Aloo Chana Papdi Chaat is a popular Indian street food that combines a medley of crunchy papdi, fluffy aloo (boiled potatoes), nourishing chana (chickpeas), and is topped off with mouth watering sweet and spicy chutneys.
Ingredients in Papdi Chaat
Papdi chaat is a popular Indian street food that has the following ingredients and components...
- Papdi - Crunchy ajwain or carom seed cracker that serves as the crispy element in this chaat. You can either buy these or easily make them at home using this recipe.
- Aloo - Fluffy boiled aloo or potatoes provide a filling heft for this chaat
- Chana - Chana or boiled chickpeas provide protein and are a nice contrast to the crunchy papdi. You can alternatively use sprouts instead of chickpeas
- Fruits and Veggies - The most common veggies in papdi chaat are diced tomatoes and red onions. However, other popular fruits and veggies include diced raw mangoes, cucumbers, shredded carrots, and pomegranate seeds.
- Dahi Sauce - Dahi or yogurt is very popular when it comes to making papdi chaat. Checkout this dahi sauce for chaat recipe with cumin and lemon juice that really brightens up the yogurt and makes the papdi chaat extra special.
- Cilantro-Mint Chutney - This cilantro and mint chutney provides heat and a bright herbaceousness to the chaat. Customize the papdi chaat with little or more of this sauce for a spicier papdi chaat.
- Tamarind Date Chutney - Tamarind date chutney also known as imli khajoor chutney is a sweet and sour sauce that adds another layer of flavor to this chaat.
- Chaat Masala - Chaat masala is a complex and tangy spice blend that makes chaat so lip smacking. This spice blend is not easy to be made at home but should rather be purchased at an Indian store or online. It has a complex mix of dried mango (amchur powder), dried pomegrante, dried mint, black salt, as well as other warm spices to flavor the potatoes and chickpeas.
Homemade Papdi and its alternatives
Papdi chaats main component is the crunchy ajwain cracker known as papdi. So it makes sense that what separates good papdi from bad depends on the quality of the papdi. Store bought papdi often sits on shelves for months which can make them stale.
For this reason, the highest quality papdi is always going to be the homemade version. Papdi is such an easy snack to make as it requires a few ingredients and the technique is fairly straight forward. You can checkout my recipe for homemade papdi for chaat here.
Second best is to try to local Indian store and see if they sell fresh made papdi. A third option is to buy the store bought variety which is also available online and refresh them at home by baking them in the oven until they are crisp. Last but not least is to buy pita chips which works as a good papdi alternative. Another alternative is to make papdi chaat out of nachos which led to this recipe for nachos chaat which utilizes tortilla chips in place of papdi for this delicious snack.
Papdi chaat sauces
Papdi chaat is also known as dahi papdi chaat which indicates how important the cooling yogurt and lemon sauce is for this recipe. This dahi sauce is fairly easy to make as it requires just a few common like cumin and lemon juice that you mix together with the yogurt. Checkout the recipe for dahi sauce for chaat here.
Dahi for Chaat (Indian Yogurt Sauce)
Spicy, Sweet, and Tangy Chutneys
The other two chutneys that are important for this chaat are the cilantro-mint chutney as well as the tamarind-date chutney. The cilantro-mint chutney add heat to the chaat while the tamarind-date chutney adds a sweet and sour flavor profile. The amount of each of these sauces can be customized depending on your taste buds which makes chaat such a personal experience. Checkout the blog posts on these homemade chutneys below as well as information on where to buy them.
Other Chaat Recipes You'll Love
If you love chaats as much as I do, here are other chaats that you will love. Some of these are more traditional chaat varieties whereas some of them are riffs on classics. In addition, if you are looking to throw a chaat party, check out this blog post taking about recipes, decor, and inspiration to make your next party a memorable one.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you can't find papdi at a store, you can easily make it at home with this recipe. Another store bought option is to use pita chips in place for papdi. Last but not least, you can use tortilla chips to make chaat nachos which are similar to papdi chaat.
Papdi chaat is best when eaten fresh. Other components of this chaat can be made days in advance but simply assemble the chaat right before you plan on eating to create a crunchy experience.
Yup! This chaat is completely vegetarian and can be made vegan if using a yogurt that uses an alternative milk.
You can create a DIY papdi board for guests. Simply place the individual components of the papdi chaat on a charcuteries boards and allow guests to make the papdi chaat for themselves. You can checkout this blog post for an in-depth guide on throwing a chaat party.
The traditional vegetables used in papdi chaat are diced tomatoes and red onions. However, other popular fruits and veggies include diced raw mangoes, cucumbers, shredded carrots, and pomegranate seeds.
Chaat masala is easily bought at local Indian grocery stores or online. You can learn more about chaat masala in this in-depth blog post which recommends different brands.