Chaat, a salty crunchy snack originating in India, is one of my all time favorite foods! Here I’m making my own version of aloo (potato) chaat with a spicy seasoning, a vibrant green chutney, and lots of crunchy garnishes for a fun texture.
What exactly is chaat?
Chaat is a crunchy snack with origins from Uttar Pradesh. It’s a very popular street food in India because of the utterly delicious complex flavors and textures. There are so many variants of chaat — but typically, it’s made with a base of some sort of fried bread (like puri) or potato sprinkled with a tart/spicy spice blend (known as chaat masala), different flavorful sauces, yogurt, crunchy bits, and herbs. Chaat masala is a puckery, salty, spicy spice blend often consisting of amchoor (mango powder, giving it tartness), cumin, coriander, salt, and kala namak (black salt with a pungent odor and taste). The sauces consist of some sort of sweet tamarind chutney or salty green chutney. The crunchy bits can vary, but range from chickpeas to lentils to sev (crispy, thin fried noodles).
How do we make this dish?
First, you’ll make crispy roasted potatoes by boiling the potatoes and then roasting until golden brown on all sides. The technique for these crispy potatoes comes from Serious Eats, where you cleverly add baking soda to help crisp up the skin. While the potatoes cook, you’ll prepare all of the toppings, by blending together the ingredients for the chutney and making the spice blend. For the crunch, I’ve using a combination of a crunchy pre-bought Indian spiced mix (you can purchase online or omit altogether), yogurt, red onion, and thinly sliced radishes. Garnish with some fresh herbs and enjoy!
What substitutions can I make?
Like I said, chaat has so many variations, so feel free to experiment here!
Potatoes: Sub the potatoes with any sort of crispy Indian fried bread (such as puri)
Chaat masala: I’ll be providing my own version of chaat masala below, but you can use a store bought blend too. If you don’t have the amchoor (mango powder), you can sub with sumac. Don’t have kala namak? Omit. The chaat will taste slightly less pungent, but it will still be good!
Cilantro: You can sub mint for cilantro in the garnish or the chutney.
Note: This dish does not reheat well. You should consume the chaat on the same day you prepare it.
Recipe: Roasted Potatoes With Chaat Masala And Green Chutney
Chaat Spiced Potatoes with Green Chutney
- 12 oz (about 2 cups) small creamer potatoes, larger ones cut in quarters and smaller ones in half to make bite sized pieces
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup Green chutney, storebought or homemade, recipe follows
- A sprinkle of chaat masala, recipe follows
- 1/4 cup Yogurt, thinned out with a bit of water to a drizzable consistency
- 1/4 cup Something crunchy, sev, bhel, or finely chopped peanuts
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds, optional, for sweetness
- 2 tablespoons tamarind chutney, optional
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
- 1 radish, thinly sliced
- A handful of cilantro, finely chopped
Quick Green Chutney
- 1 cup packed cilantro leaves, stems removed
- 1/4 green serrano chili pepper, chopped (use more if you like it spicy)
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1/4-inch piece of ginger root, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 lemon, juiced, plus more if needed
- Water, if needed
Homemade Chaat Masala
- 1/2 teaspoon kashmiri chili powder, or another mild chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1/4 teaspoon amchoor powder, or sumac
- 1/4 teaspoon kala namak, use kosher salt if you don't have this
Roasted Potatoes with Chaat Masala and Green Chutney
- Preheat the oven to 450F.
- Fill a medium sized pot with water and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes, baking soda, and salt, and cook until a fork can easily pierce through without resistance, about 6 to 7 minutes.
- Drain the potatoes, then toss them with olive oil and roast on a foil or parchment-lined baking sheet for 20 minutes until the bottoms are nicely browned.
- Flip the potatoes on the other side, and roast for another 20 minutes until browned.
- Let cool to room temperature.
- To serve, arrange the potatoes in an even layer and drizzle with green chutney, yogurt, and tamarind chutney (if using). Sprinkle with chaat masala, something crunchy, pomegranate (if using), red onion, radishes, and cilantro.
Quick Green Chutney
- In a small blender, blend the cilantro, chili, garlic, ginger, and lemon juice until smooth. If needed, you can thin out the chutney with a bit of water to get a homogenous texture. Season with salt and lemon juice as needed.
- Set aside.
Homemade Chaat Masala
- Mix together all spices. The chaat should taste quite salty, sour, and spicy.
- Note: This makes significantly more chaat masala than you'll likely need. Start by sprinkling a little bit at a time on your potatoes, then add more if desired.