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Mar 11, 2002 07:26 PM

Chaat in Boston?

  • g

I'm not a frequent Indian food eater, but in Queens this weekend, the NY hounds introduced me to something that could change this, that delightful snack known as chaat. Anyplace in the area where I can get this?

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  1. Punjabi Dhaba in Inman Square had chaat (aka chatt), among other interesting offerings. I haven't been there in far too long, and someone told me they had changed hands or some such. Anybody know more?

    8 Replies
    1. re: T.B.

      The Punjabi Dhaba is definitely still under the same ownership and great as ever. They have a relatively expansive selection of chaats. The dahi papri is my favorite - a mix of chick peas, lentil crisps, tomatoes, potatoes, red onions and coriander, swimming in yogurt and drizzled with tamarind sauce. The paneer chaat is also great, and as far as I can tell, rather unusual (I certainly don't think you can get it anywhere else in Boston). It features plentiful chunks of sauteed Indian cheese, tomatoes, coriander, and the usual complement of yogurt. Also, a friend of mine tried the banana chaat once. He said it was weird, thought not bad per se. Let me know which ones you like!

      1. re: T.B.

        Where I come from chaat (aka qat), pronounced "chat", is a bitter leaf that contains a mild stimulant similar to caffeine. Normally people chew the leaves like tobacco. It's popular amongst Somali immigrants.

        1. re: Lindsay B.

          No, the reply from Tamarr gives a pretty good description of the mix I ate In queens; I'll have to try her suggestion!

            1. re: Lindsay B.

              Sorry ;) It DID sound interesting, tho...Is the kind you're thinking of like paan?

              1. re: galleygirl

                I don't know whether qat and paan are botanically related, but they're used in similar contexts. Africans and Asians use these plants more or less like we use caffeine.

                1. re: Lindsay B.

                  they ain't botanically related. Some paan does have mild stimulant properties - depending on what you ask the paanwallah to put into it. But it's used more as a digestif then a stimulant.


          1. re: Lindsay B.

            Hey Lindsay, did you have your party yet? Let us know how the menu planning went!