Chaat is a term describing savory snacks, typically served at road-side tracks from stalls or food carts in India and some parts of Pakistan. One of the many meaning of the term “Chaat” is to devour with relish.
For me, a chaat is usually a combination of lot of interesting thing varying in textures and taste put together in a bowl and mixed with spiced yoghurt and topped up with dollops of various chutneys. Carrying very fond memories of relishing chaats, this post is making my mouth water already 😛
In my home back in India, chaats are usually eaten during the summer time as the soothing yoghurt makes one feel refreshed and nourished. Though Chaats have in-numerous varieties and interpretations, many of them involve yoghurt and combination of masalas and chutneys making it a favorite of all. When i am making chaats though, i keep my mind completely free of recipes and just include in the things which are readily available with me and can make harmonious combinations.
Summers have just started hitting the Montreal roads and its getting pleasant now to include more yoghurt in our meals. One such evening, i was not really upto the task of making a full-fledged Indian meal but really wanted something interesting and filling for dinner. I usually have some boiled chana (chickpeas) and boiled potatoes in my fridge to fix a quick meal. In India, most of the ‘active cooking’ houses will have some or the other chutney in reserve and so does my house. These elements were really giving me the “chaat” hinters. I let my mind wander a bit to try figure out more options but i guess the heart ruled the head and nothing else seemed like the perfect evening meal to me anymore.
Next 30 minutes got into creating some quick tit-bits for the chaat. 10 minutes more into the assembly job and Voila !! one big plate of comfort chaat was ready, perfect for a summer rainy evening.
This next recipe is one of my interpretations of the chaat i made. Nothing in chaat business is ever essential. Just follow your instincts and the things available and you can always fix it with the right masalas and chutneys.
DSB Dahi Chaat
DSB Dahi Chaat
The DSB Dahi Chaat comprises of the following components:-
- Moong Dal Vadas
- Papri /Mathri( fried dough fritters)
- Boiled potatoes
- Boiled Chickpeas
- Masalas (salt, chaat masala, chilli powder, roasted cumin powder, mint powder)
- Chutney (Tamarind chutney called Saunth, Mint-coriander chutney)
- Chopped Coriander
For Moong Dal vadas
- There are 2 ways of making moong dal vadas. I followed the instant method by using moong dal flour. The other method is lengthier process which involves soaking and grinding of the dal ( requires about 4.5 hours). Both the methods are explained below
Using the Moong Dal flour
- 1/2 cup moong dal flour
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 inch ginger – chopped
- 1 small green chilli – finely chopped
- 1 tsp coriander leaves – finely chopped
- salt to taste
- pinch of asafoetida
- Oil for frying
Using the Moong Dal (lengthier process)
- 1/2 cup moong dal
- 1 1/2 cups water for soaking
- Other ingredients as above
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour (maida)
- 2 tsp semolina (sooji)
- 1 tsp oil
- salt to taste
- 1/2 tsp carom seeds (ajwain). This is optional
- Approx 1/4 cup water for kneading the dough.
For Moong Dal vadas
- Soak the moon dal in 3 times water (as indicated above) for about 4 hours. Remove from water and grind coarsely using very little water. If the batter is too runny, the vadas will not form. For the instant method, just make a batter using the moong dal flour and water.
- Add all the other ingredients and mix well.
- Heat oil in a pan and when the oil is medium hot, put the vadas with the help of a spoon and fry on medium flame. It is important to fry on medium flame to ensure the vadas get cooked from inside.
- Remove from oil and drain excess oil.
- For using vadas for the chaat, take some lukewarm water in a pan.
- Drop the vadas in the water and let soak for 10 minutes.
- Remove from water. squeeze the extra water and keep aside.
- Now take 1 cup yoghurt (smooth/ blended) in a bowl. Add salt. Now put these soaked vadas in the yoghurt for 5 minutes. This will help the vadas absorb the yoghurt well.
(You can buy papri from the market directly as well)
- In a broad base bowl, take the flour. Add semolina, salt, oil and carom seeds and mix well.
- Slowly add in little water and knead into a tight smooth dough. Let the dough rest for 15 minutes.
- roll the dough out into 1 1/2 inch dia circles. These pooris (circles) should be thin.
- Heat some oil in a pan and fry these on medium flame till golden brown and crispy.
- Remove from oil and drain excess oil. Keep aside.
- In the desired serving dish, place some yoghurt soaked moong dal vadas. To this add some crispy papri. Add the boiled potatoes (chopped into 1cm thick cubes), the boiled chana/chickpeas. Put a generous amount of spiced yoghurt (to the blended yoghurt add the spices as mentioned above) and top it up with the Saunth and Mint-coriander chutney. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve.
Note – You can easily get the ready made tamarind chutney and mint-coriander chutney in the market. If you are interested in making your own chutneys, keep reading the DSB posts. Chutney recipes to follow soon !!
I am sure the recipe is easy and inviting enough for you to give a try. Chaats always brings all the age groups together as one is never too old to have a plate of chaat !! Have fun and devour with Relish !