Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Aloo Chana Chaat

Aloo = Potato
        Chana = Chickpea
 Chaat = Snack

I've been holding out on you.  I made this Aloo Channa Chaat dish back in June, for a ladies night potluck.  I've been meaning to share the recipe ever since, and for some reason I just keep putting it off.  I have no idea why, because it is one of my favourite dishes! This Chaat is something that I love to bring and share, is healthy, and absolutely perfect as a refreshing summer salad served either as a side, or with some naan (or pita), and tzatziki (or yogurt) as an entree! 

Chaat is a common Indian street food snack, usually bought from a food cart, or roadside vendor, and is one of those recipes that you will never taste the same way twice.   Dependent on the traditions handed down to the chef, or based on region or ingredients available, all these factors become variants on the way the recipe evolves. 

There was a little coffee shop adjacent to my work that made their Chaat in such a delicious way, I wish I 
had asked for the recipe, and unfortunately the employee who made the Chaat no longer works there, and took her Chaat making abilities with her. *sobs*

The most common ingredients in Chaat are chopped onions, and cilantro, yogurt, sev (dried seasoned noodles), and the masala or spice mixture.  The masala for chaat is usually amchoor (dried mango powder), cumin, coriander, ginger, Kala Namak (rock salt), and black and red pepper.  Most traditionalists will grind the spices on their own...I bought mine at the store!  Much easier!  I used the Shan brand Chana Chaat seasoning mix, and purchased it from the OK Food and Produce store (3250, 60 St NE), which is in walking distance from my home, but follow this link for other Indian/Pakisani/Bangladeshi/Desi Merchants in Calgary.

Instead of the more traditional sev, I topped my chaat with an "all in one" snack mix.  I eat it by the handful straight out of the bag, it's so yummy! It's a crunchy and spicy blend of sev, puffed rice, cornflakes, nuts and raisins!  So tasty!

Aloo Channa Chaat

2-4 potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 red onion, diced
1 large tomato, diced
about 1 cup, chopped cilantro
3 Tablespoons chaat masala
1 lemon, juiced.
top with sev or favourite snack

In a medium pot of water, bring the potatoes to a boil, and cook until just soft, but not overcooked or mushy.  Meanwhile, drain and rinse your chickpeas, and chop up all your veg.  Drain the potatoes, and run under cold water in the colander, to cool and stop cooking process.  Mix all ingredients together (not the sev snack though), and chill in the fridge.  Just before serving, top with the sev snack!


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