Chaat! Doesn’t the mention of this word set your taste buds watering!! Chaat is very close to what Indian food generally is – chatpata. It is a scrumptious blend of teekha, meetha, khatta, namkeen – absolutely tasty. The word ‘chaat’ is derived from the Hindi verb ‘chaatna’ which literally means ‘to lick one’s fingers clean’. Served cold and sometimes even hot it is a versatile any-time-eat.
All time favourites
There was a time when chaats were an important part of the street foods mostly in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Bihar, Meerut, Indore and Calcutta. People swear by the chaats from Indore so much so that they have become an integral part of the menus offered by big caterers. Even in restaurants you will find a variety of chaats displayed prominently on the menu cards. And now chaats are found in plentiful across the length and breadth of India. Wherever you go you get chaat with, of course, the local touch.
Why home made
With chaats being such a favourite snack in most homes where both young and old enjoy them with equal glee it would be a rewarding experience making them at home. This way one can not only assure hygiene but also good value for money. If you are too fond of chaats maybe some of them can be treated as a meal by itself occasionally.
Creativity creats chaats
Creativity is an important ingredient when it comes to creating a new chaat. You can play along with the flavour of black salt, cumin and chutneys …or you can use the technique of fusion and create something like the now very popular Chinese Bhel and Mexican Chaat!
Chat and chaat party
Chaat party can be lot of fun as there is almost negligible cooking involved. You could prepare the chutneys beforehand and freeze them till needed. The puris, sev etc can be bought readymade. All you have to ensure is that the coriander etc for garnishing is as fresh as can be! Chop onions neatly and in small size. In fact, if you can cut the onions some hours before the party and keep them covered, the flavours that come out in the chaat are much better than freshly cut onions. Have boiled sprouted moong, chana, boiled potatoes ready and serve them in deep bowls. In case use of so much crockery alarms you, why not give an authentic touch by serving in leaf plates and bowls?
Sweet, not only savoury!
Then you can make sweet chaats, why only savoury! A Tawa Mithai Chaat is so fancy that it can be included in a wedding menu! Or have the fussy children eat up some fruits in a Mixed Fruit Chaat.
Brunch on chaats
Different avatars of chaats like Baby Uttapa with Aloo Bhaji, Masala Dosa Chaat, Kachori Chaat make heavy snacks fit for a lazy Sunday brunch.
Please the unexpected guests
All you need is some cornflakes cereal and something like a Healthy Cornflakes Bhel can add glory to your tea table instantly. If you have papads and no cereal, then rustle up Urad Dal Papad Chaat!
After school snacks
Hungry, tired, irritable – one way to describe back from school kids. Feed them Papdi Pizza or Chinese Bhel or American Sev Puri. The taste, crunch and presentation are all very satisfactory!
For all reasons and seasons
Chaats are excellent snacks for all occasions and seasons and quintessentially a lovely way to serve Indian food to one and all!