#AtoZ2017, AtoZChallenge

C is for… AtoZChallenge

Chaat

A Chaat is a savory snack, typically a street food, well-loved and found all over India. A host of ingredients are put together and seasoned with the most delicious of Chutneys, the tastes of which range from spicy to sour to sweet to tangy and the coming together of all the ingredients forms a Chaat. Bhel Puri, Paani Puri, Sev Puri, Dahi Puri and more are the various names given to a Chaat.

Names and tastes may differ according the states you may have it in but the joy they bring remain the same. Call it by whatever name you want to but the first reaction the mention of a Chaat will evoke is a wide smile.

Like many other people I associate Paani Puri with a happy occasion, eating it with friends, competing who could eat the most, laughing aloud if someone’s Puri broke midway to its journey into the cave of the mouth. It was a rite of passage when you could gobble a whole Puri packed with mashed potatoes and moong or chana and dripping with the spicy water.  Eyes watering, hissing away as we eat one spicy part at a time, getting it modified by the ever patient ‘Bhaiyyas’ who dole them out, indulging in Chaat even as you are discussing where you ate the best one or the worst one and what the current plate in front of you is lacking is the done thing, this talk is almost an accompaniment!

When we moved to Bangalore from Mumbai I missed my Chaats the most, till careful research and lots of trials and errors later we found places that serve the purpose, if not the most authentic chaat 🙂

A Chaat is a meal for me, and contrary to what anyone might say or believe, Mumbai has the most delicious Chaat’s anywhere in India, and in Mumbai, my Mum makes the best ones.

Whenever I visit home it is an unsaid rule there there will be Chaat for dinner on the day I arrive or the next day.

 

Most people think I am Calm, like the Buddha. Ha! Looks couldn’t be more deceptive could they now?

I studied in Convent School, where I was calm, almost meek. In fact most people from school only remember me because my name was so unusual and I was the only Mayuri in school. I didn’t speak much then, at least not to everyone save for a few friends. I preferred to spend my time in the Library where I developed my reading habit, on in the Sewing Room thanks to which I love sewing and needle work and embroidery or with very few close friends. And I had a temper. Yes. A terrible, fly of the handle temper. I was also thoroughly spoilt, indulged, accommodated by a family full of Uncles and Aunts what with being the eldest niece.

Then one day I changed. I got bored of being me!

And from a dark cloud I turned into this cheery ray of sunshine!:)

So am I Calm? As I like to say, my facial features are calm, and I am anything but. I am alive! I am hyper! And fun! Also funny and impish and a bundle of energy! With so many flattering adjectives going around why would I want to be known as ‘Calm?’ ;-D

35 thoughts on “C is for… AtoZChallenge

  1. Chaat! Thanks to braces, the only chaat I can eat is Sev Puri and Bhel Puri. I haven’t taken the risk of eating Pani Puri, and it’s been almost a year since I ate it 🙁

    I enjoyed your description of the chaat eating experience! And, I still haven’t got the point of eating chaat in a restaurant. There are a few restaurants in Mumbai who serve chaat in all these fancy shot glasses and all, but I doubt the experience would be as satisfying as standing at your favourite chaat stall, telling the bhaiyya to make it more pungent/less pungent, or screaming at him to give the plain Masala Puri at the end ! 😀

  2. CHAAAAATT!!!! Is there any Indian who wouldnt love this amazing concotion? Thrown in all that you can, with sev and dhania leaves, you could make the most interesting and creative chaat. What would I do in life, if not for this amazing dish. Your post is making my mouth water!!!!And with chaat described, … i guess I cant be calm either…would want to gobble it all up

  3. Haha chaat is meal for me too. I guess men will never know what chaat means to girls… The ones I know have always been pulling my legs for the appetite I have for chaat.

    I am drooling over your chaat pics. Can’t wait but to make them and eat.

  4. I love chaat! Especially the roadsides ones and not the hotel ones. I had chaat at Elco in Mumbai and loved it! There are some places in Bangalore which made decent chaat too.

    I am a convent product too and my names means calm as well. But you know how I am 😀

  5. I love chaat.We have phucka in Kolkata ,which is a cousin of the paani puri .The sweet sour tangy taste of chaat and your description made my mouth water .You do have a calm face .That’s such a blessing.Cheery you are ! About the temper part I need more research .

  6. Chaat and all its variations were a common part of my everyday life back when I was in pune as a student. Cheap, relatively hygienic and absolutely delicious, they were great for students. I miss that after coming back to Kerala.

    Question – I see a Haldirams ready made packet for paani puri. Know anyone who’s tried it and what they thought of it?

  7. Soooo cute!!! First, let’s talk about chaat! I love chaat! And by love, I mean anything that is beyond that! I can have it anytime you ask!! And boy, I’m from Agra, and Agra has THE BEST chaat! No doubt about that! I’m not saying Mumbai’s chaat is bad, but once you’ll have chaat in Agra, you would want to go there again and again!

    And you look calm but the cheerful side of you is a bliss!! You’re always so positive and spread your sunshine everywhere!

    Cheers
    BoisterousBee

  8. Chaat was discovered in the royal kitchen of Emperor Shah Jahan. According to legends, Shah Jahan was instructed to consume food that was high on spices but light on the stomach and that’s how chaat was born. Over the time, chaat went through various changes as new flavours were added to it. Travelling from North to Gujarat, this delicacy was produced in different style, taste and forms. From Raj Kachori, Gol Gappe, to Khandvi Noddle Chaat, Chola Pattie and Pudina Kadi Samosa- bring in versatility to the heavenly chaat. Every nooks and corner has its own spin to this chaat. In fact, in North you will find every chaat place has a different flavour of its own. Be it the comfort of one’s home or the crowded market corner, a spoon-full of chaat transports one to their happy place. And for a while, the world stands still. There is just you and your chaat, a rendezvous to be savoured.

  9. I just had my dinner and my mouth is watering after reading your post. The way you have described the pani puri is making me crave for one now. We get great chaats in Delhi too.
    And you my friend is everything you mentioned especially fun. We all have positives and negatives but how we treat others says a lot about us. All I can say is , You are a great friend 🙂

  10. I love chaat. And so does my son. I make most of these at home and it is such fun to keep on eating even though it is spicy! I’ve never thought of you as calm! You’re definitely bubbly!

  11. Mayuri I love chaats and panipuris and they are a meal to me too. I was an introvert in school too. But then I got bored of being the observer and I don’t know when i became the performer and entertainer!!

  12. lovely post – and you have shared such a powerful message M – It’s got me thinking! I love the idea of 1 day deciding to be a different me 🙂
    now, I LOVE LOVE LOVE CHAAT – I could have it breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks… mid-night snack! 🙂
    Now here’s my take on why I would call you a calm person to have around – because the 1 time we met, and the zillion times we have interacted online and on messages, I have found that you are such a bright spot of sunshine, that I feel calm! 🙂

  13. Oh M! You have to try the Lucknow chaats and I promise you, you will change your mind. C is for calm and collected, C is for Chatpati as a Chat, and that’s what you are! I like the way you weave your persona and your stories around food. Some food for thought this. Have a great weekend. I’m heading out for some chaat definitely today.

    Natasha
    natashamusing

    Travel Epiphanies:
    Far far Away

    Travel Epiphanies:
    Gobsmacked in Glorious Goa

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