On Thursday I posted a recipe for a simple tamarind chutney. Here now is a recipe that it plays a central role in. You can make the chutney while the components of this one cook and it’s very easy to pull the final dish together. This has all the flavours of chaat—I put the word in quotes because it’s not a classic chaat; you might just as easily think of it as a chickpea-potato salad with Indian flavours. It will feed two as a main dish and 4-6 as a first course or snack. As always, I use Rancho Gordo garbanzo beans which require no soaking, cook incredibly quickly anyway and have a wonderful sweet taste and great texture. If you’re using chickpeas from some other source you will have to adjust the cooking time to their reality; if you are using canned chickpeas please don’t tell me about it.
- 2 cups cooked Rancho Gordo garbanzo beans
- 1/2 tspn turmeric powder
- 1 lb waxy yellow potatoes, boiled, peeled and cubed
- 10-12 tblspns tamarind chutney
- 1 small red onion, chopped
- 1-2 Thai chillies, minced
- 1/4 cup cilantro, minced
- 2 tblsns fresh mint leaves, minced
- Juice of half a lime
- Salt to taste
- Rinse a packet of Rancho Gordo garbanzo beans, place in a pot with the turmeric and enough water to cover by a few inches and bring to a boil. Then cover and simmer on medium-low heat till done (about 2 hours, probably). Salt the beans half an hour or so before they’re done. Drain 2 cups of cooked beans and save the rest for another use (or scale the recipe up).
- While the chickpeas are cooking first make the tamarind chutney and then boil the potatoes and prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- Place the diced potatoes in a large platter, sprinkle the onions, chillies and mint over, add the lime juice and salt to taste and mix thoroughly.
- Now add the drained garbanzo beans and mix thoroughly.
- Add the tamarind chutney a bit at a time, mixing it in and tasting as you go.
- Once you have the tamarind chutney to your liking add the cilantro and give it a quick stir.
- Serve with additional tamarind chutney and lime.
- You could, if you wanted, dice and fry the potatoes rather than boil them. The crispier texture is nice but it’s also nice to have no oil whatsoever in the recipe.
- Some might say that you should make a mint chutney to add along with the tamarind chutney. I prefer to use minced mint leaves instead.
- You could also add a pinch of coarsely ground roasted cumin seeds over the top at the end.
- You could also swirl in a few tablespoons of beaten yogurt at the end (and another tablespoon of the tamarind chutney over the yogurt).
- The tamarind chutney is essential—it’s also very easy to make (just go out and buy a block of tamarind from an Asian store).