Everyone has their own speciality Indian dish, and all the shouting, threatening and fist waving from us is unlikely to change the way you make your Chicken Tikka Masala. (Although we have tried)
What we can do is teach you how to make something you (probably) haven't made before. Papdi chaat is an Indian street dish of whole-wheat crisps (genuinely) and spiced chickpeas with sweetened yoghurt, mint chutney, tamarind chutney and blueberries. A refreshing snack, it is extremely popular in the streets of India, but bring it to your table and it adds an element to a curry that very few have thought of.
We hadn't tried it before we went to the Michelin starred Tamarind in London's Mayfair. So staggered were we that we pinned the head chef to the wall and demanded he tell us how he did it*. Here's what he said:
(*We asked very politely)
Ingredients: (Serves 4): 100g readymade wheat crisps (papdi) , 1 can (240grams) of boiled chickpeas, 1 medium red onion, 2 green chillies, 1 teaspoon cumin powder, ¼ teaspoon red chilli powder, 1 teaspoon chaat masala,1 lemon (juice only), 2 tablespoons mint chutney, 2 tablespoons tamarind chutney, 2 cups of yoghurt, 1 tablespoon icing sugar, ½ cup blueberries and salt, to taste
Method: It really is this simple. Chop the onion and green chillies and mix with drained chickpeas along with the spice powders, salt and lemon juice. Whisk the icing sugar into the yoghurt and leave aside. Transfer the spiced chickpeas into a serving bowl, add the mint chutney and whole wheat crisps, spoon the sweetened yoghurt over the mixture, drizzle with tamarind chutney and finish with a sprinkling of blueberries.
Top tips: Try and find a store near you that specialises in Indian sub-continental groceries, vegetables and fruit.This recipe could be put together fairly quickly using bottled Mint chutney as well as bottled Date & Tamarind chutney. The wheat crisps (Papdi) could be substituted with gram flour vermicelli, salted popcorn or even a ‘Bombay mix’