Spice up your palate with a round of chaat on an invitation of Shruti Shukla
The cuisine of Lucknow is incomplete without its lip smacking chaat known to be the best in the country. Chaat, a spicy snack originated in Uttar Pradesh and over time became popular in neighbouring countries of Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan as well.
Chaat includes aloo tikkis or boiled potatoes shaped into patties and fried deep brown till crisp. This delicacy is topped with yoghurt and sweet tamarind sauce and garnished with chopped ginger, green chilli, coriander and spices. However, other variants of chaat like matar chaat, basket chaat, dahi vada, dahi puri, pani puri, bhel puri and papri chaat are also available to choose from.
Local markets are flooded with numerous chaat outlets but Shukla Chaat House, Moti Mahal and Royal Café in Hazratganj, Chappan Bhog in Sadar, Radhey Lal in Aliganj, Dixit Chaat House in Chowk, Kesarvani and Pandit Chaat House in Aminabad, Neelkanth at Gomti Nagar and Classic at Mahanagar are most popular and visited regularly by folks and families from evening till midnight.
All these places offer chaat prepared traditionally by frying different items in pure desi ghee. Small vendors however use refined oil to cut down costs and more affordable by chaat lovers of lower income groups.
A typical serving of chaat includes a serving of two aloo tikkis with an approximate 200 to 300 kilogram calorie, 10 to 15 gram fat, two to four gram protein depending on the type of fat or oil used for cooking and the size of serving.
Like most scrumptious delicacies, chaat too is unwholesome and filled with unhealthy non nutrients. Excessive calories and saturated fat count in chaat makes it a strict no no for diabetics, heart patients and health watchers. Occasional indulgence, however, is alright. But mind the portions and not to forget to exercise after feasting on chaat.