Papdi Chaat

published Mar 6, 2023
Papdi Chaat Recipe

A South Asian street snack with boiled potato, chickpeas, and a range of different chutneys, all sprinkled with a chaat masala spice blend.

Serves4

Makesabout 28 papdi

Prep1 hour 25 minutes

Cook30 minutes

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Overhead photo of Papdi Chaat on a ceramic plate in natural light
Credit: Asha Loupy

Chaat — derived from the Hindi word chaatna, which translates as “to lick” or “to taste” — is a popular category of street food found in stalls, carts, and food malls across South Asia. It is characterized by an array of flavors and textures: salty, sour, sweet, tangy, creamy, crispy, and crunchy. Papdi chaat, also known as papri chaat, is one of the most beloved forms of chaat across India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan, as well as the South Asian diaspora. 

What Is Papdi Chaat?

Papdi chaat varies from country to country, from region to region, and even between food stalls. Despite any differences, the base of every version starts with a layer of papdi — fried cracker-like rounds often flavored with ajwain (carom) seeds. From there, it’s topped with fluffy boiled potatoes, tender chickpeas, or a mix of the two, which are seasoned with chaat masala, an umami-rich spice blend that gets its signature funky tang from amchur (green mango powder) and black salt (aka kala namak).

Credit: Asha Loupy

What Is Papdi Made Out Of?

Papdi is made from all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, salt, ajwain (carom) seeds, canola oil, and water. The ingredients are mixed together to form a dough, which is rolled out into thin rounds, then fried until crispy and golden-brown. 

Papdi Chaat Toppings

It wouldn’t be chaat without a bevy of toppings! This combination of flavors and textures goes down easy with a piping-hot cup of chai or an ice-cold beer. 

  • Fluffy potatoes and tender chickpeas seasoned with chaat masala, a savory spice blend. 
  • Plain full-fat yogurt adds a cooling, creamy element. 
  • Spicy green chutney is a bright blend of fresh cilantro, mint, serrano peppers, and lime juice. 
  • Tamarind date chutney is flavored with jaggery (or light brown sugar), Kashmiri chili powder, cumin seeds, and lime. Make sure to buy tamarind concentrate and not tamarind pulp, which contains seeds.
  • Crunchy sev are fried chickpea noodles. 
  • Red onion, pomegranate seeds, and cilantro add crisp, fresh flavor. 

Papdi Chaat Recipe

A South Asian street snack with boiled potato, chickpeas, and a range of different chutneys, all sprinkled with a chaat masala spice blend.

Prep time 1 hour 25 minutes

Cook time 30 minutes

Makes about 28 papdi

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

For the papdi:

  • 3/4 cup

    all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 cup

    whole wheat flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    ajwain (carom) seeds

  • 2 cup

    plus 2 teaspoons canola oil

  • 3 to 5 tablespoons

    room temperature water

For the tamarind-date chutney:

  • 4

    dried Medjool dates

  • 3 tablespoons

    jaggery or packed light brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons

    tamarind concentrate

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    Kashmiri chili powder, such as Diaspora

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    cumin seeds

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt, plus more as needed

  • 1/2

    medium lime

For the green chutney:

  • 1 medium bunch

    fresh cilantro

  • 1 medium bunch

    fresh mint

  • 1 to 2

    serrano peppers

  • 2

    medium limes

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

For assembly:

  • 1 cup

    plain full-fat yogurt

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt, divided, plus more as needed

  • 1

    small red onion

  • 1 (about 15-ounce) can

    chickpeas

  • 1 cup

    boiled, cubed (about 1/2-inch) russet or Yukon Gold potato

  • 2 teaspoons

    chaat masala, such as Diaspora, plus more as needed

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    Kashmiri chili powder, such as Diaspora

  • 1/2 cup

    pomegranate arils (optional)

  • About 1/2 cup

    store-bought nylon sev

  • Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish

Instructions

Make the papdi dough:

  1. Place 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup whole wheat flour, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon ajwain seeds in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Add 2 teaspoons of the canola oil and rub the oil into the dry ingredients with your fingers until it looks like fine sand.

  2. Add 3 tablespoons of the room temperature water and mix together with your hands until a shaggy dough starts to form. If the dough looks too dry, add more water 1 tablespoon at a time until it just comes together (this will be a very stiff dough). Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead until it forms a smooth ball, 3 to 5 minutes. Press into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and let rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile, make the chutneys.

Make the tamarind-date chutney:

  1. Pit 4 Medjool dates and place in a small saucepan. Add 3 tablespoons jaggery or packed light brown sugar, 2 tablespoons tamarind concentrate, 1/2 teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder, 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved and the dates have plumped a little.

  2. Remove from the heat, transfer to a blender, and let cool for 5 minutes. Juice 1/2 medium lime until you have 1 teaspoon lime juice, add to blender, and blend until smooth. Taste and season with more kosher salt as needed. Transfer the chutney to a small bowl and rinse out the blender.

Make the green chutney:

  1. Prepare the following, adding each to the blender as you complete it: Coarsely chop the leaves and tender stems of 1 medium bunch cilantro until you have 1 1/2 cups. Pick the leaves from 1 medium bunch fresh mint until you have 1 cup. Trim and coarsely chop 1 or 2 serrano peppers. Juice 2 medium limes until you have 3 tablespoons.

  2. Add 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt and blend until smooth. If the mixture is too thick, blend in 1 tablespoon water at a time until it reaches a thick, spoonable texture. Transfer to a small bowl. If not using right away, press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the chutney to slow oxidation.

Form and fry the papdi:

  1. Divide the papdi dough into 3 pieces (about 2 1/3 ounces each) and cover 2 of the pieces with plastic wrap. Roll the remaining piece of dough out into a very thin round about 7-inches wide or 2 millimeters thick. Cut as many rounds as possible out of the dough with a 2 1/2-inch round cutter (7 to 8). Transfer the rounds to a baking sheet in a single layer, reserving the scraps.

  2. Repeat rolling and cutting out the remaining 2 pieces of dough. Combine and press the scraps into a single piece of dough and let rest for a few minutes, then repeat the rolling and cutting process once more. Prick each dough round 3 to 4 times with a fork to help create small bubbles when frying rather than having the whole disk puff up like a puri.

  3. Heat the remaining 2 cups canola oil in a Dutch oven or large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat to 375°F. Meanwhile, fit a wire rack onto a second baking sheet or line the baking sheet with paper towels.

  4. Fry 7 dough rounds per batch: Gently drop into the hot oil and fry, flipping halfway through, until golden-brown, 90 seconds to 2 minutes total. Using a slotted spoon or mesh spider, transfer the papdi to the second baking sheet.

Assemble the papdi chaat:

  1. Place 1 cup plain yogurt, 1/4 teaspoon of the kosher salt, and 1 to 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl and whisk until it is a loose, spoonable texture. Peel and dice 1 small red onion.

  2. Drain and rinse 1 (about 15-ounce) can chickpeas, then pat dry with a kitchen towel or paper towels. Transfer to a large bowl. Add 1 cup boiled, cubed potatoes, 2 teaspoons chaat masala, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/2 teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Mix until evenly combined. Taste and season with more chaat masala and kosher salt as needed.

  3. When ready to serve, divide the papdi between 4 plates to make 4 portions. Top each portion with some of the whisked yogurt and a couple generous spoonfuls of both the tamarind date and green chutneys. Divide 1/2 cup pomegranate arils between the 4 portions if using, and garnish with the onion, about 1/2 cup nylon sev, and fresh cilantro leaves.

Recipe Notes

Potato cooking: An easy way to cook the potatoes is to place 1 cup peeled and cubed (1/2-inch) potatoes in a small microwave-safe bowl. Add enough water to cover by about 1/2-inch, cover, and microwave until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain, spread in a single layer on a plate, and refrigerate until cooled.

Ingredient notes:

  • Store-bought nylon sev can be bought at your local South Asian supermarket or online.
  • Tamarind concentrate can be purchased at Whole Foods, South Asian supermarkets, or online. Do not purchase tamarind pulp, which contains seeds.
  • If you are not making papdi/papri from scratch, these can be purchased pre-made at your local South Asian supermarket as well.

Make ahead: The papdi can be fried, cooled, and stored in an airtight container up to 3 days ahead.

Storage: Leftover chutney can be refrigerated in airtight containers for up to 5 days, but the color on the green chutney will dull.