Chaat, roughly meaning 'to taste' or 'to lick' in Hindi, occupies a predominant position in the domain of North Indian street food. It is a colloquial name for a spicy and tangy combination of diverse ingredients. Most of the options available under "chaats" are prepared using fried dough, along with sauces and other ingredients. They can be spicy, salty, soft, crunchy, sweet and tangy simultaneously. North Indian chaats are truly magical amalgamations of flavours that can titillate your taste buds and leave you craving for more.
The main ingredients of chaats
Although different chaat dishes have different ingredients that impart unique individual flavours to each, certain sauces and elements are common to all of them. These include fried crispy bread, pieces of boiled potato, gram bean, spices and chickpeas. The tangy taste is achieved with the use of tamarind, lemon, black salt, pomegranate seeds and different chutneys. Another common ingredient of chaat dishes is yoghurt. The masala or garnishing added to all chaats is usually a mix of spices like red pepper, coriander, black pepper, ginger, cumin, black salt and dried mango powder.
In addition to the above, these items are also added:
- Chopped onions & tomatoes
- Chopped raw mango
- Fresh lime juice
Gol gappa/pani puri
Pani is the Hindi term for water and the word puri refers to a type of hollow fried dough balls. The name of the dish 'pani puri' literally means 'water inside fried bread'. It is a high-demand street in most regions of India. The snacky chaat features round puris that taste like crunchy shells, usually served with a tangy water mixture containing tamarind & chilli. The puris by themselves don't taste anything great, but they are stuffed with a delicious potato-based spicy filling and dipped in the tangy water concoction before being popped into the mouth. Different parts of India have different recipes for the water mixture consumed with gol gappas.
Another extremely popular North Indian street food available for islandwide food delivery in Singapore
, Bhelpuri is a tangy mix featuring puffed rice, mixed chuda and sev. Other ingredients of this chaat dish include chopped onions, chillies, diced tomatoes and bits of boiled potatoes. Two kinds of chutneys are commonly added to bhelpuri - a sweet one prepared with tamarind and dates, and a spicy one made with coriander leaves.
This tasty and popular chaat dish from North India consists of crispy fried dough wafers, creamy yoghurt, lentil dumplings and chickpeas along with coriander & tamarind chutneys. Though usually consumed as a snack, papdi chaat can also be eaten instead of a meal.
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