I love chaat !!!! If you need to soften me up for something, chaat is the way to go. In Atlanta, not many places sell good chaat. There is a place called Chat Patti that serves excellent chaat but it is sort of a Gujarat -Mumbai version of it and the one that I want the most is made by the street vendors in Bangalore ! It is called MASALA PURI and is a cross between ragda patties and papdi chaat. The patties are replaced by crushed puris and topped with all the fixings. My mouth waters just thinking about it. There is a vendor that my family has been going to for the past 10 odd years and I ate this at his stall this trip to India too . The taste never changes….it is still the best thing I have eaten. I love food but chaat is special. Anyway, as with many things, after I came here I had to compromise on this too. I tried making my versions of chaat but could never get it to taste like those guys. I finally came across this recipe on a food blog for vatana that had the same taste and consistency as the one in B’lore. I tried it and have been making since then. V loves it and so do the kids……well the twins like it !!!! Mine is a little healthier as my toppings are veggies and not sev and murmura and all that. But the essential flavours are all there………the chatpata goodness that makes it chaat.
1 cup white Vatana ( dried yellow peas )
1 small Red Onion
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 inch Ginger, minced
½ tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Red Chilli powder
½ tsp Cumin Powder
½ tsp Coriander powder
1 tbsp Jaggery
1 tbsp Tamarind Paste
Salt to taste
1 bag Pani Puris ( store bought )
for garnish :
¼ cup Tomatoes, chopped fine
2 tbsp Cilantro , chopped fine
¼ cup Cucumber , chopped fine
¼ cup Red Onion, chopped fine
¼ cup Tamarind Chutney ( any store bought brand)
2 tbsp Green Chutney ( any store bought brand )
Soak the vatana overnight. Cook in a pressure cooker till fully cooked and soft.
In oil, sauté the onions till translucent. Then add the ginger and garlic and sauté for a couple of minutes.
Add the spices and sauté for a couple of minutes , till the spices are aromatic. Then add the vatana and mix well.
Add 1 /12 -2 cups of water, tamarind paste and jaggery and simmer for 5-8 minutes , till thick.
If a thicker consistency is desired then , mash some of the beans. Taste and adjust seasoning to achieve a balance between sweet, salty and spicy. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
To prepare the chaat, crush some of the puris slightly on a plate. Pour a couple of spoons of ragda over the puris till they are covered.
Top with tamarind chutney , green chutney , onion, tomatoes , cucumber and cilantro.
Traditionally , masala puri does not have green chutney in it but I like it so its there. I also add veggies if I don’t have sev at home . Sometimes I add raw mangoes that have been finely chopped to add more sourness. You can add yogurt too for a different flavour profile.V and I eat this for dinner , along with some fruit and it’s a filling meal. For a quick meal the next time around, I always soak and cook an extra batch of beans . I freeze the beans in a ziploc bag and defrost it for later use. This cuts down on prep time and I always have veggies at home so one only has to pick up puris from the store for easy to make chatpata chaat !!!