A number of years ago my husband and I used to frequent a really wonderful Indian restaurant in Burnaby. One of the dishes that brought us back time after time was their version of chaat (a tasty Indian snack or street food). It had everything: a complex spiciness; a crunch of sev; and a zingy chutney. Every bite was heaven! I had forgotten about that dish until I saw this recipe in Asha Shivahumar’s cookbook, Masala & Meatballs. I was so excited when I made it a few months ago for a girls’ gathering. I couldn’t stop gobbling it up, and actually, neither could the girls! This is perfect party food, so today I am sharing this chaat with you, and bringing it over to Angie’s Fiesta Friday this week, which I am happy to co-host with Antonia @ Zoale.com. Be sure to visit Antonia’s delicious site, as it is chock-full of scrumptious posts, and I do hope you will join us, even if it is just to ogle all the amazing creations of guests. But, you really should share your own creations by linking them to the party. If you have never done this before, here are a few simple guidelines. I hope to see you there!
½ red onion, finely diced
1 cup grape tomatoes, seeded and finely diced
½ cup thick Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon ground cumin (toasted)
¼ teaspoon sea salt
16 or more butter crackers (I used Ritz)
1 recipe Apple Cilantro Chutney (below)
a few sprigs of cilantro (chopped)
1/3 cup fried chickpea noodles (sev)
Place red onions and tomatoes into small serving dishes and set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, sugar, cumin and salt. Pour into a small serving dish and set aside.
Make the cilantro chutney and place in a small serving bowl.
Arrange all the little serving bowls on a platter with the crackers. The guests can construct their own crackers by placing a small dollop of the yogurt on the cracker first, followed by a few minced onions and tomatoes. Top with a small dollop of the chutney, and finally garnish with the sev and a bit of cilantro. If you like it extra spicy, dot with a bit of sriracha.
You could assemble some crackers before your guests arrive, but I find that they go a bit soggy if left to sit for too long. It is more fun for the guests to assemble them just before eating. That way they can tailor them to their own taste and they will get all of the textures that this wonderful recipe offers.
Apple Cilantro Chutney
1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped
1 cup packed cilantro, chopped
½ cup packed mint leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
¼ red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic
3 Thai green chiles, ribs and seeds removed
¼ teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoon vegetable oil
Place the ingredients in a food processor or blender and grind to a paste. Transfer to an air-tight container and keep refrigerated for up to 4 days.
You can control the heat of this chutney by the number of chiles you add.