Chai Chaat & Chutney – Chetna Makan

Many of us fell in love with Chetna Makan in 2014 when she made it to the semi-finals of the The Great British Bake Off (I, personally, was rooting for her to take home the coveted cake stand). Her highly praised debut cookbook, The Cardamom Trail, is very special to me it was the subject of one of my very first reviews here at Eat Your Books. 

Now, Chetna is back with a gorgeous new cookbook, Chai, Chaat & Chutney, and this time she is celebrating the street food of India. The author explored the four corners of her home country – Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Delhi – to savor the street food offered in each location. Each city’s cuisine is unique due to the subtle differences in ingredients and techniques. Gathering inspiration on her travels, Chetna returned home to create recipes that are simple to cook and can be sourced locally and on-line. What you will find in this book, is a fresh take on Indian cuisine that highlights the four cities distinctive offerings.

Chai, Chaat & Chutney is organized by city – each section sharing photographs of the food, vendors and the people. Chetna’s interpretation of the dishes she discovered while visiting these areas are innovative and special. Examples of recipes include Egg Chops (think Indian Scotish Eggs) Cornflake Chaat, and a Sticky Bombay Chicken that is incredibly delicious (check out my photo here). I love the Chinese dishes in this book – as Chinese cuisine is big in India – Chetna’s versions of Chicken Fried Rice, Sichuan Chicken and Vegetable Manchurian all look incredible.

Chetna is a treasure and so are her books – they are beautiful, interesting and the recipes are tempting and approachable. Special thanks to the Mitchell Beazley for sharing the Lemon Rice dish and providing three copies of this book to our US members. Eat Your Books is also offering one extra copy worldwide. See our giveaway below for information on how to enter.


Lemon rice
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Lemon rice is very light and fresh. Enjoy it as part of a thali (a large Indian platter, made up of a selection of various dishes), on its own, or (my preference) with Sambhar or chutney – in Chennai I ate it with coconut chutney. The dish is so quick and simple to make, it’s ideal for a speedy supper.

1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1 1/2 teaspoons black mustard seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons split black lentils (urad dal)
1 1/2 teaspoons split chickpeas (chana dal)
4 dried red chillies
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
400g (14oz) white basmati rice
1 litre (13/4 pints) boiling water
3 tablespoons lemon juice

Heat the oil in a wide saucepan. Add the mustard seeds, lentils, split chickpeas and dried chillies and cook over medium heat for about 1 minute, until they begin to sizzle. Stir in the salt and turmeric, then add the rice 
and mix well.

Slowly stir in the measured boiling water. Cover the pan with a lid and cook over low heat for 12 minutes, until the rice is cooked. Stir in the lemon juice. Serve hot with Sambhar and Coconut Chutney or Coriander and Spinach Chutney, if liked.

Excerpted from Chai, Chaat & Chutney by Chetna Makan with permission from Mitchell Beazley. Photograph by Nassima Rothacker.

The publisher, Mitchell Beazley, is offering three copies of this book to EYB Members in the US and Eat Your Books is offering one copy to our members worldwide. One of the entry options is to answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post.

Which recipe in the index would you like to try first?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won’t be counted. Please be sure to check your spam filters to make sure you receive our email notifications. Prizes can take up to 6 weeks to arrive from the publishers. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends at midnight on October 6th, 2017. 

Please note we have now included a tag with the giveaway regions on posts. #US, #CA, #AU, #UK, #NZ or #worldwide. Once you have found a tag for your area – click on that tag and all giveaways for that region will show up. (You can bookmark or add that search to your internet favorites for easy reference).

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  • hirsheys  on  August 28, 2017

    Dosas! I love them so so much.

  • DarcyVaughn  on  August 28, 2017

    Tawa paneer

  • Kristjudy  on  August 28, 2017

    Cauliflower pakora

  • allthatsleftarethecrumbs  on  August 29, 2017

    I want to try Bhakarwadi.

  • wester  on  August 29, 2017

    So many interesting things – also many that sound really interesting but where I can't really tell from the name and the ingredients what it's going to be like.
    The Tamarind-stuffed Chillies sound excellent, an intriguing combination of flavors.

  • IsaSim  on  August 29, 2017

    Misal pav

  • RSW  on  August 29, 2017

    onion samosas

  • Asparagusberry  on  August 29, 2017

    So many good recipes! I would love to try the Moong Dal with Cashews first.

  • NaomiH  on  August 29, 2017

    Egg Curry

  • kmn4  on  August 29, 2017

    Chaas – I love yogurt drinks!

  • Astrid5555  on  August 29, 2017

    Sticky Bombay chicken!

  • annmartina  on  August 29, 2017

    I have always wanted a vada pav

  • sgump  on  August 29, 2017

    I'll say–that lemon rice looks fantastic! Exciting!

  • Siegal  on  August 29, 2017

    I want to mAke the jalebi

  • lpatterson412  on  August 29, 2017

    I would love to try the bread pakora!

  • michalow  on  August 29, 2017

    Definitely the uttapam. My favorite!

  • Rinshin  on  August 29, 2017


  • monasli  on  August 29, 2017

    Chicken fried rice!

  • KarinaFrancis  on  August 29, 2017

    the chicken lollipops

  • ejsimpson  on  August 29, 2017

    Hot and spicy chili chicken!

  • elizabrarian  on  August 29, 2017

    Chocolate Toasted Sandwich. Then the Carrot Halwa for dessert.

  • heyjude  on  August 30, 2017

    Coconut boli

  • ravensfan  on  August 30, 2017

    Chilli paneer

  • Mjminarich  on  August 30, 2017

    Chicken lollipops

  • sarahawker  on  August 30, 2017

    Sticky Bombay chicken

  • lgroom  on  August 30, 2017

    The egg curry.

  • InAHealthyKitchen  on  August 30, 2017

    I have never made Indian food so I want to try them all. But I'd start with Sambhar.

  • Barbara14  on  August 31, 2017

    I have been coveting this book since Chetna first introduced it – I think it is such a great idea to highlight Indian streetfood. I would love to make Onion Samosas or the Lemon rice or the Egg curry.

  • akrupnick  on  August 31, 2017

    Chili paneer. Anything with paneer.

  • FaithB  on  August 31, 2017

    Somehow, I've never made my own Masala Chai, so will start with that.

  • love2chow  on  August 31, 2017

    Onion samosas, Hot and spicy chilli chicken, Manchurian chaat

  • eveaway  on  August 31, 2017

    Potato and pea samosas.

  • robynsanyal  on  August 31, 2017

    Baigan bhaja

  • christineleong  on  September 1, 2017

    I'd love to make dosa at home.

  • sipa  on  September 1, 2017

    Chocolate toasted sandwich

  • LJStubbs  on  September 1, 2017

    The Toasted Chocolate Sandwich before anything else!

  • iza27  on  September 1, 2017

    coconut chutney

  • monasli  on  September 1, 2017

    Sticky bombay chicken

  • GillB  on  September 1, 2017

    Potato and Pea Samosas

  • jdub1371  on  September 1, 2017

    Egg kathi roll. Sounds great for breakfast.

  • Korenm  on  September 1, 2017

    Masala dosa – yum!

  • katehenderson  on  September 1, 2017

    Malai prawn curry suds delicious!

  • TheHummer  on  September 1, 2017

    Chicken chop for me!

  • Clove  on  September 1, 2017

    That lemon rice looks mighty fine!

  • katieate  on  September 1, 2017

    I'd like to try vegetable toast sandwich as it looks interesting

  • artmarcia  on  September 1, 2017

    Sticky Bombay Chicken–We are always looking for interesting chicken drumsticks recipes.

  • bevie19  on  September 1, 2017

    hot and spicy chilli chicken!!

  • Shanthz  on  September 1, 2017

    Chocolate toasted sandwich

  • Dutchmary  on  September 2, 2017

    Cauliflower pakoras. I'm always on the look out for new recipes for cauliflower, the nr. 1 favourite vegetable in my country.

  • t.t  on  September 2, 2017

    Masala chana chaat

  • samanthalyy  on  September 2, 2017

    They all look amazing but I'd start with the poha!

  • FawcettSA  on  September 2, 2017

    The lemon rice sounds amazing but I'd love to try the Moong Dal with Cashews 🙌🏼

  • sweetmarah  on  September 2, 2017

    Coconut boli

  • dna  on  September 2, 2017

    lemon rice

  • starrie143  on  September 2, 2017

    Sticky Bombay Chicken

  • sunset34  on  September 2, 2017

    Tawa paneer sounds nice. Thanks

  • kbiggs  on  September 2, 2017

    I adore lemon rice.

  • pamelita  on  September 2, 2017

    onion samosas!

  • RickPearson54  on  September 2, 2017

    lemon rice

  • rashaye  on  September 2, 2017

    Cornflake chaat sounds interesting and healthy!

  • rrwrites  on  September 2, 2017

    the chocolate toasted sandwich! I love Chetna!

  • luccio  on  September 2, 2017

    Samosas….paneer….there are so many things here I have always intended to try, I'd probably just cook my way right through the book!

  • LaurenE  on  September 2, 2017

    Hot and spicy chili chicken sounds amazing!

  • elizam  on  September 2, 2017

    cornflake chaat – I love me some chaat and these sound fun and delicious

  • sequoia55  on  September 3, 2017

    Chili paneer.

  • sequoia55  on  September 3, 2017


  • Beclam  on  September 3, 2017

    Def the egg curry

  • IngridO  on  September 3, 2017

    Dabeli sounds intriguing

  • ndaga45  on  September 4, 2017

    Cornflake chaat ☺️

  • Karla123  on  September 5, 2017

    I'm always looking for new and tasty rice dishes, and this one for "vegetable pulao" sounds appealing.

  • fbrunetti  on  September 5, 2017

    Moong bean special

  • Alleycat  on  September 6, 2017

    Chicken lollipops.

  • motherofpearl81  on  September 7, 2017

    Egg chops

  • JenJoLa  on  September 7, 2017

    Potato, paneer and chickpea curry

  • tarae1204  on  September 7, 2017

    Chicken fried rice

  • jd5761  on  September 7, 2017

    Onion Samosas

  • cin79  on  September 8, 2017

    Sweet pongal, it would be interesting to try a dessert.

  • bstewart  on  September 8, 2017

    Oh everything, but the samosas or sticky bombay chicken!

  • choppergirl  on  September 8, 2017

    Chana dal vada

  • fiarose  on  September 8, 2017

    oh, indian food, this is gonna be long. tamarind-stuffed chilis, corn chaat, chana dal, baigan bhaja, malai prawn curry, omelette pav, pav bhaji, vegetable manchurian, masala papads, pea-stuffed paratha…yummmm…

  • DemelzaPoldark  on  September 9, 2017

    Lemon Rice sounds great!

  • PennyG  on  September 9, 2017

    I had Vada Pav when I was in India and am looking for the perfect recipe to replicate it!

  • Alka  on  September 10, 2017

    I will start with the Tamarind chutney

  • stitchan  on  September 12, 2017


  • kitchenclimbers  on  September 14, 2017


  • ladybrooke  on  September 15, 2017

    Masala chai

  • AnnaZed  on  September 16, 2017

    Tamarind-stuffed chillies (be still my heart!)

  • Sakurajima  on  September 17, 2017

    I'm always looking for new poha recipes

  • Julia  on  September 17, 2017

    Sticky Bombay Chicken and Lemon Rice.

  • Joyceeong  on  September 20, 2017

    Tomato Chutney

  • verorenee  on  September 20, 2017

    Sticky Bombay chicken

  • Seren_Ann  on  September 23, 2017

    The Pan Puri sounds so good 🙂

  • silversand  on  September 23, 2017

    Lemon rice 🙂

  • Scotsman61  on  September 27, 2017

    Cauliflower pakora

  • thewoobdog  on  September 28, 2017

    I'd have to try the Chicken Fried Rice. And basically every other recipe.

  • Sfgordon  on  September 28, 2017

    I'd try the peanut chutney because it sounds like it could go on lots of things!

  • obbigttam  on  September 28, 2017

    Potato, paneer and chickpea curry would be the first recipe tackled in my kitchen.

  • kimtrev  on  September 28, 2017

    potato, paneer & chickpea curry

  • size_27  on  September 29, 2017

    Vegetable Manchurian …

  • readers  on  September 29, 2017

    Baked rice with chicken sounds like a perfect choice to try Persian cooking.

  • chasteph  on  September 29, 2017

    Egg chops sound unusual.

  • BeccaA  on  September 29, 2017

    I think I would start with the moong dal with the sambhar.

  • rachael_mc  on  September 30, 2017

    chilli paneer

  • sugo  on  September 30, 2017

    Sticky bombay chicken

  • orchidlady01  on  October 1, 2017

    Potato, paneer and chickpea curry

  • trudys_person  on  October 1, 2017

    Me too – Potato, Paneer and Chickpea Curry! Or anything else with paneer, or any variation of dosas!

  • jifar  on  October 1, 2017

    egg curry!

  • aoiwowie  on  October 1, 2017

    Shahi tukda

  • Judereid  on  October 1, 2017

    Tomato and Date Chutney.

  • LAWG  on  October 2, 2017

    Misal Pav to start! My hubby loves both three bean salad and Indian foods.

  • patioweather  on  October 5, 2017

    Sambhar. I've yet to make one at home as good as restaurants.

  • monique.potel  on  October 7, 2017

    Malai prawn curry
    this looks so delicious

  • Livia  on  October 7, 2017

    I has got to be Pantaras !

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