Chaat is that Indian delight which can awaken your senses any time of the day, month or the year, whether its sweltering heat outside or a snowy blizzard. It has several taste elements such as hot, sour, sweet, salty and is probably an acquired taste.
I remember eating bhel and pani puri even as a kid, with eyes and nose streaming from the hot food but still enjoying the experience. It’s always been something of a forbidden delight, since it is readily available by the roadside, is very tempting and a complete cleanliness/hygiene disaster. Chaat is made up of a myriad of simple ingredients that are mixed together in various proportions, by hand!!
Love Indian Street Food goodies like this Sev Puri? Check out my latest book Chai Street – Indian Street Food Recipes for Vegans and Vegetarians.
SBDP or Sev Batata Dahi Puri is a popular chaat item in Maharashtra. This is the best of Mumbai street food. The sweet and sour tamarind chutney counters the hot and minty green one, yogurt cools it down, sev and puris give a crunch and potatoes make it filling. Must try!
- Ready made round puris - 25-50 or more
- 3-4 boiled medium potatoes
- Sev - thin and plain salted only
- plain yogurt - 1 lb
- sugar, cayenne, chat masala to taste
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
- 1/2 cup dry tamarind
- 1 cup chopped dates
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- salt to taste
- sugar/brown sugar if needed
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 1/2 deseeded jalapeno or serrano
- salt to taste
- pinch of sugar
- 1/2 lime or lemon squeezed
- Boil and mash potatoes. Add a dash of cayenne and salt to season them per choice. Keep this aside.
- For the yogurt mix - Make this beforehand, as this will taste better when very cold. Take a container, at least the 1 lb one of your favorite low fat PLAIN yogurt. The fat free ones are very sour and the full fat can be too heavy taking away from the taste, so I recommend low fat for this. Add salt to taste, and enough sugar - yes, plain white sugar- to make it sweet. Whisk this or beat it with a fork to make a smooth mixture and set aside. Please do not use a stick blender etc.
- Refrigerate this!
- For the green chutney - Blend cilantro, chili, salt, sugar and lemon juice in a blender or a food processor until you have a fine paste. This need not be very liquid. You will need very little of this anyway.
- Soak the tamarind for some time in hot water. Remove all seeds and other fiber type matter.
- Soak the dates in warm water.
- After the above two are soft enough to brave your blender, blend them together and transfer to a small stock pot.
- Add the salt, cumin, cayenne and bring to a boil. Simmer until slightly syrupy or until it coats the back of a spoon. Taste it and add some jaggery/brown sugar/sugar per your taste. This should taste sweetish but still have the tang of tamarind.
- Alternate crude method -
- This is my latest favorite. Dump all ingredients in a pot. Add enough water to cover it. Bring to a boil and let simmer. Add more water if needed. Eventually the dates dissolve and everything comes together. Then just strain it and your chutney is ready!
- You can store this chutney in a jar/container and keep it in a fridge for a week or two, or even better, Freeze it.
- Note -- Please take care that this cold at the time of assembling the main dish. If you have just made it, add some ice cubes to bring down the temperature, or pop in the freezer for a few minutes.
- Have your sev ready in a bowl or container. This is the easiest thing, you just have to pour it out of a packet :).
- Now to assemble the whole thing -
- If you have those fancy ketchup/mustard type bottles with spouts, you can now fill 3 of these with green chutney, tamarind chutney and yogurt each. I used an old fashioned spoon. Its OK to be sloppy here!
- Take 3-4 puris in a small plate. Pierce them with your thumb to break Only the top part. You might destroy a few before you 'get it'.
- Add a little - 1 tsp - of potato mixture to each puri.
- Add some sev.
- Add some green chutney - a dab - or a sprinkle of cayenne.
- Add some tamarind chutney.
- Ladle in the yogurt mixture until the 'puri' is full.
- Now sprinkle more sev, yogourt, green/tamarind chutneys over the top.
- Garnish with chopped onion and cilantro.
- Sprinkle loads of chaat masala and cayenne if you want more heat.
- Hand this over, unselfishly, to the first person in line drooling over it and start making another batch. Await your turn patiently until you get to taste some.