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Chaat is not a single dish but is a word used across India, Pakistan and the rest of South Asia for a class of spicy snacks, generally and traditionally sold in roadside chaat shops. Chaat has an iconic image in North India and is a very common evening snack.
Chaat may include snacks such as bhel puri, dahi bhalla, pani puri or gol gappe, dahi puri, sev puri, khasta kachori, papdi chaat, pao bhaaji, wada pao, aaloo tikki, ragda pattiees and others. Each region has its own specialty of chaat. Although most chaat varieties originated in North India, they are now eaten all over the country. Literally, Chaat literally means 'to lick'. It is said that this was served on a leaf and it was so delicious that people could not resist licking every last bit from the leaf before throwing it off, thus the name 'chaat' was given to the dish.Most chaat are based on fried dough, with various other ingredients. As there are many varieties of chaat, each has quite a distinct flavor. Common elements include dahi or yogurt, onions, coriander, sev and spices such as chaat masala. Chat masala typically consists of amchoor (dried mango powder), cumin, rock salt, coriander, dried ginger, salt, black pepper, and red pepper. Chaat masala is very commonly available commercially and can be used as a spicy topping in various dishes.
From beaches to hill stations, chaat shops are seen everywhere. Mumbai's Chowpatty Beach and VT, Delhi's Chandni Chowk and India Gate, Bangalore's Gangotree are among the most famous chaat haunts. Nowadays, chaat shops can be found not only in India but in other countries with sizable Indian population. They are easily available in India Restaurants all over the world.
Some of the famous chaat recipies are:
Dahi Papdi Chaat - These are crispy flat puris with potatoes, chickpeas and lentils covered with yogurt, tamarind and mint chutney.
Dahi Batata Puri - Crispy puffed puris are stuffed with potatoes and garbanzos and served with yogurt and tamarind chutney.
Bhel Puri - Its puffed rice mixed with onions, cilantro and potatoes with a dab of tamarind, mint and garlic chutneys.
Sev Puri - Flat puris sprinkled with potatoes, onions, chutney.
Pani Puri - Puffed puri filled with potatoes and filled with a spicy mint or tamarind water.
Aloo Tikki - Potato patties stuffed with green peas and served with chutney and yogurt.
Batata Vada - A speciality of mumbai, it contains potato fritters served with coconut chutney. Also called Bonda in many parts of India.
Pav Bhaji - Another mumbai speciality, it consists of spiced mixed vegetables and served with bun called pav.
Most Popular Snacks
Dal moth is a spicy and crispy snack made from gram flour, asafoetida, turmeric powder, chili powder, moong, sugar, amchur, oil and salt. Its delicious and is popular as an anytime snack or serves as a very good tea snack. [See Recipe]