Foody Fridays: Mangalore Chaat !

Hailing from Mumbai, I have been in the constant search for a place that serves decent chaat. My quest for such a place has ended with the opening of a new chaat corner called Chaat Zaara which is located in the lane behind Deepa Comforts. The part I like the most about this place is that it uses the correct ingredients in the preparation of the chaat items instead of using wrong and not to mention unappetizing substitutes. For instance, they actually use papdi in the preparation of sev puri instead of using the same puri used in pani puri that seems to be the choice of most other chaat joints in Mangalore. From pani puri and sev puri to samosa chaat and basket chaat, you name it and they have it. My personal favorite is the Suji pani puri which is served with mouth watering pani.

Chaat Zaara is definitely a good substitute to the roadside pani puri vendors because they maintain good levels of hygiene and therefore the food is easy on the stomach. To accompany the chaat I would recommend the regular or the mango lassi although it is a little too thick but delicious at the same time. A variety of sweets are offered to end the meal on a sweet note, none of them extraordinary, although if I had to choose I would go with the ras malai. The consistency of ras gullas and gulab jamuns is a little too hard for my liking. It has a good ambiance and good seating arrangement so that you can sit back and relax with your friends and enjoy a meal that is easy on the pocket.

If you’re the kind of person that thinks chaat is the kind of food that is enjoyable only when it is eaten in a small stall on the roadside, then Chaat Junction might just be the place for you. Situated in the Casa Grande complex, in close proximity to the Kaprigudda and Sturrock hostels, it is already a popular hangout among the boys. The pani puri here is served with pani that is just the right chatpata taste, not too spicy not too bland. The samosa chaat is appealing to the taste buds as well. The sev puri (ask for the paapdi otherwise they give the same old puri) and the paapdi chat were a little more on the sweeter side so request them to make it spicier if that’s what you like. And, most importantly, nothing on the menu is over Rs. 15. But mind you, this is not a place for hypochondriacs!

Lucknowi Chaat in the Empire Mall food court has food that is surely edible but there is nothing on the menu that would make me want to go there again. The food is also slightly overpriced compared to the above mentioned eateries that have far more delicious options.

A special thanks to fellow foodies Lakshmi Jayaram, Sujay Prabhath and Vishesh Sharma for helping me with the ‘research’ involved for this article!

This is a Guest post by Riddhi Joshi. She is a third year student at the Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore!