Indulge in finger-licking chaats in Lucknow
Popular chaats from the capital of Uttar Pradesh which are worth indulging in
The food in Lucknow is not just about sumptuous Awadhi cuisine consisting of kebabs and parathas. The city’s street food scene is bursting with various kinds of snacks and delicious dishes. Chaats, the ubiquitous street food, feature high on the list of must-eat foods in Lucknow. Lucknowites can never have enough of these immensely gratifying chaats, which come in various avatars — matar ki chaat, tokri chaat, palak chaat and so on. But what makes the chaats here among the best in the country? It’s the right balance of spicy and sour flavours and a signature masala mix that makes these stand out. The go-to chaatwallahs are found in Aminabad, the crowded marketplace with its narrow gallis and Hazratganj, the city’s nerve-centre. With culinary travel-driven menus a key trend as pointed out in the Godrej Food Trends Report 2021, we look at some of the iconic chaats of Lucknow which are a must-try.
One of the most popular chaats among Lucknow’s street food is the Tokri Chaat or Basket Chaat. This indulgent and delightfully crispy chaat resembles a basket made by frying grated potatoes using a mould. But what makes it a drool-worthy dish are the ingredients. From pan-fried aloo tikkis to disc- shaped crispy papdis, bhalle (lentil fritters) and chole, the basket is flavoured with tangy tamarind chutney, generous spoons of thick curd, green chutney, sev, pomegranate kernels, grated carrots, coriander leaves and a mix of masalas (chaat masala, dhania powder, red chilli powder, amchoor and jeera powder).
A traditional summertime snack, kanjis comprise lentil dumplings dunked in tangy mustard-flavoured fermented water. These vadas are made of ground moong daal, deep-fried and soaked in water infused with mustard, chillies and tamarind. Binge on these soft vadas that come with an array of spice mix, tamarind chutney and coriander leaves.
Matar ki chaat
This one’s far from boring and is made from one primary ingredient – matar (known as matara in Lucknow). What makes it different from any other matar-based snack is its texture. This chaat uses boiled white peas mashed and seasoned with spices. It is then pan-fried till its starchiness turns them crisp. Served hot with lime, ginger juliennes, chaat masala and green coriander chutney.
Palak patta chaat
Even those who are not fond of spinach, will fall in love with this tangy snack. Made with fresh spinach leaves, curd, mint chutney and sev, this one goes well with tea or coffee. Spinach leaves are dipped in a batter of besan and deep-fried. Next, they are drizzled with smooth beaten curd, date-tamarind chutney and masalas.
Have you tried any other chaats from Lucknow? Share in the comment section below.