Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Monday, Jul 05, 2004

About Us
Contact Us
Metro Plus
Published on Mondays

Features: Magazine | Literary Review | Life | Metro Plus | Open Page | Education Plus | Book Review | Business | SciTech | Entertainment | Young World | Property Plus | Quest | Folio |

Metro Plus    Bangalore    Chennai    Coimbatore    Delhi    Hyderabad    Kochi    Madurai    Thiruvananthapuram    Vijayawada    Visakhapatnam   

Printer Friendly Page Send this Article to a Friend

Chaat magic

Head for The Muthoot Plaza for some mouth-watering chaats.



Photos: S. Gopakumar

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM MAY be the stately tortoise as compared to the hare that metropolitan cities are when it comes to dining out, but this capital of God's own country looks sure to cross the finish line.

The top-of-the-line hotels depend on food festivals and the culinary skills of chefs brought from outside the State to woo foodies. Take the Muthoot Plaza, for instance. Its evening buffet spread (comprising a mix of all cuisines) at the restaurant, Tiffany, can be supplemented with an array of lip-smacking chaats.

The restaurant provides ample privacy. The dιcor goes well with the ambience, while the dim lights lend an air of mystery to Tiffany. And if all this does not get you excited, Nandu Leo's soothing voice is sure to lift your moods. Not to forget the delights of a candlelight dinner.

Tiffany has some excellent variations of chaats on all days except one (they serve Hyderabadi dum ka biryani on Friday). Some are the traditional favourites such as aloo tikki chaat, papadi chaat, samosa chaat and chana aloo chaat. Then there the little heard of ones - chana seing chaat, jodhpuri chaat, and delhi chaat, which surprisingly, are among the fast-moving ones.

Faced with such a long list, we wondered how we would cope with the dinner, which looked equally promising. We saw but one way out of our quandary - put our plans for the dinner on the backburner and concentrate on the chaat, since that was the reason we were there. A word of caution, however. At Tiffany, the chaat usually comes with the buffet, but if you are bent upon having just chaats, all you have to do is shell out Rs. 175.

We opted for some samosa chaat and bhel puri to begin with. Samosa chaat comes with mashed samosas, topped with boiled potatoes, chopped coriander leaves, onion, green chilli, tomato, sweet n' sour chutney and a pinch of chaat masala. This is what would be said in Hindi, "Samosa ka samosa, chaat ka chaat" ("there's samosa and chaat too").

Then came the bhel puri. Bhel puri is a kind of litmus test; it tells you how good the chaats at a place are. A mixture of vermicelli (sev), puffed rice, tomato, onion, coriander leaves, boondi, and green chilli, the bhel puri at Tiffany smelt wonderful and was neither too bland nor too hot.



Photos: S. Gopakumar

The chef at the chaat counter, Guddu, then set down to make some pani puris for us. Pani puri is one dish that needs some amount of practice before the small roundels can be wolfed down, and at one go. Pani puri is made of semolina (sooji) and filled with a spicy mix of potatoes, chick peas, onions, and green chillies. If you are not careful, the pani in the puri may run all over you. And if that was not problematic enough, here we were faced with the prospect of eating pani puri with, yes, a spoon! This was just not our cup of tea, so we made a grab for the puri and stuffed it into the mouth, literally, and waited for wave after wave of flavours to wash over us. The pani puri here is smashing, no doubt.

Peanuts lend the chana seing chaat their unmistakable flavour. This chaat is made by adding peanuts, chopped coriander leaves, onions, green chillies, tomatoes, chaat masala to chick peas and topping the mixture with a dash of sweet and sour chutney.

Aloo chaat is relatively less spicy and comprises boiled potatoes, chopped onions, green chilli, coriander leaves, lime juice and chat masala.

Since we swear by chaats and have explored almost very other eatery in the city where the dish is served, it was just as well that it fell to us to review the chaat at Muthoot. And if you are one of those who sticks to the tried and tested, Tiffany may be a good place to begin the chaat journey and explore the promises it holds.

R. K. ROSHNI

Printer friendly page  
Send this article to Friends by E-Mail

Metro Plus    Bangalore    Chennai    Coimbatore    Delhi    Hyderabad    Kochi    Madurai    Thiruvananthapuram    Vijayawada    Visakhapatnam   

Features: Magazine | Literary Review | Life | Metro Plus | Open Page | Education Plus | Book Review | Business | SciTech | Entertainment | Young World | Property Plus | Quest | Folio |


The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | Home |

Comments to : thehindu@vsnl.com   Copyright © 2004, The Hindu
Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu