Chaat items(also spelt as chat) is mainly Indian street food. That was some time back. These chat itmes have become so popular that now most Indian restaurants offer them on their menu to attract customers.
The fun of eating on the streets along with friends is something to be experienced. These snacks are generally available in the afternoons and evenings at the street vendors as well as at the restaurants.
Chats can also be made at home and are a favorite to be served at parties and celebrations, even wedding receptions along with other traditional foods. In fact it is fashionable to serve these at weddings. Those chat stalls are more crowded at all get togethers.
Chats are a mixture of all the tastes, sweet, sour, hot, salty, just like life. And because of that they are very much in demand as snacks too. Kids love them and grown ups like them too.
Chat recipes mainly include crisp fried bread(small poories), puffed rice, onions, coriander leaves, tomatoes, boiled potatoes, sev, which is made from chickpea flour (bengal gram flour - Besan), spice mixes, sweet and sour chutneys such as date chutney, coriander and mint chutney.
All the items are kept ready and the chat is assembled just before serving. You can be as creative as you want. You can even invent your own version of a chat recipe. It is really interesting to watch the chat being prepared. It makes you also more creative about food.
You can make the chats at home too. When you have a few basic items, you can assemble a chat dish in a few minutes. You can buy some of the items and the easier ones you can make at home. Generally I buy the pooris which are available in the packs of 50 in each bag. The remaining items I prefer to make at home.
The advantage of making the chats at home is that you can use the best ingredients and make healthier snacks. Add sprouted dals - lentils, grated carrots and cabbage, cauliflower for variations. Even the kids who are fussy about not wanting to eat vegetables will not generally complain about eating thise vegetables in chats.
Most of the items needed for chats are available ready-made in the market. You can use them if you like. Chopped onions and fresh coriander(cilantro) leaves are a must to any chat.
You will find my recipe of Chat masala which is common to all the chat items and you can easily make it at home. this chat masala can also be used to sprinkle on salads and juices. You can also use it to refresh your mouth. Just put a pinch of chat masala on your tongue. It is also a good digestive.
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