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.

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


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)


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.