ALOO CHAAT DILLI STYLE
Adapted from “How to Cook Indian” by Sanjeev Kapoor
A tangy potato snack
This recipe will transport you to the capital of India. Delhi, known as “Dilli” in the local dialect, has two sections: Old Delhi and New Delhi. Old Delhi is still the stronghold of eateries that boast the old style of Mughal cooking. New Delhi is replete with contemporary restaurants and street food. This snack, sold on the roadside, is best eaten just after the potatoes are cooked while they’re still crisp.
1-inch piece fresh ginger, julienned
3 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
5/8 teaspoon table salt
3 large (450 grams) potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 quart (800 ml) vegetable oil
1 large (100 grams) red onion, chopped
1/8 teaspoon black salt (most Indian grocers carry it, if you don’t have, leave it out)
1/2 teaspoon chaat masala (spice mix for chaat; store-bought or home-made)
1/2 teaspoon red chile powder
1/4 teaspoon ground roasted cumin
2 green chiles, diced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Put the ginger in a small bowl, add 1 teaspoon of the lemon juice and 1/8 teaspoon of the table salt, and stir well. Set aside in the refrigerator.
Put the potatoes in a bowl and toss with 1/4 teaspoon of the table salt.
Place a nonstick wok over medium heat and add the oil. When small bubbles appear at the bottom of the wok, add the potatoes, a few pieces at a time. Cook, stirring with a slotted spoon, for 5 to 6 minutes or until crisp and golden brown. Remove with the slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
Transfer the potatoes to a large bowl. Add the onion, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon table salt, the black salt, chaat masala, chile powder, cumin, chiles, cilantro, and the remaining 2 teaspoons lemon juice, and stir well.
Transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with the ginger, and serve immediately.
(gorgeous photos of the dish taken by the lovely Soma Rathore)