Contrary to common perception, Indian food is not all rich and oily. There are certain curries that do fit the description but most Indian home–made meals are healthy, balanced, delicious and not so rich especially an Indian thali which has balance of all flavors – sweet, spicy, hot, tangy. A standard Indian thali will have at least one seasonal vegetable, lentil or legume / beans of some kind, yogurt, salad, rice, roti, pickle and chutney, dessert providing you with not just balance of flavors but also a balanced meal comprising all elements of carbs, proteins, fiber, etc.
The recipe that I am sharing with you is one of the healthiest snack. (It can be served as an accompaniment to meal if so desired.) It has probiotic goodness from yogurt, spicy, sweet and sour tamarind chutney, hot and tangy green chutney and high in fiber and low in calories, foxnuts; all clubbed together to experience the amazing Indian street food flavors. Those who are not aware of what a Chaat is, can familiarise themselves here.
Foxnuts are a healthy way to snack and to enjoy your dessert pretty much guilt free. It is much loved by those observing fast during the nine days of Navratri. For this lip smacking dish, you will require the following ingredients but you can adjust the ratios to suit your taste.
1 C Fox Nuts / Phool Makhana
1½ – 2 tsp Ghee or any oil of your choice
1½ C Yogurt (ensure it is not sour)
2 tsp roasted Cumin Powder
2 tsp Chaat Masala (available at Indian stores)
1 tsp Kala Namak (Black Salt), adjust to taste
½ tsp Red Chili Powder
1 tbsp finely chopped, fresh Coriander / Cilantro
2 tbsp Pomegranate Arils
A few Mint leaves for garnish
½ C Tamarind Chutney
3 tbsp Green Chutney
Heat a pan and add ghee. Tip in the fox nuts and toast on high heat for half a minute and then reduce the heat to minimum and toast them for eight to ten minutes (time will depend on the size of the makhana)
Switch off the heat and remove the makhana on to a plate. Set aside to cool.
Whisk the yogurt in a medium sized bowl.
Add and mix in, half a teaspoon roasted cumin powder, half a teaspoon chaat masala, a pinch of red chili powder along with one fourth teaspoon of kala namak. (adjust amount to taste)
Once the makhana is completely cool, add it to the whisked yogurt. Mix well and set aside in the fridge for approximately half an hour to soften the makhana.
Spoon the chaat in individual bowls and sprinkle over some more cumin powder, chaat masala, kala namak and red chili powder.
Drizzle the chaat with tamarind chutney and green chutney.
Finish off with some finely chopped fresh coriander, pom arils and garnish with mint leaves.
Serve – 2 to 3
Note – You can adjust the amount of spices to suit your taste. The amount, given in the post, is a loose amount.
Note – The amount of yogurt can also be adjusted. Feel free to decrease or increase the amount depending on how you like the consistency.
Note – Many people like to add a teaspoon or two of powdered sugar to the yogurt. Feel free to do so, if you desire.
Note – The amount of chutney is also a rough estimate.
Note – Some people like crunchy texture of makhana in their chaat, for those, serve it immediately upon assembly.
Note – The best way to serve the chaat is to keep the bowl of fox nuts mixed into yogurt along with the additives so each person can make the chaat according to their own taste.
Thanks for your visit and see you soon again with another exciting recipe!