Dahi Chana Chaat is tangy and delicious chaat dish from Karachi. It is a Ramadan special dish people make for iftar.
It is slightly different from the regular chaat we find on the streets. The significant difference is chickpeas as the base, which is extremely rare in a chaat. Eliminating the meethi chutney, the chaat is equivalent to a potato chickpea salad. However, the chaats and salads differ entirely. Not only in their taste but in purpose also.
Why Make this Chaat?
Dahi chana chaat is a quick-to-make recipe and refreshing. But there is more reason to make this chaat.
- It is popular street food.
- Quite different from what regular chaats we eat.
- It has a burst of sweet, tangy, and spicy flavours.
- Everyone is going to love it.
- This chaat is packed with protein.
- It is a hassle-free and less fussy dish.
- Great to include in your iftar menu.
- It is also a pretty customisable recipe.
- It is a less spicy version. But the ingredients are adjustable.
Chole Chaat vs Chana Chaat
People interchanges or confuses both of the chaats. It is understandable as they are both made with chickpeas. However, there are significant differences between them both.
Chole chaat is a whole lot of spicier than a regular chana chaat. Chole chaat is cooked with all the spices after we boil them. So it is more like cooked chole without the gravy; just a dry dish. Whereas chana chaat is just boiled, all the ingredients are added.
Chana chaat consists of minimal spices and is mild in flavours compared to the chole chaat. Apart from this, both contains boiled potato pieces and chopped vegetables. Dahi chana chaat is a step further with the inclusion of papadi an dahi.
Variations To Dahi Chana Chaat
Chaat recipes are rarely definite. Hence, as we mentioned before, you can adjust and customise the ingredients as much as you desire to suit your taste preference.
So the first thing we can adjust is substituting the chickpeas with other options. Even if it more or less takes away the USP of this chaat, you can still try that. Use simple brown chickpeas instead, like in Bangladeshi chana chaat. It is popularly known as aloo Kabuli.
Or you can use sprouted chickpeas as well. Some people use canned chickpeas. You don’t need to boil them if you are doing as well. Just rinse and drain them one or put them to use directly.
Cooking boiled chickpeas is also an option similar to the chole chaat with the same ingredients as the recipe. But instead of cooking them with oil, we will be cooking them in boiling water instead.
Add the chickpeas and potatoes and all the spices and tamarind chutney to the water. Next, we will add 2-3 tbsp of some cornflour water to thicken it. Then, please remove it from the flame and let it cool. Now you can layer the chaat with the remaining ingredients.
What More To Add To This Chaat?
This dahi chana chaat is filling and wholesome in itself. But you can make it more fun by adding a few more ingredients if you want.
Sev or Aloo Bhujia
Sev is generally used as a garnish or for crunch in chaats like sukhi bhel and papdi chaat. You can use this too. Or use aloo bhujia instead. The latter will be more tangy and flavorful. If you want, you can use other similar fried snacks as well.
We are also using beaten curd. That can be substituted with Greek yoghurt as well. Or you can beat this curd after adding either salt or sugar. Doing so will give a salty or sweetened version of the curd.
This ingredient is also quite commonly included in street chats, so that you can add this. The seeds will add to the crunch and fruity flavour. Moreover, they enhance the look of the chaat two folds.
Chaat vendors use more chopped vegetables than what we are using. So you can do that too. Finely chopped cucumber, beetroot, carrot, etc., are nutritious options to add. And if you are making this during summer, then make sure to add chopped raw mangoes to it.
We have used just salt and coriander powder in this recipe. But generally, chaats have a lot more spices than that. You can add multiple spices like chaat masala, dry mango powder, red chilli powder or flakes, a pinch of garam masala, black salt, and even roasted cumins. The choice is yours.
TR’s Extra Shots
- Pre-Prep – Prepare the chutney and curd along with chopping the vegetables beforehand. Also, boil the chickpeas and potatoes, then store them. It will make it easier to assemble everything and serve the chaat fresh.
- Serving – If you have chilled the curd, remove it before ten minutes of serving. It can be cold but not super chilled.
- Boiling – When boiling chickpeas, add a little salt to them.
- Chillies – To make it spicier, add chopped green chillies. On the contrary, add red chilli powder if you want to make it colourful and not spicy. Black Pepper powder is also good to add.
- Cooking – Using a pressure cooker for cooking chickpeas is faster. But if you are using a pot or pan, it’s better to soak the chickpeas overnight. The cooking time can take 30-45 minutes.
- Canned Chickpeas – Sometimes, they may need to be boiled before use. Boil them in 2.5 or 3 cups of water. It’ll be enough.
Some other chaat recipes: