(Last Updated on : 25/07/2012)
Chat is Indian salad; it is usually eaten as a snack or appetizer. There are basically two types of chat: one made with vegetables such as potatoes or arbi, a variety of starchy root; the other made with fruits such as bananas, guava, papaya, apples etc. Its meat, however, is sugar-sweet, and light brown in colour; its texture like an Anjou pear.
Of the many varieties of chat, the most popular are two Aloo Chats, one flavoured with mint and the other with spices. Chat, as a general rule, is eaten cooled never chilled, because chilling dims the fragrances of spices and herbs. Red waxy potatoes are best for making Aloo Chat, because when cooked and while still warm, they retain a tight-grained texture as compared to baking potatoes, which are more porous. When salad dressing is poured over these potatoes, they do not become mushy and fall apart, and they remain firm after being sliced.
The recipe of making this refreshing and tasty snack is very simple and needs a little effort.
Ingredients of Aloo Pudina Chat
6 medium-sized boiling potatoes (red wax potatoes are best)
1 medium cucumber
2 tbsp salt
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp ground roasted cumin seeds
1 tsp ground roasted coriander seeds
¼ tsp each of black and cayenne pepper
½ tsp black salt (optional)
Chopped fresh mint leaves (or substitute 1 tbsp powdered dry mint leaves)
Method of preparing Aloo Pudina Chat
Boil the potatoes and then peel them. While still warm, they are to be cut into small cubes of uniform size.
Peel the cucumber next and cut in half, lengthways. If the seeds look mature and hard, scrap out and discard them.
Then the potatoes and cucumber are put in a ceramic or glass bowl. Add salt with lemon juice and toss briefly to coat all the pieces. Add the remaining ingredients and toss again, carefully, so as not to break the pieces of potato. Cover the bowl and place it in the fridge to cool thoroughly (it should not be chilled). Salt is again to be added to taste and served heaped on lettuce leaves. To perk up flavours, a little ground roasted cumin seed is sprinkled on it.