The Legend Of North Indian Junk Food: Chaat or Chat is a legendary north Indian Junk food. These are filled with flavours. Chat can be sweet, savory, tangy and spicy all at the same time. During Indian monsoons its an age old tradition to consume chaat. In Ayurveda its advised to eat foods that are fried during monsoon, to avoid contamination.
Pakodas, usually served with green and sweet chutney, are a form of chat. And if you’re an Indian you know the sorcery of Pakoda + Chai+ Monsson.
Deconstructing a chaat:
There are some core ingredients are, Potato, Green/Sweet Chutney, dahi or curd and spices.
Aloo Tikki Chat is made from frying a dough made from potato in shape of pattie. The pattie is fried to being crisp. Then the pattie is topped with Black pepper powder, black salt, white salt, red chili powder, cumin powder. Once the pattie is spiced up, its then layered with sweet chutney, green chutney, and sweetened curd. garnishing is done by adding fresh coriander leaves and aloo lachha.
Another important menu item is Dahi Bhalla. Making Dahi bhalla involves grinding Urad lentil/dal and making a thick batter. The batter is then fried by forming a round shaped ball. The fried balls are the dipped in sweet dahi and garnished with spices.
Since I am from Kanpur, Dhaniya Aloo deserves an honorary mention. Its nothing but boiled potato cut into medium cubes and tossed in a very spicy green chutney. That’s it. its one of the easiest items that one can make at home. trust me this cleanses your palate like no other food.
This Blog is dedicated to a 30+ year old chat eatery, THE CHAT of Kanpur.
Over the years I have grown up eating their chat. The owner is Mr. Shyam Sundar Gupta Aka Lalla Bhaiya, but I fondly call him Lalla Uncle. He was a kid when he lost his father. At the age of 15 during 1980s he started a small cart to sell his chat. Over the years his loyal base base grew and so did his business. In late 80’s he bought a shop in a complex, right outside where where he used to sell on a cart. In mid 90’s he bought 3 shops across the road and made a dining restaurant.
Now The Chat empire boasts of multiple stores in the city, some of which are located at Kanpur’s most expensive real estate. To keep authenticity of the dishes he hasn’t adopted a multi franchisee model.
Even the road square is named, THE CHAT Chauraha.
His story is a true rags to riches tale. More power to you, Lalla Uncle.
If youre in Kanpur, You can order your chaat from Swiggy
Image Source: Google