Healthy Indian Chaat : Chole Tikki {Vegan, Vegetarian }

Healthy Indian Chaat : Chole Tikki {Vegan, Vegetarian }
September 19, 2016 megsri8
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Healthy Fast Food Blog Carnival

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Today I have created this recipe after being inspired by my lovely new Instagram friend Janine. She has a wonderful account on Instagram called @nutsandblueberries where she shares recipes and stories of her idyllic life in Germany. She has started a Blog Carnival with the theme of Healthy Fast Food, with the recipes having to be healthy vegetarian/ vegan fast food recipes. As soon as I heard about this Carnival, I knew I had to join in the party and create something as well. I realised I had to do a tribute to the mother of all fast foods- Indian street food, namely chaat! I was so excited to create a Healthy Indian Chaat recipe. I decided to rework my Low carb stuffed tikki recipe and make a few additions… thus creating this delicious & simple healthy Chole tikki!

Healthy Indian Chaat!

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I firstly wanted to simplify the recipe for a Healthy Indian Chaat. Usually it contains layers of fried potato cutlets (tikkis) or fried crunchy flour based crackers, topped with sweet & spicy chutneys, spicy lentil gravies, raw onions & tomatoes and finally crispy chickpea noodles also known as sev. These are conjured up in minutes and can be eaten any time during the day. It seems like a lot of items, but most of the layers are ready prepared, these are usually the unhealthy bits as they are deep fried and packaged. They are also the tastiest bits because they give the crunch and texture. For me a healthy Indian chaat means something without all those deep fried layers, but still with all the flavour. I also want it to be as nutrient dense as possible, with a variety of healthy vegetables, protein and good fats. Finally it also has to be simple to create.

There are varieties of chaat in India and I have chosen to recreate the popular Chole Tikki. Which is essentially potato cutlets, topped with a spicy chickpea gravy, topped with sweet & spicy chutneys and crispy sev. I will now deconstruct my version, showing you how I made this into a healthy Indian chaat.

Squash & Spinach Wholesome Tikkis

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For the tikkis, instead of potato, I made it with a combination of squash and spinach. Since we are heading into Autumn and with an abundance of squash, I thought it would be a perfect and easily available ingredient. You can also make this with red pumpkin. I had previously created a delicious low carb tikki made with celeriac & swede and stuffed with peas. This would also work perfectly in this recipe, only it is a little more time consuming. I also added a small amount of chickpea flour and chia seeds to increase the protein levels as well as to bind the ingredients.

Avocado Coriander Chutney

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Since these tikkis were made with squash, they were sweetish. I realised this would save me the effort of making sweet chutney and all I needed to create was a savoury one. I created a simple green chutney using avocado and fresh coriander. This makes the chutney more nutrient dense. I also added yogurt to the recipe to make it more cooling for the system, as there are a lot of spices in this recipe. This would also taste great with my recipe for kale & mint chutney.

Simple Chole Gravy

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Chole is usually quite time consuming and takes some effort. I recreated this chickpea curry based on the Egyptian street food recipe of Foul Muddammus. It is basically a thick gravy of roughly crushed beans and chickpeas and is super simple to make. I wanted to re create the Chole recipe keeping the same simplicity of ingredients and method in mind. I added tamarind water to my Chole recipe to give it a tangy flavour which is commonly found in chaat.

Healthy & Easy Homemade ‘Sev’

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Finally for the toppings of this healthy Indian chaat recipe, I added a simple combination of freshly chopped raw onions, tomato and coriander leaves. I also made a super simple healthy ‘sev’ of sorts. The sev usually brings in the final crunch and decoration to a plate of chaat. I used puffed brown rice to which I added turmeric and salt to give a similar satisfying crunch but without the added calories!

So these we have it, my recipe for a healthy Indian chaat, the ever popular Chole Tikki. I had so much fun creating this recipe and demolishing it! It tasted just like any regular chaat but I ended up feeling smugly happy my healthy choices! These tikkis would work great for kids as well as adults and definitely can be eaten on its own. If you do recreate this recipe then use #meghnas so that I can be a part of your healthy journey. If you participate in Janine’s healthy blog carnival, then do not forget to link to her website (as I have linked above) and use the #healthyfastfood4 to spread the word!

Print Recipe
Healthy Indian Chaat : Chole Tikki {Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten free}
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Course Dinner, Main Dish
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20-40 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
For the Tikkis
For the Chole
For the Avocado Coriander Sauce
Healthy 'Sev'
Other toppings (optional)
Course Dinner, Main Dish
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20-40 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
For the Tikkis
For the Chole
For the Avocado Coriander Sauce
Healthy 'Sev'
Other toppings (optional)
healthy indian chaat 1
Instructions
For the Tikkis
  1. Peel and chop the squash/ pumpkin into equal sized chunks. Steam it for 20 minutes. (Steaming ensures it does not absorb too much water). In the last five minutes of steaming add the spinach. (It is ready when the squash breaks up easily when pressing against it with a spoon.) Let it cool
  2. Combine the squash, spinach, coconut flour, chickpea flour, chia seeds, salt and spices (if using) in a food processor. (I prefer the consistency when using a food processor, or else rough grind in a blender). Process till it the squash & spinach is broken down and it all is combined.
  3. Leave it to rest for 15 minutes. The coconut flour & chia seeds will absorb all the extra moisture. Then shape into flattish, oval cutlets. If it is too sticky or wet, increase the amount of coconut flour. This recipe will make 8-9 tikkis.
  4. Either fry it in ghee or coconut oil on a non stick pan. This will be on medium heat and flip it two times till dark golden and crispy on the edges. Alternatively use an oven. Preheat the oven to 200C and line the tikkis on a parchment lined oven proof tray. Drizzle ghee/ coconut oil and bake for 20 minutes on one side, before flipping it and baking it for another 20 minutes. Keep an eye on it after flipping it.
  5. Fry/bake the tikkis just before serving so that they stay hot. Or make ahead and keep warm in the oven.
For the Chole
  1. Place the cooked chickpeas in a medium sized pan. (Use either home soaked and cooked or tinned ones). Add 1 cup of water, salt, turmeric and red chilli powder. Bring it to boil.
  2. While the chickpeas are boiling, soak the dried tamarind in 1 cup of hot water and squeeze and extract the tamarind liquid. Alternatively dissolve the tamarind paste in 1 cup of hot water. Add this tamarind water to the chickpeas.
  3. When the chickpea liquid starts bubbling, take it off the heat. Using a heavy spoon or potato masher, roughly crush the chickpeas. It does not have to be completely crushed, but crushed half way through.
  4. Place it back on the heat and cook till the liquid thickens. Check for seasoning before taking it off the heat. It has to have a pouring, gravy like consistency. If it becomes too thick later on, add hot water to dilute it.
For the Avocado chutney
  1. Add all the ingredients under the chutney list including the avocado, coriander leaves, lemon juice, cumin powder, salt, ginger, coconut sugar and green chili. Grind till it forms a thick consistent paste. Add water to loosen it to create a liquid chutney consistency. Check for seasoning and set aside.
For the Healthy 'Sev'
  1. Combine the ghee/coconut oil, turmeric and salt. Toss it with the puffed rice to completely coat it. Place it on high in microwave for anywhere between 1-1.5 minutes. Keep an eye on it as it can burn very easily. Keep stirring every 20seconds. Set aside.
For the Assembly
  1. Finally chop the onion, tomato and coriander leaves.
  2. Place one or two tikkis in a bowl or plate. Press it down slightly and break it up slightly. Pour over the hot chole. Two ladlefuls should do. Add 1 heaped Tablespoon of avocado coriander chutney. Sprinkle over the raw onions, tomatoes and coriander leaves. Finally sprinkle over the healthy 'sev' and the chaat masala or the cumin powder if adding. Serve immediately!
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