Tossed Salads and Scrambled Eggs

Chaats from Bombay pop up dinner by Devarshi Patel

Posted on: Wednesday 14 December 2011

I check the Tom Douglas website regularly for new events. They’re only advertised online and sometimes tweeted. I noticed the chaats from Bombay pop up dinner by Devarshi Patel listed a couple of days after I returned from Australia. I made a purchase immediately as the first one, Thrilla in Manila pop up dinner by Herschell Taghap, was popular.

In a moment of jet lag induced silliness, I panicked when the event sold out in less than a day and I thought I would be having dinner by myself. Thankfully I realised I had sensibly paid for two tickets and invited Shirley to join me in the frivolity.

I love that Seattle is lit by twinkling fairy lights twisted around the branches of deciduous trees during the festive season. I paused to appreciate this multi-coloured beauty in the Terry Avenue Building courtyard.

Chaats are traditional Indian street food and the specialties of Chef Dev’s pop up dinner were from Bombay (Mumbai).

An artfully blurred photo of Chef Dev, courtesy of the dimly lit dining room at Ting Momo. A genial and humble man, Chef Dev explained the composition of each of the dishes and spoke with the diners.

We were welcomed with a glass of masala chai, a soothing blend of herbs and spices brewed with tea.

Masala papad, pappadums topped with red onions, cucumber and cilantro, were shared appetisers. Thin and crispy, the sturdy pappadums were broken into shards to scoop up the tangy diced mix.

Curiously plain in appearance, the panni puri were three puffed crackers with a quenelle of masala potato. Gently tap the puffed crackers with your fingers or the back of a spoon to deflate, fill with a glob of masala potato and a squirt of tamarind water or herb water. These were fun to eat by hand!

Chaas, a savoury version of lassi, was our second beverage. The iced cumin and green chilli yoghurt drink had a peculiar aroma and tasted like a diluted tzatziki.

In a floral rimmed bowl was dahi wada. A ground daal fritter was seasoned with yoghurt, paprika, toasted cumin and chutney.

All the courses thus far have been eaten with a spoon. Next was wada paav, a potato sandwich flavoured with chutneys and wrapped in a page from a magazine.

Chef Dev detailed how he tried several times to learn how to make the bun at a bakery in India. The Dahlia Bakery staff assisted with the recipe and the bun was fresh and soft. A combination of three chutneys were spread on the potato patty. The spicy sandwich was the highlight of the meal.

Next was ragda patties. A mound of chickpeas and white beans, and a dollop of chutney hid a potato cake.

The last savoury item was misol paav. A square of toast soaked in the legume sprout stew.

And finally, dessert was gaja ka halva. A distinctly orange mass of shredded carrot and cardamom pudding was fragrant and mildly sweet. 

Sincere thanks to Chef Dev for introducing us to chaats! A meat version of the chaats pop up dinner was mentioned for spring.

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3 Responses to "Chaats from Bombay pop up dinner by Devarshi Patel"

Ok, so you’ve successfully mentioned all my favourite food here!

[…] is ironic that I cannot garden but I’m interested in learning about farming. Last week Dev Patel returned from Prosser Farm for an evening at Dahlia Workshop to showcase seasonal […]

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