Samosa chaat encompasses all of the best parts of Indian cuisine. Crispy samosas are served over a warming, spice-infused chole masala, then topped with tamarind chutney, green chutney, and creamy vegan yogurt. Add sev, fresh pomegranate seeds, and cilantro on top for a recipe that’s packed with bold and beautiful flavors.
What is chaat?
Before making this recipe, it’s important to understand the chaat component of Indian cuisine.
In English, “chaat” literally translates to “lick.” In a more broad sense, chaat refers to an entire category and style of Indian snacks. Chaats are famous for their balancing act of flavors — sweet, spicy, tangy, salty, and crunchy.
The spice blend included in each of these recipes is known as chaat masala, which generally consists of dry mango, black salt, cumin, musk melon, black pepper, pomegranate seeds, coriander, mint, ginger, nutmeg, chili, caraway, cloves, Bishop’s weeds, and asafoetida.
Once everything is served together, the combination of textures, temperatures, and flavors hits all the right spots. It’s quite incredible!
What is samosa chaat?
Samosa chaat is a specific type of vegetarian chaat featuring one of the most recognized Indian foods in North America — samosas.
To prepare a samosa chaat recipe, you need the following layers:
- Chole (chickpea curry)
- Dahi (curd or yogurt)
- Green chutney (cilantro or cilantro-mint)
- Tamarind (imli) chutney
- Garnishes (sev, pomegranate seeds, chaat masala, and cilantro)
Each component is successively added on top of one another, creating layers of hot, cold, spicy, tangy, and sweet flavors wrapped up into one delicious meal. There are many subtle variations, but the main thing they all have in common is the fragrant spices and addictiveness in each bite!
For additional protein, you can try a chana dal chutney made from chickpeas and lentils.
Is samosa chaat vegan?
Traditionally, samosa chaat is a vegetarian-friendly dish. To make a vegan version, you just need to swap out the dahi or yogurt with dairy-free yogurt. Once all of the ingredients are mixed together, you won’t be able to taste a difference!
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Chole: Make a batch of chole masala before starting this samosa chaat recipe.
- Samosas: Make your own samosas, order vegetable samosas from your favorite Indian restaurant, or use store-bought samosas for a more convenient option!
- Vegan yogurt: To replace the dahi, I add plain vegan cashew yogurt. The cool, creamy, and refreshing taste balances out the spiciness incredibly well.
- Green chutney: Use cilantro (coriander) chutney or cilantro-mint chutney. Easily whip up a batch at home, or order some from your favorite Indian restaurant.
- Tamarind chutney: Also known as imli chutney, tamarind chutney adds just the right amount of tanginess that we’re looking for.
- Onions, tomatoes: Add freshly diced onions and tomatoes for a fresh, zesty, and juicy element. I prefer red onions and Roma tomatoes, but use what you have on hand.
- Chaat masala: It’s not chaat without chaat masala! Since it contains so many different spices, I recommend using a store-bought blend to save time!
- Sev: Crispy chickpea flour noodles add a crunch factor that rounds out the samosa chaat.
- Pomegranate seeds, cilantro: For a pop of color and bursts of flavor, pomegranate seeds and fresh cilantro (coriander) leaves are added to the top.
How to assemble samosa chaat
- Samosas: If you buy store-bought samosas from the frozen section, then bake or air-fry the samosas per package direction before you start assembling.
- Yogurt (dahi) layer: Roughly whisk the vegan yogurt to loosen it up, then drizzle or dollop it over the chole masala.
- Samosa layer: Break or smash your veggie samosas, and place the pieces in the center of the yogurt.
- Vegetable layer: Add a sprinkle of diced onions, tomatoes, chaat masala, sev, pomegranate seeds, and fresh cilantro.
How to serve samosa chaat
No one likes a soggy samosa chaat, so it’s best eaten right away! You want the samosas to maintain their crispy texture.
Serve it as an afternoon snack for your family or an appetizer at dinner parties. The samosa and chole are usually served hot, but the chutneys and toppings are cool. This contrast of temperatures creates a unique sensation when you bite in.
Samosa chaat is assembled before serving, but I don’t recommend storing it once it’s fully prepared. Instead, store all of the ingredients separately until you are ready to eat. For detailed storage instructions, visit my green chutney, chole masala, and tamarind chutney posts.
- Samosas: For the best texture and flavor, use fresh samosas. You can make your own samosas, or order some from your favorite Indian restaurant! If interested to make your own, try making Potato Samosas with option of using plant-based butter.
- Plan ahead: For a quicker samosa chaat prep time, make your chole and chutneys ahead of time. This way, the flavors will also blend together better.
- Wait to assemble: Wait until just before you are ready to serve the samosa chaat to assemble all of the layers. This will prevent a soggy texture.
Yes, samosa chaat is considered a “street food.” However, many recipes are served by street vendors in India, so it’s rare to hear its actually called this.
Samosa chaat is made from chole masala (chickpea curry), samosa, chutneys, and yogurt. There are also other spices and toppings unique to the dish including sev, chaat masala, cilantro, and pomegranate seeds.
Samosa is made from deep-fried dough filled with savory fillings like potatoes, vegetables, and sometimes meat. In samosa chaat, samosas are ripped up and added to the top.
If you enjoyed this samosa chaat recipe, be sure to check out some more of Green Heart Love’s unique and flavor-packed dishes:
- Masala Puri: Crispy puri is covered with ragda curry, then topped with fresh vegetables, chutneys, and crunchy sev.
- Turkish pide: A savory bread stuffed with fillings like spinach, squash, vegan cheese, mushrooms, and sundried tomatoes.
- Aloo palak: Spiced potatoes and spinach.
- Chole masala: A bold and flavorful dish featuring chickpeas.
- Chow fun noodles: Vegetables, tofu, and rice noodles served with an umami-rich sauce.
- 1 cup Chole (chickpea curry)
- 1 cup samosas store bought or homemade
- ¼ cup vegan yogurt
- 3 tablespoon green chutney (cilantro
- 3 tablespoon tamarind chutney
- 3 tablespoon onions diced
- ¼ cup tomatoes diced
- ¼ teaspoon chaat masala
- 2 tablespoon sev puri
- 2 tablespoon pomegranate seeds
- 2 tablespoon cilantro chopped
- If you buy store-bought samosas from the frozen section, then bake or air-fry the samosas per package direction before you start assembling.
- Spread hot chole into a serving bowl.
- Roughly whisk the yogurt to loosen it up and drizzle dollops over the chole.
- Break or smash your samosas and place it in the center of the yogurt.
- Generously spread green chutney and tamarind chutney over the samosas.
- Sprinkle of onions, tomatoes, chaat masala.
- Garnish with sev puri, pomegranate seeds, and fresh cilantro.