This recipe and introduction is from my new cookbook Eating for Pleasure, People & Planet.

I first discovered ‘chaat’ on my travels through India, where it’s served on the streets on palm leaf plates as a delicious snack. This recipe is a take on ‘aloo chaat’. It’s similar to a potato hash, but with lots of extra spice – perfect for brunch. The tomatoes fried amongst the potatoes become sweet juicy bombs of flavour that pop and explode in your mouth. Splatter the dish with plenty of yogurt and tamarind to cool the spices and enrich the dish.

‘Chaat masala’ is an aromatic concoction of spices that gives chaat its unique flavour. You can buy it from some local Indian shops or online, however, it’s easy to make yourself – and freshly ground spices are always more fragrant. If you can’t find these ingredients, garam masala will make an adequate replacement.

PREP TIME

35 minutes

COOK TIME

15 minutes (not including cooking the peas)

SERVES

2 to 4

Ingredients

Chaat masala – makes 55g

  • 1 tsp coriander seeds 11⁄2 tsp cumin seeds 1⁄2 tsp ground ginger 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1⁄2 tsp amchoor (dried mango powder)
  • 21⁄2 tsp garam masala
  • 11⁄2 tsp kala namak black salt or sea salt
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme or dried thyme
  • 1⁄2 tsp chopped fresh mint or dried mint

 

Brunch chaat – serves 2 to 4

  • 500g new potatoes
  •  glug of extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tsp Chaat masala (see above), or garam masala
  • 120g cooked carlin peas or chickpeas (see page 155)
  • 2 tomatoes (approx. 100g), cut into eighths
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced top to tail
  • 6 fresh coriander sprigs, leaves picked, stalks finely chopped
  • 1 green chilli, finely sliced, to taste
  • 2 tbsp tamarind paste, plus extra to serve

 

To serve

  • yogurt (see page 224), kala namak or sea salt, unwaxed lime wedges

Directions

To make the Chaat masala, toast the coriander and cumin seeds in a dry frying pan over a medium heat until they release their fragrance. Tip into a pestle and mortar (or spice grinder) and grind to a powder. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and store in an airtight container.

To make the Brunch chaat, boil the potatoes for 15 minutes, or until just soft, then drain. Return to the pan and crush lightly with a fork. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat. Add the crushed potatoes, along with 2 teaspoons of the Chaat masala or garam masala, and fry until just starting to colour. Add the drained cooked peas or chickpeas and the tomatoes, and continue to cook for a few more minutes until the potatoes are golden brown. Stir in the rest of the ingredients, reserving a few of the coriander leaves to top.

To finish, split between two or more plates. Spoon over plenty of yogurt and tamarind. Season with a pinch or two of kala namak or sea salt and scatter over the remaining coriander leaves. Serve with wedges of lime on the side.

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For more of Tom’s recipes... Check out his new book

Eating
for
Pleasure,
People &
Planet

By TOM HUNT

Tom's manifesto, 'Root to Fruit' demonstrates how we can all become part of the solution, supporting a delicious, biodiverse and regenerative food system, giving us the skills and knowledge to shop, eat and cook sustainably, whilst eating healthier, better-tasting food for no extra cost.

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