Recipes

Papadi Chaat (Indian Nachos)

Jessi Singh of Babu Ji introduces us to this piled-high Indian snack
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Indian Nachos Recipe Adapted From Jessi Singh, Babu Ji, New York, NY.
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Chaat is a term used to describe savory snacks typically sold by street vendors in India. Papadi chaat, on the other hand, is a savory mixture of potatoes, chickpeas and vegetables piled high on a base of fried papadi crackers and drizzled with sweet and tangy tamarind and yogurt sauces. Typically heavy and messy, the dish gets a makeover from chef Jessi Singh of New York City's Babu Ji, who wanted to create a lighter, salad-like version of papadi chaat—and this is his bright iteration.

We used cocktail-size papadi, but if you can find only larger ones, break them roughly into silver-dollar-size pieces. Each package will have directions on how to fry the crackers, but simply heat a small pot with two inches of oil to 350 degrees and fry them in batches for 15 to 30 seconds, then drain over paper towels. You can let the dish sit for a bit to let the sauces soak into the papadi, but be forewarned that it may turn soggy.

To learn more, read "Snap Chaat."

Papadi Chaat (Indian Nachos)

Recipe adapted from Jessi Singh, Babu Ji, New York, NY

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Prep Time: 35 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Ingredients

For the Chickpea Salad:

½ pound fingerling potatoes, cut into ½-inch pieces

One 15-ounce can (1½ cups) cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 medium tomato—cored, seeded and chopped

½ cup finely chopped cucumber

½ cup finely chopped red onion

¼ cup lemon juice

Kosher salt, to taste

 

For the Yogurt Sauce:

½ cup whole-fat Greek yogurt

¼ cup lemon juice

1 teaspoon sugar

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

 

For the Tamarind Dressing:

⅓ cup seedless tamarind paste concentrate

¼ cup water

1½ tablespoons honey

⅛ teaspoon chile powder

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

 

For the Assembly:

3½ ounces papadi, fried according to package directions (about 4 cups fried)

⅓ cup pomegranate seeds

½ cup fresh cilantro leaves

¼ head red cabbage, julienned (1½ cups julienned)

1 large carrot, peeled and julienned

½ small beet, peeled and julienned

One 3-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and julienned

Directions

1. Make the chickpea salad: Bring a small pot of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook until just tender when pierced with a knife, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain the potatoes and transfer to a large bowl and let cool completely. Add the chickpeas, tomato, cucumber, onion and lemon juice. Season with salt, tossing to mix. Store in the fridge, covered, for up to 1 day and bring to room temperature 20 minutes before serving.

2. Make the yogurt dressing: In a medium bowl, mix together the yogurt, lemon juice, sugar and salt. Makes ¾ cup. Cover and chill in the fridge for up to 3 days and bring to room temperature 20 minutes before serving.

3. Make the tamarind dressing: In a small bowl, combine the tamarind, water, honey, chile powder and salt. Makes ½ cup. Store in the fridge, covered, for up to 3 days and bring to room temperature 20 minutes before serving.

4. For the assembly: Line a serving platter with the fried papadi. Top with the chickpea salad and drizzle with some of the yogurt sauce and tamarind dressing. Top with the pomegranate seeds, cilantro, red cabbage, carrot, beet and ginger. Serve with extra yogurt sauce and tamarind dressing on the side.

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