When my dear friend Anitha made this dish for us a few years ago, it was such a big hit. She got this recipe from a street vendor – and we all know that they make the best chaat. Easy and exceptionally delicious, this was a much coveted recipe and wasn’t given out very easily. But when I asked her if I could post it on my blog, she agreed. Thanks Anitha – you’re awesome [and for more reasons than just letting me use your recipe 🙂 ]. The picture doesn’t do justice, but we were enjoying the chaat and I forgot to take more ‘correct’ ones showing the peas masala. My mom took this recipe with her back to India to make for her friends. That should tell you how good it is – atleast the one Anitha makes!!
The recipe may seem daunting and it does have a long list of ingredients. But it is actually easy to make. The hardest part is chopping all the onions and tomatoes for garnish – I always seem to run low on them.
- 2 cups fine semolina
- 2 tsp salt
- 8 tsp oil
- 4 tsp rice flour
- pinch of baking soda
- 2 lbs dry peas (soaked overnight)
- 4 large red potatoes (boiled and peeled)
- 2 inch ginger
- 1 whole garlic (peeled)
- 1/2 bunch cilantro
- 1/2 bunch mint
- 1 Tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp coriander (dhania) seeds
- 2 Tbsp fried gram (kadale pappu)
- 4 Tbsp sambaar powder
- 25 black peppercorns
- 15 green chillies
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 cup grated coconut
- 2 large tomatoes (chopped)
- 1 tsp tamarind paste
- 2-3 Tbsp brown sugar / jaggery
- red onion (chopped)
- tomato (chopped)
- cilantro (chopped)
- sev mix
- lime juice
- chaat masala
- yogurt (optional)
1) Mix puri ingredients into a dough and roll out thin. Cut into small pieces and deep fry till golden and crispy. Drain and cool completely. Store in an airtight container till ready to use. (Can be made a few days ahead of time.) Alternately, cut plain flour tortillas into small pieces and deep fry. Indian store puris can also be used as long as you are sure that they are fresh.
2) Rinse soaked peas well and boil in a large pot with water. Add salt when the peas are almost done. Do not use a pressure cooker. Peas should be soft and hold their shape; not mushy. Set aside 1/4 of the peas to cool.
3) Blend ginger, garlic, cilantro, mint, cumin, coriander seeds, fried gram, sambaar powder, peppercorn, green chillies, chilli powder and coconut. Add to the pot with the peas and simmer.
4) Blend the cooled peas that were set aside with 1 boiled potato. Coarsely crush the remaining potatoes by hand and add all to the simmering peas masala.
5) Add the tamarind paste, chopped tomato, brown sugar and salt to taste. Add water if needed – the peas masala must be saucy, but not watery.
6) Simmer till tomatoes soften, about 10-15 mins.
7) To serve, coarsely crushed a few puris in a bowl. Top with a cup of the peas masala. Sprinkle with the chopped red onions, tomato, yogurt, sweet date chutney, lime juice, chaat masala, sev mixture and cilantro as per taste.
NOTE: This recipe makes a large batch, and keeps well for a few days after in the refrigerator. If you run low on the masala during a party, add some water and the masala powders and simmer on low flame. The peas absorb moisture and are pretty forgiving.