?Stop by any small restaurant or roadside stall in India and there is a good chance you will find at least one chaat dish on the menu.
A chaat is a bite-sized, typically fried savory snack. Although chaats are small in size, they are full of flavor. Chaats are the perfect pick-me-up at any time of the day. Many people find that an assortment of chaats makes a quick, light meal.
Chaats originated in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, but over time this type of snack has become popular throughout South Asia. Each region developed its own unique recipes according to the local ingredients and taste preferences. Even in the same region, each family has its own favorite recipe. Enjoying a meal of chaat lets you take a culinary journey without leaving the table.
What Chaat Would You Like?
While there are many kinds of chaats, most have similar characteristics:
A Crispy Base: Most chaats are built on a sturdy base, like a gol gappa chaat. This gives diners something to hold onto without getting their hands dirty while adding a satisfying crunch.
A Filling or Topping: The filling or topping for a chaat is generally made from vegetables. Many different vegetables can go into a chaat's filling, but favorites include chickpeas, potatoes and onions.
A Sauce: The most common sauces for chaats are chutneys. One of the most popular chutneys is made from the sweet and sour tamarind fruit. Many people prefer the light and refreshing taste of a cilantro and mint chutney. Cooks often use more than one sauce in a single dish.
The Secret Ingredient — Chaat Masala: Almost every chaat uses this secret ingredient. It is what gives a chaat its wonderful taste.
Three Common Chaats
With so many chaats to choose from, trying to pick just one is confusing. Diners new to chaat can't go wrong by ordering one of these favorite chaats:
Papri Chaat often reminds Westerners of mini-pizzas. This dish consists of a small, shallow bowl made from deep-fried bread which is then topped with well-seasoned boiled potatoes and a variety of sauces.
Aloo Tikki Chaat resembles a dressed-up hash brown patty. It is made by mashing boiled potatoes with spices and then forming the mixture into patties. The patties are then fried and topped with beaten curds and chutney.
Gol Gappa Chaat offers diners a unique eating experience. Fried dough bases similar to those used for papri chaat are filled with potatoes, chickpeas, onions and spices. Gol gappa chaat is then served with a selection of sauces or chutneys which the diner can drizzle over their chaat before eating.
Enjoy the Chaat Tradition in Columbus
Are you yearning to try a chaat but can't take a trip to India? Curry Up Indian Grill in Columbus, Ohio offers Indian-inspired dishes made especially for the Western palate. We make all food fresh daily. Don't forget to visit the chai bar!