Friday, June 12, 2015

Bengali Chana Chaat

This is another food item the memory of which takes me back to the time when we used to have this Chaat in the K.S.A. These Bengali hawkers used to sell this type of Chana Chaat (Chickepeas Chaat) from their makeshift carts that upon visiting this famous market called Hiraaj was a must to have. In 1 SAR, in a disposable plastic bowl, the hawker would put a ladle full of Chaat and then topped it with some finely chopped onions, coriander/cilantro leaves, green chilies if you've asked for them and then a squeeze of lemon and there you go, the light hunger pangs would be satisfied till you have a big weekend dinner that mostly consisted of Al-Baik (a famous local fried chicken chain) Ah, those were the days! Later some of the hawkers tried to enhance the flavor of this delicious snack by sprinkling some puffed up rice on top and the addition of this crunchiness really made it more tasty.

After moving back to the country a few years back, one of the things I really missed about Jeddah, K.S.A was this Bengali Chana Chaat. Last year during Ramadan, I decided to recreate it by keeping in mind the flavor, texture and the look of the Chaat I remembered and somewhat succeeded in achieving the same results. I looked online for the recipe of it but to my surprise, didn't find anything, maybe they call it by a specific name in their language but still, my experiment was able to satisfy my craving for that Bangali Chaat. I'd like to share the recipe with you all who really miss eating that Chaat which is certainly a part of my fond childhood memories :) and those of you who hasn't ever tasted it, will definitely get an idea that how lovely this moreish snack is :)   

Lets get some memories unleashed today! :D

Bengali Chana Chaat


Boiled chickpeas: 2 cups
Tomato: 1 medium sized (chopped)
Onion: 2 medium sized (chopped)
Oil: 1 tbsp.
Salt: 1 tsp.
Red Chili Powder: 1/2 tsp.
Coriander Powder: 1/4 tsp.
Cumin Seeds: 1 tsp.
Turmeric powder: 1 tsp (this will give it that good vibrant color and a lovely taste)
Chaat Masala: 1/2 tsp (optional)
Coriander/Cilantro leaves: 1/4 cup (chopped)
Mint leaves: 1/4 cup (chopped) (optional)
Green Chilies: 1,2 (chopped)
Lemon: for garnishing (Cut into halves or wedges)
Rice Puffs and some extra chopped onions: for serving.


  1. In a pressure cooker (or a regular pot) heat the oil and crackle the cumin seeds in it.
  2. Add half of the chopped onions and saute for 30 secs.
  3. Add water (add extra if cooking in a regular pot) and all the spices except for the Chaat Masala (if using)
  4. Close the cooker's lid and wait for it to whistle for 5 mins (or tightly cover a regular pot with its lid and cook for 15 mins on low heat)
  5. Uncover the cooker, you should have soft onions mixture by now. Mash it well with the help of the spoon until it turns in to a smooth paste like consistency. (cook longer in the regular pot to get the desired consistency)
  6. Add boiled chickpeas to onion mixture and mix well. 
  7. Switch off the flame and let the Chaat cool down a bit before giving the final touches to it. 
  8. After it's cooled down, add the remaining ingredients but save some greens for the garnishing. 
  9. Take out into the serving dish, garnish and serve warm or at room temperature along with the rice puffs, chopped onions and lemon halves/wedges. Enjoy!
Serves 4-6

That's all people! :) The spice level can always be adjusted according to your taste buds. I hope you enjoy making and eating it. Until next time, keep sharing the goodness of this greatest blessing, that has been bestowed in abundance upon us the lucky ones, with the less fortunate ones.
Thank you and please this Ramadan do remember everyone esp. The Ummah-e-Muslimeen (Muslim Nation) in your Du'as/prayers including me :)

Jazak'Allah Khair(May Allah reward you)

*Not be duplicated, rewritten or published without permission- Thank you!