This crunchy salad hails from Nepal, which borders India in the northeast. The salad is prepared with a special masala called gorkha, and that, together with the tamarind, give the salad a unique flavor.   Excerpt from The Essential Vegan Indian Cookbook by Priya Lakshminarayan, published by Rockridge Press. Copyright © 2021 by Callisto Media, Inc. All rights reserved.

Chatpata Aloo Salad [Vegan]



Cooking Time




  • 4 dried red chile peppers
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 2 potatoes, peeled, cooked, and cut into medium cubes
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped cucumber
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind paste or freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 4 fenugreek seeds
  • green chile peppers, chopped


  1. In a pan, dry-roast the red chiles, sesame seeds, and coriander seeds over medium heat for 5 minutes or until they become fragrant and change color.
  2. Take the pan off the heat and allow the masala to cool completely.
  3. Transfer the masala to a blender and coarsely grind. Set the masala aside.
  4. Combine the potatoes, tomato, cucumber, and onion in a medium bowl.
  5. Add the tamarind, masala, and salt. Mix everything together well.
  6. Heat the oil in a tadka pan over low heat. Temper the fenugreek seeds and then fry the green chiles for 30 seconds.
  7. Pour this tadka over the salad, give it a good mix, and serve.