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The Art of Chaat

One of the most popular Indian street food items is Chaat. There is a wide variety of Chaat out there, all across India – and this blog has talked about many regional favourites like Aloo Tikki, Pav Bhaji, Kachori, etc.

Food historians tell us that there are references to a popular Chaat known as Dahi Vada in ancient Sanskrit treatises dating back to 500 BCE. However, the spicy street food version of Chaat as we know it today originated during the reign of Shah Jahan. The water of the Yamuna River at that time was so dirty and polluted that the Hakims (royal physicians) recommended high doses of spices to fight the germs in the water. So in addition to the hot and spicy main meals, they recommended spicy snacks that would keep stomach ailments at bay. In addition to spices, they also recommended curd (Dahi) to neutralize the high alkalinity of the Yamuna water. In accordance with these “doctor’s orders”, the royal chefs created a wide variety of Chaat.

Today, we will be making one of the most popular items from that menu: Aloo Chaat.

The ingredients that you will need are given below – so let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  1. Potatoes: 2, medium-sized

  2. Onion: 1, medium-sized

  3. Yogurt (Dahi): 2 tablespoons

  4. Mustard Oil: 4 tablespoons

  5. Sev: 100 grams

  6. Chaat Masala: One large pinch

  7. Red Chilli Powder: One large pinch

  8. Cumin (Jeera) Powder: Just a pinch

  9. Sweet Tamarind (Imli) Chutney: 2 tablespoons

  10. Coriander (Dhania) Leaves: 2 teaspoons

  11. Salt: to taste

For those readers who aren’t familiar with Sev, it’s a crisp Indian snack that’s made by deep-frying strands of spicy chickpea flour paste. It is typically sprinkled over the top of a Chaat as a topping.

The ingredients mentioned above are for serving two persons; adjust the ingredients proportionately to suit the number of servings you require.

Preparation:

Wash, peel and boil the potatoes; use a fork to check when they are done. Then cut them into cubes and keep aside.

Finely chop the onion.

Finely chop the coriander leaves.

Method:

Heat the Mustard Oil in a pan on a High flame. When the oil reaches its smoking point and wisps of white smoke rise up from it, turn the flame down to Medium.

Sauté the potatoes till they take on a golden brown colour. Ensure that all the potato pieces are evenly fried.

In a mixing bowl, add the fried potato pieces along with the onion, chaat masala, red chilli powder, cumin powder and salt to taste. Mix well.

Next add the sweet tamarind chutney and ensure that it mixes evenly with the potatoes and spices.

Divide the contents of the mixing bowl into two equal portions. Transfer each portion to a serving plate.

Spread a tablespoon of curd over the top of each portion. Then add a sprinkling of Sev and coriander leaves.

Your traditional Aloo Chaat is now ready to be served and savoured. Like most street food items, this is a quick and easy dish to make – it takes hardly 15 to 20 minutes to prepare.

For more such recipes, please visit https://www.purioilmills.com/recipes-in-english/


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