Chaats are the beloved street foods of India ~ some consider them to be the best food in India. They can vary from state to state, city to city and street cart vendor to street cart vendor.
Like most other Indian foods, there is no prescribed way to make them. Every vendor or cook makes his or her version slightly different, taking pride in how they serve it. Chaats are not usually eaten for lunch or dinner but as in between snacks to fill the salty and sweet cravings all at once.
Chaat masala is a mixture made from black salt (a sulfurous salt with a strong aroma), cumin, chili powder and amchur, dried mango powder. This is usually sprinkled on top at the end for a bright finish.
At Pondicheri, over the years we have created a variety of chaat dishes that we think is our best work and some of the best Indian food in New York. This summer we have created a summer fruit chaat salad inspired by the glorious street foods of India. It is a light tangy and delicious salad and can stand out as being one of the best salads in New York City. It has fresh live lettuce, roasted watermelon radishes, watermelon, mango, jicama, sprouted moong beans and roasted chopped peanuts. Chaat masala is sprinkled on top and jaggery lime dressing served on the side. This summer, it is available for lunch and dinner seven days a week. It can make a light meal or a great appetizer to share. Come in and enjoy it sometime!