Cucumber Papdi Chaat
By Vasudha Vishwanath
Craving chaat? My twist on this iconic Indian street food dish uses cucumber slices as papdi (crispy deep-fried flour-based rounds). Layered with creamy Greek yogurt and spiced chickpeas, and topped with tangy chutneys and crispy masala peanuts, this makes an easy, refreshing, and delicious summer lunch.
1 Tbsp chickpea flour
2 tsp water
1 tsp avocado oil
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp salt
¼ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp cracked black pepper
¼ tsp ground turmeric
¼ cup/28g raw skinned peanuts, or cashews or skinned almonds
¾ cup/170g whole-milk plain Greek yogurt or dairy-free yogurt
1–2 Tbsp water
¾ cup/100g canned or cooked chickpeas, drained
¼ tsp salt
⅛ tsp cayenne
3 baby cucumbers, or 1 large cucumber (11 oz/300g), sliced into disks 1/16 in/2mm thick
2 Tbsp tamarind-date chutney (such as Swad)
1½ Tbsp cilantro/fresh coriander chutney (such as Swad)
½ cup/90g finely chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup/40g finely chopped onion
2 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro/fresh coriander
1 tsp chaat masala (optional)
Step 1. Preheat the air fryer to 350°F/180°C or oven to 400°F/200°C.
Step 2. Mix together all the ingredients for masala peanuts, except the peanuts, in a bowl. Add the peanuts and mix until they are coated with the paste. Lightly spray an air fryer base with oil and spread the nut mixture evenly on the base. Air fry for 5 minutes, tossing halfway through. If using the oven, spread the peanuts evenly on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (you can also lightly spray the parchment) and bake for 12–15 minutes, until golden brown, turning over halfway through (you may need to use a spoon to scrape the peanut mixture off the parchment). Remove from the air fryer or oven and let cool. Finely chop or pulse the peanuts 3–4 times in a food processor and set aside.
Step 3. Whip the yogurt in a bowl with just enough water to make it spreadable. In a separate bowl, mix the chickpeas with salt and cayenne.
Step 4. Layer half the cucumber slices, chickpeas, and yogurt on a plate. Drizzle half the tamarind-date chutney and coriander chutney over the top. Sprinkle with half the tomato, onion, and masala peanuts on top. Repeat to assemble the second plate.
Garnish with cilantro and chaat masala, and serve.
Double the recipe for masala peanuts. You can store them in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 4 months. In a pinch, use any salted or spiced nuts in place of the masala peanuts.
(Reprinted with permission from THE VEGETARIAN RESET by Vasudha Viswanath, The Collective Book Studio, January 2023. Photo credit Alexandra Shytsman. After a doctor’s note about her elevated blood sugar, she transformed the way she cooks to cut out excessive starch and sugar and has never felt better. After spending over a decade on Wall Street, Vasudha left her career in finance to write a cookbook and create We Ate Well.)