Chaat is a comprehensive category of snacks originating from India. There are many different types and they can be served during meals or more commonly as snacks on the street from street vendors. Chaats bring together all the textures and flavors that make something delicious, filling and super mouthwatering. The characteristics of chaat include sweet, sour, spicy, tangy, crunchy.
Bhel puri is a type of chaat usually associated with Mumbai and the recipes always contain puffed rice, peanuts, potatoes and sev, a type of thin, crispy noodle. Whenever I've eaten it, I can't help but think of Southern dishes of rice and black-eye, drizzled with hot vinegar sauce and served with sweet cornmeal on the side, which prompted this version of a Mumbai-meets-Mississippi chat.
This recipe takes inspiration from Bombay bhel-puri recipes and combines it with southern ingredients, while paying homage to George Washington Carver's love of the peanut and using it in as many ways as possible. Crushed roasted peanuts and peanut powder give this snack the texture and flavor that makes it puffy and the protein to nourish the body the way it wanted, while also being highly addictive. His lifelong dedication to helping us keep the earth and ourselves alive!
“Absolutely delicious and so visually appealing as well! This would be a great different type of appetizer for any kind of gathering. Be sure to take extra care to dry out the wet vegetables a lot so that the puffed rice, noodles, and roasted black-eyed fish stay crisp.” — Diana Andrews
2 cups cooked black-eyed fish
3 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil
2 teaspoons Creole seasoning
1 small sweet potatopeeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces, about 2 1/4 cups
1 small green pepperchopped, about 3/4 cup
1 Medium stalk of celerychopped, about 1/2 cup
1/2 cup Cherry tomatoessquare
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped leaves and stems
2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped leaves and stems
2 small onionsthinly sliced, about 1/3 cup
2 cups puffed rice without sugar
1/2 cup roasted peanutschopped
1 cup crisp chow mein noodles or sev
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Pinch Red pepper
1 Tablespoon peanut powder (usually found near protein supplements)
1/2 teaspoon citric acidmore to taste (also called sour salt)
1 to 2 tablespoons pepper jelly, to taste
Gather the materials.
Place a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 425 F. Rinse and drain the cooked blackeyes and dry them very well.
Place them in a bowl with the oil and creole seasoning, stir to coat evenly.
Spread in a single layer on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce temperature to 325 F. Continue baking until beans are crisp-tender, shaking pan halfway through cooking time, 18 to 20 minutes. Cool completely in the pan.
Meanwhile, place the diced sweet potato in a small saucepan. Cover with cold water, add a heavy pinch of salt and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until tender and holding their shape, 3 to 4 minutes.
Drain, dry and let cool completely on absorbent paper. Transfer to a large bowl.
Use several paper towels to gently press and remove excess moisture from the pepper, celery and cherry tomatoes.
Add the bell pepper, celery and cherry tomatoes to the large bowl with the cooked sweet potato. Add the herbs and onion.
Add the black-eyed peas, puffed rice, peanuts, chow mein noodles, salt, paprika, cayenne, peanut powder, and citric acid to the bowl. Stir to combine.
Add the pepper jelly, mixing until well combined. Serve immediately.
Baked black-eyed peas can be made up to 1 week ahead and stored in an airtight container in your pantry or pantry. Makes a great snack on its own!
Without citric acid?
No citric acid lying around in your pantry? Do not worry. Replace the same amount with fresh-squeezed lime juice, or more to taste. In fact, you can very well grate the lime before juicing it, to garnish the last dish.