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Author Notes: Indian comfort food that isn’t full of carbs is hard to find. Lately, I’ve been on a mission to figure out how I can make these flavorful, comforting, delicious foods from my husband’s childhood in a way that’s healthy and light. So this is a take on Bhel Puri, a beloved street food snack that typically relies on puffed rice for the crunch. I substituted the rice with shallow fried chickpeas. The tamarind-date chutney is what pulls it all together. —Renee Lynn Frojo
For the tamarind chutney
- 8 Medjool dates
- 3 to 5 piquillo peppers
- 2 tablespoons tamarind paste
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground fennel
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
For the chaat
- 1/4 cup peanut oil
- 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas
- 2 to 3 pinches Kosher salt
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup packed mint, chopped
- 1/4 cup packed cilantro, chopped
- 1 Fresno chili, thinly sliced
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1/4 cup roasted pistachios, chopped
- 1/4 cup roasted peanuts, chopped
- 1/4 cup plain yogurt
- Start by making the chutney. Soak the dates and piquillo peppers in warm water for 15 minutes until soft. Remove the pits from dates. Place the dates and peppers in a food processor or blender with the remaining chutney ingredients. Add ¼ cup water and blend until smooth.
- Transfer the chutney to a small sauce pot. Add ½ cup of water, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until slightly reduced, 5 to 7 minutes.
- Next, make the chaat. In a skillet over medium-high heat, warm the peanut oil. Working in 2 batches, add chickpeas and sauté, stirring frequently, until golden and crispy, 10 to 15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chickpeas to plates lined with paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with salt and let cool.
- In a large bowl, toss all the remaining ingredients together, minus the yogurt and pistachios. Drizzle with as much of the tamarind chutney as you’d like and give it a toss. Add salt, to taste. Garnish with pistachios, peanuts and yogurt.