When The Chatwala Comes Home…
We had street side chaat at home…the chatwala came home, complete with his tokri (basket), stand and made it from scratch at home. Same taste, except this was made with home-made curd and distilled water to reduce contamination/ keep it hygienic. I haven’t had so much chaat in years.
In Vile-Parle, at my cousin’s house, there is a chaat wala who has been making house calls for years. So, when I told them about my week-long stay in Mumbai, we made a plan to call him on Saturday weekend. Armed with puri’s, puffed rice, teekha and meetha cutneys, sev , potatoes, onions and whatever he uses he came over at 8:15 pm.
Soon, we had platefuls of bhelpuri’s , pani-puris, dahi puri, sev puri etc. No standing by the road awaiting our turn, no nagging worry about how safe the water is for consumption, no chasing Varun. Varun played while we had an chat-pati evening. Spicy, Tangy and crispy.
We must have had several rounds of chaat. This was a novel concept. Perfect for small parties or kitty parties. No preparation and minimal clean-up. Once he was done, we paid him, cleaned up a bit and that’s its we were ready for some home-made dessert – phirni. Chat wala doing house call was first for us – you can probably tell by the tone of this post 🙂 Apparently, they also know a dosa guy who makes house calls. We have that already planned for when we visit next!