Tag Archives: Papri Chaat

Sweet potato chaat

Chaat is an Indian street food. It literally means to lick – meaning the dish is so good that you will be left licking your fingers. There are umpteen varieties of chaat, and an upcoming cookbook by the Food Network judge Maneet Chauhan is dedicated to this genre. In my case, it was the solitary sweet potato staring at me that led me to create this easy chaat that was gobsmacking, lip smacking good. Here’s how I made it.

Ingredients:

  • 1 sweet potato, peeled, cut into small cubes and washed
  • 2 tsp cooking oil (I used vegetable oil)
  • 1 tsp chaat masala (available at Indian stores, but you can use curry powder in a pinch)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 green chili, finely chopped
  • 1/4 inch piece ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp tamarind chutney (available at Indian stores, but you can add pomegranate or date molasses)
  • 1 tbsps sev (chick pea sticks – available at Indian stores, but you can use a few potato chips crushed for crunch)
  • Slice of lemon (adds visual interest/additional tartness if needed)

How to:

1. Heat the oil in a pan. Add the cubed sweet potatoes and fry till the sweet potatoes are fried nicely and turn dark. Keep tossing frequently to prevent it from burning. This took about ten minutes on a medium flame for me. Turn off the stove.

2. Sprinkle the salt and chaat masala on the cooked sweet potatoes and toss.

3. Take a platter and scatter the sweet potatoes on it. Now drizzle the tamarind chutney on top. Layer the rest of the vegetables on top of the sweet potatoes. Finish with a flourish of sev on top and a lemon slice on the side.

4. Finish eating and of course do tell me if it was lip smacking good:)

Indique Heights – Indian Food That Hits All The Right Notes

By Lakshmi:

Chevy Chase, Maryland, a suburb of Washington DC occupies a very special place in our hearts.  It is where we lived, went to school and worked when we moved from India to the US.  Each time we return, we are overjoyed to go back and stay at a place we called home for many years.  This time was no different and what made Christmas day extra special was an incredibly beautiful, satisfying meal at Indique Heights.

Located right above the Friendship Heights metro station, Indique Heights is located right at the District/Maryland line.  As you come off the escalators and approach the restaurant, you are transported from a very modern commercial building to the ambiance of a home in India thousands of miles away.

A beautiful traditional swing occupies a prime location while comfy seating flanked by beautiful, colorful Indian artwork makes for a very relaxing lounging experience.  We turned up without reservations on a day when most restaurants were closed and the restaurant was packed.  We loved the excuse to linger, sit on the swing and take pictures.

The dinner menu at Indique Heights, carefully curated by Chef Vinod brings together an eclectic combination of Indian street food with north and south Indian cuisine. For those tired of the same repertoire of dishes served at many an Indian restaurant, the dishes here can be a beautiful, new sensory journey.

We started with the street food appetizers – Papri Chaat (flour crisps, potato, chick peas, yogurt, cilantro & tamarind Chutney), Bhel Puri (rice puffs, crispy gram flour noodles, cilantro, tamarind chutney) and the Mini Dosas (crepe made with a fermented batter of lentils and rice).  Everything was fresh and hit every sensory bud.  Spicy, Tangy, Sweet….my mouth waters just thinking about the flavors.  Sathya was so in love with the Mini Dosa that she went for seconds and thirds, till the restaurant loving her enthusiasm comped her a few more!

Given our vegetarian group, we ordered a thali (an assortment of vegetarian dishes with bread, rice and dessert), a biryani with rice and veggies, and some naan bread with  kadai paneer.  Unlike some of the grease filled dishes served by their brethren, the food here was light, with the spices bringing out the richness of the individual flavors, leaving one wanting to decipher the various ingredients making up the exquisite taste.

After all this food, there was not much room for dessert, but given the family’s staunch belief that life is too short to live without dessert, we indulged on that front as well.  An assortment of gulab jamun (deep-fried dough balls in sugar syrup) and some ice cream completed the meal.

To us, it was the perfect culmination to a beautiful day spent with family and friends in a city we adore.

Many years ago, Chef Vinod had catered my brother’s wedding when he had just one small restaurant in Rockville Maryland.  Now, he has multiple restaurants in the area and the food at Indique Heights leaves no unanswered questions on why Vinod and his restaurants are successful.

If you are in the DC area and in the mood for Indian food, do give them a try.  You can read more about them, their locations and more at

http://www.indiqueheights.com/