Basket Chaat – Chat Chata Chaat From India
Ever since I was little, I remember my fascination with “Chaat“. Twenty years back, chaat was sold on the streets of India on small hand carts. I remember running to one of the ChaatWalas (the guys who sold Chaat) and asking for Pani Puri (Gol Gappe) and trying to stuff those huge Puris in my small mouth. The spicy-sweet tamarind, chilly and coriander chutney and boiled chickpeas that were stuffed inside these fried puris imparted the Gol Gappes a flavor to die for.
Bhel Puri, Sev Puri, Dahi Puri, Aloo Tikki Chaat, Samosa Chaat; the names on the menu were countless. Years later, the menu has expanded and has more fancier names on it and Chaat is now sold in fancier shops that charge you for eating in those fanciful interiors 🙂
One such delicacy is the Basket Chaat. As the name suggests, Basket Chaat is essentially Chaat served in a fried basket. The basket is a circular netted base of fried Sev, which is nothing but vermicelli made from gram flour. The circular base is created by the cooks while frying this vermicelli.
What follows next is a mix of different spices and ingredients that fill this basket to the brim.
One can start by stuffing boiled Moong (Whole Green Grams). Typically, people soak Moong in water overnight before boiling them for a good 15-20 minutes.
Then follows Chopped onion, tomato, coriander, boiled and mashed potato, more Sev but this one is just fried vermicelli, no fancy shape here.
And of course chaat is incomplete with the spices and Chutneys. Next come red chilli powder, chaat masala, pinch of salt, curd (yogurt), tamarind chutney, chilly and mint chutney and finally it is garnished with coriander(or cilantro).
What’s more interesting is that most shops place the basket in a bowl while serving it and the bowl is made from dried leaves. That gives it the street look 🙂
Most people would asked me about the measure of the ingredients. I would say that Chaat is experimentation. It is a mix of all things above to any quantity that you like 🙂 But for the more inquisitive readers, here are a few links that you might like to go through.