The Indian snack in all its variety is the perfect complement to a day with friends, writes Kareena Khanchandani.
Chaat is probably the most popular Indian street side food. You will find it in any roadside stall in India and quite often in plush restaurants and five-star hotels too. Whether you are in London or New York, you can be sure of finding a delicious plate of these savoury snacks anywhere.
A chaat is usually a mix of spices, potato, crispy dough pieces garnished with coriander. Of course, that is merely one type of chaat and there are many variations. The most popular types of chaat are bhel puri, dahi puri, pani puri, papdi chaat, sev puri, etc.
All contain the above ingredients and some yoghurt, or small sev (mini noodles), and chaat masala, which is seasoning containing mango powder, cumin, pepper, dried ginger, dried coriander and salt.
In Dubai, a plate of chaat is easily accessible. You can go to Bombay Chowpatty in Karama and indulge in your favourite chaats or to Sukh Sagar at the Beach in JBR. And these are just two among dozens of eateries serving them. Feel free to try different localities until you find your favourite chaat corner.
It's fun to eat chaat when you are out with friends - especially the pani puri (personally one of my favourite chaats). You are provided individual bowls and served turn by turn with bite-sized servings until you are full!
If you feel like becoming your own chaat master, supermarkets have readymade chaat kits that you can quickly prepare at home.
The writer is a freelancer based in Dubai.
3 cups of puffed rice (available at Indian stores or supermarkets)
A handful of roasted and salted peanuts
2 potatoes boiled, peeled and chopped into tiny cubes n 1 large onion chopped fine
1 large tomato chopped fine
Half a bunch of coriander leaves chopped fine
2 green chillies chopped fine
Tamarind chutney to taste (available at Indian stores or supermarkets)
Mint-coriander chutney to taste
A handful of coarsely crushed papdi (savoury biscuits made from flour)
1 cup sev (vermicelli-like snack made from gram flour and available at Indian stores or supermarkets)
STEP 1: Mix the puffed rice, peanuts, potato, onion, tomato, coriander and green chillies in a large bowl.
STEP 2: Add the tamarind chutney and mint-coriander chutney according to your taste preferences (that's the beauty of bhelpuri!); mix well, garnish with plenty of sev and papdi. Serve and eat immediately.
- Source: http://indianfood.about.com