This dish is inspired by aloo chaat, an Indian street-food that has many regional variations, all of which are not for the fainthearted because they are loaded with sweet and sour and a fair bit of crunch. This is a slightly tamer version, though still pretty “noisy,” both in flavor and looks. It’s absolutely perfect for a weekend lunch, alongside other vegetables, such as eggplant with herbs and crispy garlic or radish and cucumber salad with chipotle peanuts. You can also serve it as a side with roasted lamb or chicken.
Chaat masala is the slightly tangy spice mix that gives this dish its distinctive flavor. It gets its sharpness from amchoor, dried mango powder, which is used widely in Indian cooking as a souring agent. You’d recognize the flavor from samosas and pakoras, where it is often used.
Both the cilantro chutney and the tamarind dressing are great condiments to have on hand to brighten up sandwiches and wraps, to spoon over eggs, or to serve alongside tofu or fish. Double or triple them, if you like—the chutney will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week and the tamarind dressing for up to 2 weeks.
- Preheat the oven to 450°F/220°C fan. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Put the potatoes and 2 tsp salt into a medium saucepan and top with enough cold water to cover by about 1½ inches/4cm. Place on medium-high heat, bring to a boil, then simmer for 6 minutes, or until the potatoes are almost cooked through but still retain a bite. Drain through a sieve and pat dry, then transfer to the prepared baking sheet and toss with the olive oil, chaat masala, turmeric, ¼ tsp salt, and a good grind of pepper. Roast, stirring once or twice, for 35 minutes, or until deeply golden.
- For the chutney: Meanwhile, in the bowl of a small food processor, combine the cilantro, chopped chile, lime juice, olive oil, and salt and blitz until smooth. Set aside.
- For the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the tamarind paste, sugar, chaat masala, and water and set aside.
- Spread the yogurt on a large round serving platter. Top with the chutney, swirling it through without completely incorporating. Drizzle with half the dressing and top with the potatoes, onion, and sliced chile. Drizzle with the remaining dressing, then sprinkle with the coriander seeds and nigella seeds and serve at once.
Reprinted with permission from Ottolenghi Flavor by Yotam Ottolenghi and Ixta Belfrage copyright © 2020. Photographs copyright © 2020 by Jonathan Lovekin, except page 211 © Louise Hagger. Illustrations copyright © 2020 by Nishant Choksi. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.