Let's Have a Chaat
The delicious example theretowith in the photo above is the creation — from scratch, mind you — of our dear friend and muse, one Michele T. Fillion of Montclair, New Jersey; and, thereabouts.
Chaat appeals to this Cat in terms of its variety. It's as varied as the culture of the Subcontinent itself. If you want to know what's in it, better to make of list of what's not in it.
In terms of what it is, imagine crispy, crunchy, spicy, tangy all mélanged together. There are five essential components [per Bon Appétit Magazine].
1. A crispy base of fried dough, or something like puffed Rice, or leftover fried foods like Samosas and Pakoras.
2. A tangy sauce of yogurt and/or chutney.
3. Crunchy from Masala Channa [fried spiced Chickpeas] and/or Sev [fried Besan flour noodles.]
4. Texturey from diced raw and/or cooked vegetables like Onions, Tomatoes, and/or Potatoes.
5. Umami-y: Make that Chaat Masala.
But, just to confuse the issue further, Chaat might just be anything you want to mix together in a bowl. Like fruits and/or vegetables.
[Notice the liberal use of "and/or". As a way of intimating that, with Chaat ... anything seems to go.]
Or, if all that is too much fuss for your first time with Chaat, go to your neighborhood Indian food store and get some packaged Chaat Masala.
Here's a video showing a restaurant Chaat Bar. Watch it to grok the variety. It'll thoroughly confuse you if you don't know from Indian foods and ingredients. And, maybe it'll still confuse you, even if you do ...