Hot Plates: Chaat

By Amy Traverso | Boston Magazine |

Chaat is a catchall name for crunchy Indian snacks that often incorporate potatoes and fried goodies topped with fresh yogurt and tangy tamarind chutney. In Hindi, it means "to lick," which only makes sense: We can’t stop. Here are our local favorites.

BHINDI BAZAAR

This Back Bay eatery has some of the finest chaat in the city. Try the samosa chaat ($4) topped with tamarind chutney as thick and addictive as chocolate syrup.

95 Massachusetts Ave., Boston, 617-450-0660, bhindibazaar.com.

PUNJABI DHABA

In India, dhabas are roadside cafés—and chaat hot spots. So it’s fitting that the dahi papri ($2.95)—lentil "crisps" tossed with potatoes and onions, finished with yogurt and chutney—is so good here.

225 Hampshire St., Cambridge, 617-547-8272, royalbharatinc.com.

CHAI CAFÉ

This tiny snack counter in the back of an Indian grocery serves an addictive  bhel poori ($4.50), a crunchy blend of puffed rice, peanuts, sev (fried vermicelli), tomatoes, and onions in sweet-sour tamarind sauce. Think of it as Chex Mix for the global age.

454 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington, 781-648-1971.