RECIPE: Bini’s Channa Chaat - Exeter Festival of Food & Drink

RECIPE: Bini’s Channa Chaat

This Indian street food dish is perfect for any family get together, especially during a Bank Holiday weekend, says Bini Ludlow from Sweet Cumin.

Bini’s career has gone from strength to strength in recent years. Her portfolio of accolades now includes a raft of awards for her cookery classes (Olive magazine, best Indian cookery courses as well as the Guardian top food courses in the UK) and frozen ready meal range winning 11 Great Taste Awards, numerous high-profile TV and Radio appearances (BBC, ITV and C4) as well as featuring in local and national press (The Guardian, Delicious Magazine, Olive Magazine, Crumbs Magazine). Bini’s longstanding collaboration with Thatchers Cider (pairing curries with ciders) has been rolled out across the UK, Australia and the US. She is also a champion for Women in Business for the Federations of Small Business (FSB) South West region sitting on the national task force.

Bini will be cooking here at the festival on Meat Up Saturday – 9th May.


Easy Chaat Masala

  • 4 tsp lightly roasted and ground cumin seeds
  • 1 ½ tbsp ground amchoor (mango powder)
  • 3 tsp cayenne pepper or chilli powder to taste
  • 1 tsp finely ground black pepper
  • ¾ tsp black salt
  • 1 tsp salt


 Serves 3-4 – heat rating mild / Serves 3-4 – heat rating mild / medium

  • 200g cooked canned chickpeas drained
  • 400-500g potatoes (Roosters or any waxy potato)
  • 3- 4 tbsp. rapeseed oil
  • 30g fresh ginger
  • 3 cloves fresh Garlic
  • 1 or 2 fresh finger chillies (to your preference)
  • 10 ml lemon juice (or to taste)
    Dry spices:
  • ¼ – ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp coriander and cumin powder (heaped)
  • A pinch chilli powder
  • 2 tsp whole cumin seeds
  • For garnishing
  • Lemon juice (optional)
  • 2-3 medium Fresh tomatoes chopped
  • 1 small red onion finely chopped
  • ¼ tsp Salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tbsp chaat masala
  • Chopped fresh chillies (optional)



Chaat Masala Method:

1. Warm up a frying pan with cumin seeds. As they roast they will turn from a green grey colour to a brown colour. A distinctive aromatic smell will be released from the cumin. Toss the roasted cumin onto a plate and allow to cool. Then using a pestle and mortar grind the cumin until the seeds have finely ground.
2. Mix all the ingredients, breaking up any lumps.
3. Sprinkle over channa chaat at the end of the cooking period, snack foods or over roasted and grilled meats

About the ingredients: Amchoor
Amchoor is unripe green mangoes which are peeled, sliced, sun dried and ground to make the amchoor
powder. It is rich in Vitamin C, is tart but has sweetness and is a good substitute for lemon juice. If you can’t get hold of any amchoor powder, substitute ½ tsp of lemon juice for every teaspoon of amchoor powder.

I would suggest squeezing lemon juice onto the snack or meat dish at the end of the cooking to achieve the required taste.

Channa Chaat Method:

1. Boil the potatoes in their skins, until they are cooked, allow to cool and cut them into 1cm cubes
2. Drain the chickpeas and set aside.
3. Peel and chop the ginger and garlic. Remove the stalk on the chilies and chopped finely. Blitz in a food
processor until a paste is formed. Set aside.
4. Oil frying pan and add cumin seeds and allow to sizzle in the oil. They will brown and release an aromatic
5. Next add the ginger, garlic and chilli paste allow to brown, then the potatoes, chickpeas and stir
6. Add the dry spices, turmeric, coriander and cumin, lemon juice and salt. Stir well to ensure that the chickpea
and potatoes have been coated evenly.

Serve into a large bowl, garnish with fresh coriander, chopped tomatoes, red onion, tamarind chutney and yoghurt chutney topped with roasted cumin seeds. Sprinkle chaat masala on top and if you are brave, chopped fresh chillies.

Serve warm or cold – a great sharing dish for a family!