Nostalgia galore…

One of my many experiments that turned out very well is a recipe I downloaded from Tarla Dalal’s website and adapted to our tastes. This is a recipe that my husband loves so much that he claims he could eat it every day (ok, maybe that’s going a little far…let’s keep it to every week! :-))

The really nostalgic thing about this recipe is that the flavor reminds me of my Mom and me eating chaat from Bengali Market in Delhi during winter vacations. I don’t think you get really good North Indian chaat anywhere but there, and definitely not in New Jersey. 

Please do let me know if you know if any good chaat place in New Jersey, the ones that serve dahi papdi chaat (not Bambaiya bhel puri, which has its own place, but isn’t North Indian chaat. 🙂 )

I follow the original recipe quite diligently except for a few changes. So, here’s my version.


(Serves 4)


·          1 small pack of paneer, cubed (I use Nanak’s small pack, but any good brand should do. You could make your own homemade paneer (lower calorie, if made with 2% milk!) too, if you like. If so, about a cup and a half should do)

·          1 teaspoon fennel seeds (saunf)

·          1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds

·          5 to 6 fenugreek seeds (methi)

·          1 teaspoon nigella seeds (kalonji)

·          1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)

·          1/2 teaspoon asafetida (hing)

·          1 medium sized red onion, sliced

·          1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi)

·          1/2 teaspoon chili powder

·          1/2 teaspoon rock salt (kala namak)

·          1 cup plain yoghurt (diluted with a little water, if using packaged yoghurt)

·          3 tablespoons chopped cilantro

·          2 tsp oil

·          Salt to taste




1. Heat about 2 tsp oil in a saucepan and shallow fry the paneer. (For a lower calorie version, bake the paneer in a baking tray sprayed with some oil.)

2. Add the fennel seeds, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, nigella seeds, cumin seeds and asafetida to the leftover oil from frying the paneer.

4. When the seeds begin to crackle, add the onion and sauté it till it turns golden brown.

5. Add the fried paneer, turmeric, chili powder, black salt and mix everything gently.

6. Add the yoghurt and mix well.

7. Add salt and wait for the sauce to come to a boil.

8. Finally garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with parathas, roti or rice.


4 responses to “Nostalgia galore…

  1. Stumbled on to your blog here Sonal. R u in NYC as well? I love the clean crisp layout of your blog. Will be back to catch up :o)

  2. Now I’ve found you! You have a lovely blog here. I love this achari paneer recipe – I’ve made achari gosht and an oven baked achari baingan before. And I couldn’t agree wih you more about the delicious chaat in Delhi’s Bengali market.

  3. Ohh I almost forgot to tell you. Have you tried Bombay Talk in Edison NJ. They have some of the best chaat…atleast as per my taste. have you been?

  4. delecious recipe

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