Chana chaat is a very popular yoghurt based salad in Pakistan. Sometimes at weddings it's served as a starter. At home people make this as a side dish and it is even eaten on its own as a snack. The cooling yoghurt in this salad can really be appreciated in hot summers, whilst the salad vegetables are both healthy and refreshing. It's very popular in Pakistan to stop for some chaat and a bottle of Coke when out shopping.
You can chose to make it in one big salad bowl or individual portions.
Mango Powder (Amchoor)
Natural plain yoghurt will work best with this recipe.
Boil 6 small potatoes. Most stores have salad potatoes which work really well with this recipe and they are the perfect size, these are usually Maris Peer or Charlotte potatoes.
Once they have cooked allow them to cool, then remove the skins. Cut the potatoes into small pieces.
Now to prep the onion. Cut 1 small red onion into thin slices lengthwise then again sideways so you are left will very small pieces.
Place the onions into a strainer. Evenly sprinkle 1tsp of salt over the onions. Using your hands mix the salt into the onions.
Leave this for at least 10minutes, the salt will draw out the sharpness from the onion. Then wash the chopped onions with plenty of water.
After washing the onion squeeze of any excess moisture and then use a paper towel to blot the onions. For more photos on this onion prepping stage, have a look at this recipe for Pickled Onions.
Cut into quarters roughly 4 small tomatoes or halve 10 cherry tomatoes. Add these to the salad bowl.
Add the potatoes and onions to the salad bowl.
Drain the water from a can of chickpeas and add half the can (roughly 200g) to the salad bowl along with a few chopped sprigs of coriander and mint.
Add 8tbsp plain yoghurt and mix well. If you prefer the salad to have more/less yoghurt then this can be altered to suit personal preferences.
For the seasoning add 1tsp chaat masala and 1/2 tsp of mango powder. After mixing the ingredients together you can taste it to adjust the salt and other seasoning.
Garnish with a few whole mint and coriander leaves. Add a pinch of cumin seeds.
Serve and enjoy.
Some extra ingredients that go really nicely with this chana chaat are dried pomegranate powder, tamarind powder or tamarind sauce. These ingredients all have the sour element that compliments the yoghurt. Some people even like to chop up fresh chillies and add them to the chaat for some heat.