Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Five-Layer Sev Puri Dip

Chaat-- that whole family of spicy, sweet, tangy Indian street food- is hard to describe but easy to love. I am going through a sev puri phase of some kind; almost every time we host a gathering or when friends or neighbors stop by, the snack that I am most likely to rustle up for them is a plate of sev puri. It never fails to delight. "What's in this?", folks ask incredulously- and that is precisely the magic of chaat. Chaat dishes have many components- a bit of this and a bit of that- that all add up to more than the sum of the parts.

My version of last-minute sev puri starts with a jar of thick sweet-tangy date and tamarind chutney that I make ahead of time and pull out from the fridge or freezer as needed. So let's take a step back and make the chutney.

I've posted date tamarind chutney before in this post but here's another version, slightly updated. Dates are a staple in my fridge- I usually buy the soft pitted mejdool or deglet varieties. I use them for this chutney, and to make smoothies and fruit-and-nut treats.

Date and Tamarind Chutney

Place 1 cup packed pitted soft dates in a medium saucepan. Add enough water to cover the dates. Add 1 tsp salt, 1/4 cup jaggery and 1/4 cup tamarind concentrate.
Bring to a boil and simmer for 5-10 minutes.
Cool a bit, then place mixture in blender and blend to a smooth paste.
Stir in 1 tsp. cumin-coriander powder and 1/2 tsp. red chilli powder (optional).

I store this mixture in jars in the fridge for several days or in the freezer for 2-3 months. With this chutney ready, a plate of sev puri is only a few minutes away. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing, I shall let you decide ;)

To store the date chutney, I often reuse sturdy screw-top Talenti gelato containers. If certain ice cream thieves come snooping into the freezer late at night and dip a spoon into a frozen pint that says "dark chocolate" on the front, they will find themselves tasting dates and tamarind instead. Mmm :)

Regular(ish) Sev Puri

Sev puri topping can be made a few hours ahead of time. My twist to the traditional toppings is to use another pantry staple- a can of chickpeas in addition to the usual potatoes and onions.

To make the topping, start by boiling 2 medium potatoes (Yukon gold potatoes are the preferred variety in my kitchen).

Mix together 2 peeled and mashed boiled potatoes, a drained can of chickpeas (or 1 cup or two of home-cooked chickpeas), also roughly mashed, 1 small minced onion, a large handful of minced cilantro, salt and red chili powder to taste. This topping mix can be stored in the fridge for a few hours.

When you're ready to serve sev puri...

1. Set out round tortilla chips in a platter. I use tortilla chips because I can access them easily but use regular sev puri puris if you can find them and prefer them.

2. Top each chip with a half tablespoon or so of the topping.

3. Add a dollop of the date and tamarind chutney.

4. Finish with a shower of sev (fried chickpea noodles), sold in Indian stores.

Five-Layer Sev Puri Dip

We hosted a large gathering recently, and it wasn't practical to make platter after platter of sev puris for 25 guests. I remembered Mints' Indian dabeli dip from several years ago and adapted it to make a sev puri dip- same taste as sev puri but a different format to feed a crowd.

I made the date tamarind chutney a few days ahead of time. The day before the party, I sprouted and cooked a couple of cups of moth beans (matki)- other sprouts such as moong would work as well. I also boiled a few potatoes. Then I made the layers as follows in a glass baking dish:


Layer 1: Boiled mashed salted potatoes
Layer 2: Date tamarind chutney
Layer 3: Cooked sprouts
Layer 4: Minced onion and cilantro
Layer 5: Sev (add at the last possible minute to keep it crunchy)

Serve with tortilla chips. This dip was a hit!

I usually don't make the "teekha chutney"- the spicy mint cilantro green chili chutney but it would be a nice addition to this dip, especially if your friends enjoy spicy food.

Do you have any go-to party snacks? Share your ideas in the comments!

25 comments:

  1. This dip is fantastic idea! Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Loved the idea of turning sev puri into a dip - never thought of doing that. Next party is getting this!

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    1. Let me know how it turns out :)

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    2. It was a hit!! I made a giant pan (9X13) and bought some papdi(just because I can here in CA) - but pita chips would have worked or crackers too.

      It will be a go-to not just for me but for others as well.

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    3. YAY! So thrilled to hear that :)

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  3. Sev puri dip is a great idea!

    We make papdi chat a lot for our potlucks. My kids love to eat papdis and namak para plain so I usually have a jar of home-made papdis ready to use. I sometimes add mung vadas (like squeezed out dahi vadas) to the chat. But I'm a bit lazy when it comes to making the date chutney from scratch, though we buy the soft mejdool dates almost every other week from our local farmer's market. I'm inspired by your dates-chutney recipe so am sure to try it real soon.

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    1. Leena- I've never taken the trouble of making homemade papdis and was thrilled to find that good old tortilla chips are a solid substitute. Mung vadas sound great. The date chutney is seriously no trouble to make and you can make a large batch and freeze portions.

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  4. This is a great idea!

    My go-to party snacks are guacamole and chips or hummus with various veggies. Boring I know but, there are never any leftovers.

    -Anu

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    1. Anu- Agreed that guac, hummus and chips are solid got-to snacks- they work every time.

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  5. Yummy, yummy, yummy!!! I am always looking for last minute snack and meal menus for unplanned guests. The hardest part is figuring out what to make with what you have. I will try this soon :)

    Best,
    SS

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    1. SS- Very true, these days I try to stock my kitchen well because last minute meals and snacks are especially in high demand in summer!

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  6. Thats a very nice idea.
    One of my friends recently introduced me to a different kind of sev puri with Tortilla chips as base and Avacado toping. Rest of the date tamarind chutney, onion, cilantro etc still stays like a regular sev puri. I loved it.

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    1. Ketki- I can see how avocado would be a nice addition! A nacho sev puri hybrid :)

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  7. I abso-bloomin-lutely love this idea! Sounds and looks so delicious. I'm in danger of making it and then eating it all before any guests show up. Mine would definitely have the addition of the teekha chutney. And if I could find some diced kairi somewhere to sprinkle over...aaaghh, I need sev puri NOOOOWWW!! *breathes into paper bag*

    One question...do you defrost all of the tamarind chutney even if you need only some of it? Do you refreeze it again after? Or do you scrape some out and defrost that instead of the whole thing?

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    1. Sharmila- Deep breaths, girl :) LOL Yeah I ate the leftovers (wasn't much left) with a spoon. Don't tell anyone.

      What I do is- I move a jar of chutney from freezer to fridge a day before I need it. It stays for days in the fridge so it gets used up. I don't refreeze. I would suggest freezing in smaller quantities (even that ice cube freezing trick would work- know what I mean?) if you don't need a lot at a time. Last minute defrosting in microwave works (low power, small time increments).



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    2. I made it this past weekend. It was sooo good and such a great idea, Nupur! I found frozen green mango at the Indian store. (Score!!) which I chopped up tiny and used, and I made mint-coriander chutney too. Next time I have to think of a way to put the chutney right into it so that the additional adding step is not needed. (it got a little tricky with seven people vying for the two bowls at the same time. Perhaps I should have given everyone individual bowls of chutney). But the whole thing was gone in a flash. It was a good thing I made two batches, because an individual being able to eat this all by themselves is a proper possibility. ASK ME HOW I KNOW!

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  8. I'm on a sev puri and bhel ( Sukhi and un-sukhi , as my son says) phase too.
    I definitely need my 'tee kha' chutney. For the red chutney, I use sriracha. My khatti-Meethi chutney is similar to yours, except I add 'kala Namak/ saindhav). I have never managed to freeze chaat chutney, I end up finishing it. I don't stop till it's all finished!

    I like the dip idea a lot. I make dabeli dip too and for my son's birthday party this year, I made pav bhaji dip. It was a hit.

    Another friend and fellow blogger shared this in fb and I'm going to try it soon, Thalipeeth canapés ( made using the 'appe pan' and filling it with sour cream or yogurt.

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    1. I'd forgotten that there is a spicy red chutney in addition to the spicy green chutney. In my family we seemed to only make the spicy green one. Great idea to use sriracha for the red chutney.

      Dabeli dip and pav bhaji dip would be party hits for sure. Thalipeeth canapes are very innovative too! I love bite size finger foods.

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  9. This is brilliant! I'm definitely doing this for the next party/potluck. How are you Nupur? It's been so long since I left a comment.

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    1. Hi Amruta! Let me know if your friends like it :) I am well- enjoying summer with kids and visiting family members. How are you doing??

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  10. Sounds awesome ! Also please do share entire menu for the 25-person party :-) I am always at a loss for what to cook for large groups!

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    1. Amita- this was a happy hour my husband hosted for his colleagues- not a full meal, just cocktails and snacks. The sev puri was my sole contribution :) Husband managed the rest of the food with crackers and cheese, fruit, olives, dips, nuts etc.

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  11. This is a brilliant idea! Now I'm looking for an excuse to try it out. Thank you so much for sharing this Nupur!

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  12. I am grateful for the talented people at Talenti who not only make amazing gelato but also pack it in those wonderful reusable containers! Sev puri dip is an awesome idea - love it!

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