Kulle ki Chaat – Old Delhi Special
Whenever we think of chaat, we think of pani puris, aloo tikkis, fried potatoes, papri chaat, dahi bhalle with lots of tamarind chutney, coriander chutney and spices. What we don’t think is fruits!!! Having spent the first few years of my childhood in Old Delhi with parents who were born and brought up there itself, I have tasted almost all the veg delicacies and chaats of Chawri Bazar. On the top of my list of favourites are Kulle, or kuliya, as they are often called. This chaat is totally unlike any other fruit experience you’ll have. They are made by scooping out one of several vegetables into cup shapes, which are then filled with zero size chick peas, pomegranate pearls, various tangy spices and a dash of lemon.
One of my distinct childhood memories is waiting for the Dussehra mela every year so that we could feast on all types of street foods especially “Kulle” ki chaat. This is a fruit chaat exclusive to the streets of Chawri Bazar and that too to very few vendors during normal days. As we moved out of old Delhi, we have started making this chaat at home itself and it is relished and savored by the entire family and guests alike. You can make kulle from bananas, tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes, sweet potatoes, oranges, pineapples and even apples and star fruit. My personal favourites are banana and mango since they provide the perfect combination of sweetness from the banana and sour from the masala and lemon juice.
1. Boil or roast the potatoes. Peel and cut into two halves.
2. Scoop the center and chop a little from the bottom so that the cup can stand. Sprinkle salt.
Sweet Potato :
1. Roast and peel the sweet potato.
2. Cut into 2 inch length pieces. Scoop and sprinkle salt.
1. Peel the cucumbers.
2. Cut into 2 inch pieces. Scoop and sprinkle salt.
1. Chop 1/4 from the top and just a wee bit from the bottom so the cup can stand.
2. Scoop out the pulp and sprinkle salt.
1. Peel the banana, cut into two.
2. Making V slits scoop out length wise.
1. Peel the mango and slice the mango into 3 long parts. One with only the middle seeds and the other two parts sectioned from either side of the seed.
2.If the mango is big, cut each of these 2 slices into 2 parts. Scoop out the pulp and sprinkle salt.
For bananas, sweet potatoes, mangoes, apples and pineapples, use only pomegranate seeds for the filling. For tomatoes, cucumbers, oranges, potatoes and others, you can use the chickpeas or a mixture of chickpeas and pomegranate seeds.
1. Fill the scooped out cups with the respective fillings.
2. Sprinkle black salt and black chaat masala. Drizzle lemon juice over the kullas. You can also use regular chaat masala mixed with black pepper in case black chat masala is not available.
3. Now sprinkle powdered sugar ( boora ). Be generous with the chaat masala, lemon juice and boora.