Channa (Chickpea) Chat with Chat Masala: A recipe

Chickpea Chat

A craving for some spice brought me today to Lahore and a spicy chick pea dish. While Lahore is in Pakistan, this is a dish that is exactly like what I have eaten in Northern, middle and Southern India.

It’s a snack, really. Eaten at room temperature, it is one of the wonderful chat (chaat) dishes so integrated into the varied cuisines of India. It is an amazing tease of contrasts. Sour yet sweet. The bite of onion with the smoothness of chickpeas and potato. The mineralisation of rock salt with the tartness of mango powder and lime juice. It is an amazing dish.

Just a word of warning – this is real Indian. Not the restaurant Indian that is served up and called Indian food. At least here in Australia. Really quite different flavours. Not an easy eating dish. Not a comfort dish that eases your mouth and your body into a state of relaxation. This is a “Woh-hoh” in your mouth. An assault of wonderful flavours that wakes up all your senses. Be brave, but be warned…

At first I wrote a long post for a simple dish. I don’t usually do such long posts. Guess I got carried away. So today I have split it into three:

Chat

The word chat or chaat means to lick and the word masala, as we have seen before, actually means spice mix in Hindi. So generally, the word chat is used for a collection of savoury and highly spicy snacks that would make you lick /smack your lips – if that was acceptable in Indian etiquette.

Chat is traditionally sold by street hawkers in India and comes under a group of foods known as ‘Indian Street Foods’. But be careful of the food hygiene of street food – it is often suspect, frequently leading to “Delhi Belly“, most people prefer to make chat at home. There is some debate about whether chat is Northern or Southern Indian – I think it is wide spread. You might like to tell me.

A note on ingredients

Chat dishes are distinguished by the Chat Masala powder that is used to impart the spicy flavour to the main ingredient. You can buy this, but I thought we might make our own today. You can read how here.

Jaggery is a palm sugar commonly used in India and SE Asia. You can substitute brown sugar.

Chickpeas are also called garbanzo beans.

So Today

Make your Chat Masala, then go on, be brave, indulge in this so easy, REAL Indian street food.

Chickpea Chat

Lahori Channa Chat, or Chickpea Chat

Source : Chatpatti Chaat Papri and Snacks
Cuisine: Indian
Prep time: 5 mins (plus overnight soaking of chickpeas)
Cooking time: 1 hour to cook chickpeas and potatoes
Serves: 4 – 5 people, as a snack or dish with salad.

2 cups chick peas, soaked and cooked. Keep them slightly undercooked, not overcooked. They need to still have some bite to them.
2 big boiled potatoes, peeled and chopped
1-3 green chillies finely chopped
2 tspn ginger finely chopped
1 – 2 medium onions chopped
3 Tblspn lemon or lime juice
1 tspn jaggery or fine sugar
2 Tblspn coriander leaves chopped
2 med tomatoes, chopped
Sea Salt to taste
Chat Masala to taste – start with about 1 dessert spoon, and add more if you want it spicier.

Mix and refrigerate for 2 – 3 hours. Serve cold. Yum.

That’s it. Done.

If you want to Westernise it, add a load of chopped parsley, mint and coriander and mix through. Mung bean sprouts. Another 2 or 3 tomatoes chopped into chickpeas size pieces.

If you are really brave and adventurous, the overall sourness of the lime juice, amchur and black salt will go well with fruit as well – any tropical fruit, melons, apples, pears even.

Read some More

People are Saying

Here’s some veggy Chick pea chat puns intended all around

Lahori Channa Chaat or Chickpea Chaat. Just the name made me drool.

This chaat was out of this world and I’m glad I got a chance to make it.

Chickpea (Garbanzo) Series


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About Ganga108

Heat in the Kitchen, Cooking with Spirit. Temple junkie, temple builder, temple cleaner. Lover of life, people, cultures, travel. Champion of growth, change and awareness. Taker of photos. Passionate about family. Happy.
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34 Responses to Channa (Chickpea) Chat with Chat Masala: A recipe

  1. lakshmi says:

    Thanks for your comment friend.

  2. Rina says:

    Wow!!! what lovely pics of Chick peas. Love your colorful chat dear.

  3. I’m indulging in your stunning photo’s! And I’ve learnt a lot about the chickpea reading here…unfortunately my knowledge is far less, so I can’t even suggest a relationship between the chickpea and Siva…you explanation sounds reasonable to me.
    ronell

  4. Asha says:

    Best dish from Chana is chole with Batura! YUM YUM!!:)

  5. Rajitha says:

    anything chatpata has my name on it..lovely pics

  6. sunita says:

    Wow! What a treatise on chickpeas…beautiful pictures and I’m actually drooling over the chat masala :-)

  7. indosungod says:

    Amazing photo, thanks for the chat masala recipe, I am loathe to buy and then let them to lay around. Love chick peas and this is a great way to eat them.

  8. Suganya says:

    There is so much to learn from you :)

  9. Kimberley says:

    I absolutely love coming here – for the recipes, information and the stunning photos. I have been wanting to make my own hummus – hmmmm. And now – I’m hungry – happens every time I even get close to your blog – the aromas are just too much!

  10. Lakshmi says:

    Lovely Chaat and I am always ready for that anytime..

  11. Linda says:

    I made it through the first half. Never saw such a comprehensive chaat post! Wonderful, and very useful for someone like me, trying to learn more about Indian cooking. Of course like the others I am stuck on that single chick pea that you so lovingly photographed :)

  12. VegeYum says:

    Everyone, thank you so much. To get your comments just makes my day. Yes, I don’t blame you Linda, just making it through the first half, it is such a long post. I must break it into 2, I think. But, Linda, I hope you get to the recipe and see how fabulously easy it is.

    Chat is so wonderful, so “woh-hoh” in the mouth. I love that you love it too.

    Asha, which is your favourite recipe for chole with Batura. I found one at Mahanandi that looks yummy.

    Kimberley, hummus indeed – a favourite of mine too. I have a hummus post coming up. I know that everyone and their dog post hummus, but, well, if this is about what comes out of my kitchen, then I have to have one too. Not as good as others, but reflective of my cooking.

    Rina, thank you for coming by, lakshmi too. myfrenchkitchen, I like the analogy of Siva Shakti too. The spirituality of food, heh?

    Ok, better finish this opus magnum :-) thanks everyone again.

  13. Happy Cook says:

    Love the chat.
    Really beautiful pictures. And wonderfilly informative post

  14. @shu says:

    Wow! What a lovely post and very informative! After the first glance, I wanted to comment on the pictures but I realised that the post was quite long! I must say it’s really awesome! :)

  15. hannehanne says:

    I want to add to the wows. I’m so impressed by your informative posts. The more I know about what I’m eating, the happier I am. It’s fascinating to pull on all the strands of science, history and culture that food holds.

    And your recipe looks delicious. I’m always on the lookout for authentic Indian recipes, so this makes me very happy.

  16. VegeYum says:

    Oh yes, @shu, sorry about the length. I really did get carried away. Always so much to say about food.

    hannehanne, thanks so much. Hope you get to try it.

  17. Cynthia says:

    I’m blown away by the thoroughness of this post. Thank you!

  18. mansi says:

    I make this quite often, it’s my fav timepass food, but never has it tasted as good as your description:)

  19. VegeYum says:

    Hi mansi, sometimes maybe we “forget” the taste of things that we eat often? or maybe forget to really taste it? I love this dish, but only make it every now and again when I get a craving for it or for India.

    Hey, Cynthia, thanks! (and sorry again for the length).

  20. VegeYum says:

    Boy, I have had a look at this post again. I reckon that there are three posts in this one post. I better split it at some stage….. I must have written and written and written …. Perhaps too much coffee.

  21. Namratha says:

    Lovely pics and a wonderful dish, stopped by while blog hopping :)

  22. Nandita says:

    Hey Vegeyum,
    My first time here and I’m totally in love with your writing and the pictures ofcourse! Brilliant stuff and I’m going to keep coming over and over again- I’m a chick for chickpeas and we both love the chana chaat – one Indian salad that can make a complete dinner!
    Cya around…am off to read more of your stuff now.

  23. Arundathi says:

    That looks delicious. Fabulous photos!

    Thank you! Glad you like them. I can tell you, it IS delicious!

  24. Kate says:

    I encounter opposite information regarding chickpeas/garbonzo beans.

    An equal number of sites say they are high-purine and other that say they are purine-free. Which is sorrect??? This is very important to me because I am on a low to no-purine diet.

    Hi Kate, you should consult an expert on this, and not rely on internet information. Best of luck.

  25. Ognish says:

    Just Yammi::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    Thank you Ognish. It sure is.

  26. shash says:

    is there a workaround to cook chikpeas in say 3 hrs?

    Of course. Open a can.

  27. Ayesha says:

    A very nice recipe indeed. However, I’d like to comment here that, Lahore is in Pakistan.
    The recipe varies from India to Pakistan. So , I’d suggest you state here that this is an Indian cusine and omit the mention of Lahore.

    Chana chat in Lahore , is a little different , and instead of amchur it uses tamarind and a few other spices.

    Thanks for your lovely comment, and esp re Lahore. As the recipe came from the indicated book (an Indian book) I can’t alter the name. I have already stated it is an Indian Dish (see CUISINE under the name of the recipe, and again in the RECIPES AND FOOD page). Interestingly, I have seen this chaat pat on the beaches of Kerala. Who knows what reminiscences of Lahore moved the creator of this dish – perhaps using locally available ingredients? Or perhaps Punjabi immigrants into the South of India? Don’t you love the way that food, like language, moves around the world, morphing and changing with every new influence? Fascinating to watch those transitions. For example, the Italian Salsa Verde is very different in Mexico!

  28. Sushma says:

    Wow…that looks great…makes me hungry!! Thanks for posting it!!

  29. Lisa says:

    Hi! We had an Indian Food-themed dinner party last night and I used your chickpea chaat recipe – wow! It was fabulous! We had loads of other dishes too and the party was a real hit with our friends. My husband and I love Indian food and we love cooking it too. In a funny way, it reminds me of my own “soul” food (I am African American, living in England). I look forward to following your blog. How do you get such good pictures of your food? I try my best (and I use a Nikon 40D with 17-55 mm stock lens) but I don’t achieve that bright and vivid clarity I’m looking for. Any advice?? Thanks! Best wishes, Lisa

    • Ganga108 says:

      Hi Lisa,
      What a wonderful dinner party! I am glad that you liked these chickpeas, it sure is amazing.

      Two tips for you with taking pics of food, altho I have to say your pics are wonderfully bright. Make sure that you have good light – I often place the food on my windowsill to get the light through the window. And use Picasa to “tidy up” the photo. Picasa is a Google product that you can download for free.

  30. joko says:

    it’s exiting web site , Really beautiful pictures. And wonderfilly informative post

  31. za says:

    hey lovely post!..its my first time here….i loved ur chaat recipe….shall make it soon n i will let u know how it turned out!…
    thank u for sharing and do visit me someday at http://www.myfoodinn.blogspot.com
    zainab

  32. Sidney Koh says:

    Thanks for the post and the recipe! I tried it out, making do with the items i didn’t have, and it was amazing. Short write up here, I’ve linke back to your page: http://sidinthekitchen.blogspot.com/2011/11/chana-chaat-and-papadums.html

    Thanks again!

  33. This specific article, “Channa (Chickpea) Chat with Chat Masala: A recipe | A Life (Time) of Cooking”
    indicates that u really fully understand exactly
    what you r talking about! I really totally am in agreement.
    Thank you ,Brittney

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