Healthy Fast Food Blog Carnival
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!
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
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
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
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’
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!