A Recipe for Papdi Chaat

Bhalla Papdi Chaat
Brandon Rosenblum/Getty Images
  • 35 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: Varies (up to 4 servings)
Ratings (29)

Crunchy, tangy, hot, and sweet flavors combine to make Papdi Chaat delicious to eat as a snack or a great alternative to a meal. Also known as papri chaat or Paapri Chaat, it is a popular fast food served in northern India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. "Papri" refers to the wafers, and the word "chaat" is used for several snacks and fast food meals. In Hindi, "Chaat" means "to lick."

What You'll Need

  • 1 cup (250 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons ghee
  • 1 teaspoon onion seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • Vegetable, canola or sunflower cooking oil to deep fry
  • 5 large potatoes (boiled, peeled and chopped into tiny pieces)
  • 1 cup chickpeas (boiled and coarsely mashed; sprinkle with salt to taste)
  • 2 red (Spanish) onions (very finely chopped)
  • 2 large tomatoes (very finely chopped)
  • 2 cups fine sev (gram flour vermicelli)
  • 2 teaspoons red chili powder
  • 3 teaspoons powdered black rock salt
  • 2 tablespoons cumin seeds (gently roasted and powdered)
  • 1/4 cup fresh coriander leaves (finely chopped, for garnish)
  • 2 cups fresh yogurt (whisked till smooth and chilled)
  • 1 cup tamarind chutney
  • 1 cup mint-coriander chutney

How to Make It

  1. Mix the flour, ghee, onion seeds, and salt to taste and mix well. Add just a little water at a time and knead to get a firm, smooth dough. Cover it with a damp cloth and allow it to rest for 20 minutes.
  2. After the dough has rested, divide it into equal-sized balls. Roll the dough balls between your palms till smooth.
  3. Lightly flour a clean rolling surface and press one ball flat. Roll the dough balls out into a circle (1/4 inch thick) using a rolling pin. Use the circular cookie cutter to cut smaller circles out on the large circle. Remove extra dough from sides of smaller circles. Keep them on a lightly floured tray or plate for later frying (they will become the Papdis). Repeat till all the dough is used up.
  1. Heat oil for deep frying in a deep pan on a medium flame. When it is hot, add the Papdis a few at a time and fry till they are crisp and pale golden.
  2. Drain and keep the cooked dough on paper towels. Repeat until all Papdis are made. They can be stored for a few weeks if kept in an airtight container.
  3. To serve, first set up all ingredients -- Papdis, toppings, and chutneys -- within easy reach. Dip five to six Papdis per person into the yogurt. Then arrange on a plate. 
  4. Put a little potato, chickpeas, onion, and tomato on each Papdi. When all are done in this way, drizzle a teaspoonful each of tamarind chutney and mint-coriander chutney on each Papdi.
  5. Sprinkle a handful of sev all over the Papdis in the plate. Sprinkle red chili powder, cumin powder, and black rock salt and garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve as soon as possible or the Papdis will get soggy.

Note: The number of papdis this recipes yields will depend on how thickly you cut them.