Apna Chaat House
From its origins in the streetside stalls in Uttar Pradesh, chaat cuisine has become ubiquitous throughout India and its diaspora. Due to chaat’s popularity with Indian truckers as truck stop food, this cuisine spread quickly and established itself along the extensive Indian network of highways; evolving and regionalizing as it picked up dishes and techniques along the way. Chaat restaurants are now destinations not just for truckers and wallahs but for families needing a quick cheap bite.
Intrinsically, chaat is a fast food eaten to refuel; more a snack than a full meal. It has very distant similarities to the fast food we can get in the west with its emphasis on carbohydrates and deep fried ingredients. Chickpeas, potatoes, samosas, an assortment of crunchy cereal-like toppings made from fried legumes are mated with a variety sauces, chutneys, and yogurt to create an array of contradictory dishes that somehow all work.
Run by the former owners of Bombay Se (located in the same strip mall), Apna Chaat House serves perhaps the best representation of this cuisine here in the Greater Vancouver Area. The menu is extensive; and the flavours and textures of the dishes are spot on – tasting very much like a roadside meal in India.