Recipe: Sumayya’s Boat Basin Chaat Plate




Here’s another fabulous summer dish from Sumayya Usmani’s book of favourite dishes from Pakistan. The award-winning food writer’s delightful memoir Andaza (Murdoch Books)  tells how it was growing up in Pakistan, and how the women in her life inspired her to trust her instincts in the kitchen. It is  a wonderfully colourful book, showcasing some of Pakistan’s best recipes and most loved dishes. This delicious Boat Basin Chaat Plate is just one of many exotic delights you will find in its pages.


This is a recipe based on the chaat I used to sneak out and eat on dates with Danesh when I was a teenager. You can find the chaat masala spice blend and crispy sev noodles in Asian shops or online.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Serves 2–4


2–3 large potatoes, peeled and cubed

2 teaspoons sunflower oil

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger

¼ teaspoon turmeric powder

1 teaspoon chaat masala

salt, to taste

1 green chilli, finely chopped

2 tablespoons chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves

3–4 tablespoons sev (crisp, savoury noodles made with chickpea flour)

2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds

juice of 1 lime

For the yoghurt topping

100 g (1/3 cup) full-fat Greek-style yoghurt, whipped until smooth

½ teaspoon crushed garlic

1 tablespoon chopped mint

salt, to taste


Boil the potatoes until they are cooked through but still firm. Drain and leave to cool.

In a frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. When it is hot, add the cumin seeds and stir until fragrant and light brown, then add the ginger and fry for about 10–12 seconds, or until aromatic – be careful not to let it burn.

Now add the potatoes and fry until lightly brown and crispy around the edges, then add the turmeric, chaat masala and salt and mix well. Take the pan off the heat, then stir in the green chilli and half of the coriander leaves. Spoon into a serving dish.

For the yoghurt topping, mix all the ingredients together. Top the potatoes with this, then scatter over the remaining coriander leaves and sev. Finish with the pomegranate seeds and lime juice. Eat immediately.



Images and text from Andaza by Sumayya Usmani, photography by Alicia Taylor. Murdoch Books RRP $45.00.