Friday, August 13, 2010

Chaat Paradise @ Moutain View

Chaat is a plate of savory snacks, typically served on road-side tracks from stalls or carts. Most Chaats originated in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India, but are now eaten all over south Asia. Many of the Chaats are a fusion of cultures. For instance, Pav Bhaji (Bread/bun with cooked and mashed vegetables) reflects a Portuguese influence, in the form of a bun and Bhel (Sev) Puri was created by a Gujarati migrant to Mumbai.The Chaat speacialites vary from city to city.

Back home, when we feel like having Chaat, we just walk down the street to the road side Chaat stall, where the Chaat wala would be busy making paav bhaji, pani puri, samosa chaat, et al. We just tell him to keep the pani puris coming and eat plate after plate. After a few burps and belly strokes indicating the stomach is really full, we waddle away from the shop. This is a daily ritual when we visit home.

I was delighted to stop by Chaat Paradise on the way to the airport. They make authentic Delhi Chaat and is run by the people from Delhi.We went there at 2:30 pm and it was just gearing up for the evening. Mostly, people where stopping by for takeout.

Apart from all kinds of Chaat, you even get thalis, rotis, parathas, biryani, and entrees like saag paneer, malai paneer and many more. They even have Chaat Combos in their menu! You get a choice of any two Chaat, Pappad and Soda/Tea/Coffee for just $8.50!Amazing deals.We ordered a combo, consisting of Hara Bhara Bhel - puffed rice, sev (a fried snack shaped like thin noodles made from besan flour), and mixture (a mix of different types of fried snacks mixed together), as the base of the snack, tomatoes, onions, potatoes and chilis added to the base and topped with chutneys. Different chutneys impart a sweet or spicy flavour. There are two popular chutneys used, a sweet one made of dates and tamarind, and a green spicy chutney made of coriander leaves and green chillies.

and the dahi batate sev puri - mini puri shells filled with stuffings and topped with sev, yogurt and chutneys.

The round, puffy puri shell is first broken on top and partially filled with the main stuffing of mashed potatoes or chickpeas. A little chaat masala is added for taste, as well as a pinch of salt.Sweet tamarind chutney and spicy green chutney are poured into the shell on top of the stuffing. Finally, sweetened beaten yoghurt is generously poured over the shell, and the finished product is garnished with sprinklings of crushed sev, moong dal and finely chopped coriander leaves.

The Chaats were flawless and totally perfect! The best I have had in the US. If you are visiting the Bay Area, make sure to stop by this awesome restaurant. If you live in the Bay Area, I don't know what to say - I am jealous!

Chaat Paradise on Urbanspoon


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