Chaat in a Bag
Chaat is a very popular street food in Bangladesh, where the streets are lined with market vendors on tiny stalls that waft big aromas. Chaat is often a combination of crispy fried noodles topped with fresh onions, chillies, coriander and many other delights. It varies from vendor to vendor, so part of the joy is in trying every single one, each different in its own way, with the vendor’s special twist. This is my version, made in the comfort of my home. It is the kind of thing I like to take on a picnic to eat after a long bike ride, or simply serve at a gathering. Best of all, it’s mixed and served in the tortilla packet, so no plates or washing-up needed!
|1||large red onion|
|1||large handful of fresh coriander|
|8||individual bags (approx. 30g each) salted tortilla chips|
|For the mint sauce:|
|1 tsp||garlic powder|
|1 tsp||dried mint|
|2 tbsp||whole milk|
|For the tamarind sauce:|
|4 tsp||tamarind paste|
This recipe really is all about prep. Best of all is that each person makes their own, so that’s all that needs doing and everyone else can do the rest. But that’s also the joy of a snack like this. It’s about digging in!
Depending on where you are eating this, either pop the prepared bits into a lunchbox, ready to go, or into serving bowls ready to eat.
Finely dice the onion and pop it into a bowl. I really don’t like massive chunks of raw onion.
Chop the chillies, and take the seeds out if you like it less spicy. I like to keep the seeds in and again make sure it is chopped up finely. I certainly don’t like massive chunks of chilli in my mouth, unlike my husband!
Pop the peanuts and fried onions into 2 separate bowls. Chop the coriander roughly and place it in another bowl.
For the mint sauce, mix together the mayonnaise, garlic, mint and milk. I like to use a squeezy bottle (an old ketchup bottle, washed, that I re-use all the time) – it just makes it easier to get the sauce into the bag. But if you don’t have one, a bowl is fine.
Do the same with the ketchup and tamarind – mix together and pop them into a bottle or bowl.
Now, to eat these, there is no hard and fast rule. I like doing it in the order listed here, but you can go any which way. To start, crush the tortilla chips while the packets are still sealed. Turn the packets on their side and cut the sides open. Now get involved – sprinkle over the onion, chilli, peanuts, crispy onions, coriander, mint sauce and tamarind sauce.
Use a disposable fork to give it all a mix, go in, and when you’re finished bin the lot! Street food on the sofa.