Recipe: Bhavnagri Chilly Chaat

If you’re a fan of Rajasthani street-food, Maharaj Bhanwar Singh‘s Bhavnagri Chilly Chaat is right up your street.

Its sweet, savoury, spicy and tangy flavours will make your tastebuds sing :).

Great for tea-time, it can be had for breakfast too.

Bhavnagri Chilly Chaat

Serves: 3-4

Ingredients

  • 6 Bhavnagri chillies, slit lengthwise till the stem, keeping the chilly still intact (not in two pieces) and de-seeded
  • Oil for deep frying

For the stuffing masala

  • 1 cup boiled, peeled and mashed potatoes
  • ½ tsp red chilly powder
  • ½ tsp dhania or coriander powder
  • ½ tsp roasted jeera or cumin powder
  • ¼ tsp garam masala powder
  • 3-4 tsp oil for frying up the stuffing
  • Salt to taste, about ¾ to 1 tsp

For the batter 

  • 1 cup besan or gram/chickpea flour
  • ¼ haldi or turmeric powder
  • ¼ tsp Eno fruit salts or baking soda
  • ¼ tsp ajwain or carom seeds
  • ¼ tsp red chilly power
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Water to make a thin batter to coat the chillies

To serve

  • ¼ tsp chaat masala
  • ¼ tsp red chilly powder
  • 1 cup whisked yoghurt
  • Salt to taste, about ½ tsp
  • A handful nylon sev
  • 2-3 tbsp chopped dhania or green coriander or cilantro
  • 1 tbsp boiled small brown channa or chickpeas
  • 1 tbsp boiled peas
  • Green chutney
  • Imli or tamarind chutney

Method

  • Heat the 2-3 tsp oil in a frying pan or kadhai over medium heat.
    Add the red chilly powder and garam masala.
    Add the coriander powder, jeera powder.
    Mix in the mashed potatoes.
    Add the salt.
    Mix well and fry for 3-4 minutes.
    Take off heat and keep aside to cool.
  • Stuff the long green chillies with this mixture — depending on size, about 3-4 tsp potato mixture per chilly but pack it tight.
    Keep aside.

For the batter

  • In a bowl, mix together the besan, turmeric powder, salt, fruit salts, ajwain, red chilly powder.
    Add enough water to the besan mixture, so when whisked you have a smooth batter of pouring consistency.
  • Heat the oil for deep frying, over high heat, in a kadhai.
    Dip the stuffed chillies in the besan mixture and deep-fry in the hot oil till golden brown.
    Drain onto a tissue or paper towel-lined plate.

To serve

  • Cut the fried chillies into 1-inch slices, and place them on a large plate or on multiple plates — 3-4 small plates.
    Pour the yoghurt over the stuffed and fried chillies.
    Sprinkle the channa, peas, green coriander, chaat masala and the red chilly powder.
    Add a few tsp of imli chutney and green chutney each.
    Sprinkle sev and serve while the mirchis are still crisp.

Editor’s Note: For a less-carbs snack or a Jain snack, opt for 1 cup peeled, boiled, mashed green bananas or 1 cup grated cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes. Bananas or cauliflower might be slighty harder to stuff into the chillies, so add a dash of maida or all-purpose flour or arrowroot, after you fry the stuffing and if required a tiny bit of water to get a comparable consistency stuffing.

For veganised Mirchi Vada Chaat, use vegan yoghurt instead of regular yoghurt.

To spice up the stuffing a little more, consider adding a little finely chopped onions, grated ginger, chopped green dhania and frying it in ghee instead of oil before stuffing into the chillies.

Make your own green chutney at home using the chutney recipe here.

Make your own imli chutney at home using Chef Pankaj Bhadouria‘s recipe for Sweet Tamarind and Jaggery Chutney.

Maharaj Bhanwar Singh is the corporate chef at Khandani Rajdhani, a chain of restaurants serving Rajasthani and Gujarati thalis.

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