Chana Chaat is a staple part of Pakistani cooking, this easy version is perfectly balanced - tangy, crunchy, and satisfying. It also comes together so quick! A must try for your next tea party and Ramadan spread!
I am not entirely sure if Chana Chaat is more in the category of party food, Ramadan food, or street food. Either way it's in the category of easy to make, easy to eat, and healthy food. Winning category, no?
Psst this is a cold mix and serve version, if you are looking for warm Aloo Cholay they are right here. Also fellow chaat lovers don't forget to check out my Samosa Chaat, Mixed Plate Chaat, and Bun Kabab!
Let's Talk Chickpeas
All chickpeas are not created equal. Okay, maybe they are, but as I discussed before in this Murgh Cholay post, all of them are not well suited to Pakistani or Indian food. We commonly get two varieties of chickpeas - Kabuli which are bigger and often a little lighter, and the desi variety.
The desi variety of chickpeas is smaller, with a thinner skin, and a shorter cooking time. This makes it ideal for a recipe like this because it really soaks up the flavour. However, I personally think they are both delicious!
What goes in a Chana Chaat
Some convenient pantry friendly things my friends.
The 'body' of the chaat is made of:
- canned chickpeas (bonus points for softening them extra!)
- diced boiled potatoes
- diced onions
- mint leaves
- green chilies
- tamarind paste
The spices and flavourings are:
- red chili flakes
- red chili powder
- chaat masala
- roasted cumin powder
- salt (if needed)
- a little bonus masala for scattering over (optional)
How do I fancy it up?
Aah my friends the possibilities are delightfully endless. Here are some ideas
- serve it in individual cups, top with a dollop of yoghurt, a sprinkling of extra masala (in the recipe card) or a little cilantro and sev
- same mix as above, but in phyllo cups
- use it to create a "chaat bar" - place your separate components in individual bowls and let people create their own mix. Bonus points for adding a sweetened yoghurt like the one in my mixed plate chaat, store-bought chutneys and some crunchy toppings like sev and papri.
How do I make Imli Paste:
I like to make it in large batches when I know I will be needing it soon or when I can freeze some for later. Take a 400 g chunk of tamarind, break into pieces, and soak it in 4 cups of boiling hot water. When it's cold enough to hold rub the pieces to loosen the imli, it'll make a thick paste. Run the mixture through a sieve to yield 3 cups of Imli paste. If you want to see a visual for how look here.
More Street Food Ideas:
Want to make a Chaat Party of it? Kindly invite me. Thanks. Oh and make any combination of these dishes below
- Bun Kabab
- Chicken Paratha Roll
- Mixed Plate Chaat
- Dahi Baray
- Imli ki Chutney
- Cheese Samosas
- Kalay Chanay
Made this Chana Chaat? Rate it below and leave a comment! Tag me on Instagram with your recreations @flourandspiceblog - Happy cooking!
Chana Chaat (Easy)
- 2 540 ml Cans of Chickpeas
- 2 Boiled potatoes, diced (boil with a little salt and turmeric)
- ½-3/4 cup Diced Onion
- 1-2 Diced Tomatoes
- 2-3 Minced Green Chilies
- 4 Mint Leaves, chopped
- ½ cup Chopped Cilantro Leaves
- ⅓-1/2 cup Tamarind Paste (I like ½ cup!)
- 2 tbsp Chaat Masala
- 1 tsp Roasted Cumin Powder (can use regular)
- ½-3/4 tsp Red Chili Powder
- ½ tsp Red Chili Flakes
- 1 tbsp sugar
- Salt (if needed)
Bonus Masala for Sprinkling (Optional)
- 1 tbsp roasted coriander powder
- 1 tbsp roasted cumin powder
- a pinch of ajwain
- a pinch of chilli flakes
- A drizzle of thinned out yoghurt
- Drain and rinse your chickpeas. If they are not soft then add them to a pot with boiling water and simmer for 5-6 miutes or until softened and drain. Tip: Your chickpeas will seem harder when they cool.
- Mix all the remaining ingredients together - I like to add tomatoes last. taste and adjust for seasoning.
- You can make chana chaat ahead of time, but if making it a day ahead then mix in the onions and tomatoes before serving, upto a few hours before is fine.
- Sprinkle with the optional masala and any toppings you desire and serve.
- Chickpeas are often salted already plus chaat masala is salty, which is why I add salt only when adjusting seasonings
- I suggest not adding onions in a day in advance because they tend to become acrid as they sit