Thứ Hai, 21 tháng 2, 2011

Papdi Chaat from scratch with Tamarind and Date Chutney

his again is a story related to me coming to the US after getting married.
Ask anyone who has grown up or lived in India for a while (especially the female kind :) and they will swear by the taste of this roadside delicacy and will have a story or two to tell you with a twinkle in their eye (while their taste buds start to tingle). And my dear friends, that is no exaggeration.
During my college days, I got my fix of chaat atleast once every week. I took it for granted as it was available everywhere. When I got married and was preparing to come to the US with hubby, he gave me this shocker (among a few others). Very calmly he announced that I should get my fix of as much chaat as possible as I would not find it in the US. I was taken aback but underestimated the truth in his statement, after all there were Indian restaurants in the US and they sold chaat... I was gonna be okay. Never had I been so wrong. I found the so called chaat here to be not even close to being worthy of being called chaat. It simply was some papdi with boiled potatoes and a chutney that tasted like tomato ketchup :o
Anyway, long-story-short, I decided to make my own. Here goes the recipe. If you really want your chaat to taste awesome, pay special attention to the chutney recipe.
Chaat is a generic name for a plate of savoury, spicy, tangy snack, typically served at road-side stalls or carts in India. Originally a street food, now it can be found in high end restauarants too. There are dozens varieties of chaat like pani puri or phuchkas, dahi bhalla, sev puri etc. All these are made with almost the same ingredients (with a different base), main one being the tamarind dates chutney. It is a thick tangy, spicy, sweet and sour sauce made out of tamarind pulp, dates and jaggery. Papdis are deep-fried pastry roundels that add the crunch to the chaat.
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