"I would never go to Delhi without visiting Sunder Nagar market to eat a plate of this famous street food. The hawker tosses crispy papri into a dried banana leaf plate, tops with potatoes and chickpeas, and almost throws the yoghurt on and – lastly – the chutneys. All the while, I watch, mesmerised; there is something so relaxing about those deft, repetitive moves.
It is hard to understand how such humble ingredients create such a spectacular mouthful, delivering so many flavours and textures. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t gravitate to this dish. I make it often, and you can buy both the papri and the tamarind chutney, so there is little work involved. This is mostly a lunch or teatime snack for us, though we also make it when friends come over. You can also make more elegant bites using pani puri, the spherical papri, and stuff them as on page 48." ~ Anjum Anand.
15–20 large 7.5 cm (3 in) papri (fried pastry discs)
1 waxy potato, boiled, peeled and cut into 2cm (3/4in) cubes
2 handfuls of cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed if canned
250–300 g (1–11/4 cups) plain yoghurt, ideally full-fat
1/2 tsp chaat masala
3/4 tsp roast and ground cumin seeds
Pinch of chilli powder (optional)
Good pinch of sugar
Good pinch of salt
3–4 Tbs tamarind chutney
3–4 Tbs Tangy Herb Chutney
2 Tbs finely chopped red onions
Large handful of sev (small crispy vermicelli), if you can find it
Handful of pomegranate seeds, to serve (optional)
For a traditional plating, place the papri, slightly overlapping, on a platter. Scatter over the potato and chickpeas.
Whisk the yoghurt with the spices, sugar and salt. Spoon evenly over the discs and then spoon over both chutneys (normally they are just spooned over but you can try drizzling them over in lines, or even feathering them with a toothpick).
Scatter over the onions, sev and pomegranate seeds, if using. For finger food-type bites, serve individually, with all the bits crowning each papri. Serve immediately.
Credits: This is an edited extract from I Love India by Anjum Anand (published by Hardie Grant Books RRP $39.99 and is available in stores nationally.
Photo Credits: Photographer: ©Martin Poole