As regular readers will know, I love Indian food. The warming spices, the intricate flavours, the simplicity of cooking, the endless possibilities…
For me, it all adds up to food heaven.
However, until recently, I had never created or even tasted Chaat, an Indian street food created typically (but not always) with chickpeas.
I’m not sure why I’d never tried this before, because it’s my idea of the perfect dish! Especially for a hot, summery day where you want a lighter meal, but also want to feel full and satisfied.
Chaat usually contains all kinds of textures and flavours (think sweet, sour, umami and spicy), and so ticks every box going. In fact, it’s even got the royal seal of approval – it was originally thought to have been created in the royal kitchen of emperor Shah Jahan.
However, there’s no standard chaat recipe (it simply translates as “savoury snack”), and there are all sorts of pairings and flavourings you can try.
Anyway, at least I have tried it now – this Cauliflower & Chickpea Chaat is now one of my favourite meals, and is perfect rainbow food! In fact, perhaps thanks to the sweetness of the pomegranates and mango, which cut through and lift those spices, it’s also a huge hit with the kids, too.
I love this colourful dish, even more so because it is such an easy meal to prepare. Apart from the roasted cauliflower (which can be omitted if you want to really speed things up), making this is simply a case of tossing together all ingredients in a bowl. It couldn’t get any easier…!
To add even more depth of flavour to this dish – and to also make it even more of a meal – I served it with a light, refreshing mint and cucumber raita, made vegan and dairy-free through the use of coconut yoghurt.
However, again, you can completely leave this out if you want to keep things simple and quick. It’s not an essential, it just adds to the taste!
All in all, this is the perfect summer’s dish to serve up to any vegans or vegetarians you have visiting. It’s also ideal for Meat-Free Monday meals, or for creating as a side for BBQs and parties!
Cauliflower & Chickpea Chaat With Pomegranate & Mango
- Serves 2-4
- One medium head cauliflower, broken into florets
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp paprika
- Salt and pepper
- For the chaat –
- One 400g tin chickpeas, drained
- One ripe mango, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
- Handful fresh coriander, finely chopped
- 1/2 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 spring onions, chopped
- 1 green chilli, de-seeded and chopped (optional)
- Handful toasted almonds, chopped
- 2 tsp chaat masala spice (I made my own using this recipe)
- Juice 1/2 lime
- For the mint raita / yoghurt –
- 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup coconut yoghurt (I used Co-Yo)
- 1/2 cucumber, grated and squeezed to remove water
- Handful fresh mint, finely chopped
- Sea salt, to taste
- Start by preheating your oven to 220C to roast your cauliflower. Toss the cauliflower florets with the oil, spices and salt and pepper in a large bowl. Arrange on a lined baking tray, then place in the oven to bake until tender and browned – around 18 to 20 minutes – turning half-way through cooking. Set aside to cool completely.
- To make your mint yoghurt, simply stir together all ingredients, then place back in the fridge until ready to use.
- Make your chaat by tossing together the cauliflower with the remaining ingredients, seasoning to taste if needed.
- Serve in bowls with spoonfuls of mint yoghurt and eat immediately.