Channa chaat is a traditional street food in India but translates really well to a British table as a spicy potato salad.
I first came across a channa chaat recipe online years ago. The writer described how buying this sour salad from a street vendor was a guilty pleasure in her childhood. Her family was very particular and kept a good kitchen – eating street food was a culinary betrayal that made the dish even more delicious.
Traditionally, chaat is made with chaat masala, a sour spicy spice blend with mango powder (anchoor) in it. If you can’t find it, don’t worry about it.
The preparation time depends on your knife skills: it’s all about chopping and boiling. Smaller pieces of potato cook faster. You can whip up a batch of channa chaat in about half an hour if you don’t chop the veg too finely.
Serves 4. Prep: 10 minutes. Cooking time: 20 minutes. Cooling: 20 minutes.
Stores: In the fridge for a couple of days in a sealed container.
- Chopping board
- Salad bowl
- 1 kg salad potatoes
- 1-2 red or sweet onions
- 1 punnet cherry tomatoes, or 3-4 ripe, tasty tomatoes
- 1 red chilli
- 2 inch cube of fresh ginger
- 1-2 tbsp of your favourite Indian-style spice blend
- 1 can chick peas
- Juice from 2 lemons
- 1 handful fresh coriander
- Sea salt to taste
- Chop the potatoes into bite-sized pieces.
- Boil the potatoes until soft.
- Quarter the cherry tomatoes or cube large tomatoes into cubes about the same size as the potato pieces.
- Meanwhile, chop the onion and the chilli and put in a large bowl.
- Grate the ginger and prepare the spices and put in with the onion and chilli.
- When the potatoes are almost done, throw the chickpeas into the water to warm through. (This step isn’t strictly speaking necessary. I like my channa chaat hot the first time I eat it and this helps it stay that way.)
- Drain the potatoes and chickpeas and mix in with the onion and spice mix.
- Pour over lemon juice and stir.
- Add coriander and sea salt when serving.
Channa chaat stores well in the fridge for a couple of days.