A delicious innovation found only in Kanpur is gadbad chaat that literally translates to confusing chaat. As the name suggests, this speciality of Kanpur has a variety of flavours and textures thrown into one snack designed to leave you confounded!
This five-decade old recipe has pretty much everything a chaat bhandar sells – khasta, papdi, sev, bhoondi, puri and sometimes even a luchi. A large spoonful of desi ghee is poured onto the hot wide tawa. A portion of mashed white peas, a principal ingredient of every chaat is pushed into the centre and mixed with the hot ghee.
A tikki is pressed nicely and blended into the peas and stirred. A secret masala of most likely black pepper, red chilli powder, kala namak, chaat masala and perhaps amchur powder, cumin powder, coriander powder and garam masala is added to this and mixed well.
A little more desi ghee is added to this and one khasta and papdi are crushed and sprinkled over this along with puri or bhoondi or aloo sev or palak ki pakodi or bhalla or fried aloo. Another generous dollop of desi ghee is added and the entire mix is skilfully stirred.
The mix is then slightly spread out and a little desi ghee is poured in the centre to which a small spoon of jeera seeds is added for tadka. Once the jeera seeds start spluttering, the chaat is mixed into the tadka and stirred for a minute. The gadbad chaat is now ready.
The entire gadbad chaat is scooped up carefully into a wide bowl to which hari chutney and meethi chutney are added. It is then vigorously stirred so that the chutneys are spread evenly. A little more meethi chutney or anar ki chutney followed by a large helping of cold dahi is added to this. Fresh salad and some sev is sprinkled over this unique preparation.
Some vendors will also add a hot luchi or aloo lachha or mooli lachha on the top to confuse you further!
Written by Lakshmi Subramanian