"Mughlai cuisine has deep roots in the chaat recipes of Delhi. The royal cuisine of the Indo-Persian empire, which was influenced by Turkish, Iranian, Central Asian, and Pakistani culinary traditions, thrived from the early seventeenth century to the early eighteenth century. Historians still debate what led to the empire's decline, but some speculate it was due to extreme excess. If the rich flavors of the chaat and other recipes they left behind are any indication, I suspect they're right.."
- Maneet Chauhan
We're back to share another exciting adventure in the kitchen and today we're talking about aloo chaat, an Indian street food recipe that will have you rethinking your spice collection!
This inexpensive vegetarian dish is packed with flavor AND easy to make.
Join us and learn more about cooking with kids.
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This aloo chaat recipe comes from Chaat: Recipes from the Kitchens, Markets, and Railways of India by Maneet Chauhan and Jody Eddy.
I'm really loving the layout of this cookbook. Maneet starts with her memories of traveling through India by train as a child and the rich culinary experiences that came with each stop.
The cookbook offers a history of trains in India to provide the necessary context before taking you on a journey through each region of the country. In doing so, it demonstrates to readers how India's travel and food cultures are intertwined as well as why Maneet says chaat "tells India's culinary story more adeptly than any other food."
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What is Chaat?
As Maneet shares in Chaat: Recipes from the Kitchens, Markets, and Railways of India:
"Chaat are typically snacks or small meals that are tangy and sweet, fiery and crunchy, savory and sour all in one topsy-turvy bite. Some iconic chaat include Bhel Puri, Puchkas, and Aloo Chaat. In much the same way that Indians have mastered other aspects of their cuisine, chaat embody the perfect balance of texture, aroma, and color. Chaat often include a main element, such as idli or puffed rice (as in bhel puri), that is served with a variety of other ingredients such as chutneys, yogurt, and chaat masala, resulting in layered flavors, textures, colors, and aromas."- Maneet Chauhan
Chaat comes from the Hindi word "chaatna", meaning to lick, and I would say it's appropriately named.
What is Aloo Chaat?
When describing aloo chaat, Maneet states:
"This chaat recipe is found throughout most of northern India and also makes an appearance in some eastern and western regions, where the ingredients vary based upon what vegetables are in season; that said, tomatoes, red onions, radishes, and cucumbers are all frequent dance partners."- Maneet Chauhan
What is Chaat Masala?
According to Chaat: Recipes from the Kitchens, Markets, and Railways of India, chaat masala is:
"an Indian spice blend essential in many chaat recipes that contain black salt (which adds a sulfurous , hard-boiled-egg flavor and aroma) as well as other ingredients such as cumin, ajwain, coriander, tamarind powder, red chile powder, and fennel."
Wondering How to Use Chaat Masala?
The chaat masala we're enjoying comes from Diaspora Co. and as they describe it:
"12 single-origin, freshly-harvested spices create a perfect balance of salty, sour, and umami flavors. Sprinkle yours on top of cut fruit, use it to rim a cocktail glass, stir it into your yogurt or seltzer, or add it to your favorite sweet and savory snacks!"- Diaspora Co.
This chaat masala tastes and smells so good, we're looking forward to trying it on everything!
Aloo Chaat: An Indian Street Food Recipe
This aloo chaat recipe is easy to make and fun for the whole family. The best part is you can customize each flavor-packed bowl to suit individual preferences.
- russet potatoes
- Kashmiri chilli - Diaspora Co. describes these chillies as "Acidic and savoury with notes of prune, pineapple, citrus, and soy sauce, these pack a real punch!" You can also substitute any red chile powder
- chaat masala - this delightful blend includes cumin, coriander, & fennel, and it smells amazing
- red onion
- whole-milk yogurt
- kosher salt - we like this kosher pink Himalayan salt
- tamarind chutney - you can make your own or purchase this sweet and tangy ingredient
- stock pot with pasta insert
- butcher block or cutting board
- prep bowls
- child-friendly knife
- masala dabba with spice spoons
- measuring spoons
Our kids love the tamarind chutney and sev so they add a little extra of those to their bowls.
The cookbook also calls for green chutney. If you have some, you can add a couple of tablespoons of that and some pomegranate seeds as well.
1. Add Water to a Stock Pot
Wash your hands with soap and water. Rinse the vegetables. Grab a stock pot (with a pasta insert if you have one) or another large pot and fill it halfway with water. Place the pot on the stove and turn the stove on medium-high.
Do your kids get this excited about potatoes?
2. Boil the Potatoes
We boiled the potatoes whole for 15 minutes. Our kids intermittently check the potatoes by stabbing them with a fork until they are soft and easy to puncture.
Don't be surprised if your kids think boiling and stabbing potatoes is one of the highlights of making this dish. You heard it here first.
3. Chop the Onion
I sliced this onion a bit before our kids took over with their knives, mostly to minimize the opportunity for watery eyes.
Set the onions aside and wash your hands.
Our youngest daughter is interested in heat and temperature in general right now. The kids enjoyed feeling the steam and talking about which parts of the stock pot are hot to the touch.
While you're waiting for the potatoes to be ready, it's an excellent opportunity to explore the cookbook further. I can tell you there's plenty of interest in the tamarind chutney recipe now that we've been enjoying this aloo chaat.
4. Peel and Cube the Boiled Potatoes
Once the potatoes have finished boiling, you can turn off the stove, remove the potatoes from the pot and let them cool a bit. While they're still warm, peel the skins using a peeler.
After peeling the potatoes, immediately cut them into coins or rounds and then cut them into cubes. This will ensure they're prepped before they have a chance to get gummy.
5. Fry the Potatoes in a Pan
Heat up your pan on medium heat. Add the ghee. Once the ghee is hot, add the cubed potatoes to the pan. Fry the potatoes for 6 - 8 minutes, turning frequently while they cook, until golden brown.
When the potatoes are finished, place them in a large bowl. Don't forget to turn off the stove. I would say our potatoes were lightly browned on this day. We were hungry and ready to dig in.
6. Add Kashmiri Chilli to the Potatoes
You can use a measuring spoon to measure the Kashmiri chilli needed for the recipe and add it to the bowl with the potatoes.
Our kids love these perfectly-sized spice spoons and got creative with their estimations. Sometimes it's fun to put the measuring spoon down and follow your instincts.
7. Add the Cumin and Chaat Masala to the Potato Mixture
8. Add the Red Onion to the Bowl with the Potato Mixture
Give it a stir. If your kids aren't fans of red onion, you can scale back the amount of onion you add here and keep the rest separate for anyone who enjoys it.
9. Prepare the Yogurt for Making Aloo Chaat
Add the yogurt, water, and salt as desired to a small bowl and whisk to combine.
10. Add Tamarind Chutney to the Potato Mixture
You can use a measuring spoon to add the correct amount of tamarind chutney to the potato mixture. After tasting it, our kids were all about the chutney.
If you have green chutney, you can add that here.
11. Top Aloo Chaat With Sev, the Yogurt Mixture, and Cilantro
Add some of the potato mixture to a clean bowl. Top with sev, the yogurt mixture, and some fresh cilantro. If you have pomegranate seeds, go for it.
You can build your bowl to your liking. Enjoy!
Four kids, one learning tower, and one exciting dish.
More Geography of India and Asia
Want to extend the learning with activities that explore the physical geography of India and other parts of Asia? This Asia Biome Mat teaches kids about biomes, mountains, rivers, deserts, and more.
It includes feature cards with labels and multi-level command cards. There's also a control map included, making this an excellent set of materials for independent learning and self-directed research.
Save $15 on your first Waseca Biomes purchase.
Free Aloo Chaat Recipe for Pre-Readers and Up
Grab your free printable recipe cards above. Kids can gather ingredients using the ingredient list, gather their equipment with the tools list, and prepare the meal using the step-by-step recipe cards, with assistance as needed.
The cards are easy to use, include pictures, and encourage confidence and independence in the kitchen. They also make an excellent addition to your Montessori continent box for Asia.
Montessori Continent Boxes
Explore every continent with these solid maple hardwood boxes.
Aloo Chaat: An Indian Street Food Recipe
- Measuring Cup
- 3 tablespoon ghee
- 2 russet potatoes large
- ½ teaspoon Kashmiri chilli or other red chile powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon chaat masala
- 1 red onion small
- ¼ cup whole-milk yogurt
- 2 tablespoon tamarind chutney
- ¼ cup sev
- salt to taste
- cilantro for serving
- Wash your hands with soap and water. Rinse the vegetables. Grab a stock pot (with a pasta insert if you have one) or another large pot and fill it halfway with water. Place the pot on the stove and turn the stove on medium-high.
- Boil the potatoes whole for 15 minutes. You can periodically check the potatoes by stabbing them with a fork until they are soft and easy to puncture.
- Chop the onions using a kid-friendly knife as needed. Set the onions aside and wash your hands.
- Once the potatoes have finished boiling, you can turn off the stove, remove the potatoes from the pot and let them cool a bit. While they're still warm, peel the skins using a peeler. After peeling the potatoes, immediately cut them into coins or rounds and then cut them into cubes. This will ensure they're prepped before they have a chance to get gummy.
- Heat up your pan on medium heat. Add the ghee. Once the ghee is hot, add the cubed potatoes to the pan. Fry the potatoes for 6 - 8 minutes, turning frequently while they cook, until golden brown. When the potatoes are finished, place them in a large bowl. Don't forget to turn off the stove.
- You can use a measuring spoon or the masala dabba spice spoons to measure or estimate the Kashmiri chilli needed for the recipe. Add it to the bowl with the potatoes.
- Add the cumin and chaat masala to the potato mixture.
- Add the red onion to the bowl with the potato mixture. Give it a stir.
- Add the yogurt, water, and salt as desired to a small bowl and whisk to combine.
- Use a measuring spoon to add the correct amount of tamarind chutney to the potato mixture. If you have green chutney, you can add the same amount of that as well.
- Add some of the potato mixture to a clean bowl. Top with sev, the yogurt mixture, and some fresh cilantro. If you have pomegranate seeds, go for it. Enjoy!
- The same amount of another red chile powder can be substituted for Kashmiri chilli
- Feel free to adjust the amount of each item to suit your preferences
- This aloo chaat recipe does not keep well and should be eaten before the sev get soggy
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove
- See more guidelines at USDA.gov
- Full Lesson Info and Pictures at: https://happyhomeschooladventures.com/aloo-chaat
Estimated nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is not guaranteed.