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

The Herald on Sunday - Sunday Herald Life - - Food And Drink -

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

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