Mamta's Kitchen - A Family Cookbook

A Collection of Indian Spicy Street Food (Chaat) Recipes

'Chaat' is a Hindi word which means 'lick' or 'to lick'. Dishes that come under this heading are so delicious, tangy, hot, spicy, street snacks that they make you want to lick your plate/fingers/ lips, making a 'ctt' type of sound between tongue and palate.

These are mostly vegetarian dishes, a speciality of northern India, traditionally sold by locally well recognised street hawkers called Chaat Vallahs/Wallahs.

Chaats are especially popular when people go out with their friends and family, in the cool of the evenings to do their shopping or for walks. You can see them gathering all around a Chaat Wallah's cart, eating from their disposable plates, licking their fingers and plates, smacking their lips!

Good chaat wallahs become well known, their chaat being sold out within a couple of hours of opening. Traditionally, they were served in plates made from dry leaves of Sal tree,Shorea robusta, with leaves held together with thin stalks of the same tree, used as pins. These days, plates are either disposable paper ones or made by pressing Sal leaves in moulds to make plates, as well as bowls (dona).

Most of the dishes in this collection can be served as starters as well as snacks.