Indian Street Food — Mediterranean Diet Style
Indian Street food by some accounts is the hidden gem of Indian cuisine. I know I could eat nothing but street food from different parts of the country for every meal!
Chaat, is a generic term often used for all kinds of Indian street food and comes from the Hindi word “chaatna” – to lick, describing the finger-licking quality of these dishes. These appetizer sized plates may be small and varied, but there is no skimping on flavor in any of them. They are a melding of sweet, salty, spicy and sour flavors often with a textural combination of soft and crispy.
In this recipe (traditional Hindi terms in parenthesis) the peanuts and cucumber add crunch, while the chickpeas, and tomatoes add softness and juiciness to the dish. Of course, the signature flavor of chaat comes from Chaat Masala – a blend of spices that includes Himalayan Black salt (Kala Namak) with its strong umami flavor and dried mango powder (amchoor) with its characteristic sour tang. There really is not a good substitute for this, but Chaat Masala is easily available in any Indian grocery store or online and worth purchasing not only for this recipe, but to add zing to vegetables, rice and more
I plan to BE BRAVE and keep adding additional recipes to the blog of my favorite Indian dishes. This is my contribution to Upstate International’s month-long celebration of people, cultures, languages and arts from around the globe. I am utilizing seasonings and spices that create unique flavor profiles to healthy dishes that follow the principles of the Mediterranean Diet. This Chickpea and Peanut Chaat uses nuts, beans, vegetables, olive oil — all essential daily components of a Mediterranean Diet. The seasonings, however, are uniquely Indian.
So BE BRAVE, create this dish and let your tastebuds travel the streets of Indian cities like Mumbai and Kolkata!
Chickpea & Peanut Chaat
2 tablespoons Garlic EVOO *
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
8 fresh curry leaves
1 can chickpeas, drained, rinsed and air dried
1 ½ cups dry roasted peanuts
½ cup finely diced onion
1 cup finely diced tomatoes (deseeded)
1 cup finely diced cucumber (deseeded)
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
5 tablespoons lime juice
¼ cup mint, chopped
½ – 1 serrano chili, finely chopped
1 ½ teaspoons Chaat Masala *
1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
¼ cayenne pepper
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and curry leaves and stir till the seeds crackle and become fragrant (about 30 seconds). Add the chickpeas and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
Add the dry roasted peanuts and toss to coat. Remove from heat
In bowl toss together the onion, tomato, cucumber, cilantro, lime juice, mint, serrano, chaat masala, honey, cayenne. Add the chickpeas and peanuts
Salt to taste and serve immediately. For a more Mediterranean meal, fill a pita pocket with this mixture, and serve with a slice of feta.
Total Time: 20 minutes
* The Garlic EVOO is a great way to add lots of garlic flavor to this dish. Alternatively, add some grated garlic to the hot unflavored olive oil, sauté for a minute or two and then add the cumin seeds and curry leaves.
* Chaat Masala is a blend of spices that includes “Kala Namak” or Himalayan Black salt with its strong umami flavor and dried mango powder or “amchoor” with its characteristic sour tang. There really is not a good substitute for this, but Chaat Masala is easily available in any Indian grocery store or online. Send me an email for more uses for the Chaat Masala you buy.
Categories: Soups & Salads, Snacks & Sides, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Vegetarian, Vegan, Garlic EVOO, Garlic, Roasted Peanuts, Cilantro, Chaat Masala, Indian Street Food, Chickpeas, Amchoor, Himalayan Black Salt, Mango Powder, Chaat, Plant Based, Easy Weeknight Meal, Mediterranean Diet, Indian Flavors