A couple of weeks ago in early February, we took a short trip to Mumbai for my sister-in-law’s traditional wedding. Amidst the chaos of Indian wedding preparations, we managed to sneak out for a day to explore Mumbai’s city centre, around Colaba and Marine Drive. This was my husband’s first time to Mumbai and I had to show him the spots I used to frequent on my off days back when I volunteered there more than a decade ago. The colours, sights, sounds and aromas brought back a flood of memories. I’ve added a few iPhone shots taken during our day trip around Colaba. For more details on each picture, check out my instagram (@cupcakesncurries) posts.
Brimming with inspiration from Mumbai and nursing a ‘food baby’ from all that wedding and holiday feasting, I decided to make a quick and healthy-ish appetiser/snack that reminded me of the street food we had there. You’ll need chaat masala for this delicious treat. Chaats are a generic term for street foods that contain fried dough (puris), sweet, tangy, spicy chutneys, yoghurt sauce, potatoes, chickpeas etc. They’re usually vegetarian and there’s an endless combination of chaats found all over all Northern Indian cities. So Chaat masala is integral to creating all of these colourful snacks which are consumed anytime of the day. All Indian grocery stores carry readymade chaat masala powders.
This recipe cannot get any easier. The ingredients for avocado chutney are blended together in seconds. The baby potatoes are baked to crisp perfection -so no oily mess and it’s healthier. The potatoes can be cooked earlier and kept refrigerated until you need them. They get so crisp and delicious from all the ghee and chaat masala. A perfect party appetiser and after school snack. Top the crisp potatoes with finely chopped tomatoes, onions, coriander leaves, toasted and crushed peanuts and crispy sev, which you can also get at any india grocery store. I think chopped mangoes, pineapple or pomegranate arils would also add a nice sweet/sour element and would go really nicely with this. So simple to make but packed full of fresh, vibrant flavours anyone will enjoy. The colours are just so inviting that it’s hard to resist them.
- 1 ripe avocado, flesh scooped out
- about 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
- 1-2 teaspoons chaat masala
- 2 cups mint leaves and stems
- 1 cup coriander (cilantro) leaves and stems
- 1-2 teaspoons lime juice
- 1-2 garlic cloves
- 2cm piece fresh ginger
- 1 -2 green chillies , deseeded if you prefer less heat
Blend everything in a food processor and taste to check seasoning. Chutney should be slightly tart, creamy and spicy. If too spicy, add flesh of another avocado. Chutney keeps well, refrigerated for about 2-3 days.
Mumbai-inspired Crispy Baked Potatoes with Avocado Chutney
- 10-20 baby potatoes
- about 3-4 tablespoons ghee
- chaat masala
- finely chopped onion
- finely chopped tomatoes
- toasted and crushed peanuts
- a handful of sev
- Add potatoes to cold, slightly salted water and bring to a boil. Cook till fork tender.
- Drain and leave in colander to air dry.
- Make avocado chutney. Preheat oven to 400 °F /2 00°C.
- Smash each potato using the back of a spoon until they flatten slightly. Don’t over flatten them or they’ll lose their shape.
- Toss cooked baby potatoes in melted ghee, chaat masala and a little salt.How much chaat masala you add is up to you.
- Line a baking sheet/roasting tray with parchment paper and lay out each potato flat on the tray.
- Roast potatoes till they’re golden and crisp for about 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven. Check for seasoning.
- To serve, transfer roast potatoes to serving dish and spoon the avocado chutney on top of each potato.
- Sprinkle chopped onion, tomatoes, coriander leaves, sev and peanuts. Sprinkle a little more salt if needed.