Chaat Party

Chaat Party

The beauty of chaat — a category of tangy, sweet, fiery and crunchy Indian snacks — is that it’s built for customization. The only common denominator is that alchemy of flavor sensations, often driven by a combination of sweet-and-sour tamarind chutney, a bright herb chutney (like this cilantro-mint chutney or this green chile chutney) and cooling raita. Otherwise, base ingredients and toppings (and even those chutneys!) can all be interchanged. This spirit is the driving force behind Maneet Chauhan’s chaat party, from her cookbook, “Chaat” (Clarkson Potter, 2020), a choose-your-own-adventure spread that allows eaters to build a chaat suited to their tastes: More crunch! Less spicy! More sweet! More herbs! It’s entirely up to you. This is a great way to entertain, and also a quick, no-cook dinner. Use this list as a starting point for ingredients, but feel free to get creative. If you are able to get banana leaves, spread them out over the table before arranging everything else on top for a bright pop of color. —Priya Krishna
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  1. Step 1

    Put each item in an individual bowl alongside a stack of larger bowls to enable your guests to mix up their chaat with a spoon or, more traditionally, their hands.
  2. Step 2

    As a starter suggestion for assembly: Begin with a crunchy base (crackers, bhel or murukku), add vegetables and fruits, then chutneys and raita, and finally lime juice, plus any combination of other toppings, such as chaat masala, red chile powder and sev. Improv and adjustments are encouraged.