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Author Notes: This recipe is inspired by one of the more popular dishes served from food carts in the streets of Northern India. Yes, that's right! It's "Paapdi Chaat". Here's a visual reference : http://www.pinterest.com/pin/18225573464072501/
This dish has it all - it's spicy, tangy with a touch of sweetness, has the right amount crunch and chew and it's messy to eat too! All things characteristic of a good dish. I made this for a holiday party one year and have made this dish multiple times since. I wanted something that packs all the flavors of "paapdi chaat", looks too pretty to eat and can be devoured in one bite. So here you go - bite sized, canape version of a popular street food! —Subha Nellaiyappan
Chickpea "Chole" masala
- 1 1/2 cups chickpeas (fresh ones soaked overnight or canned)
- mini tartlets / canapes (should be available in most grocery stores)
- 1/2 cup chopped red onion
- 2-3 medium sized tomatoes
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1/2 teaspoon corriander powder
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon chopped serrano pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder (optional, without this the dish would be mildly spicy, so just add for bit more heat)
- freshly chopped cilantro
Tamarind chutney & Garnish (Here's the thing - this makes the dish, really! )
- 1/2 cup finely diced red onion
- 1/2 cup finely diced cucumber
- few chopped mint leaves
- few sprigs of cilantro
- 1 tablespoon tamarind paste
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- pinch of cayenne powder
- pinch of cumin powder
- Heat oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds. Once they sizzle for few seconds, add the rest of the ingredients - minced ginger, garlic, serrano pepper and saute for a minute or so.
- Add the chopped onion and let it soften for a couple of minutes.
- Mix in the tomatoes and cook until it softens. This should take 3-5 minutes.
- Add salt and rest of the spices and let it cook, stirring it occasionally. After about 10 minutes, take part of it out and blend. Don't blend until smooth, it's good to leave behind some chunks. Blending part of it gives a thicker consistency to the whole mixture. Return the blended mixture back into the pan add the chickpeas and stir.
- Add a cup of water and let it on simmer for 5 more minutes or until the chickpea is cooked.
- Add freshly chopped cilantro and the chickpea "chole" masala is ready.
- Tamarind chutney - I make a very simple version of the sweet and tangy tamarind chutney adapted from the book "Vij's at Home". Mix the tamarind paste, sugar, honey, cayenne and cumin with 1/4 cup of water and heat it in a pan until it has a consistency like ketchup. This will come together really quick in less than 5 minutes.
- Now to the best part of this dish. Bringing this all together in one flavorful bite. The dish is really simple to assemble, once you have all the ingredients lined. Start by layering a cilantro leaf at the bottom (helps preventing the bottom of the canape from getting soggy). Then add a small dollop of the chickpea, a drop of the tamarind chutney and the rest of the garnishes ( onion, cucumber and mint). Feel free to play around and figure out your perfect bite.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with Chickpeas