This vegan smashed potato chaat is a healthy version of popular Indian street food snacks: aloo chaat (potato chaat) and aloo tikki chaat (potato patty chaat). In this easy, vegan and gluten-free recipe, Indian spiced smashed potatoes are oven-baked to perfection, drowned in a medley of lip-smacking chutneys and sauces and then topped with fresh coriander, sev and pomegranate seeds. Crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, these Indian smashed potatoes turned into a healthy chaat recipe and they are sweet, spicy, tangy, crispy and wet at the same time. This vegan and gluten-free recipe is quick and easy to make as it comes together in just 30 minutes. It is budget-friendly and requires only a few simple ingredients. This smashed potato chaat is a perfect savoury vegan snack that can be enjoyed any time of the day and it can be a healthy low-fat lunch meal, too! I personally love enjoying these Indian spiced potatoes on a slow weekend afternoon with a glass of very sweet masala chai.
So what is chaat, exactly?
Chaat is quintessential Indian street food snacks, typically made of fresh, seasonal and healthy ingredients. I think it’s about time chaat gets more recognition here, because let’s face it – there is more to Indian food than (vegan) chicken korma and chana masala! In fact, dare I say it, chaat and street food are the real quintessence of Indian cuisine. Nothing combines textures, flavours, aromas and colours as perfectly as a serving of freshly prepared chaat, straight from the stall!
Chaat is a savoury street food snack served from stalls and food carts that can be found on every train station and street corner of India. Chaat can be enjoyed as a snack, a healthy lunch meal or a side dish. It is a very versatile dish with so many regional variations. Often ingredients of a particular chaat dish change according to what fresh fruits and vegetables are available in a particular region and season.
Chaat has become immensely popular in the whole Indian subcontinent, especially in North India, West Bengal in Eastern India, Pakistan and also in parts of Bangladesh and it is a big part of desi culture.
For those who are just discovering the infinite possibilities and magic of Indian cuisine, probably the closest word to chaat would be something between a snack and a salad. Salad however is associated with something rather healthy and not very exciting, whereas chaat is the opposite of that. Chaat is always explosively impressive and sensational. It’s sweet, sour, spicy, wet and crunchy at the same time. You’ll get all different sensations in one topsy-turvy bite. Chaat ingredients are always combined in a masterful way. Every street vendor has his own recipe with its secret ratio of spices and ingredients.
Types of chaat
There are so many amazing variants of this intriguing, lip-smacking Indian street food. The most popular chaat is definitely potato chaat (aloo chaat). Aloo chaat is prepared by frying potatoes in oil and then mixing them with lots of tangy and salty chaat masala spice powder and chutneys. Sometimes potato chaat can also be made with unfried boiled potatoes and also by adding fruits along with spices, lime juice and even more different chutneys. Other popular variants of this immensely popular Indian street food delight include samosa chaat, papri chaat, aloo tikki chaat (potato patty chaat), pani puri and bhel puri. There are so many amazing options but I can tell you one thing – chaat is always fun to prepare! More chaat recipes are coming your way soon, so stay tuned!
Typical ingredients of chaat
Common elements of this fascinating Indian street food snack usually include:
- dahi (yoghurt – of course, vegan yoghurt works perfectly fine)
- chopped onions, tomatoes and fresh coriander
- sev (fried chickpea noodles)
- chaat masala (typically consisting of dried mango powder, black salt powder, dried ginger, cumin, chilli and coriander powder)
- pomegranate seeds
What is sev?
Sev is fine and crunchy strands of chickpea flour, deep-friend and sometimes spiced. In other words, sev is fried chickpea noodles and it varies in thickness. Thicker, spiced sev can be enjoyed as a standalone vegan snack and fine sev is a popular topping on many chaats. Kind of like savoury sprinkles? It is great for adding to that final crunch and texture in Indian street food recipes. It makes any snack more fun, crunchy and visually interesting.
You'll be able to find sev in South Asian (Indian/Pakistani/Bengali/Sri Lankan etc.) grocery shops and of course, you can order those "fried chickpea noodles" online. If you can't get hold of sev, just leave it out but I strongly recommend making an effort. If you want to step up your chaat game, you absolutely need to have a jar of sev in your kitchen cupboard!
Why you will love this smashed potato chaat:
Because it's a healthier, low-fat version of immensely popular deep-fried aloo chaat and aloo tikki chaat (potato patty chaat). Smashed potato chaat is not really a conventional Indian street food recipe. It's more of fusion food. This smashed potato chaat recipe is a combination of traditional fried potato chaat recipes and popular smashed potatoes in Western cuisines. It is a great idea to combine these two brilliant concepts. It was just bound to happen.
You could say that this smashed potato chaat recipe is a lazier version of aloo tikki chaat (potato patty chaat). Aloo tikki patties require quite a lot of work and they are deep-fried so this oven-baked smashed potato version will save you a lot of time and hassle and this recipe is also much healthier and lower in fat!
Ingredients you will need to make these Indian smashed potatoes:
- baby potatoes
- smoked paprika powder
- garlic powder
- cumin powder
- coriander powder
- Himalayan salt
- olive oil
- fresh coriander
- pomegranate seeds
- sev (fried chickpea noodles)
- and a few other things to make the chutneys
For the full ingredient list, exact measurements, complete recipe method, please scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom.
How to make smashed potatoes?
- Wash and scrub baby potatoes and boil them until tender but not mushy (17-20 minutes should be the perfect amount of time). It is very important not to overcook the potatoes as they still need to hold their shape after you partially crush them in the next step.
- Once cooked, drained the potatoes and set them aside for a few minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C (gas mark 6).
- Drizzle two baking trays with a tiny bit of olive oil.
- Now place the cooked baby potatoes on a baking tray (I manage to squeeze 9-10 baby potatoes on one baking tray). Using a fork, a potato masher or simply a drinking glass, crush the potatoes until flattened but still in one piece.
- Sprinkle the potatoes with spices (1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp cumin powder, 1/2 tsp coriander powder per 9-10 potatoes on one baking tray) and salt and then drizzle them with olive oil (reasonable amount, totally up to you - if you're watching your oil or fat intake).
- Bake them in the oven for 30 minutes, until the edges of the potatoes are beginning to crisp. If using two baking trays and two oven racks, rotating the baking trays halfway through the baking time helps all the potatoes to roast evenly.
- Smashed potatoes are done! Yay! Get all the toppings and chutneys ready. It's time to assemble your smashed potato chaat!
How to assemble smashed potato chaat:
- Drizzle your smashed potatoes with generous amounts of sweet tamarind ketchup, green mint coriander chutney and chilli garlic yoghurt sauce. Sprinkle with sev (savoury fried chickpea flour sprinkles) and red chilli flakes, garnish with pomegranate seeds and chopped fresh coriander.
- Obviously, feel free to customize the ratios of chutneys as per your preferences.
Chutneys and sauces used in this smashed potato chaat recipe
In this recipe, I am using my three favourite condiments: sweet tamarind ketchup, green mint coriander chutney and chilli garlic yoghurt sauce. The ultimate chutney nirvana is guaranteed with these three recipes. You can visit my dip and chutney recipe section for more detailed photos and instructions on how to make those three condiments. Sweet tamarind ketchup and garlic yoghurt sauce can be made in advance and they will keep in the fridge for a few days. However, the green chutney tastes best freshly made when it's still bursting with all fresh fragrant ingredients and when it's vibrantly green. The mint coriander chutney after 24h will start losing its vivid green colour and it will start getting a bit watery as all fresh ingredients used will start slowly start releasing water.
This smashed potato chaat is:
- 100% vegan (it's eggless and dairy-free)
- a healthy low-fat, vegan snack idea
- sweet, salty, spicy, crunchy and creamy at the same time
- inspired by Indian street food snacks
- an easy Indian street food recipe chaat lovers will appreciate
- a great satisfying snack, perfect at any time of the day (I love having these smashed potatoes at tea time, with my masala chai)
- quick and easy to make
- easy to put together
- ready in just 30 minutes
- fun to prepare
- a simple fuss-free recipe that requires only a few simple ingredients
- a perfect simple lunch option
- loaded with unique rich and bold flavours
Other easy vegan snack ideas for Indian food lovers:
Vegan Mumbai cheese toastie - when a grilled cheese toastie goes to India to find itself...
Vegan coronation chickpea sandwich - yes, I put curry spices even in my sandwich fillers.
Crispy cauliflower and broccoli pakoras - cauliflower and broccoli have never tasted so good!
Crispy corn chaat - so moreish, crunchy and satisfying.
Roasted chickpeas - what vegans can't stop snacking on.