Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Chickpea Salad on Baked Wonton w/ Tamarind Sauce | Indian Chaat

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!



INGREDIENTS

Chickpea Salad

- 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)

Tamarind Sauce
- 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

INSTRUCTIONS

- 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.

22 comments:

  1. Archana, I absolutely love the use of the wonton wrappers here! You know I love chaat so I have to try this out soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks Nik! I hope you do - its so easy to put together and you already have your Tamarind chutney made last week :)

      Delete
  2. this is just so creative. I will be making this soon.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm a snacker too during the day, and sometimes it turns dangerous. This is just perfect for those snacking days!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. snacking is dangerous! I need to curb the habit a little.

      Delete
  4. scrumptious treat and what a wonderful idea to use baked wonton,loved the recipe and clicks thoroughly :-)

    ReplyDelete
  5. brilliantly done. wonton wrappers are so versatile.. i would never have thought of using it in Indian food. so smart.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks! Try them as samosa wrappers! Its on my list next..

      Delete
  6. I love this Archana! I am a bit of a chaat addict and this is right up my street. Nice photos too by the way!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I LURVE to snack and graze all day too!!! So so mouthwateringly good! Love the chickpea salad! And such a creative use of wonton wrappers!!!
    Thanks for sharing! Hope you have a Happy Long Weekend :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Shashi! Have a great Labor Day weekend!

      Delete
  8. I love Indian food but I have never heard of Chaat! This looks delicious and a great way to use up any extra chickpeas or wonton wrappers you have laying around. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Look it up and hope you get to try it. I'd be curious to know what you think of it!

      Delete
  9. Very unique way of using wonton wrapper, completely original. Love it. This is what is called combining different cuisines and flavors, love it my dear.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Very creative using Wonton wrappers. I really like chaat and the combination of flavours is so unique. But I can't eat it off the street, so this recipe is perfect !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Amelia! Although I envy the fact that you have access to chaat so easily :) these days there are so many nicer places that offer it.

      Delete
  11. Amazing. I am not a snacker but you can totally convert me with this recipe. Looks delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  12. This is so crazy good! Love the idea of using wonton wrappers here. Yum!

    ReplyDelete