Chef and TV host Anjum Anand has a new book of recipes out that every fan of Indian food should own. Beyond foolproof guides to the classic curries and breads, Anand’s I Love India takes a dive into the ingredients behind the magic. This Delhi papri chaat is a crunchy snack or appetizer packed with more flavor than you can imagine.
I would never go to Delhi without visiting Sunder Nagar market to eat a plate of this famous street food. The hawker tosses crispy papri into a dried banana leaf plate, tops with potatoes and chickpeas, and almost throws the yogurt on and – lastly – the chutneys. All the while, I watch, mesmerized; there is something so relaxing about those deft, repetitive moves.
It is hard to understand how such humble ingredients create such a spectacular mouthful, delivering so many flavours and textures. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t gravitate to this dish. I make it often, and you can buy both the papri and the tamarind chutney, so there is little work involved. This is mostly a lunch or teatime snack for us, though we also make it when friends come over.
- 15-20 large papri (fried pastry discs)
- 1 waxy potato, boiled, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
- 2 handfuls cooked chickpeas, rinsed if canned
- 1 - 1 1/4 cups plain yogurt, ideally full-fat
- 1/2 teaspoon chaat masala
- 3/4 teaspoon roasted and ground cumin seeds
- Pinch chili powder (optional)
- Good pinch sugar
- Good pinch salt
- 3-4 tablespoons tamarind chutney (store-bought or Anjum's recipe)
- 3-4 tablespoons Tangy Herb Chutney (store-bought or Anjum's recipe)
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onions
- Large handful sev (small crispy vermicelli), if you can find it
- Handful pomegrante seeds, to serve (optional)
For the chaat
For a traditional plating, place the papri, slightly overlapping, on a platter. Scatter over the potato and chickpeas.
Whisk the yogurt with the spices, sugar and salt. Spoon evenly over the discs and then spoon over both chutneys (normally they are just spooned over but you can try drizzling them over in lines, or even feathering them with a toothpick).
Scatter over the onions, sev and pomegranate seeds, if using. For fingerfood-type bites, serve individually, with all the bits crowning each papri. Serve immediately.