The lane in which I shop for vegetables is chock-a-block with temptations. At the start of the lane is a fellow who stocks exotic vegetables and always tries to lure me into buying some. And am I seriously tempted! Then comes this gentleman who make some of the nicest and butteriest dabeli in town. Yup, one has to skip around him and resolutely resist temptation. At the other end of the lane is this most delightful fellow who has some of the best Pani Puri, Dahi Puri, and Samosa Chaat in the world. Here I stop religiously once a week for my teekha Pani Puri.
Between all these temptations is this old Kaaka who makes some divine Chatpata Kala Chana Chaat. He has been around for more years that I can count and is the strong-and-silent type who is constantly mixing his boiling chana in a large kadhai. What I love about his chaat is that he makes it just right without overpowering it with too many masalas. All he adds to it is tomato, onion, chaat masala, red chilli powder, and some coriander. In summers he may toss in a bit of raw mango, but that is about it. Whether you get green or black chana depends on his mood, but either way it is simply delicious.
I love Chatpata Kala Chana Chaat because it is filling, healthy, spicy, and tangy. I could in fact eat bowls of it all day long. I made some at home yesterday as an evening snack and here is the recipe for this wonderful snack.
How to Make Kala Chana Chaat
- 1 Cup Kala Chana
- 1 Large Onion
- 1 Large Tomato
- 1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
- 1 tsp Chaat Masala Substitute: 1/2 tsp Garam Masala + 1/2 tsp Amchur Powder/1 tsp Lemon Juice
- Fresh Coriander - To Garnish
- Salt to Taste (Use Black Salt, if possible)
- Soak the kala chana in 2 cups of water for 6 to 8 hours.
- Pressure cook the kala chana for 3-4 whistles till it is just cooked.
- Drain all the water.
- Set aside.
- Peel and chop the onion to small pieces.
- Chop the tomato to small pieces.
- Mix together the boiled kala chana, chaat masala, red chilli powder, onion, and tomato pieces.
- Garnish with chopped coriander.
You could also add finely chopped green chillies to make it more spicy.
In summer, add some finely chopped raw mango.