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Maneet Chauhan's Aloo Chaat

Recipe by: Maneet Chauhan, chef and author of Chaat: Recipes from the Kitchens, Markets and Railways of India

Serves: 4

Maneet Chauhan's Aloo Chaat
Photo by:  

Melati Citrawireja

Excerpted from Chaat: Recipes from the Kitchens, Markets and Railways of India by Maneet Chauhan & Jody Eddy. Copyright © 2020. Available from Clarkson Potter.

There's almost always an aloo (potato) chaat vendor at the Old Junction train station near Chandni Chowk. I usually hear the sizzle of frying potatoes and catch their earthy aroma before I spot him. This chaat recipe is found throughout most of northern India and also makes an appearance in some eastern and western regions, where the ingredients very based upon what vegetables are in season; that said, tomatoes, red onions, radishes, and cucumbers are all frequent dance partners.

I recommend peeling the potatoes once they're cool enough to handle but still warm enough so the skins will slip off easily, and then frying them up just after peeling to avoid gumminess. I like to use Kashmiri red chilli powder in this recipe, but any fiery red chilli powder will do. The chaat doesn't keep well and should be eaten before the sev (fried chickpea noodles) get a chance to become soggy.

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For the aloo chaat
  • 3 tablespoons ghee, store-bought or homemade
  • 2 large russet potatoes, boiled whole, peeled while warm, and cut into ½” cubes
  • ½ teaspoon powdered Kashmiri Chillies
  • ½ teaspoon ground toasted Jodhana Cumin
  • ½ teaspoon Chaat Masala, plus more to taste
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup whole-milk yogurt
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons green chutney (recipe below)
  • 2 tablespoons tamarind chutney, store-bought or homemade (recipe below)
  • ¼ cup sev, plus more if desired
  • Pomegranate arils, for serving
  • Cilantro leaves, for serving
For the green chutney
  • 2 tablespoons chana dal
  • ½ teaspoon ground Jodhana Cumin
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon Chaat Masala
  • Pinch of hing
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
  • ½ cup tightly packed fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup tightly packed cilantro leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3 serrano chiles, seeded
  • 3-inch knob fresh ginger, peeled with a spoon and coarsely chopped
For the tamarind chutney
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon Jodhana Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Nandini Coriander
  • 1 teaspoon Hariyali Fennel
  • 1 teaspoon powdered Guntur Sannam Chillies
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
  • ¼ cup golden raisins
  • ¼ cup pitted dates, coarsely chopped
  • 1 (16-ounce) block seedless tamarind paste, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup Madhur Jaggery or dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Chaat Masala
  • ½ teaspoon black salt (kala namak)
  • ½ teaspoon Makhir Ginger, plus more to taste
  • Kosher salt


For the aloo chaat
  1. In a sauté pan, heat the ghee over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add the potatoes and fry until golden brown and just starting to crisp up, 6 to 8 minutes, turning frequently to ensure even coloring. Transfer the potatoes to a large bowl and add the chilli powder, cumin, chaat masala, and onion. Stir gently until the potatoes are evenly coated with the spices.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 teaspoon water, and salt to taste. Gently stir the green chutney and tamarind chutney into the potatoes, season with salt, and transfer to a serving platter.
  3. Sprinkle with sev, drizzle with seasoned yogurt, and garnish with pomegranate arils and cilantro. If desired, season with additional chaat masala and add more sev.
For the green chutney
  1. Heat a cast-iron pan over high heat until nearly smoking. Add the dal and toast, swirling the pan the entire time, until it takes on a light golden brown color. Immediately transfer the dal to a bowl or onto a plate to prevent it from overtoasting.
  2. In a food processor, combine the toasted dal and the rest of the ingredients and blend until quite smooth(it will still be a little chunky). Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to achieve a thick consistency that holds together on a spoon and is not runny. Taste and season with additional salt and lemon juice according to taste.
For the tamarind chutney
  1. In a sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat until it glistens, about 2 minutes. Add the cumin, coriander, fennel, and chillies and sauté until aromatic, about 2 minutes. Add the fresh ginger, raisins, dates, tamarind, and jaggery, increase the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the sauce is thick and coats the back of the spoon, about 10 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon occasionally to prevent scorching and to encourage the flavors to mingle.
  2. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the chaat masala, black salt, and ground ginger. Transfer the chutney to a food processor or blender and blend on high speed until smooth. Taste and season with salt. The chutney will keep in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

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