Super Bowl food is always the best. To be quite honest, I’m not a football fan. Weird right? I’m from Georgia!!! How is that possible? The real draw for me has always been the food. What party have you ever attended, other than a six year old’s first bounce house party, where all of the food was either fried, slathered with cheese, slathered with ranch, or D. all of the above? Only a Super Bowl party. And I will confess that I wasn’t going to make anything this year because my boyfriend and I had thought we wouldn’t be watching the game… but then this team called the Atlanta Falcons made it to the Super Bowl. And even though I really know very little about the sport, I have some serious Atlanta underbird pride (yes underbird not underdog). So I caught an idea and ran down the field with it.
My inspiration for these nachos comes from, maybe, not the most obvious nacho region. The other night my boyfriend and I ordered from one of our favorite Indian restaurants. He happens to live not too far from some of the best Indian restaurants in town. The kid knows how to eat. We ate our usual order, submerged ourselves into a food coma, and watched Hidden Figures (It’s excellent! Everyone should see this movie). But that’s besides the point. It dawned on me as we ate our Aloo Papri Chaat that combining this dish with some plays from an old school nacho recipe would really make the perfect Super Bowl food.
Chaat, has a special place in my heart. As a preteen in the suburbs of Atlanta I was lucky enough to attend an excellent public school with a somewhat diverse student body. A friend of mine in 8th grade was the daughter of two Indian immigrants. At the time, I had, had Indian food maybe twice in my life, which was Tandoori Chicken and rice. But the first time I visited her home after school, I was shocked to stand in front of a fridge full of foods I’d never heard of before. I was instantly mesmerized by after school samosas, paneer chaat puris, curries, and those delicious fried dough balls dipped in honey called, Gulab Jamun. It was all so flavorful and extremely different from the food my family ate.
Indian food was a bridge into food for me. It was my first experience as a child where I truly learned about another American’s culture, but also came to really admire that difference. Food doesn’t need to just be a source of nutrients, it can act as a glimpse into an individual or a culture or even act as a bridge that connects us all. And America has always been a beautiful place to walk on that bridge. If you’ve gotten this far through my ranting, what I’m really trying to say is that I hope we all begin to embrace one another more for our differences and not judge someone for the country they came from, or the God they pray to. We’re all Americans, and as far as I’m concerned we all make some really great food!
If you have a story like mine, where you discovered a love for another culture for food, I’d love to hear it. Comment below or private e-mail me.
SPICY & SPICY TANDOORI SWEET POTATO NACHOS
yields 5-6 servings
1 (16 oz) can Fava Beans
2 medium Sweet Potatoes
5 tbs Olive Oil
1 tsp Garam Masala
1/4 tsp Cayenne
Tamarind Chutney (I like Geeta’s Medium Tandoori Chutney)
(1 tbsp lemon juice every tbsp of chutney)
1/2 c plain greek yogurt
1 c beet yogurt (I like Blue Hill Beet Yogurt)
1 tbsp lime juice
1/2 tsp granulated sugar
8 oz tortilla chips
2 c shredded cheddar cheese
2 c shredded monterey jack
Additionally: top with fresh mint leaves
Preheat ove to 425° F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cut unpeeled potatoes lengthwise into slices (about 1/2 inch), then cut slices into batons (about 1/4 in wide and 3 in long)
Toss fava beans and potatoes in olive oil, garam masala, cayenne, salt, and pepper
Roast for 25 minutes, toss with a spatula every 10 minutes, until potatoes are browned and not crunchy. (aka take a test bite)
While your beans and potatoes are roasting, prep your chutney. If you purchased a chutney you may need to thin it out so you can easily drizzle. Heat a small sauce pan over medium heat, spoon out your chutney (I’d recommend about 1/3 a cup) and combine with juice from one lemon. Whisk until the mixture has thinned out to a drizzle consistency.
Whisk together the greek yogurt and beet yogurt until you get a beautiful light pink tone. Combine yogurt with lime juice, granulated sugar, and 3 tbsp water. Season with salt and pepper.
In a castiron, arrange a single layer of tortilla chips. Top with your sweet potatoes and fava beans, then half of each kinds of cheese. Repeat layering process once more. (see gif above!)
Bake until cheese has melted, about 5-6 minutes.
Drizzle Tamarind chutney and the beet yogurt sauce. Optionally – top with mint leaves