On hot summer days, fresh fruit chaat- juicy, cooling fruit cut and tossed with chaat masala, is a popular street food, especially in northern India. I am told that the word ‘chaat’ is derived from a Hindi word that means ‘to taste’ and also a word which means ‘ to eat noisily’ And with the tangy, salty (most have rock salt and black salt), spicy and sour taste of chaat masala, I can picture both. For the ‘noisy’ part ,try the sound we make when we touch the top of our tongue to the roof of our mouth:)
Chaat masala makes my mouth water and I love how it’s various tastes play on the tongue to bring out the sweetness of the fruit. But I do understand that chaat masala can be intense for some. One of my readers, who cooks all sorts of Indian dishes and loves Indian food, recently wrote saying she thinks chaat masala is an acquired taste 🙂 My children would definitely agree with Susan. Remember the face babies make when they taste lemon for the first time? That’s the face my kids made when they tasted chaat masala:)
So I came up with this Americanized version of a chaat dressing that my children love too. You can use whichever fruit you like. I had a cantaloupe, a crispy crunchy apple, bananas, strawberries and grapes so that is what I used. The chaat dressing is tangy and oh so good with the sweet fruit!
For the dressing-
- 4 fresh strawberries, hulled and pureed
- 2 tablespoons store bought creamy poppy seed dressing, such as Kraft brand creamy poppy seed dressing
- 1/2 teaspoon chaat masala (If you use brands such as Everest, they have red chili powder added to it)
- 1/2 teaspoon lime juice
To make the dressing-
- Whisk together the pureed strawberries, the poppy seed dressing, chaat masala and the lime juice.
- Cut the fruit. Add a little dressing to coat the fruit and serve with extra dressing on the side.
I love this dressing with a mixed melon salad too. I used watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew melons.
Do let me know how you like the chaat dressing. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.