You can make chaat out of peanut butter-stuffed pretzels if you want to.
Or at least Maneet Chauhan can. The chef, restaurateur, cookbook author and TV personality has spent the past seven years or so in Nashville, where her Chauhan Ale & Masala House has brought Indian food with a Southern personality to Music City. That restaurant has been followed by a Chinese restaurant, Tànsuŏ, a global diner called Mockingbird, and Chaatable, her newest restaurant specializing in what is arguably Chauhan’s favorite food.
“Chaat” literally means “lick” in Hindi, and it refers to any kind of chopped up snack that you might end up lapping up, like peanut butter pretzels with mint chutney, tamarind chutney, onion, tomatoes, potatoes, garbanzo beans and spices.
Chaat are the subject of Chauhan’s latest book, which was published in October — Chaat: The Best Recipes form the Kitchens, Markets, and Railways of India.
Chauhan also has a brewery that has produced beverages like saffron-cardamom beer, and she’s a permanent judge on the Food Network cooking competition show Chopped.
In this podcast, Chauhan reflects on some of her favorite memories of India, her favorite aspects of Nashville, and what she has learned over the past year during the pandemic.
“We’ll be stronger tomorrow,” she said. “And we’ll be [even] stronger the day after that.”
Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected]
Follow him on Twitter: @foodwriterdiary