Crunchy, creamy, tangy, fresh, spicy. That was my lunch. Oh, and deeply satisfying, as well as fat free. How can one have all of the above you ask? Aloo Chaat Masala bowl. Aloo means potato. I can still taste the chaat masala (that is what they called it) I had about 4 weeks ago at the local Indian restaurant. I have been waiting to duplicated it fully ever since. Theirs came with dosa, which I have yet to perfectly duplicate, so today, mine was without a dosa (a rice and lentil tangy fermented flatbread) but with a bowl instead. Super easy to assemble and fast. You probably have the majority of the ingredients on hand.
Aloo Chaat Masala for two
Chickpeas, one can rinsed and drained
Potato – one medium baker – cooked in the microwave, roughly diced
White onion (whites are less sharp and better for raw eating I think – you could use sweet if you have one on hand) finely chopped – really 1/4 of the onion will be plenty
Cilantro – a few stalks chopped
Gram Masala spice mix (Penzeys has some if you don’t have an Asian or Indian store around – or you can Google it and make your own up) or chaat masala mix – this has green mango powder called Amchur in it, it adds a great tang and sourness to a dish, watch for asafetida as it is often cut with a starch like wheat flour.
Raita – Indian yogurt equivalent of Mid Eastern Tatziki
Raita can be made many ways, but this is what I usually put in it :plain yogurt, shredded (the smallest holes) cucumber (max 1/4 of a cucumber) and a bit of carrot – squeezed dry so the liquid is gone, 1 minced green onion, bit of chopped cilantro, salt and nigella seeds (onion seeds – totally optional), maybe some cracked pepper, sometimes a bit of potato mashed in to thicken it if my yogurt is not thick and there is not time to drain/strain it and a dash of lemon or lime juice.
Now the raita might sound like a bit of work, but it is not. Armed with a grater, it took me 3 minutes max to grate, chop, throw it in a bowl and stir. While I made the raita and chopped the onion, my potato was in the microwave “baking”.
To assemble: pile a bit of the potatoes, a bit of the chickpeas, a bit of the raw onion and a bit of the cilantro in a bowl. Place a heaping spoon of raita on top, sprinkle generously with gram masala, depending on how much heat you like, add salt to taste. Stir or not and dig in.
It took me a long time to enjoy raw onion. As long as it is fresh and not overpowering, it really adds a nice spicy crunch. I used to hate that crunch as a kid and would pick the raw onion out of my potato salads. I guess the chaat masala bowl is a bit like a potato salad if it is all mixed up. A tasty one. I will have to add that to the potato salad idea list.
Adding the brown masala spice doesn’t do a lot for the sexiness of the dish for photo taking, but it sure tastes great!