We talked to food writer, stylist, and home-cook Noreen Wasti about the recipes she grew up learning and loving. For Noreen, food is a way to honor and uphold traditions and preserve her memories of loved ones, and this year that was especially true.
“This year was our first Ramzan without my father. Papri chaat was one of his favorite dishes, and growing up it was always a part of our iftar spreads. We remember and honor him through preparing the foods he cherished most."
While there are hundreds of variations of chaat across South-Asia, Noreen makes the version her father loved best: a papri chaat with layers of chutney, chickpeas, yogurt, and fresh herbs.
Lots of yummy bits go into making this dish, so let’s get started.
Noreen’s Papri Chaat
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp. nigella seeds
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 tbsp. + 1/2 cup neutral oil, divided
Combine flour, cumin seeds, nigella seeds, salt, 2 tbsp. of oil, and 1/3 cup of water in a bowl. Knead until it forms a dough, adding more water if needed. Cover with a damp towel and set aside, 20 minutes.
On a floured surface, roll the dough to around 2 mm. thick.
Use a cookie cutter or glass to cut rounds from the dough (2 in. wide). Set aside on a lightly floured plate. Tear leftover scrap dough into small pieces, set aside.
Heat 1/2 cup of oil over medium heat in your Always Pan. Fry the papris until golden brown and crisp on both sides. Remove from heat and set on a plate lined with paper towels. Fry the remaining dough scraps, set aside.
GREEN CHUTNEY INGREDIENTS
- 1 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 cup mint, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1 serrano pepper, chopped
- Juice from 1 lime
- 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
- 2 tbsp. Full-fat yogurt
GREEN CHUTNEY DIRECTIONS
Blend cilantro, mint, garlic, pepper, lime juice, cumin, and salt. Add water as needed to smooth.
Transfer to a bowl and mix in yogurt, stirring quickly. Set aside.
POTATO & CHICKPEAS INGREDIENTS
- 1 large potato, peeled and cubed
- 1 can chickpeas, drained
- 1/2 tsp. chaat masala
- 1/2 tsp. red chili powder
- Salt to taste
POTATO & CHICKPEAS DIRECTIONS
Steam potatoes in your Always Pan’s nesting steamer basket until tender.
Mix potato and chickpeas in a bowl with chaat masala, chili powder, and salt. Set aside.
- 1 cup of full-fat yogurt
- 1/4 cup of milk
- Pinch of salt
Mix all three ingredients in a bowl until smooth. Set aside.
FOR THE FINAL ASSEMBLY
- Date tamarind chutney
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1-2 serrano peppers, thinly sliced
- Handful or torn cilantro
- Pinch of chaat masala
- Pinch of red chili powder
ON YOUR MAIN PLATE, WORK IN LAYERS AND BUILD UP IN THIS ORDER:
- Potato & chickpea
- Drizzle of yogurt
- Drizzle of green chutney
- Drizzle of date tamarind chutney
- Red onion slices
- Serrano pepper slices
- Torn cilantro
- Sprinkle of chaat masala
- Sprinkle of red chili powder
- Papri scraps, crushed
Repeat until ready to serve!