I can’t do justice to the concept of Indian chaats if I start to describe it. To me, chaat is an exciting food that is largely associated with a bunch of flavors – it brings together a whole array of spices, chutneys, gravies, fried snacks and everything else that one can dream about! Some of the chaats can be a little elaborate to prepare and not exactly a really quick dish that you can put together at the last minute. Also, I never count chaats as ‘food’, it is a snack! So I never bother to categorize it into healthy/unhealthy bins in my mind :). However, if I were to try, I would probably say the famous Bhel puri (savory snack of puffed rice and chutneys) minus the boiled potatoes could be a good candidate for a healthy chaat :P.
In this recipe, I am not trying to redefine chaat, I call this a chaat because it makes a lovely evening snack. It has the texture, the flavor and the crunchiness to be a chaat! And one can always add toppings to this base to take it to a whole new level! Oh yeah, I forgot to add that this is a quick 10 minute recipe and almost requires no cooking :D.
- 1 cup parched rice (poha – thick variety)
- 1 medium sized ripe avocado
- 1 medium sized tomato
- 1 medium sized onion
- 1 small cucumber
- 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
- lemon juice from 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder (jeera powder)
- 1/4 tsp coriander powder (dhania powder)
- 1/4 tsp red chilli powder
- pinch of garam masala
- 1 chopped jalapeno (can be substituted with green chillies – but need to adjust to taste)
- 2 tbsp groundnuts
- 1 tsp oil
Preparation Time: 10 min
Cooking Time: 5 min
- Take the poha in a cup/bowl and wash it thoroughly. Drain the water and let the poha stand while you complete the preparations.
- Take a small pan, add 1 tsp oil and let it heat. Once it is hot, add the groundnuts and saute well. Do this on medium heat so that the groundnuts cook well and become crunchy. Once the groundnuts brown and get roasted take them out onto a plate.
- Chop the tomato, onions, cucumber, jalapeno/chillies finely. Also chop the coriander leaves.
- Take a mixing bowl. Cut the avocado in half and scoop the pulp into the mixing bowl. Mash it well with the back of a spoon so that there are no lumps. Add the chopped veggies, all the spices and salt and mix well. By then, the poha should have puffed up and become soft. If it has not, then sprinkle some water and let it stand some more.
- Add the poha, groundnuts and mix everything well. Add in the lime juice and top with the chopped coriander leaves! Serve immediately 🙂