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Papdi Chaat

Papdi Chaat 1

If you’re not familiar with papdi chaat, I’d like to put it forth as the ideal snack food, and one of my hands-down favourite things to eat. Chaat is a blanket term used to describe a wide range of snacky, savoury Indian street foods, and papdi (or papri) are the crisp fried crackers used as a base for (or served alongside) diced potatoes and chickpeas tossed with chaat masala (a spice blend customized specifically for this purpose, which you can make yourself or buy pre-mixed), minced onion, fresh mint-cilantro chutney, and a drizzle of sweet-tart tamarind chutney and cool spiced yogurt. Papdi chaat is everything you want in a snack—salty, sweet, sour, tangy, crunchy, spicy and soft. Layers of interesting colours, flavours and textures. It’s all served in one bowl, and you can eat it with your fingers.

Papdi chaat ingredients with text

It’s typically something I order at a restaurant, or have had friends make for me, but I’ve been meaning to give it a go myself for years, and I’m glad I finally did.


You can start with store-bough papdi, and often they’re made with a simple wheat dough, rolled thin and fried. I referred to the latest from Noorbanu Nimji, to see what she had to say on the subject, and she recommended cutting flour tortillas into short, wide strips and frying them until crisp in a thin pool of canola oil. This worked beautifully, and the tortillas puffed somewhat in the middle, like the best papdi. Sev are crunchy fried bits, made with extruded chickpea batter, which can be bought by the bag, like chips, in most grocery stores. Bombay mix works well here too, with its interesting spicy assortment of crispy fried bits – sometimes puffed rice or spiced peas, fried lentils and peanuts.

Papdi Chaat 3

The ingredient list might look daunting, but once you have the hang of it—and the ingredients on hand in your fridge or pantry—it’s quick to assemble. Serve it quick, so the papdi don’t soften, and eat it all with your fingers. It’s OK to use canned chickpeas here, but if you ever simmer dried chickpeas, which results in a slightly more toothsome texture, this is the perfect use for them.

Papdi Chaat

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October 28, 2018



2-3 flour tortillas

canola oil


Mint-coriander chutney:

a big handful of fresh mint leaves

a big handful of fresh coriander (cilantro)

1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped

juice of half a lemon

Potato and chickpeas:

1 large potato, diced

1 Tbsp butter or ghee

1/2 cup chickpeas, drained

2-3 tsp chaat masala

a squeeze of lime juice (optional)


1/2 cup plain yogurt

1 tsp chaat masala

1 small garlic clove, finely grated (optional)

Everything else:

1/2 cup Sev or Bombay mix

1/4 cup finely chopped purple onion

1 plum tomato, finely chopped (optional)

fresh cilantro (optional)

tamarind chutney


1To make the papdi, cut the flour tortillas into 1x2-inch pieces. Heat about half an inch of oil in a skillet set over medium-high heat and cook the tortilla pieces until deep golden. Transfer with tongs to a paper towel-lined plate as they cook, and shower with salt.

2?To make the mint-coriander chutney, blend the mint, coriander, jalapeño, lemon juice and a pinch of salt in a blender or food processor until well blended, scraping down the side of the bowl.

3Boil the potato in a small saucepan just until tender; drain and toss with butter while it’s still warm. Toss with the chickpeas, chaat masala, and a squeeze of lime, if you like. Sprinkle with salt. Mix the yogurt, chaat masala, garlic and a pinch of salt.

4To assemble, spread the papdi out on a platter or individual plates and pile on the potatoes and chickpeas, sev or Bombay mix, onion, tomato and cilantro, drop over a few small spoonfuls of the mint-coriander chutney and drizzle with the yogurt and tamarind chutney. Serve immediately.


About Julie

6 comments on “Papdi Chaat

  1. carol s-b
    October 29, 2018 at 8:51 am

    oh, I was hoping you’d post this process/ recipe here!
    Thanks, Julie. I do love Papri Chat!
    …now I can invite my friends over by saying, “Hey, let’s Chat”!

  2. esme
    October 29, 2018 at 8:07 pm

    Oh Julie! This looks so delicious. I am going to give this a try. Thanks for breaking it down. I probably wouldn’t have tried this if you hadn’t given it the “Julie” treatment. THANK YOU!

  3. theyahtzee
    October 31, 2018 at 10:52 pm

    This is so nice and delicious! I am also going to try this at My kitchen.

  4. Linda
    November 15, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    Looks delicious! . Thanks for sharing

  5. Laura Di Lembo
    July 11, 2019 at 6:34 pm

    YES to this as a summer salad! Love the cool, the crisp, the spicy, the soft, the herby, the sour, all doing a dance in your mouth. I found a crisp Indian cracker called Chat Papdi at Walmart in the Indian foods section that is wonderful in this dish. Saves you the trouble of frying up your own thingies.

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