Former Great British Bake Off contestant Chetna Makan gives us this authentic Indian street food recipe for Rice and dal papdi.

  • 35
  • Makes 50-60
  • Easy
Don’t expect to find your standard chicken tikka masala and bhaji recipes in Chetna Makan’s new cookbook, because Chetna doesn’t do the expected. In her first cookbook, The Cardamom Trail, the 2014 Great British Bake Off contestant explored how to use Indian spices in baking, and now her second recipe collection, Chai, Chaat & Chutney, takes an even more interesting tack. Packed with fresh, fast street food, it’s crowded with dishes best eaten with your hands, straight from the fryer and in twisted paper cones; dishes that Makan couldn’t get enough of while munching her way around India for research.


  • 60g split chickpeas (chana dal )
  • 125g rice flour
  • 125g plain flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • 10 curry leaves, finely chopped
  • about 120ml water
  • sunflower oil, for deep-frying
  • sea salt flakes
  • chutney of your choice, to serve (optional)


Rice and dal papdi

Put the split chickpeas into a bowl, cover with water and leave to soak for one hour.

Drain the split chickpeas, then grind them to a rough paste using a food processor, adding one tablespoon of water if necessary to achieve a rough, thick paste that isn’t too runny.

Put the ground chickpeas, the rice four, plain flour, salt, chilli powder and curry leaves into a large bowl and mix well.

Very gradually mix in just enough of the measured water (or a little more, if necessary), a few drops at a time, to bring the mixture together into a soft dough.

Cover the bowl with cling film and leave to rest for 30 minutes.

Fill a deep-fat fryer or large saucepan with enough sunflower oil to deep-fry the papdi (ensuring the pan is no more than one-third full) and heat it to 190C.

Line a plate with some kitchen paper.

Take small portions of the dough, roughly the size of a grape, and roll them into thin discs with a diameter of 5cm.

Working in batches, fry the papdi for two to three minutes, until golden brown.

Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer the papdi to the paper-lined plate to drain excess oil while you fry the remaining dough.

Leave to cool, then season with sea salt flakes and serve with the chutney of your choice.

Chetna Makan

• Chai, Chaat & Chutney by Chetna Makan is published in hardback by Mitchell Beazley, priced £25

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