Indian Chaat Story

chandni-chowk-bazaar
Chandni Chowk at its busiest

Indian Chaat Story: The origin

Here in the Indian Chaat Story, the word “Chaat” originated in Gujrat and Northern part of India, it is a word used to refer small plates of spicy eatables, typically served as a roadside stall.

A group of school and college goers sharing space with the oldies and savoring the traditional Indian snack “Chaat” is a familiar scene on most Delhi evenings!

The history behind the invention of chaat dates back to the Mughal era. The story goes that Emperor Shah Jahan was advised by his chief physician to include spices and in the local food as a curative measure against stomach disorder, because of Yamuna water contamination as a result of the renovated canal! Since then, chaat became Delhi’s most favored delicacy.

In the midst of the chaotic by-lanes of Chandni Chowk, are numerous options of heavenly chaat. But Chaat didn’t really stay grounded at Delhi. It made its journey to Mumbai in the west, Kolkata in the east, Hyderabad in the south, and beyond!

Most chaats originated in some parts of Uttar Pradesh in India, but they are now eaten all across the Indian subcontinent and neighboring countries. Some are results of cultural syncretism – for instance, pav bhaji (bread/bun with cooked and mashed vegetables) originated in Mumbai but reflects a Portuguese influence, in the form of a bun, and bhel puri and sevpuri, which originated in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

A few of the lip-smacking famous chaats that made to the top 5 of my lists are:

  1. Aloo Chaat

    aloo-chat
    Aloo chaat

    Once a favorite side dish of northwest frontier cuisine, aloo chaat is humble street food in Delhi and virtually all of northern India. It consists of fried pieces of parboiled potato mixed with chana and chopped onions and is generously garnished with spices and chutney.

  2. Aloo Tikki Chaat

    Aloo-tikki-chat
    Aloo Tikki Chaat

    This is a patty made from mashed potatoes that are generously covered with Dahi and chutney and sprinkled with sev. Its origins are in northern India.

  3. Dahi Vada

    Dahi wada
    Dahi Wada

    The origins of this chaat are unknown as the Dahi vada has its presence as Dahi Bhalla(Punjab), Doi Bora (Bengal), Thayir Vadai (Tamil Nadu), Mosare Vada (Karnataka) and Perugu Vade (Telangana)

  4. Ragda Patties

    Ragada patties
    Ragada Patties

    Similar to the aloo tikki but with added value. This Mumbai staple consists of an aloo tikki that is covered with a dal made from white chickpeas known as “ragda”. And of course, what makes it magical is a generous dose of chutney and sev.

  5. Bhelpuri

    Bhelpuri
    Bhelpuri

    It consists of puffed rice, sev, chopped onions, potato, papdis, and is smothered in chutney. The soggy sweet crispiness of the snack makes it worth the drool.

I am sure there are numerous chat-lovers out there from different cities where they have more such tasty chaats. Please let me know in the comment section below, which one would you want me to try and what’s so special about it.

Check out my blog on

  1. Historic rise of Biryani – India 
  2. Chai story – Indian version

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