Papri Chaat is, in my opinion, the king of chaats. Just the sight of it makes me happy. And honestly, what’s not to love? Chickpeas and potatoes drenched in spicy chutneys and a cooling yogurt sauce, topped with freshly ground cumin and crunchy papad. Sigh. I’m a purist when it comes to papri chaat. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve ordered papri chaat from desi restaurants only to be disappointed by a dry, horrible concoction diluted with mushy tomatoes, unpleasantly thick yogurt and a flavorless imlee and a copious amount of spice to mask the lack of flavor. (Can you tell I take my chaat seriously?)
In my eyes, a real papri chaat is much like the one found at Lahore Chatkhara, aka the greatest chaat place of all time. If the yogurt isn’t runny and chilled, if your chutneys aren’t packed with flavor, and if you don’t have that thin and crisp papar(papad?) and gorgeous chaat masala, what are you even doing with your life? The best way to make this sis to have everything ready. I keep the potatoes and chickpeas at room temperature, and the chutneys and yogurt in the fridge. When I want to serve, I assemble everything and add the papar last, so it stays crunchy. Now if you’re hosting a party, and want to check things off your list, you can definitely make this ahead of time and cover and refrigerate. Please remember to add the papar right before serving, or it’ll get soggy, and that’s a no go.
I’m never one to shy away from a quick fix, and store bought chutneys are great. But have I told you about my chutney recipes? They have such intense, bold flavors, use a handful of ingredients, and they keep great in the fridge for up to 3 weeks, not that mine have ever lasted that long. If you take a short time to make by Mint Chutney and Sweet Tamarind Chutney, you’ll get to use them in so many things, and the flavors are unparalleled.
- 3 small red potatoes boiled
- 1.5 cups chickpeas boiled
- 1/2 cup onions thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp fresh cilantro leaves
- 1/2 cup hari chutney mint chutney
- 1/2 cup imlee ki chutney tamarind chutney
- 1/2 tsp chaat masala for garnish
- cilantro leaves for garnish
- 1/2 tsp crushed cumin seeds for garnish
- 1.5 cups yogurt
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- salt to taste
- 1/4 tsp laal mirch chilli powder
- In a small bowl mix the yogurt with water and the seasoning. (If you are using homemade yogurt you won’t need to add the water, because home made yogurt is already thinned out.)
- Cut the poatoes into 1/2 inch cubes. add to a bowl with the chickpease, sliced onions and cilantro leaves. Mix well.
- Add half the yogurt mixture to the bottom of your serving dish. Add the potato and chickpea mixture. Drizzle over the remaining yogurt. Drizzle over the chutneys.
- Garnish with crispy papad, fresh cilantro and chaat masala. Serve chilled.
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