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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.

Masala Puri

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.

Eat immediately.

Masala Puri Ingredients

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 !!!