Chatpati Chaat

Street food recipes that are sure to make you happy!

7/5/2016 4:46:58 PM
written By : Nithya Subramanian Print

Feeling low and need a mood-lifter? Forget spirits, chaat is your saveur.

A potpourri of crispy fried dough, boiled potatoes, chickpeas or gram, flavoured with tangy, salty and spicy sauces that are often topped with yoghurt, this concoction is sure to tickle your taste buds.   

While some historians consider it to be part of Hindu cuisine, as it is mainly vegetarian and does not contain onion or garlic others say that its origins can be traced to the Mughal times.

So whether it was first prepared in Old Delhi’s Chandni Chowk area (as claimed by BJP’s Member of Parliament Vijay Goel) or in Uttar Pradesh, “there will be a North Indian (possibly a UP-ite) behind the stall, mashing potatoes with his hands and ladling in the dahi while simultaneously chewing pan,” noted Rude Food: The Collected Food Writings of Vir Sanghvi, chaats are the go-to comfort food.

Today chaats are eaten all over India and wherever the diaspora is present. It has also been influenced by local cultures such as the Bhel Puri, which originated in Bombay. While a restaurant called Vithal invented this dish, “It was …the Gujaratis who recognised the potential for complex flavours in the sweaty simplicity of North Indian chat,” said Sanghvi.

Legend has it that when British cook, William Harold, was ordered to get the recipe by a high ranking army officer, he went from home to home to find one. And when he returned with a variety of semi-recipes, but not a real one, the officer went berserk with fury and shot the cook dead causing a mutiny in the barracks. 

With potential for so much collateral damage, it comes as no surprise that everyone has a favourite chaat. Here are some interesting recipes. 

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