Fruit Chaat is a sweet, sour and spicy medley of seasonal fruits and vegetables with different dressings and seasonings added to it.
It is a very popular street food in South Asia with different variations in flavour combinations. You can make it with any seasonal fruits of your choice but traditionally it is made with a mix of sweet and citrus fruits, with a few vegetables added for crunch and texture.
Different condiments are served on the side with it, like tamarind chutney, mint Raita and papad.
The simple chaat is seasoned with just salt and pepper seasoning but the traditional spicy version includes a special chaat masala. You can use the store bought masala or make your own with the recipe given below.
Personally I prefer the simple seasoning because it doesn’t overpower the flavours of fruits but if you want to pack a punch of heat then go for some chaat masala.
Chaat masala has one peculiar ingredient… black salt, which is a brownish pink, highly pungent salt.
It is used frequently in the Indian subcontinent as a flavour enhancer,
condiment and digestion aid. If you are not used to the smell and taste or can’t find it where you live, just skip it and substitute it with plain salt.
For Fruit Chaat, Sweet and Sour Fruit Salad :
2 bananas, peeled, sliced
2 apples, cored and cubed
3 guavas, cored and cubed
3 oranges, peeled, segmented, deseeded
2 boiled potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 cup pomegranate seeds or strawberries
1 medium onion, chopped
Juice of 2 oranges
Juice of 1 lemon
4 tablespoons plain yogurt
For simple Seasoning :
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon powdered sugar
Mix all ingredients and keep aside.
For Traditional Chaat Masala or spice mix :
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Indian black salt/kala namak
1 teaspoon black pepper powder
1 teaspoon red chilli pepper
1 teaspoon cumin seeds/zeera
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds/dhania
2 black cardamoms
1/2 teaspoon carom seeds/ajwain
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds/saunf
a pinch asafoetida/ hing
1 tablespoon mango powder
Toast the whole spices on a hot skillet and grind in a dry mill. Mix with the remaining ingredients, set aside to use later. You can double the quantity of ingredients and save the masala in a jar for many weeks.
This Is What You Do :
Mix all the fruits and vegetables in a big bowl.
Add yogurt, lemon and orange juice.
Add all of the simple seasoning OR add one teaspoon of traditional Chaat masala at a time, mix and taste till it reaches your required level of tang and spiciness.
Keep the chaat chilled till served.
By the time you will serve it, the juices released from the fruits and yogurt will mix to make a delicious syrupy sauce.
Makes 6 servings