Bohemian Foodies

For the love of good food….

Chatting over Chaat – Shukla Chaat House, Lucknow

When you set about looking up information on chaat, most of the sources point to Uttar Pradesh as it’s place of birth. Chaat, today is a term used for a variety of sweet, savoury and spicy snacks mostly served on Indian streets. No longer being restricted to UP, chaat has a few elements which are endemic to certain regions – be it the matar chaat in Lucknow, papdi chaat in Delhi, ragda pattice in Mumbai or jhalmuri in Kolkata.

The many colours of chaat in Lucknow - be it the basket chaat, batasha, nimbu paani or kachori

The many colours of chaat in Lucknow – be it the basket chaat, batasha, nimbu paani or kachori

Lucknow is a fascinating place when it comes to chaat. Leaving aside even the legendary permanent hole-in-the-wall shops, there are enough mobile chaat and kachori vendors scattered across the city. Every few metres you can see a few people milling around a small wooden stand with a man busy stuffing batasha (golgappa in Delhi, puchka in Kolkata and panipuri in Mumbai) and serving, kachori with chhole or even nimbu pani for the hot days.

The front face of the 45-year old chaat stall in the buzzing Hazratganj area in Lucknow

The front face of the 45-year old chaat stall in the buzzing Hazratganj area in Lucknow

In such an atmosphere, sustaining a small shop, selling only 3 items and still being a much-talked about chaat shop in the Hazratganj area over 45 years has a definite pre-requisite of timeless quality. These are the qualities that define our subject today – Shukla Chaat Bhandaar.

The huge tava with half cooked items - ready to serve the burgeoning crowds in the evening

The huge tava with half cooked items – ready to serve the burgeoning crowds in the evening

Hazratganj is one of the oldest and busiest areas of the city. In a smaller by-lane, around 100 metres inside, the eatery is hard to miss. Manned by an old man sitting next to the skillet frying up the matar chaat and the aloo tikki along with rows of leaf plates ready with batasha to be eaten. The eatery is quite clear in their mind about their specialties deciding to have only 3 items on the menu (all done verbally) – Matar chaat, aloo tikki and batasha. In the 10 minutes that I took to eat their delicacies, there were enough people stopping by, eating or packing and back on their way.

The Lucknow specialty at the popular chaat shop - Matar chaat

The Lucknow specialty at the popular chaat shop – Matar chaat

The matar chaat is a specialty of Lucknow, and mostly endemic to the city. In Delhi, the same ingredient is used as an accompaniment to kulchas and the vendors are recognizable by their shiny brass vessels mounted on hand carts or bicycles. In Lucknow, the white peas are boiled, mashed up, mixed with loads of spices, tanginess and some lime juice, garnished with coriander and crushed batasha and served to you on a leaf bowl. The result is a dense, spicy, sour and unlike-chaat item. While it is interesting and flavourful in the first ten bites, the quantity given in each serving essentially means you should ideally be at least 2 people sharing every plate.

The aloo tikki served in layers of sweet chilled yoghurt

The aloo tikki served in layers of sweet chilled yoghurt

The Aloo tikki is fairly common in different avatars – be it the ragda pattice of Mumbai or a different version of the same name dish in Delhi. Here, in Lucknow, the aloo tikki was thick and made only of potatoes without the dal stuffing common in delhi. The aloo tikki plate was basically 2 tikkis, hot off the tava, hand-broken into pieces into the leaf bowl. This was then layered with thick flavorful curd, tamarind chutney and garnished with crushed batasha. Despite being full with the matar chaat, I could savour the bites of the aloo tikki with the texture of the boiled and fried potatoes, the chilled yoghurt, the sweet chutney and the crispiness of the batasha on top.

The nice hot chai across the street in typical Indian clay glasses is perfect to wash down the chaat

The nice hot chai across the street in typical Indian clay glasses is perfect to wash down the chaat

A good idea is to wash it all down with a cup of steam hot tea in the Indian earthern glasses or kulad at the Shukla Tea Stall right across the road. If you are there in winters, this top-up to your chaat just cannot be missed. The shop also sells some other hot snacks like samosas.

These two small shops are a good initiation into the chaat culture of UP and being in the busy shopping district of Hazratganj, you can be assured of getting the most out of Lucknow.

Name: Shukla Chaat House

Specialty: Matar chaat, Aloo tikki

Address: Shahnajaf Rd, Hazratganj, Lucknow (Ask anyone and they will guide you)

Ratings:

Variety: 2/5

Veg/Non Veg:Veg

Value for money: 4/5

Food quality: 3.5/5

Overall rating: 3.5/5

Shukla Chaat House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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4 comments on “Chatting over Chaat – Shukla Chaat House, Lucknow

  1. raginipuri
    July 20, 2015

    Oh I am so regretting landing on this page in the middle of the night. Now craving golgappes, aaloo ki chat, and few cups of piping hot tea served in kulhads! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Archana Kapoor
    July 21, 2015

    mouth-watering and how… just think of us poor folks living in the US 😦
    hope I get to visit Lucknow soon 🙂 thanks for sharing dear 🙂
    Cheers, Archana – http://www.drishti.co

    Liked by 1 person

  3. bohemianfoodies
    August 5, 2015

    We hope you get to visit lucknow real soon

    Like

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This entry was posted on July 20, 2015 by in Lucknow and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , .
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