Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Chatpati Chaat/ Spicy Indian Starter

What is spicy, tangy, sweet, savoury, crispy, cool, hot, crunchy all the same time? An explosion of flavours in your mouth that will tease and tantalize your taste buds so much so that you keep craving for more long after your stomach's full. Its our all time favourite, Chaat!!!!!! mmm mmmm mmmmmmmmmmmmmm 

Let me take a moment and wipe the drool off my keyboard, because even the name of our today's guest of honour creates a chemical imbalance in my head leaving me craving for endless dosages of it. Hallelujah for whoever came up with it, deserves more than a pat on the back. 

Indian Chaats (pr. charts without the 'r') are the thread that tie the whole nation together. Well apart from our movies ofcourse, n not to forget cricket, the dancing, criticizing the politicians, hmmmmm well, alright, chaat is one of the few things that ties India together; nonetheless a very important binding factor. 

A savoury dish that is so crackingly wonderful to look at and absolutely delicious to eat. It will satiate your taste buds, I guarantee you that! Although Chaat has innumerable variety, I just bring you one of the wondrous options. Its called Katori Chaat translated to a Bowl-full of Chaat.




Just one thing, it needs a bit of planning, but then which dish doesn't!?! So have you ingredients ready in hand and you have the most incredible entree ever! 

Also, if you're not an Indian, you will have to make a trip to the Indian store to get the ingredients. Trust me, it will be worth it.

I'll let the pictures do the rest of the talking.....

Serves : 5-6

Complexity: ***

Time taken: 10 mins

You'll need

20 tart shells (unsweetened) 
4 medium boiled potatoes
Cup of black chickpeas/ sprouted lentil (kala chana or moong sprout)
1 large red onion, finely chopped
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp rock/black salt (kala namak)
1 1/2tsp dry roasted and powdered cumin
1 1/2 tsp red chili powder
1 unripened mango cut into small cubes (kachi keri)
1 carrot, finely grated
Tamarind chutney
Mint chutney
1 cup beaten yoghurt so it thins out a bit and there are no lumps. Add in 1 tbsp sugar powder and 1/2 tsp salt in it 
Nylon sev ( Thin fried noodles made out of chickpea flour)
Daal moth ( Fried and spiced lentils)
Boondi (Tiny fried dumplings made out of chickpea flour)
A Pinch of love

Method

First things first. You need to have all your ingredients out on the platform. The reason behind this is we are using liquid elements as well in the dish and we don't want them to turn the crispy ingredients into mush. We want everything to stay as crispy as possible. So arrange the elements in the order that you are using them and have an assembly line kind of a process so assembling is that much easier. 

Start by mixing the mashed potatoes, chickpeas and half of the onions together. 




Sprinkle the salt, chili, cumin and the black salt on it. 



Mix well so the spices are spread evenly throughout the stuffing. 



Arrange your tart shells in the serving plates. Spoon in one spoon of the spicy potato chickpea and onion stuffing into each tart shell. Don't overfill it because these tart shells are supposed to be eaten in one go.



Next add in a few pieces of raw finely chopped mango. 



The mango adds that tart tangy-ness with a hint of sweetness. Use it with peel to have one more texture. 



Add a little bit of chopped onion to each tart now. 

Spoon in 1 tbsp curd into each shell. Be quick after this step. We don't want the curd to turn the tartshells soggy. 



Next comes the tamarind chutney. Get the recipe for tamarind chutney here. pour in about 1tsp of it into each tart. 



Follow it up with mint and coriander chutney. Get the recipe here. Just about 1/2 tsp is enough. 



Next add in the Dal moth, the sev and the boondi (all available ready in Indian stores) You can skip on dal moth and boondi, but don't skip out on sev. 



Top up everything with a bit of grated carrot on top. 



Sprinkle on your pinch of love. Garnish it with coriander. Just add chopped coriander randomly on the tarts and serve immediately. 



In India Chaat is mostly served as a prelude to dinner, as a starter/ entree. You can use it as a side dish or even and evening snack! Pick one up and pop it into your mouth.....mmmmmm just delicious isn't it?! Indulge! :) 










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