Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mexican Chaat!

Who can say no to delicious Indian Chaat? Smothered between tamarind and coriander-mint chutney, yogurt and usually stuffed with potato and chickpeas mixture and then loaded with other bunch of spices - Indian Chaat is the most popular street food. It is kind of addictive too. You know it's not healthy and hygienic, but you just cannot resist them.

And when you do not have luxury to live in your home country, you become adapt in ways you haven't imagined. I make Chaat very often and mostly completely from scratch, but still I do not have satisfaction of having the very same dish on the streets of India. Lately I wanted to try something different based on Chaat and I came up with this Mexican Chaat idea. It was not much of an experiment though since I use almost all ingredients in salad except sour cream.

I literally replaced essential Chaat ingredients with their Mexican counterparts. Like,
Chickpeas = Beans
Potato = Pepper + Corn
Chutney = Taco sauce
Yogurt = Sour cream with taco seasoning

Ideally we need Tortilla Scoops as base but as this was my last minute idea, I worked with Toastada Shells.

Makes 8 Tostada or 25-30 tortilla scoops
Preparation Time: 15 minute + soaking time
Cooking Time: 15 Minute

1/2 cup red kidney bean
1/4 cup onion, diced
1/4 cup cherry tomato, cut in halves
1/4 cup corn kernels
1/4 cup mixed pepper, diced
1/4 cup taco sauce
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 tsp taco seasoning
1/2 cup Mexican blend cheese
1/2 tsp lime/lemon juice
8 Tostada shells or tortilla scoops
Salt and Pepper

For Garnishing,
Coriander leaves,
Scallions, finely chopped

1. Soak beans for 6-8 hours and pressure cook them with salt
2. Add salt and taco seasoning to sour cream and whisk thoroughly
3. If using toastada shells, bake them as per instructions till become crispy
4. Mix diced onions, peppers and corn and season them with salt, pepper and lime juice

How to serve,
1. Take a scoop or a shell, spread layers of beans, veggie mixture, sour cream, taco sauce and cheese
2. Top with cherry tomatoes and garnish with coriander leaves and scallions
3. Serve immediately

See, now Chaat can be healthy too and I'm sure kids who say BIG NO to salad will literally hog this :).