Garlic Chana Chaat Recipe
Indian street food restaurants have been growing in popularity in the UK over the last few years, and I’ve enjoyed many different types both here and in India. Chaat is all about contrasting textures, flavours, and colours melding together for a taste explosion of taste.
Feeds 3-4 as a starter or side dish, and at its best when eaten at room temperature or when lukewarm.
- 1½ TBSP Tamarind Sauce (see Notes)
- 1 TBSP Chilli Sauce (see Notes)
- ½ tsp Chaat Masala powder (see Notes)
- 2 TBSP Red Onion, chopped
- Handful of fresh Coriander, chopped
- Dollop of Natural Yoghurt
- 2 TBSP Sev (thin dried chickpea noodles) or Bombay Mix, or similar (see Notes)
- The tinned chickpeas are already cooked but will still be a little too firm. Empty the contents into a saucepan and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the chickpeas have softened a little. Alternatively, microwave in a covered bowl for 1-2 minutes. Use a colander to drain the liquid and rinse the chickpeas with water.
- Add the oil to a frying pan on medium high heat.
- Put in the garlic cloves. Once they’ve browned slightly, add the ginger/garlic paste and continue frying for 30 seconds (or until the paste turns a light brown) stirring constantly.
- Now add the mix powder, chilli powder, and salt, quickly followed by a splash (e.g. 30ml) of warm base gravy.
- Fry for 20-30 seconds, stirring continually.
- Next mix in the tomato paste and the chickpeas, turn up the heat to high, and leave to cook for a further 30-40 seconds
- Add 75ml of base gravy. Stir everything together.
- Leave for one minute to let the heat build up and for the sauce to tighten up a bit.
- Then add a further 75ml of base gravy, stir, and leave again for one minute.
- Add the rest of the base gravy (about 70ml or so), both the tamarind and chilli sauces, and the ½ tsp of chaat masala.
- Mix everything together then cook for 3-4 minutes. Stir only occasionally to prevent burning but do let the sauce stick and caramelise.
- Mix in most of the fresh coriander, red onion, and the optional pomegranate seeds. Save some for garnishing.
- Taste, and add extra of the sauces to your preference.
- Cook for a final minute and remove the pan from the heat. Allow to cool.
- Serve, topped with a dollop of yoghurt and the remainder of the red onion, coriander, and pomegranate seeds (if using).
- Finally, top with the sev or Bombay mix and sprinkle a generous pinch of chaat masala on top.
- For this garlic chana chaat recipe you can use a shop-bought bottled tamarind sauce or make your own using tamarind block.
- Similarly, use a good quality chilli sauce, and if it also contains garlic, all the better.
- Chaat masala is a tangy blend of spices used in Indian street style food and is either added during or after cooking. It contains a quite a lot of salt (often including kala namak, more commonly known as black salt). Chaat masala is usually sold in 100g packets and is available from all South Asian food shops and some larger regular supermarkets.
- Sev is thin, crunchy chickpea flour noodles with a mild flavour. It’s used mostly in chaat dishes as a crunchy topping for contrasting texture to the ‘wetter’ ingredients. Sev can be bought from South Asian food shops or online, but a more convenient alternative is to use a more readily available mixed Indian snack such as ‘Bombay mix’, or its many variations. Be sparing with those though as they can be quite spicy, and unbalance the flavour of the chaat (add to taste).
- All spoon measurements are level (1 tsp = 5ml, 1 TBSP = 15ml).
- Please visit the Misty Ricardo’s Curry Kitchen YouTube Channel for lots of Indian recipes: www.youtube.com/c/mistyricardo