For the Hindu festival of colors, Babaria shared a popular Indian street food that she said is perfect for spring "to cool you off and bring some color to your plate."
"It is a flavor explosion of sweet-salty-spicy-sweet in every bite. With the burst of flavors, papri – the fried wheat crackers, provide the crunch for fun texture," she said. "Most of the ingredients in the recipe are easily available at your local South Asian grocery store."
Papri – You can either pick up these fried wheat crackers at a local South Asian store or make your own. Take a tortilla or a pita, cut them into squares, and fry them.
Cilantro-Mint Chutney – You can grab these frozen and in a jar at a South Asian store. To make it fresh – blend together a packed cup of cilantro, a packed cup of mint leaves, an inch of ginger, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 serrano chili, cumin seeds, and salt to taste. Add a tablespoon of lemon juice once blended.
Tamarind Chutney – This sweet and tangy chutney is easily available frozen and in a jar at a local South Asian store. To make at home – blend together a ½ cup of tamarind paste, ¼ cup of sugar, a teaspoon of red chili powder, a teaspoon of cumin powder, and a teaspoon of ginger powder.
Add salt to taste and adjust the tangy-sweet balance to your taste.
Yogurt sauce – This sauce, although sounds very easy, can make or break this recipe. Make sure your yogurt is not sour. Whisk together 1 of yogurt with 3 tablespoon of water. If you are using Greek yogurt, you will need more water. Add water little by little to ensure you get the right "sauce" consistency. Add to this ½ teaspoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon of sugar. Whisk again until salt and sugar have dissolved and you have a smooth sauce consistency.
20 – 25: Papris
1/4 cup: Cilantro – mint chutney
1/4 cup: Tamarind Chutney
1/3 cup: Yogurt sauce
1 teaspoon: Chaat masala
1 teaspoon: Red Chili Powder (Optional)
2 tablespoon: Finely chopped red onions
3 tablespoon: Finely chopped boiled potato
3 tablespoon: Chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
To garnish: Pomegranate seeds
Once you have all the ingredients ready, making papri chat is all about the assembly. This is a very forgiving and flexible recipe that you can tweak according to your liking.
Step 1: On a plate arrange the papris like how you would arrange tortilla chips for nachos
Step 2: Pour the yogurt sauce over the papris
Step 3: Sprinkle boiled potatoes and onions
Step 4: Drizzle cilantro-mint chutney and tamarind chutney
Step 5: Sprinkle chaat masala and red chili powder (if you like spicy)
Step 6: Garnish with pomegranate seeds
"There you have it, your flavor explosion papri chaat. It will transport you to the streets of India without having to get on a plane," Babaria said.