Here is a popular street food: Dahi Batata Puri (Yogurt, Potatoes, and Crisp fried flour light airy biscuits literally in that order).
But this time, I decided to try it not with yogurt, but with Kefir. Ever since I have found Kefir, I find ways to include it in so many of the things that I make. In Raitas, Dahi Vadas, Bagala Baath, etc etc. I think the distinctive but subtle tang very appealing!
The best part about street food making for me is the fact that everything is available easily and putting it together is just a breeze!
Warning for chefs: There are many many ingredients and steps involved in making this, but once you make the basic chutneys and buy the rest, you can store them for a long time and remake it anytime your heart desires!
For the dahi batata puri: Puris (the round kind used for panipuri), Potatoes, Onions, Green chutney, Tamarind Date Chutney, Red chili powder, Chaat masala, Black salt (kala namak), Very fine sev, Kefir.
For the green chutney: Cilantro, Mint, Small green chilies, Ginger, Roasted cumin powder, Salt, Sugar, Lemon juice.
For the tamarind-date chutney: Tamarind pulp, Pitted dates, Jaggery, Red chili powder, Roasted cumin powder, Ginger powder, Salt.
- Green chutney: Add 2 cups of cilantro + 1 cup of fresh mint + 3/4 cup of fresh de-stemmed green chilies+1/2″ of peeled sliced fresh ginger to the blender jar and add little water. Blend to a fine paste and pour into a bowl. Add salt to taste, 1 tsp of sugar, and 2 table spoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Roast 2 tbsp of cumin without oil on a skillet till lightly brown and grind to a fine powder. Add 1.5 tsp of the powder to the chutney. Mix everything well. Transfer into a glass jar with a tight lid and keep refrigerated. This chutney will last a month at least.
- Tamarind-Date chutney:
a. Soak 1 cup of pitted dates in hot water just until they are covered for 4 hours. Blend to a fine paste. Strain through a sieve. Measure the amount of date paste you get after blending. Add equal amount of tamarind paste to it. (If you do not have ready tamarind paste, you can soak a big ball of tamarind in hot water for an hour and squeeze the pulp. But make sure to strain the pulp so that the tamarind paste is smooth and without any debris). Mix both pastes and keep aside.
b. In a saucepan, add 3/4 cup of grated jaggery and add 2 tbsp of water. Heat on medium high. The jaggery will slowly start melting and start to thicken. Add the tamarind-date paste to the jaggery. Stir well. Add 1/2 tsp of red chili powder, 1 tsp of roasted cumin powder, 1/2 tsp of ginger powder, and salt to taste. Mix everything well and allow to cook till the whole mixture becomes thick, dark and starts to coat the back of the spoon. Cool completely and transfer to a glass jar with a tight lid and keep refrigerated. This chutney will last a month at least.
3. For the Dahi Batata Puri: Follow these steps in this order to avoid the chaat from getting soggy!
Step 1: Boil, peel and mash 3 big potatoes (approximately 1 cup). Add a little salt and 1 tsp of chaat masala, mix well and keep aside.
Step 2: Finely chop 2 medium size onions and 1/2 cup of fresh cilantro.
Step 3. Take 5 tbsp of the green chutney into a small bowl. Add 1 tbsp of water and mix well to ensure that it is of flowing consistency.
Step 4: Take 4 tbsp of the tamarind-date chutney into a small bowl. Add 1 tbsp of water and mix well to ensure that it is of flowing consistency.
Step 5: Take 1/2 cup of Kefir (or regular yogurt if you do not have/like Kefir) and add 3 tbsp of water. Whisk till it is smooth and of pour consistency. If possible, pour it into a glass with a lip/cup with a spout/gravy boat for easy and quick dispensing.
Step 6: In a small bowl, add 1 tsp of red chili powder and 1/2 spoon of black salt.
Step 7: Pour out 1 heaped cup of the fine Sev (available readymade) into a bowl.
Step 8: Ensure that your guests have all arrived and are ready for chaat! Now you need to start working quickly.
Step 9: Arrange around 15-20 puris on a serving platter.
Step 10: Using your thumb or the stem of a spoon, make a hole in each of the puris.
Step 11: Add approximately 1 tsp of spiced mashed potatoes into each puri.
Step 12: Add a few pices of onions into the puris on top of the potatoes.
Step 13: Depending on your tolerance for spice, add a drop or a dollop (like me) of the green chutney into the puris. Follow that with the tamarind-date chutney. Again, depending on your desire for sweetness (very low for me!)
Step 14. Now, quickly pour the kefir/yogurt into each puri.
Step 15: Sprinkle the red chili powder-black salt mix on the puris.
Step 16: Generously sprinkle the fine yellow sev on all the puris.
Step 17: Garnish with finely chopped cilantro.
SERVE IMMEDIATELY and watch gleefully as it vanishes!
Tips for the chef: If this is your first attempt at chaat making, don’t get put off by the 17 steps! I have just sequenced the activity to hopefully make it easier to follow and avoid ending up with soggy, unappetizing chaat!