Thursday, August 11, 2011

Papri Chaat - Indian Street Food Treat a Guest Post by Sunshine and Smile

This India series organically evolved, to my delight, into an Indian street food and snack series. First was Kulsum's delciious Lentil Samosas, then Prerna's uber healthy, fermented Dosas and now Kankana's (@kankanasaxena) wildly popular Indian street food the Papri Chat. You girls ROCK! As I was browsing around Kankana's site the first image that popped and mesmerized my senses was Chicken Wonton Soup. Maybe the similarity to a comforting Jewish chicken soup and Kankana's vivid imagery made me yearn for it at lunch time today. Kankana, out of the beautiful Sunshine and Smile food blog, is a newly married Indian ex-pat, living now in Santa Clara,California. She incorporates ingredients into some sort of fusion as in this tantalizing Rasam with Pear post. So happy to have Kankana on board sharing this fantastic recipe with us all & follow her on Facebook and at the twitter link above.

In other news front, I have written recently and in the process of writing couple more features for Jewish and other publications. You might have already caught, my post on my Indian and Israeli inspired, four recipes and photographs, with a fun Q and A, titled 'A Little Bit of Cardamon', at Whisk magazine. This week an article of mine bridging the Indian and Jewish cultures and food, was published at a smart blog column, I absolutely adore, 'The Jew and the Carrot' at The Jewish Daily Forward. The entry is titled 'Ancient Rice Offering Is the Heart of India's Jewish Community'.

If you didn't know Food Wanderings has a FB page and would LOVE the LIKES. I am also on twitter @foodwanderings so we can chat.

Kankana:
There are emails which makes you smile, emails which makes you go aww and then there are emails which makes you jump from your seat and go OMG..and you keep saying to yourself am I reading it correctly! 
Yes, that's exactly how I reacted when Shulie wrote to me that she was planning an Indian Theme and asked if I could do a guest post. It was a special moment for me.. excited, happy and felt SO honored
I have been trying to make Papri Chat for a long time now and somehow, I was never happy with the outcome. After a couple of attempts, I gave up trying. When both of us decided on Papri Chat, I was happy and worried at the same time. Will I be able to do it this time?
For those of you who are not aware of Papri Chat, it's a famous street food which has crisp fried dough wafers covered with plain yogurt, some boiled potatoes, tangy tamarind chutney, spicy green chutney and then, topped with some onion, tomatoes and may be some cucumber too. It's one such snack, which is loved by every Indian and we can never get enough of it. 
Making papri chat might be easy but somehow, it was not happening in my kitchen. Either it wouldn't stay crispy or the texture wouldn't taste flaky. I really don't know how many times Arvind came home and saw a messy kitchen and flour all over me. But after every attempt, I was getting more stubborn to get it right.
I know, I sound like a control freak person! There are dishes where I like to give my twist and turn but when it comes to every Indian's favorite Papri Chat, I wanted it to be authentic, as close as I could get. 
Few evenings back, these crackers finally behaved and fried to perfect crispy flaky texture. When Arvind took a bite and said he loved it, I was doing my happy dance and felt so relaxed!! He went crazy over the chutneys too. It was our dinner that night and I had a good night sleep :)
This will make about 25 papris

Ingredients:

For the papri:

• 1 cup all purpose flour
• 2 tbs ghee (clarified butter)/ butter
• 1 tsp carom seeds
• 1 tsp pepper
• pinch of salt
• 1/2 tsp baking powder
• water to knead the dough
• oil to deep fry

For the tamarind chutney

• 1 cup tamarind paste
• 1 tbs coriander powder
• 1 tbs cumin powder
• 1 tsp chilly powder
• 1 tsp of fennel seed powder
• 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1/2 cup water
• 1 tsp pepper powder
• salt

For the spicy green chutney

• 3 cup cilantro leaves
• 2 green chilies
• 1 cup mint leaves
• 1/3 cup water
• juice of one big lemon (about 2.5 tbs)
• salt
• pepper

For the final plate setting

• 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
• 1 medium tomato, finely chopped (discard the seeds)
• 1 large boiled potato
• 3 cups plain flavorless yogurt
• 1 cup cilantro, finely chopped for garnish
• 1 cup sev, for garnish (this is a snack which is available in Indian store)

Directions:

Mix ghee, carom seed, pepper, baking powder and salt in a glass bowl using a wooden spoon.

Add flour and once again, using a wooden spoon, give it a rough mix until the mixture looks crumbly.

Now, add 1/3-cup water and mix it using you hand.

The dough shouldn't be too soft and so, avoid adding too much water unless required and avoid kneading too much.

Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and let it rest for 20 minutes.

Roll the dough very thin and using a cookie cutter or a knife cut you desired shape.

In a wok or a deep pan, heat enough oil for frying these papris. The heat should be medium high.

Avoid over crowding the pan as you deep fry these papris.

You can also bake the papris. However, I felt that the texture of the baked papris is more like crackers and not flaky. If you still wish to bake, arrange these on a baking pan using a parchment paper. Bake it at 350 F for about 15 minutes.

Once the papris are done, keep it aside and let it cool completely before you start plating them or storing them in an airtight jar.

To make the tamarind chutney, mix all the ingredients in a microwave safe bowl and heat it at high for 2 minutes.

Keep it aside and let it cool.

To make the green chutney, add all the ingredients in a food processor and grind them till they are smooth.

The boiled potatoes could be either cut in bite size or mashed into tiny balls.

In another separate bowl, mix the yogurt with some cumin powder and salt

For final plating

You could either arrange each cracker individually, which makes it easy to eat with hand or arrange it in individual plates and eat with a spoon.

Place the crackers, pour some amount of tamarind chutney on top, followed by the green chutney and then, crumble some boiled potatoes. Add some yogurt on top, few chopped onion, chopped tomatoes, a little more tamarind chutney and green chutney and finally, garnish with chopped cilantro and some sev.

This is just how I like to plate it.. you could style it in your very own way too.

23 comments :

  1. I am so happy to see my favorite recipes posted one after another. Thanks Shulie.

    Kankana, I think you have nailed this recipe. It looks beyond perfect.

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  2. Thank you thank you thank you for including me in the theme with all the other such amazing bloggers. I am so glad that the papris came out right and you liked it :)

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  3. Love making a recipe various times until it is perfect and these look perfect! Another great guest post, thank you for sharing!

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  4. Even though i'm not a big fan of chaat, i love dahi papri chat every once in a way.


    @kankana: So good to see you on momma's blog. Your pictures are awesome and the recipe sounds perfect.

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  5. Hi Shulie! I came over here from Kankana's site. You do have a lovely blog and it's nice to meet you!! Kankana, such a wonderful guest post and your pictures are beautiful as always. Now I learned about Papri Chaat - I wish to eat it next! :-)

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  6. Thank you Radhika so happy you are enjoying the series. Aren't these girls great coming up with these favorite gems?! Kankana, I left you a longer comment on your site. The honor is entirely mine! Thank you Nelly, isn't the process just as important?!I completely agree. Ahahah An. You are such a good daughter! Nami, nice meeting you too. TY Kankana for the intro. Try it and let us know how they turned out!.

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  7. this looks just like spanish tacos but with a new flavorful twist! i love how savory and delicious each picture gets. as i read the post, every picture makes me hungrier....

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  8. I love the Indian series Shulie. It's a cuisine that I'm fascinated about but rarely have the chance to cook it. Lucky me there are a couple of restaurants when the cravings appear.
    Thank you both for sharing!

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  9. Looks so crunchy and yummy. Thats a great theme and u have a wonderful blog Shulie.

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  10. I love Kankana's wonderful blog! That is one fabulous snack! So colorful and extremely appetozing.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  11. Love Papri chaat and Kankana has done a great job. What a great series!

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  12. I'm just sitting here, drooling! It's one of my favourites too, and done to such perfection. Look at those colours! Loved it, shulie. And heading over to kankana's now to whet my curiosity, and my appetite :)

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  13. My lapie is wet with my uncontrollable saliva :) Shulie..am just loving your series of Indian street foods..and for bringing us close to our roots. Lovely work by Kankana.

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  14. Looks delicious! I love the strong spices in the chutney, and the papri look delicious, in every application. Lovely photos!

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  15. Just gorgeous and so mouthwatering! I want this plate! What fabulous colors and flavors! Beautiful post! And huge congratulations to Shulie for all the fabulous writing gigs! You inspire!

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  16. Those look so good! Bookmarked!

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  17. This looks absolutely amazing. The crunch, the sweet, the spicy ... all in one mouth watering bite.

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  18. this looks soooo yummy! Definitely bookmarking this one!

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  19. Hi Shulie,
    Got to know about your blog from kankana's. Lovely blog with yummy recipes. Glad to find you.
    Kankana, Awesome job with the papri-chaat. Looks delicious and I am sure it tastes delicious too.

    Grishma

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  20. AH i finally know the recipe, should try at some time both you have done a great job teaming together kudos!

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  21. I would love to sit down with a plate of this food!

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