I still shy away from measuring cups & spoons when making doughs, its something I do with pure impulse & feeling. The moment I start measuring,I start to doubt my dough handling skills. There is no fun left in it anymore. A sort of nervousness takes over.Doing itÂ for years now, I now have a feel of just how grainy the oil moistened flour should feelÂ & can decipher what a difference half a teaspoon here & there can make. At the same time it intimidates me how foolproof this indian way of cooking is. Imperfect yet classy in its own way.
Las Vegas is quite a sob story when it comes toÂ chaat.Â The less I talk aboutÂ what they serveÂ at indian restaurants in here, the better.I made papriÂ chaat last week to salvage our month long cravings.FromÂ halalÂ food stalls in Times Square & food trucks in LA toÂ Toofani chaatÂ corners in Allahabad &Â kathiÂ roll vendors in Delhi, me & P Â share an endless love. Creative, delicious, affordable, addictive, filling ..I fall short of adjectives to describe the street food experience. Its pure joy, a soul satisfying, deep fried haven for us. Whenever I make it at home, I choose to overlook healthy options, its like stealing the soul of chaat – I feel strongly about it.
‘Chaat’ is a generic word used for savory delicacies served at roadside stalls in India.The best part about indian street food is that it can be made to please all tastebuds- you decide how spicy, tangy, salty or hot you want it.Â Papri or PapdiÂ are deep fried,wafer like salted discs which are served with a “to taste” Â assortment of chickpeas or dried peas, hari (green) & imli (tamarind) chutneys,chopped /grated vegetables, powdered spices & yogurt. Its messy, crumbly, tangy, crunchy..oh so good!
Papri/Papdi Â (Yields about 40-50Â papris)
NoteÂ :Â AjwainÂ or Carrom Seeds aid in digestion & add a typical aroma & taste to the dough.
You can skip them if you dont have them & still make theÂ papris.
Assembling a Papri Chaat Platter to Serve 2 :-
In a bowl, mix together the flours,Â ajwainÂ & salt. Start with 2 tbsp of oil Â and start working it into the mixture. Keep on adding oil a teaspoon at a time & working it into the flour till you areÂ justÂ able to form a firm ball of the flour between your fingers.
Next, slowly add the water (1/4 cup to start with) and start kneading the dough. We are looking for a firm dough here (not soft & pliable).Knead the dough on a hard surface for about 3-4 minutes.Do not over knead.When just kneaded,the dough will appear tight & hard but don’t worry, after resting it will be okay.
Transfer the dough to the bowl, cover with a damp cloth & let rest for at least 20 minutes. (do not skip this step)
Divide the rested dough into about 3 equal parts.Â Take one part and roll it into a thin sheet.The sheet should be rolled as thin as a cotton cloth. Once rolled, if you want you can prick the sheet with a fork to prevent puffing while frying. I preferÂ paprisÂ slightly puffed so I do not prick. Use a round cookie cutter or a jar lid to cut into round shapes. Transfer the rounds to a plate & place covered with damp cloth till you are about to fry.Â Gather the remaining dough & repeat rolling & cutting till whole of the dough is exhausted.Â Â Repeat the same for all portions of the dough.
Heat oil in a frying pan on medium heat. The quantity of oil used should be enough to cover theÂ paprisÂ completely while they fry. To check the temperature of oil, pinch a little dough & tip it into the heating oil. The dough should sizzle to the top slowly without changing color. If it sizzles immediately, reduce the heat & let the oil temperature come down.
Tip in the cutÂ paprisÂ into the heated oil, few at a time. Do not overcrowd or stack theÂ paprisÂ in the frying pan. Fry theÂ paprisÂ on medium-low heat until both sides are golden brown (about 3-5 minites).Â PaprisÂ should be fried at medium- low heat else they will become soft after cooling.
Remove brownedÂ paprisÂ with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel to soak up excess oil.Fry all theÂ paprisÂ in batches.
Cool completely & immediately store in an air tight container for up to 4 weeks.
For assemblingÂ chaatÂ Â :-
Layer theÂ paprisÂ in a plate. You can crush them into bite size pieces if you want or make individual servings. Top with boiled chickpeas & potatoes.Drizzle with yogurt,Â chutneysÂ & chopped onions. SprinkleÂ kala namak,Â chaat masala,Â roasted cumin powder & red pepper flakes if using. Top up with chopped cilantro &Â sev. Serve immediately.
Enjoy & Thanks for stopping by.