I had frozen some boiled and cubed potatoes as well as some rasam. This is my first time freezing rasam, so I wasn’t sure how it would be.  My husband thanked me for doing it.  It thawed really well and did not lose any flavor.  We quickly made potato curry and had it with chapattis, rice, and rasam.  It is great to be back.

Papdi Chaat

Now to the recipe.   I love chaat.  You can do the prep work ahead of time.  It tastes great and can be assembled really quickly – especially for parties.  Papdi chaat is one of my favorites.  It has the tanginess of the yogurt and imli chutney, the crispiness of the puris, and the heat from the green chutney and spices.  You can make it one batch at a time and is a great appetizer for parties.

I use a different recipe for the imli chutney.  This one does not use dates, but uses apple butter instead.  My friend Anita taught me this shortcut.  It is super easy to make and freezes really well.

Here is what you need:

(serves 10 – 15 people easily)

  • 10 – 12  uncooked tortillas (I used the ones you get at Costco)
  • 2 – 3 medium potatoes, boiled and diced
  • 1 cup kala channa, soaked overnight
  • pinch of hing
  • green chutney 
    • 1 tart green apple
    • 2 bunches cilantro
    • 6 – 8 green chilies
    • handful of roasted peanuts
    • salt to taste
  • tamarind chutney
    • 1 bottle apple butter
    • 1 bottle tamarind paste
    • chili powder
    • chaat masala powder
    • salt to taste
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • red chili powder
  • chaat masala
  • salt to taste
  • freshly ground roasted cumin powder
  • cilantro for garnish

Here is how I made it:

Papdi: Cut the tortillas into diamond shapes, prick with a fork and deep fry till crisp.  Set aside.

Potatoes:  Add salt, chili powder and a little bit of chaat masala powder to the boiled and diced potatoes.  Mix well. Set aside.

Kala Channa:  Pressure cook the channa with a little bit of salt and hing.  Drain the water. Set aside.

Green chutney:  Grind all the ingredients listed into a smooth paste.  Taste to adjust seasoning.  The level of heat in the green chilies I get varies greatly. So please adjust the quantity according to taste.  Start off with a few chilies (maybe 5) and then taste the chutney.  Add more and blend if you need more heat.

Imli chutney:  Take approximately equal quantities of the apple butter (start with half a bottle) and the tamarind paste (I use a little less tamarind paste).  Mix with salt, chili powder, and chaat masala.  Check the taste. If you need it to be more tart, add more chaat masala and imli.  If you need it to be sweeter, add more apple butter.

Now the fun part – assemble the chaat:
  1. Take a flat serving dish and layer the bottom with the papdi
  2. Add a layer of potatoes and kala channa
  3. Drizzle yogurt on this so that it covers most of the bottom layers
  4. Now drizzle the two chutneys, sprinkle chili powder, salt, chaat masala and the ground cumin
  5. Garnish with cilantro

Optional:  You can add a sprinkling of sev to the chaat if you like.

Make these is batches so that the papdi does not get soggy.

Note:  Any unused papdi can be stored in an airtight container.  Any unused chutney as well as kala channa can be frozen and thawed for later use.  Chutneys can also be used for other chaats.

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