Bhalla Papdi Chaat

Recipe for Bhalla Papdi Chaat

It is difficult and easy at the same time to explain what Chaat is to someone who has never seen or tasted it before. Although this food originates from the streets of Uttar Pradesh-a state in the north of India, nowadays, it is popular throughout the country. Each state in India has added its embellishments to this food and created its own version of Chaat. But one thing remains common: Chaat is absolutely delicious and mouth-watering and sure to tingle your taste buds. Although many big names have opened restaurants that serve Chaats, nothing can beat the experience of eating Chaat on the streets. By evening, streets are lined up with Chaatwaalas ( Chaat vendors) who sell these delicacies at prices that suit every pocket. People from all sections of society come together and relish these treats together. Chaat is synonymous with street food and represents the street food culture of the country.

So, what is Chaat? Simply put, Chaat is a vegetarian snack made out of fried dough and a couple of chutneys. The taste is sweet, sour, and tangy at the same time. As I mentioned earlier, there are many variations of chaats. Today, I am writing about my favorite, i.e., Bhalla Papdi Chaat.

If you are new to this food, you need to be extra careful in following the instructions to get the right results. If you already know what Chaat is and have tried it before and are just looking for a recipe, I would imagine it would be easy for you to understand.

Below are the 10 Key components of Bhalla Papdi Chaat. Each has to be prepared separately and kept ready. In the end, we assemble everything together.

10 Key ingredients needed for making Bhalla Papdi Chaat:

  1. Bhalla (Recipe given below)
  2. Papdi (Recipe given below)
  3. Yoghurt/curd and spice mix (Recipe given below)
  4. Potatoes – 3/4, boiled, peeled, and cut into small cubes. You can keep them in the fridge till further use.
  5. Black chickpeas-1 cup boiled and strained.
  6. Tamarind Chutney(Recipe given below)
  7. Mint Chutney(Recipe given below)
  8. Black Salt (For sprinkling)
  9. Red Chili Powder-For sprinkling
  10. Cumin Powder-For sprinkling

Recipe for Making Bhalla

These are fried dumplings made from black gram.

Ingredients for making Bhalla:

  1. Urad Dal (Black gram without skin): 1 cup, washed and soaked for 3 hours
  2. Salt: 1 teaspoon
  3. Cumin seeds: 1 teaspoon
  4. Finely Chopped Ginger: 1 tablespoon
  5. Water: Only as much as is needed for making a fine paste
  6. Water: taken in a separate container to soak the fried Bhallas.

Method for making Bhalla:

  1. Grind the lentils, salt, and ginger with minimal water into a fine paste.
  2. Take out and combine with cumin seeds. You can even grind the cumin seeds. Note that your dumplings will become dark if you grind the cumin seeds. If you add cumin seeds after grinding the rest of the ingredients, the dumplings will be light in colour and have a milder flavour.

  3. Whip the mixture with a spoon continuously for 5 minutes.

  4. Take small positions and deep fry them on medium heat. Note that that heat should not be high; otherwise, the Bhallas will become dark brown from the outside and uncooked inside.

  5. Take out the fried Bhallas and put them directly into a water-filled container. Let them soak for 1-2 hours.

Recipe for Making Papdi

Papdi is rolled dough that is fried to a crispy texture.

Ingredients needed for Papdi:

  1. All-purpose Flour: 2 cups
  2. Ghee: 2 tablespoons
  3. Salt: 1 teaspoon
  4. Cumin Seeds: 1 teaspoon
  5. Water: For kneading
  6. Oil: for frying

Method for making Papdi:

  1. First, combine flour, salt, and cumin seeds.

  2. Add ghee and rub it evenly.
  3. Then add water and knead a tight dough.
  4. Rest the dough for about 15 minutes.
  5. Then roll the dough to about the thickness of Roti.
  6. Using a cutter, cut circular shapes. Prick holes with the help of a fork so that the Papdis don’t puff up on frying.

  7. Heat oil. Fry the cut pieces of dough on low to medium flame. (Keeping the flame low to medium is very important. The dough will take time to fry. That’s what we want)

  8. Fry till the Papdis are pale brown. Don’t brown the Papdis, else the taste will change. They will anyway brown a bit after taking out.
  9. Let the Papdis come to room temperature. Then store them in an air-tight container.

Recipe for making Yogurt and spice mix

Ingredients needed for Yogurt and spice mix:

  1. Yoghurt with at least 3.5% Fat: 700 ml
  2. Water: 150 ml
  3. Salt: 1 teaspoon
  4. Sugar: 1 tablespoon
  5. Black Salt: 1/2 teaspoon
  6. Cumin Powder: 1/2 teaspoon

Method for making Yogurt and spice mix:

  1. Whip the yoghurt with water.
  2. Then add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well and keep in the fridge

Recipe for making Tamarind Chutney

Ingredients needed for making Tamarind Chutney:

  1. Tamarind: 2 tablespoons if you are using paste/ Half cup if using tamarind with seeds
  2. Powdered Jaggery: 1- 1.2 cups
  3. Red Chili Powder: 1 teaspoon
  4. Salt: 1/2 teaspoon

Method for making Tamarind Chutney:

  1. Put all the ingredients in a saucepan and cook them on low to medium heat. If you use tamarind paste, add it to the saucepan. If you are using Tamarind pulp, soak it in warm water for about 10 mins. Then squeeze out its juice and add the juice to the saucepan. Discard the seeds.
  2. Turn off when it thickens ( approximately after 20 minutes). Let it cool. After cooking, the chutney will thicken further.
  3. Transfer to a clean and dry jar.

    Tamarind Chutney

Recipe for making Mint Chutney

Ingredients need for Mint Chutney:

  1. Fresh mint leaves: About 20 stems
  2. Fresh Coriander leaves: About 20 stems
  3. Salt: 1/2 teaspoon
  4. Sugar: 1 tablespoon
  5. Lemon Juice: From 1 lemon
  6. Black salt: 1/2 teaspoon
  7. Water: 1/2 cup; Add more if it is too thick

Method for making Mint Chutney:

  1. Combine all the ingredients and Grind everything together.
  2. Add water to loosen it a bit.
  3. Transfer to a clean and dry jar and keep in the fridge till further use.

With all the ingredients ready, we are now ready to plate.

Method for plating Bhalla Papdi Chaat:

  1. Take a serving plate. First, put a couple of Papdis. I put 5-6. Break them roughly.

  2. Then, squeeze the water out of the Bhallas. Lay them on the Papdis. Also, add the potato pieces.

  3. Then cover with a generous serving of yoghurt spice mix.

  4. Then add tamarind and mint chutneys.

  5. Garnish with chickpeas.

  6. Sprinkle some cumin powder, red chilli powder, and black salt.

  7. Serve it immediately.

Check out other recipes from my kitchen here.

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