Papdi chaat

By Julie Van Rosendaal
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Papdi (or papri) chaat is a phenomenal layered street snack from the Indian subcontinent that hits all the right flavour and texture notes—it’s sweet-salty-spicy-tangy-crunchy-soft, and though it contains several elements, all are easy to make, and the final dish is quick to assemble.

Sev are thin, crispy extruded and fried chickpea noodles that commonly come spiced in snack form, alongside bags of Bombay snack mix. Crisp papdi (or papri)—crisp fried wafers—can be store-bought, but cooking cut-up flour tortillas in oil until crisp is a quick and tasty trick I learned from a friend, cookbook author Noorbanu Nimji.

SERVES
4

Ingredients

Papdi:

  • 2-3 flour tortillas
  • Canola oil, for cooking
  • Salt

Mint-cilantro chutney:

  • A big handful of fresh cilantro
  • A small handful of fresh mint
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
  • Juice of half a lemon

Potato and chickpeas:

  • 1 large potato, diced
  • 1 tablespoon butter or ghee
  • 1/2 cup chickpeas, drained
  • 2-3 teaspoons chaat masala
  • A squeeze of lime juice (optional)

Yogurt:

  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon chaat masala
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely grated (optional)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped purple onion or 2-3 scallions
  • 1 plum tomato, finely chopped (optional)
  • Sev or Bombay mix
  • Tamarind chutney
  • Fresh cilantro (optional)

Directions

  1. To make the papdi, cut the flour tortillas into about two to five centimeter pieces, heat about half an inch of oil in a skillet set over medium-high heat and cook the pieces until deep golden. Transfer with tongs to a paper towel-lined plate as they cook, and shower with salt.
  2. To make the chutney, blend the cilantro, mint, jalapeño, lemon juice and a pinch of salt in a blender or small food processor until well blended.
  3. Boil the potato in a small saucepan just until tender; drain and toss with butter while it’s still warm. Toss with the chickpeas, chaat masala, and a squeeze of lime, if you like. Sprinkle with salt. Mix the yogurt, chaat masala, garlic and a pinch of salt.
  4. To assemble, spread the papdi out on a platter or individual plates and pile on the potatoes and chickpeas, onion, tomato, sev or Bombay mix. Drop over a few spoonfuls of the mint-cilantro chutney, drizzle with the spiced yogurt and tamarind chutney and top with some fresh cilantro. Serve immediately, to keep the crispy bits crunchy. 

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