Aloo chaat is a street food popular in North and East India. In this supremely satiating dish, fried, golden-brown potatoes absorb the saucy hot and sweet chutneys, the creamy yogurt, and, for addictive contrast, the chickpea noodles (also known as sev).
To make your own cilantro and tamarind chutneys, follow my recipes here: Quick Cilantro Chutney, Sweet Tamarind Chutney.
Hear Chef Maneet Chauhan on her love of chaats on this episode of our food-meets-music podcast Counterjam. —Annada Rathi
Test Kitchen Notes
Annada Rathi, who developed this recipe, wrote more about how she developed it and the best techniques to cook through it:
"When cooking aloo chaat at home, it's important that the potato pieces gain a deep, golden-brown color and crunchy exterior (but soft interior), so that the creaminess of the yogurt and the sauciness of the chutneys against them feel pronounced. I wanted to avoid deep-frying and so went for a pan-fry with less oil, following an initial three-minute zap in the microwave to get the potatoes started.
"(Oven-roasting is definitely a faster option, but I wanted every surface of each potato golden-browned. Yes, you can be upright here and use boiled potatoes; it would still be called aloo chaat. But boiled potatoes do not rock my boat and certainly don't give me that feeling of throwing caution, routine, and discipline to the wind that is, for me, deeply associated with chaat.)
"The next step of spicing is equally important, as it makes sure that each potato is luxuriously lathered with ground cumin, salt, red chile powder, and chaat masala, an Indian street snack spice blend with a flavor blast that makes any vegetable or fruit pop.
"Now, the chutneys: They provide much of the dish's flavor contrasts. Spoon my quick cilantro chutney and sweet tamarind chutney onto the fried potato mixture for a dance between spicy (from Thai chile peppers), zingy (from ginger), and sweet (from sugar), and tangy (from tamarind)."
As you'll soon find out, you'll love the versatility and ease of what are essentially delicious potato bowls. Experiment as you wish and enjoy! —The Editors
- Prep time 1 hour 30 minutes
- Cook time 20 minutes
- Serves 2
medium Yukon Gold or russet potatoes
red chile powder
cilantro chutney, for serving
sweet tamarind chutney, for serving
plain yogurt, mixed well with a spoon
- Peel the potatoes and cut them into pieces about ½ inch wide and ½ inch long. Place them in a microwaveable bowl and fill with water until the potatoes are submerged. Microwave for 3 minutes.
- Pour the potatoes carefully into a sieve to drain. Let cool. Wipe dry with a kitchen towel or paper napkin.
- Heat a large cast-iron or any thick-bottomed skillet over medium. Pour in half of the oil.
- Working in 2 batches, cook the potatoes, stirring every 2 to 3 minutes to prevent them from sticking to the pan. The goal is for the potatoes to acquire a taut, golden-brown skin on all surfaces. This takes about 15 to 18 minutes total. Transfer the potatoes to a large bowl. Repeat with the second batch.
- Add the chaat masala, cumin, chile powder, and salt to the bowl and mix well to combine. Add the cilantro chutney and tamarind chutney and mix well again to combine.
- Divide potatoes between 2 serving plates. Pour the yogurt on the potatoes. Layer the sev on top and garnish with the cilantro.