New Potato & Chickpea Chaat (Aloo Chana Chaat)

October 26, 2016
2 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Cook time 20 minutes
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

This is a very famous street-side snack that originates in Uttar Pradesh but is popular all over India, especially in the North.

Here, a can of chickpeas is put to fabulous use with hot buttery potatoes, a flourish of shallots, and a smoldering slick of tamarind. Classically, it’s finished with a handful of crunchy savory chickpea noodles called "sev."

Notes: Tamarind paste and sev are nearly always found in the Asian section of big supermarkets. If there’s no sev, a little Bombay mix works a treat. Because tamarind paste varies from brand to brand, add it gradually until it tastes just right to you.

This recipe is from Fresh India, my new book coming out in Spring 2017.

Hear Chef Maneet Chauhan on her love of chaats on this episode of our food-meets-music podcast Counterjam. —Meera Sodha

What You'll Need
  • 1/2 cup dates or 8, pitted
  • 3 teaspoons tamarind paste
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
  • 1 pound 6 ounces new potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, roughly ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 serrano chile, finely chopped
  • one 14-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large shallot, finely diced
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Large handful of cilantro, chopped
  • Handful of thin sev (fried chickpea noodles)
  1. Prepare the date and tamarind chutney first. Blend the dates together with the tamarind paste and a pinch of salt and just under 1/2 cup of water, then leave to one side.
  2. Mix the yogurt with a couple of tablespoons of water until you can drizzle it using a spoon, then leave to one side. Wash and boil the potatoes for 15 minutes, until they are tender and a knife can slip through them easily. Drain, tip out onto a plate, and crush them slightly with a fork or the bottom of a sturdy cup.
  3. Put the butter into a wide-bottomed frying pan over a medium heat. When melted, add the ground cumin seeds, black pepper, ginger, chili, and 2/3 teaspoon of salt. Stir, then add the potatoes. Leave the potatoes to crisp and char for around 5 minutes, to heat through. Toss together and throw in the chickpeas, shallots, and lemon juice. Then add the date and tamarind chutney. Stir to mix and take off the heat.
  4. Serve warm in individual plates or bowls with a couple of dollops of yogurt, a scattering of cilantro, and sev.

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4 Reviews

Anna W. February 16, 2017
A well-constructed and interesting Recipe. These tips look amazing and can't wait to reap all the benefits. Thanks!
kumalavula October 31, 2016
omg, so excited about this. i do backflips for anything with tamarind and dates in it, separately or together! and my time in northern india has made me crave (CRAVE!) papri chaat. i am making this asap and looking forward to your new cookbook and i know how to make a lot of dishes but the street foods i'm craving never seem to quite taste the same as at a dhaba.
Susan P. October 31, 2016
Could you use chopped regular potatoes? I have tons from a CSA I need to use up.
Sarah J. November 1, 2016
I think it should work! You may not get as much crispy goodness without all of those skins, but I'm sure it'll still taste great.