Potato and dill chaat with tahini, garlic, yoghurt and fermented red onions
The humble spud can be glamorous if you add some spice. Here Sumayya Usmani prepares a potato dish with a Middle Eastern twist
Sometimes I just crave potatoes, in almost any form – though not merely as chips or roasted. Rather, I long for something more textured, spiced or fresher if that is possible. In Asia there is a real love for these starchy friends, served either fried, boiled or baked. Many street snacks and side dishes feature potatoes.
One such favourite of mine has always been in the use of potatoes in “chaat” a South Asian street snack, served either warm or cold, with layers of spice, fresh herbs, spices and crunchy “sev”: a chickpea-based, fried vermicelli.
This recipe is great as a salad. I add a little Middle Eastern flavour with tahini, yoghurt and fermented onions. It’s also lovely served warm with soup and bread.
Serves: 2-4 Cooking time 30-40 minutes
½ red onion, thinly sliced 2 tbsp red wine vinegar ½ tsp sugar 1 pinch salt 150g full-fat Greek yoghurt ½ clove garlic Salt to taste ½ tsp freshly dry-roasted cumin seeds, ground by hand ¼ tsp smoked paprika 2 tbsp tahini 1 tbsp chopped dill 2 large Maris Piper potatoes, peeled, cut into ½-inch squares, boiled until cooked 1 tin chickpeas, drained Handful of sev Handful of chopped coriander leaves 1 sliced red chilli
1. Start by fermenting the red onions. Place the thinly-sliced onions in a nonmetallic bowl, add red wine vinegar, a pinch of salt and sugar and toss. Keep aside but stir every few minutes until the onions turn bright pink.
2. In another bowl, mix the yoghurt, tahini, paprika, salt, dill, cumin and add half a garlic clove (to add a hint of garlic flavouring, remove later when mixing together).
3. Now, add the boiled potatoes, chickpeas and all the spiced yoghurt together and mix. Top with chopped coriander, crushed sev, red chilli, and fermented red onions. Serve at room temperature.
Red onions and garlic are integral to this dish