Strawberries are a delicious fruit that isn’t available throughout the year. But when these fruits are in season, we find ways to use them in almost everything. Pancakes, waffles, cakes – everything and anything can be made better by adding some strawberries to them. However, noted chef Maneet Chauhan has found a way to use strawberries beyond the usual dessert and breakfast. She’s using them to create a delicious sweet and savory Indian snack – chaat.
Maneet’s Strawberry Chaat
Strawberries are not an item that you would commonly associate with chaat in India. But the TV personality has come up with a unique dish that uses sweet strawberries and a tart rhubarb. For the dish, start with a base of a tangy rhubarb chutney which is made by cooking rhubarb with a five-spice blend of seeds of cumin, mustard, whole fenugreek, nigella, and black mustard. This chutney became the base of the dish. Add brown sugar, vinegar, chilly powder, and ginger to the pan. On top, throw in strawberries tossed with a little lime juice, mint leaves, and salt. After adding the tossed strawberries on top of the rhubarb chutney, finish the chaat with masala boondis, which are spiced chickpea flour crunchy balls and some freshly chopped rhubarb.
Chaat and Chauhan
Chauhan states that all the contrasting flavors give this iteration of chaat a new taste. The rhubarb chutney lends the sweetness while the masala boondi adds the crunch. Chaat is such a favorite of the Indian American chef that her Nashville restaurant Chaatable is built around this very Indian dish. Not only that, but this snack has also inspired her award-winning cookbook Chaat. According to Chauhan, the word ‘chaat’ in Hindi literally translates to ‘to lick’. And such is the beauty and taste of the various combinations of chaats that you’re left licking the utensil you’re eating from.