Chaat can be best described as salty, sweet and tangy savory snack. Chaat can be delicious and healthy if deep-fried items are avoided. Adding small amounts of fried stuff is ok, but consuming all fried items mean bloating yourself with calories.
Though there are tons of varieties of chaats, every dish has a unique, most cherishing taste. Chaats are great way to socialize and entertain. The road side carts in India and other countries serving chaats are favorite time pass spots to many families, friends, lovers, flirts. Chaats are excellent to entertain your guests with side of cocktail or lemonade.
What is chaat made of?
Chaat is basically made of below elements. With such a unique combination there is no question that chaat is indian’s all time favorite.
- A Base: A carbohydrate and protein combination as a samosa, a papdi, garbanzo beans, peas or puffed rice.
- Chutneys: The famous green chutney made of mint, cilantro and tamarind chutney. They add spicy, sweet, tangy taste.
- Vegetables: Onions, tomatoes, boiled, mashed potatoes, cilantro, lime are usually topped over chaat.
- Condiments: Sev, boondi, spicy mixture made of fried gram flour batter are kids most favorite toppings.
- Spices: Amchur powder is dry raw mango powder which gives a sour tangy flavor to chaat. Chaat masala, black salt, cumin powder are few spices which spice up chaat and our taste buds.
How can we make chaat healthy yet tasty?
Now that we know Chaat is a combination of a carbohydrate and protein base, chutneys, some crunch, vegetables and spices, lets see how we can make it healthier. Chaat by itself is healthy if home-made. By making chaat at home, you are avoiding low quality ingredients, preservatives and expired items. Making chutneys at home isn’t labor intensive as you think. Choose protein base than fried or high carbohydrate. By choosing to make home-made, you have unlimited number of items to choose. From more than 50+ varieties of legumes, choose a different one every time. This ensures to get you all unique nutrition from each legume. When you make home-made chaat, you don’t have to sacrifice papdi, samosa sev of boondi.
- Make home-made chutneys
- Soak and cook different variety of beans every time you make chat.
- Top chat a variety of fresh greens, veggies and sprouts.
Commercially sold food is made to satisfy buyer with great taste. But food manufacturer’s are least concerned about quality and health factors. Manufacturers often find loop holes in Food and drug administration’s (FDA) and market their products. As per to FDA’s new label requirement, if a dietary supplement contains a reportable amount of trans or saturated fat, which is 0.5 gram or more, dietary supplement manufacturers must list the amounts on the Supplement Facts panel. Manufacturers can choose to list their serving size so small that saturated fat is less than .5 gram. Then they don’t have to list it.
- 2 cups - Black eye peas
- 1-2 tbsp - chilli powder depending on your spice level
- 1 tbsp - ground coriander powder
- 1 tbsp - cumin powder
- 1 - samosa
- 1 small red onion
- 1 mexican tomatillo or red tomato
- ½ cup alfalfa sprouts
- ½ cup thin sev
- 1 - lime
- 1 bunch cilantro
- Green chutney
- ½ cup cilantro
- ½ cup mint (pudina)
- 1 tbsp - peanuts
- Tamarind chutney
- ½ cup dates
- 1 2 inch sized tamarind ball
- ⅛th tsp - salt
- ⅛th tsp - garam masala
- ¼th tsp - jeera powder (cumin)
- Soak black eye peas for at least 6 hours.
- Add salt and cook beans in pressure cooker or pot till soft.
- Add oil in a pot and heat to medium.
- Add cooked beans, chilli powder, coriander and cumin powder. Cook for 10 minutes. Turn off stove.
- For green chutney
- Roast peanuts. Let them cool.
- Grind peanuts, cilantro, mint and salt till smooth.
- For tamarind chutney
- Soak tamarind in as little water for 15 minutes. Squeeze thick juice.
- Grind dates, tamarind and remaining ingredients till paste.
- Cook tamarind chutney for 10 minutes till raw smell is gone.
- Cut onion, tomatoes into cubes. Separate alfalfa sprouts. Cut cilantro.
- Take cooked beans into a serving bowl.
- Top with a samosa, desired amount of green chutney, tamarind chutney, vegetables, sprouts, quarter lime and sev.
- Serve immediately.