I love to snack and graze all day - which most healthy eating experts will tell you is just bad for weight management. So when I'm faced with a snack attack - I want to make something that's quick, healthy and most definitely tasty!
With an indian palate, I gravitate towards complex sweet/sour/spicy flavors and Indian Chaat always comes to mind. Chaat is yet another street food found in India - which comprises of various dishes that are a combination of some kind of beans (mung, chana, white chana) with onions, boiled potatoes topped with spicy (green and red chilli) chutneys and sweet (tamarind/dates) chutneys to create the complex flavors.
The healthy factor of these dishes are debateable - my friend always argues with her nutritionist that Chaat contains legumes and salads and is therefore healthy, all the while ignoring elements such as a fried base and sweet (read sugary) sauces. Yeah, my friend argues with her nutrionist!
Not one to compromise on taste, I set out to make a healthier version of this snack and I think I've managed to cut back on the calories quite a bit. The flavors were very satisfying to the tummy and my nostalgic soul.
And I used up the last of my wonton wrappers!
This is a fairly easy recipe - the only work involved is in making the Tamarind Sauce/Chutney - but you could make it ahead and it will refrigerate very well for days. (5-8 days).
|A little thief showed up while I was photographing!|
- 1 can Chickpeas
- 1/2 Red Onion
- 1 Plum Tomato
- handful Cilantro
- 1/2 lime juice
- 1/2 tbsp Chaat Masala (or plain salt/pepper)
- 1/4 cup of raw peeled tamarind
- 1/4 cup Agave Nectar or Honey
- Pinch each of red chilli powder, cumin, coriander
- Wonton Wrappers
- Olive oil
- Preheat oven to 350
- On a baking sheet, place wonton wrappers in a single layer and brush them with olive oil (you could alternately fry them, tastes yummy but it beats the purpose)
- Bake for 6-8 mins - check at 6 mins to see if you have a light brown color. I got the above (overdone) color at 8 mins
- For the salad, chop onion, tomato and cilantro , mix all ingredients and set aside
- For the tamarind chutney - add 1/2 cup of water to the raw tamarind and microwave it in 2 batches of 30 secs.
- Let the tamarind cool a little and then mix the pulp into the water that it was cooked in.
- Strain using a strainer and then add Agave or Honey (or plain old sugar if you dont have either) and the spices.
- Taste it as you add the sweetner, you want the flavor to be sweet and tangy with a spicy undertone from the chillies.
To assemble, top the crispy wontons with salad and drizzle with the chutney.
This recipe would serve very well for a party too - serve it as a "chip and salsa" and let people dig into a bowl of the salad with wonton "chips". You could toss the salad with the tamarind sauce for ease - but do that when you are ready to serve. Dont let the salad sit in the sauce.