Recipe: Claire Thomson’s Aloo Chaat Salad

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Try to get hold of chaat masala spice blend (readily available in all good Indian grocery stores, and online), as it will make all the difference. Chaat is a common Indian blend of amchoor (sour mango powder), cumin, coriander, dried ginger, black pepper, asafoetida and chilli. Mixed with the cooked potatoes, lemon, tomatoes, onion and fresh coriander (cilantro), this is a sharp, punchy jumble of a salad. Adding a decent handful of Bombay mix or salted peanuts offers good crunch. A slick of plain yogurt on top is excellent, too.

  • 400g (14oz) waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 x 400g (14oz) can of chickpeas (garbanzos), drained and rinsed
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 200g (7oz) cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • big bunch of coriander (cilantro), roughly chopped
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons chaat masala (use garam masala and extra lemon juice if you can’t find chaat)
  • chilli flakes or 1 finely chopped red or green chilli, to taste
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • good handful of Bombay mix, sev or salted peanuts (optional)
  • 50g (1¾oz) plain yogurt (optional)

Cook the potatoes in plenty of salted boiling water for about 8-12 minutes, until tender. Drain well and allow to cool. In a bowl, mix together the cooked potatoes, chickpeas (garbanzos), onion, tomatoes and coriander (cilantro). Add the lemon juice, chaat, and chilli (dried or fresh) to taste, and then season with salt and pepper. The salad should be quite highly seasoned. Top with the Bombay mix, or peanuts, if using, and finally with the yogurt.

Claire’s book, New Kitchen Basics, is published by Quadrille, RRP £25

Discover what happened when Claire Thomson went back to her African roots with her daughters

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