Gurd Loyal’s Aloo chaat wedge salad with pink peppercorn ranch
This recipe is from the brilliant Mother Tongue, out now.
There is something camply retro about a wedge salad that always draws me to it, especially those dolloped with creamy-pink prawn cocktail sauce, dehydrated bacon bits and scissor-snipped chives. They have an ersatz sophistication very much in the Fanny Cradock meets breakfast buffet’ school of culinary arts, sharing the same splendidly kitsch garnishing principles as Indian street snacks.
This chaat wedge salad recipe marries the two, giving you creative licence to double up on overstated embellishment with gloriously garish toppings. I’m not sure if Fanny Cradock ever wore a sari on Christmas day, but that’s the visual moodboard to aim for here.
For the ranch
150ml sour cream
11⁄2 tablespoons pink peppercorns, crushed
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
1 teaspoon paprika
4 tablespoons very finely chopped mixed dill,
chives and parsley leaves
2 teaspoons English mustard
3 tablespoons lemon juice, plus more if needed
2 teaspoons amchoor
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
For the potatoes
2 tablespoons Chaat Masala
1 teaspoon dried mint
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon amchoor
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large potato, cut into 1cm cubes
1 Iceberg lettuce
chaat toppings, such as finely chopped cucumber and red onion, pomegranate seeds, sev, Tamarind, Date & Mint Sauce and Minty Yogurt
To make the ranch dressing, whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to let the flavours mingle, adding a little extra lemon juice if it becomes very thick. You want it to be dense but still pourable.
To make the potatoes, whisk together the chaat masala, dried mint, ground cumin, amchoor, lemon zest, sugar, salt and vegetable oil to a paste. Add the cubed potato, mix well to coat and leave to infuse for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 175°C fan.
Roast the spiced potato on a baking sheet for 20 minutes, turning regularly and coating with the sticky spices each time you do. They will brown up quicky because of the sugar, just watch that they don’t burn!
Cut the Iceberg into thick quarter wedges and drizzle with pink peppercorn ranch dressing.
Finish by loading up with the crispy spiced potatoes, your chaat toppings and chutneys of choice and bacon bits.