Tuesday, March 06, 2007


Chaat is such a huge part of why I love food. It represents India - all parts of India - full of flavor and such a staple diet. I don't know many people who don't like chaat. Some mouth-watering Pani Puri standing at a chaat stand on the street corner, some spicy-sweet sev puri and some cool dahi papdi chaat. Mmmm What could be better? Its even served in high-class Indian restaurants, as well as the most common street carts! Unbelievably versatile!

In Chennai, THE only place to have great chaat is Gangotree. They've been around for atleast a decade and have opened several branches. The original one opposite Stella Maris College is the one I used to frequent in my college days. Couple of times a week, my friends and I would faithfully make the trip across the road at break time. Each of us had our favourite kind and we'd always go there with our mouths watering and come back saying Oh Man That Was Fabulous.

Lol - just thinking about it makes my mouth water. Gangotree is still going strong and they've diversified into north Indian sweets and drinks. They even sell bottled drinks. And they cater events.


Sig said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sig said...

Hey Arundathi, do you want to meet someone who doesn't like chat? I am ashamed, but I never really developed a taste for it... not all kinds anyway. I love bhel puri though, other kinds I can live without.

-Sorry, I misspelled your name, and deleted the older post. :)

Arundathi said...

Sig! I can't believe it! :) Finally met one person who doesnt like chaat! LOL!
Do you like french fries? I have yet to meet someone who doesnt like french fries too!

Surnish Nirula said...

You know, Jarucia didn't used to like Chaat for a long time... but gradually developed a taste for it, and now loves it. There's still certain kinds that she took longer to get used to, such as paani puri... I think it might be an acquired taste for folks that have grown up in a non-chaat environment. :-)

Although I will say that Jarucia fell quite sick after eating at Gangotree in Chennai - since most chaat is served cold, the chances of water-borne stuff getting through are quite high (of course, her local hosts took her there because they thought gangotree would be safe).

Arundathi said...

hey surnish - yeah i remember her telling me she wasnt too fond of pani puri - glad she's starting enjoying it. chaat is such a fantastic snack/lunch/dinner - the tapas of india! :)
But I must say, Gangotree is not for the amateur stomach - you definitely need to have some immunity before eating here. The good quality comes at a price.
Though the chaat in cleaner restaurants like 5-star hotels just doesnt have the same flavor!

A Pink American said...

My husband (Surnish) said I fell ill after eating at Gangotree and I wanted to correct him. I absolutely did not. I really love the food! I fell ill in Kolkata.

Arundathi said...

LOL! Thanks for clearing that up! Though I'm sure there are people who aren't used to Indian food that fall when eating it, I'm glad you didnt at Gangotree! :)

Raaga said...

Gangotree in Hyderabad was located at the ultra posh Jubilee Hills (behind my house!!) and they served paanipuri in which the paani was made with Kinley. Good stuff and easy on the stomach.

About Chennai chaat places... while I do like Gangotree, I also like Ajnabi in Egmore very much. Do try it.

Vibaas said...

hi Arundathi, wanted to ask you if you have tried chaat at Ajnabi. it's a small shop in Fountain Plaza. It's just awesome. Once i found that place i stopped going to Gangotri :)

And to comment on your blog.. I am from chennai and living in u.s. now and was searching for info on Amma naana and found your blog. Immediately liked your blog as i love chennai and miss it sooo much.
Keep up the good work!

Vibaas said...

I have to add that Gangotree is a great place too. Didn't mean to make it look bad :-)