Chana Chaat is a spicy, tangy and sweet South Asian street food snack. It's healthy, filling and of course mind-blowingly delicious. Made with sweetened yogurt, basic spices, imli and mint chutney, it is also wholly vegetarian.
I live for Pakistani street food. I might be biased (of course) but I find it the best. The spicy, tangy flavours are totally up my alley.
This Chana Chaat is another highly loved item from the streets and also becomes a staple in many households in the month of Ramadan.
What Is Chana Chaat
Chana Chaat is a a popular street food snack in Pakistan and India. It is a spicy and tangy chickpea salad made with tamarind dip, mint sauce, sweetened yogurt, basic South Asian spices, onion, tomato, mint, coriander and a snack of small, crunchy noodles called sev.
This chaat is assembled in multiple layers.
- Chickpeas Mixture - A mixture of boiled chickpeas, diced tomatoes, onions, mint, coriander with basic spices is prepared.
- Imli Chutney - A sour dip made with tamarind is used to add tanginess to the chaat. The classic recipe of making this chutney can be found in the recipe card below. An alternative, easier way which I have used in this Chana Chaat is to mix tamarind concentrate with water, some sugar and cumin powder. The sauce is darker but tastes the same.
- Mint Chutney - A sauce of fresh mint, coriander, green chilies and lemon juice is made to add a zesty flavour.
- Sweetened Yogurt - You can use plain or Greek yogurt and just whisk it with some water and sugar. This sweetened yogurt balances the spice and tartness of the other chutneys.
- Garnishes - Top the chaat with sev (deep-fried gram flour noodles) or papri (deep-fried flour crispies) for crunch, sprinkle chaat masala for some spice and add some extra diced onions, tomatoes, mint and coriander for colour.
How To Make Chana Chaat
- Prepare the mint chutney, imli chutney and sweetened yogurt according to the instructions in the recipe card below. Keep aside.
- Mix boiled chickpeas with diced tomatoes, onions, mint, coriander, chaat masala, cumin powder, salt and red chili powder. Set aside.
- Put aside the garnishes including sev, diced tomato, onion, mint, coriander and chaat masala.
- Start assembling! In a bowl pour the sweetened yogurt, the chickpeas, drizzle some more sweetened yogurt, imli chutney, mint chutney, garnish with some more diced tomato, onion, mint, coriander and finally sprinkle some sev and chaat masala.
- Aloo Chana Chaat - You can also add boiled aloo (potato) to the chickpeas mixture and have the Aloo Chana Chaat.
- Add Pomegranate - Garnish with some pomegranate arils for a pop of colour and juicy bursts of flavour.
- Replace Sev with Papri - Another popular alternative to the sev is papri (or papdi) which are South Asian deep-fried flour crispies.
Many people like having chana chaat without the yogurt and chutneys. That way is definitely more fuss-free and quicker. All you have to do is to combine everything with the boiled chickpeas. Add in the diced tomato, onion, mint, coriander, boiled potato (optional) and the spices. Put to cool in the refrigerator and enjoy cold.
For parties serve the chaat in individual bowls. I have used a stem glass above but you can use mini bowls too or even disposable clear appetizer cups. Not only do they look prettier in presentation but in larger gatherings all the layers of the chaat get all mixed up. The single serving method keeps the layers and textures intact.
And this is the standard way of serving Chana Chaat. Take a big bowl and add everything to it. You can also repeat the different layers if you want. Add the bowl to your lunch, dinner or snack table and enjoy with your family.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can prepare the chickpea mixture and the chutneys beforehand. The chutneys can last upto 10 days. The chickpeas will last around 2 days. On the day of serving, just assemble all the layers and serve.
It is a good idea to consume the chaat the same day if it has been assembled. It will lose its texture and get watery if kept long after combining everything.
Definitely you can! I have used canned chickpeas in this recipe. They save you the hassle of boiling them.
Watch How To Make It
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Chana Chaat with Yogurt
- 250 g chickpeas boiled
- 1 small tomato diced
- 1 small onion diced
- 3 tablespoon fresh coriander chopped
- 3 tablespoon fresh mint chopped
- 1 teaspoon chaat masala plus extra for sprinkling
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ teaspoon red chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- ½ cup (200g) yogurt whisked
- 2-3 tablespoon white sugar
- ¼ cup water
- ½ cup fresh mint
- ¼ cup fresh coriander
- 1 green chili small
- pinch salt
- ¼ teaspoon cumin roasted and crushed
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 100 g tamarind preferably seedless
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup jaggery
- ½ teaspoon red chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon black salt
- ½ teaspoon ginger powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin roasted and crushed
- In a small blender add all the ingredients of the Mint Chutney and blend till smooth. Keep aside.
- Boil the water and turn off heat. Put the tamarind in it, along with the rest of the ingredients and cover for 15-20 minutes. When the tamarind separates and is soft blend everything together into a smooth chutney. If your tamarind has seeds remove those first before blending.
- Mix the yogurt, water and sugar. Keep aside.
- In the boiled chickpeas add onion, tomato, mint, coriander, chaat masala, cumin powder, salt and red chili powder. Mix well and put aside.
- Take a big bowl (or individual jars for party serving).
- Add some yogurt sparingly to the bottom of your serving bowl, put the chickpeas mixture, pour some more yogurt, drizzle the mint and imli chutney.
- Garnish with diced onions, tomatoes, mint, coriander and sev (or papri).
- Sprinkle some chaat masala and serve immediately.
- An alternative, quicker way of making Imli Chutney is to mix 1 tablespoon imli concentrate with ¼ cup water, 2 teaspoon brown sugar and ½ teaspoon cumin powder.