The concept of chaat is believed to have conceived in Northern India and with time and various cultural and regional blends, many street foods evolved that became an integral part of the famous chaat of India. According to Culinary Expert and Food Blogger, Chef Reetu Uday Kugaji, "Chaat is a savoury snack prepared with a medley of ingredients which may include potatoes, gram flour discs or crackers, onions, yogurt, chickpeas, mint, peanuts and various chutneys and is served as an appetizer. It is loved especially in North India. Mumbai is also famous for some tongue tingling chaat preparations."
1. The Base: The base generally consists of puffed rice and papdi that provides a crispy texture.
2. Chutneys or Yogurt: Tamarind, jaggery and date chutney and mint-coriander -green chilli chutney are often used. Yogurt is added to the chaat to complement the spiciness of the chutneys and the masalas.
3. The Crunch: Roasted peanuts or chickpeas are often added and not to forget the delicious sev.
4. Vegetables: Raw chopped onion and juicy tomatoes may be used. It may also include boiled and cubed potatoes or sweet potatoes.
5. The masalas: A generous sprinkling of chaat masala or a squeeze of lime lifts up the flavours.
Keeping the above in mind, street foods that come under 'chaat' may include Aloo Tikki Chaat, Aloo Chaat, Bhel Puri, Channa Chaat, Matra Tikki, Raj Kachori, Basket Chaat, Dahi Bhalla or Dahi Vada, Paani Puri, Sev Puri and Ragda Pattice. Chef Reetu also shares, "Pav Bhaji should be excluded from the list of chaats as it is indubitably a full meal in itself and chaats are basically prepared with ingredients which are pre-cooked with a combination of some raw ingredients and then assembled together and served as snacks." We've all grown up savouring our favourite chaat preparations and they truly hold a special place in every foodie's heart.