Taking the train to the next Indian snack

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Jhal muri, a spicy puffed rice, is one of Kolkata’s most popular street food snacks. Jhal means “spicy” and muri means “puffed rice,” but according to chef Maneet Chauhan, the dish is much more than that. Photo by Linda Xiao.

Train travel is commonplace in India, where local vendors sell regional snacks at depots. Chaat is the Hindi word meaning “to lick.” It  describes anything so good that you find yourself licking the banana or palm leaf it was served on. Maneet Chauhan has devoted a whole cookbook to the delicious snacks or small meals available across India.

Maneet Chauhan uses recipes for the sweet, salty, spicy, crunchy, creamy, and hot snacks found in Indian markets and train stations in her book, “Chaat.” Photo courtesy of Clarkson Potter.



Evan Kleiman