Type Snack
Place of origin India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal
Region or state South Asia
Cookbook: Chaat  Media: Chaat

Chaat (Hindi/Nepali: चाट, Urdu/Punjabi: چاٹ ) is a term describing savory snacks, typically served at road-side tracks from stalls or food carts in India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh.[1][2] With its origins in Uttar Pradesh,[3] chaat has become immensely popular in the rest of South Asia. The word derives from Hindi cāṭ चाट (tasting, a delicacy), from cāṭnā चाटना (to lick), from Prakrit caṭṭei चट्टेइ (to devour with relish, eat noisily).[4]


Aloo tikki served with hari (mint and cilantro chutney), saunth chutneys, and dahi

The chaat variants are all based on fried dough, with various other ingredients. The original chaat is a mixture of potato pieces, crisp fried bread dahi vada or dahi bhalla, gram or chickpeas and tangy-salty spices, with sour home-made Indian chilly and saunth (dried ginger and tamarind sauce), fresh green coriander leaves and yogurt for garnish, but other popular variants included aloo tikkis or samosa (garnished with onion, coriander, hot spices and a dash of curd), bhel puri, dahi puri, panipuri, dahi vada, papri chaat, and sev puri.

There are common elements among these variants including dahi, or yogurt; chopped onions and coriander; Sev (thin dried yellow salty noodles); and chaat masala, typically consisting of amchoor (dried mango powder), cumin, Kala Namak (rock salt), coriander, dried ginger, salt, black pepper, and red pepper. The ingredients are combined and served on a small metal plate or a banana leaf, dried and formed into a bowl.


Most chaats originated in some parts of Uttar Pradesh in India, but they are now eaten all across the Indian Sub-continent. Some are results of cultural syncretism - for instance, pav bhaji (Bread/bun with cooked and mashed vegetables) reflects a Portuguese influence, in the form of a bun, and bhel puri and Sevpuri, which originated in Mumbai.


In cities where chaat is popular, there are popular chaathouses or dhabas, such as Mumbai's Chowpatty Beach. The chaat specialities vary from city to city. Chaat from Azamgarh, Varanasi, Agra, Meerut, Muzaffarnagar, and Mathura are famous throughout India. In Hyderabad, chaat is mostly prepared by vendors hailing from Bihar, and is different in taste.

Types of chaat

Aloo chaat
Delhi chaat with saunth chutney
Aloo chaat vendor, Connaught Place, New Delhi
A plate of Masala poori made by street vendors in the chaat stalls near Bangalore

See also


  1. Thumma, Sanjay. "CHAAT RECIPES". Hyderabad, India: Archived from the original on 2012-11-03. Retrieved 2012-11-27.
  2. The Chaat Business (in Bengali)
  3. "10 Best Recipes From Uttar Pradesh ( Varanasi/ Agra / Mathura )". NDTV. October 25, 2013. Retrieved 26 October 2013.
  4. Oxford English Dictionary. Chaat. Mar. 2005 Online edition. Retrieved 2008-02-18.
  5. N.Moghul, Sobiya. "beetroot chaat". the times of india. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
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