Aloo, channa, papri chaat is one of my favorite appetizers/snacks from South Asian cuisine! For those who don’t know, chaat is a traditional appetizer and common street food across the subcontinent. There are so many different types and variations of chaat (so this will probably be the first of many chaat recipes I put out), but the commonality is that it needs to be spicy, tangy, sweet, sour, smooth, crunchy and lip smacking, finger licking good. It’s an amalgam of flavors and textures, it really is a party in your mouth!
In this recipe I have used aloo (potato) and channa (chickpeas) as the base and papri (comparable to a fried cracker) and sev (comparable to fried noodles) to make it crunchy. Feel free to experiment with the ingredients and flavors to your preference; if you like it spicier add more chili, if you like it tangier add more tamarind etc. Chaat is meant to be completely personalised to your taste! You would typically tell the street vendor exactly how you want your chaat, think ordering a sandwich or salad at a deli.
Chaat is typically vegetarian, comprising vegetables, legumes, fruits, lentil/chickpea/flour based foods like papri, sev, bhelpuri, bhalla/vada etc., chutneys, sauces, spices, fresh herbs, yoghurt, and can include other snacks like samosa or aloo tikki (potato cake). To make the chaat completely plant based, feel free to switch the yoghurt for plant based yoghurt, or garnish with plenty of lemon juice to get that acidity/sourness. I’ve used almond-milk yoghurt in chaat and it tastes great!