In this wonderfully cooling and tasty Indian snack, yogurt is spiced with cumin and salt (black salt is especially nice for those who can find it) and served with potatoes, chickpeas, and either one or two chutneys. Crisp flatbreads, known as puris, serve as the foundation. (Look for puris in the dry goods aisle of Indian stores.) To make this recipe easier, you may purchase the chutneys. Otherwise, follow my recipes for homemade tamarind-date chutney and cilantro chutney.
Note: Sev are thin, crispy noodles made of chickpea flour. Look for them near the puris.
Serves 6 as an appetizer
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
½ cup cooked potato or sweet potato, cut into ½ inch cubes
2 cups yogurt, preferably not Greek
1½ teaspoons kosher salt (or black salt)
2 teaspoons roasted ground cumin, divided (see Tip below)
About 30 flat crispy puris or puffed puris (see head note)
¼ cup purchased or homemade tamarind-date chutney
1/4 cup purchased or homemade cilantro chutney, optional
¼ teaspoon chili powder
¼ cup sev (optional) (see head note)
A sprinkling of finely chopped cilantro
In a medium bowl, lightly mash together the chickpeas and cooked potato. Set aside.
Whisk the yogurt and salt in a medium bowl. If the yogurt is very thick, add a couple of teaspoons of water to achieve a pourable (but not watery) consistency. Stir in 1 teaspoon of the cumin.
Lay the puris flat side-by-side on a platter. Top each puri with a tablespoon of the potato/chickpea filling and drizzle with a bit of the yogurt.
Top each puri with a teaspoon of the tamarind-date chutney and the cilantro chutney (if using). Sprinkle lightly with chili powder, the remaining ground cumin (you may not use it all), and sev noodles, if using.
Garnish with cilantro, and serve immediately.
Tip: To roast cumin seeds, heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add whole cumin seeds and toast lightly until their fragrance releases. Transfer to a plate immediately so they don't burn. When cool, grind in a spice grinder.
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Recipe, Words + Photograph by Shefaly Ravula