Churmur Chaat

Churmur Chaat

Churmur Chaat is a crunchy, crispy, tangy, sweet & savory snack/appetizer that is one of the most popular roadside street food in Kolkata - the boisterous Indian metropolis where I spent my childhood days. I love dishes containing ingredients that compare & contrast, and Churmur Chaat is an epitome of such a dish - it blends the fuzzy softness of boiled potatoes and black grams, the flavors of exotic spices, the sharpness of onion bits, the tang of tamarind chutney, all of these topped with crunchy pieces of crushed Golgappa (hollow spherical balls made of semolina & flour).

The cute rhythmic name, 'Churmur Chaat', derives from 'Churmur' - a melodious word that describes the crunchy sound of one's mouth closing in on the crispy Golgappa pieces, and 'Chaat' is a well-loved category of tangy Indian roadside snacks. In the traditional roadside preparation of Churmur Chaat, the street-vendors prepare this cacophonic mix directly on the 'Dona' (small plate made of dry leaf), expertly mixing the ingredients such that they are tempered into a harmonious, ambrosial mix that would put a 5-star restaurant's appetizer to shame. In a way, Churmur Chaat represents the essence of my native land of India itself - an enthralling potpourri that mystifyingly blends into a singular spectacular entity. Try a bite, & brace yourself to experience a kaleidoscope of zesty, lively flavors :)


Serves : 2 - 3

12 pcs Golgappas (ready-made); See Tips
2 medium-size Potatoes; peeled, boiled & roughly chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped red Onion
2-3 Serrano Green Chillies or as per taste; destemmed & finely chopped
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh Cilantro (Coriander) leaves
1/4 cup Black Gram; soaked overnight (or for 8 hours) & boiled till soft
1 tbsp fresh Lemon juice
1/2 tsp Black Salt
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper (Red Chilli powder) or to taste
1 tsp Chaat Masala
Tamarind Chutney as per taste; optional to be used if you like sweet-tangy taste

For Gram Flour Dumplings (Besan Pakodi); optional
1/4 cup Gram Flour
Salt to taste
1/8 tsp Cayenne Pepper (Red Chilli Powder) or as per taste
Water as required
Oil for deep frying

How to make Churmur Chaat

Preparing Gram Flour Dumplings (Besan Pakodi); optional:
  1. In a small bowl, combine all the dumpling ingredients except water & oil. Add water as required to make a thick batter.
  2. Heat sufficient oil in a wok/pan on medium heat. Scoop some batter with a tea spoon and drop it gently in the oil. Repeat the same procedure with the remaining batter. Deep-fry the dumplings till golden brown in color. Drain on absorbent paper.
  3. In a small bowl, add 1 cup of water & soak the dumplings for 20 minutes. Remove the dumplings & squeeze out the water gently.  Keep aside.

Assembling Churmur Chaat:
  1. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients except Golgappas, dumplings & Tamarind Chutney. Mix well.
  2. Slightly crush the dumplings with your hand. Add dumplings & drizzle Tamarind Chutney over the potato mixture & mix well. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  3. Just before serving, crush golgappas with your hand. Sprinkle them over the potato mixture. Do not mix. Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves. Serve immediately.
All spices & ready-made Golgappa packets are available in any Indian Grocery store.

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