Aloo Chaat is a popular Indian snack food.
Have you ever sped through reading an email without really catching all the details? Skimming by emails doesn’t always work and I did that this week.
It was an email with the details for a friend’s Hallowe’en party tonight. I missed the part about “don’t forget to bring a devilishly delicious appetizer”! Every good party needs good food so how could I have missed that very important detail?
Realizing I couldn’t show up empty handed with the lame excuse I didn’t read the email properly, this morning I did a last minute Google search on “Hallowe’en appetizers.” Of course lots of good stuff came up—witches’ cheese straw fingers, blood-shot olive eyeballs and icky intestines…
These appetizers take time, thought, extraordinary props and even some level of skill. Send me inspiration!
In high school drama class I acted in Shakespeare’s MacBeth as one of the three witches. Recalling my lines from the play, I tried drawing inspiration for something devlish yet delicious.
“Double, double toil and trouble,
fire burn, and caldron bubble.
Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the caldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg, and owlet’s wing,—
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.*
“Hell-broth boil”, yes! Soups are easy to prepare and don’t require too much finessing, right? Wrong, not an appetizer so back to the drawing board.
I decided I’ll go with a popular Indian snack food served by street vendors in major cities all over India, known as Chaat, a Hindi term for a ‘small tasting’ of a savoury snack. There are many ways to prepare Chaat, but I’m going the ’easy’ route making Aloo Chaat (aloo means potatoes).
Chaat - Hallowe'en style!
Aloo Chaat is made by layering potatoes, chick peas, different chutneys, onions, cilantro topped with lentil noodles (Sev).
Rather than serving this in a bowl I’m going to create a graveyard scene. Certainly not the classic preparation of this dish, but it’s a fun one!
Hallowe’en ‘Graveyard’ Aloo Chaat
1 cup chick peas, cooked
3 large potatoes, peeled (I like to use Russets)
1 tsp. salt
½ onion, chopped
½ cup cilantro, chopped
1 tsp. Arvinda’s Garam Masala
1 tbsp. oil
1 tsp. Arvinda’s Curry Masala
1 pkg. Sev (fried lentil noodles)
¼ cup tamarind chutney
¼ cup cilantro and mint chutney
¼ cup yogurt, stirred
1 tsp. chilli powder
Method: In a pot, boil potatoes with salt until fully cooked. Drain and set aside to cool.
In a medium bowl, mix together oil and Arvinda’s Curry Masala. Toss in chick peas and coat well. Set aside.
In a black plate, spread out sev so that it is at least 1” deep.
Cut cooled potatoes into shapes of tombstones. You may make inscriptions if you have a steady hand. Set potato tombstones into the sev layer. Sprinkle with Arvinda’s Garam Masala.
Just before serving, sprinkle in chick peas, onions and cilantro. Drizzle layers of tamarind chutney, cilantro and mint chutney and yogurt. Dust with chilli powder.
Not too bad for a last-ditch effort? Now all I need is a costume!
Have a spooky weekend!
A teaspoon of: Airborne Toxic Event. Listening to: Sometime Around Midnight.
*(Shakespeare, William. MacBeth, Act 4, Scene 1).
Read Full Post »