Delhi papri chaat

Delhi papri chaat

I Love India
Martin Poole

I would never go to Delhi without visiting Sunder Nagar market to eat a plate of this famous streetfood. The hawker tosses crispy papri into a dried banana leaf plate, tops with potatoes and chickpeas, and almost throws the yogurt on and – lastly – the chutneys. All the while, I watch, mesmerized; there is something so relaxing about those deft, repetitive moves.

It is hard to understand how such humble ingredients create such a spectacular mouthful, delivering so many flavours and textures. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t gravitate to this dish. I make it often, and you can buy both the papri and the tamarind chutney, so there is little work involved. This is mostly a lunch or teatime snack for us, though we also make it when friends come over. You can also make more elegant bites using pani puri, the spherical papri, and stuff them.


Quantity Ingredient
15-20 large 7.5cm papri, (fried pastry discs)
1 waxy potato, boiled, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes
2 handfuls cooked chickpeas, rinsed if canned
250-300g plain yogurt, ideally full-fat
1/2 teaspoon chaat masala
3/4 teaspoon roast and ground cumin seeds, see recipe note
pinch chilli powder, (optional)
good pinch sugar
good pinch salt
3-4 tablespoons see method for ingredients, (bought, or for homemade)
3-4 tablespoons * tangy herb chutney [rid:37469]
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onions
large handful sev, (small crispy vermicelli), if you can find it
handful pomegranate seeds, to serve, (optional)


  1. For a traditional plating, place the papri, slightly overlapping, on a platter. Scatter over the potato and chickpeas.
  2. Whisk the yogurt with the spices, sugar and salt. Spoon evenly over the discs and then spoon over both chutneys (normally they are just spooned over but you can try drizzling them over in lines, or even feathering them with a toothpick).
  3. Scatter over the onions, sev and pomegranate seeds, if using. For fingerfood-type bites, serve individually, with all the bits crowning each papri. Serve immediately.

Roast and ground cumin seeds

  • Place the cumin seeds in a small dry frying pan over a medium heat and stir just until they turn a shade darker and smell aromatic. Remove and grind to a powder in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder.
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