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Hey, Harper! Let's Chaat!

This weekend I am making a fruit salad with an unusual (to me) flavour - Chaat Masala.

Chaat is a South Asian street snack. Masala is an Indian spice blend. Making a snack with some chopped fruit is a perfect way to add a bit of flavourful and healthful excitement into the weekend.

Most commonly Chaat Masala is added to fried dough of many many kinds; flour, chickpea, potato. One culinary anthropologist claims the Chaat originated in northern India in the late 17th century. Royal doctors asked the people of Mughal capital Delhi to consume spicy and fried snacks as a countermeasure to the alkaline water of the river, and so the Chaat was invented. (I wonder if my water is alkaline? Fried food cure, you say? LOL)

As a fan of sweet and spicy, as well as sweet and salty, I have always enjoyed fruit prettied up with spice; I'm thinking about pineapple with lime, salt, and chilli powder right away. Chaat has all of these flavours blended together - cumin, fennel, coriander, mint, tamarind, chilies, mango powder, ginger, are all in a great chaat. Serious Eats has a nice recipe.

Or you can just buy a box of premixed chaat at the Indian Grocer on Robie St. in Halifax.

Either way, it is lovely spice blend to have around, a great way to give an unusual kick to a summer fruit salad and an opportunity to pluck about the loaded shelves of the Indian Grocery to see what else one can have fun with! Happy Long Weekend!

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