Chaat: A Holi Special Dish
Holi is close-by and we all want to consume everything fried and greasy. Some of the major food without which Holi is incomplete include Kachoris, Gujiyas, Namakpare and Mathris. Although, the list of these delicious dishes is very large but chaat items like papdi and dahi bhalla have a unique place. Chaats are popular throughout the year but they become more popular during Holi festival. Although, chaats are popular throughout the year, they reach the peak of popularity in Holi. A typical Holi menu would surely consist of chaat. Yogurt is spread over bhallas and papdis and these are topped with masalas, pomegranate seeds and chutney. A chaat item can change our worst days into happy ones and Holi into a more colourful affair.
The literal meaning of Chaat is “to lick”, and a nice plate of chaat attracts us to do the same. You will lick your fingers and the plate. There is a long list of chaats including aloo chaat, papri chaat, dahi bhalle, bedmi, dahi puri, phuchka, ragda patties, pav bhaji and bhel puri. The favourite food of all Indians is chaat and this affair is going to last long.
There have been many modifications to the recipe of Chaat. It has travelled to different parts of the country and has made a prominent place in Indian food culture. But chaat was not meant to be as delicious as it is in the present day. Chaat was originally invented for medicinal use. It has a long history of its transformation into present form.
The origins of Chaat are still unknown but some believe it originated in Bengal, some say it has its origins in Delhi and some say that chaat first originated in Uttar Pradesh.
According to a legend, the dish originated in the courts of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. Mughal’s were known for their good taste in food and it is believed that chaats originated from their highly skilled masters in kitchens.
It is also believed that during the 18th century, a lot of people became sick because of food made using polluted water of Yamuna. It was during this time that chillies have entered the food scene of India. So, one of the Hakims advised the cooks to start making chaats. The chaats were prepared using chillies and spices which increased immunity and digestion.
So, this is the story of chaat. It has travelled from different parts of the country and got much attention. From Maharashtra to Delhi, Chaat has different variations that must be explored by everyone.