This chaat festival at Jalpaan offers familiar street food with a fusion twist
The onset of the Southwest monsoon and the Chaat Festival at Jalpaan could not be more perfectly timed. Especially given our love for a spicy snack on a rainy day. With the city almost bursting at the seams with the number of eateries offering ‘authentic’ Delhi-styled and Mumbai-waali chaat, Jalpaan is keeping things as inventive as possible with fusion dishes. From canape to spinach and even chocolate-flavoured chaats, the menu offers an extensive combination of flavours.
It’s crunch time
“This is the first time we are hosting a chaat festival in at Jalpaan,” begins Nhiraj D Sethiya. “While most places try to mimic the aesthetic that street food brings in with the additional festival decor, we have kept things within the spectrum of a fine-dine restaurant and worked on flavours and presentation. Something that an authentic street food experience cannot match,” he adds. We nod in agreement as we see our paani puri arriving at the table, with two syringes filled with mint and meetha paani. Besides the presentation, the flavour of the puris that are filled with aloo and sev don’t quite add up. A double take of the bite-sized eat reveals that the shell is not made from the staple semolina, rather uses corn flour which gives it an additional crunch that we love.
Calling the shots
Meanwhile, as we munch on our sukka puri, cutting chai glasses sporting multi-coloured fillings are placed on our table. Not quite the quantity one would expect from a dahi vada shot. Perfectly soaked in mildly sweetened curd, topped with mint and sweet chutneys and a sprinkle of home-made sev, the first few bites are a delightful mixture of flavour and texture. However, once you’re done with the top layer, the bottom half is a little too bland, could maybe do with multiple layers of yoghurt and chutneys and is nothing out of the ordinary.
A bit of fry & chutney
However, novelty returns to the table with the next dish resembling a waffle-shaped base topped with papdi, ragada, peanuts, sev and mint chutney. Turns out, this base is made of French fries that are deep fried in a batter.
Next up, is the chaat platter. Large enough to feed a group of at least three, a crunchy rumali roti contains everything from the dahi papdi to canape chaat and sev puris. Filled with generous helpings of toppings like sev, cheese and the sweet chutney, the rumali chaat reminds us of a khakhra sandwich of sorts.
A celebration of the customer favourite, the dessert is a sweetened twist of the paani puri. Coated in chocolate sauce and filled with brownie crumble and almonds, the chocolate puris are placed atop a shot glass of paan-flavoured milk. Perfect as individual elements, we, however, prefer eating the chocolate puris sans the addition.
On until June 10. Available during lunch and dinner. Rs 300 for two.