Kulle Chaat – A Delhi Street Food You Need to Try

By Mark Wiens 1 Comment
Hira Lal Chaat Wala (written only in Hindi)
Hira Lal Chaat Wala (written only in Hindi)

Have you ever had one of those single-bite wonders that explodes with incredible flavor…?

…a mouthful that you can barely even keep your eyes open for, due to the extreme deliciousness?

While exploring Delhi, my main objective was to eat.

Browsing through EOID, I knew this was something I needed to sample.

One day in Old Delhi, I had the opportunity to sample a little known snack called “kulle chaat,” or fruit chaat, from a stall in the Chawri Bazaar known as Hira Lal Chaat Wala (not written in English).

Now an Indian chaat is normally any sort of snack, specifically savory rather than sweet, but in reality many of them include so many diverse ingredients that they are sour, sweet, spicy, and everything combined into a harmony of delicious.

What is kulle chaat - fruit chaat?
What is kulle chaat – fruit chaat?

What is kulle chaat?

Fruit and vegetables – this time which included a tomato, cucumber, potato, and mandarin orange – were first hollowed out.

Each fruit cup was then stuffed with masala spices, black sulfur salt called kala namak (which I didn’t even know about at the time of eating), lime juice, boiled chickpeas, and pomegranate seeds.

The vendor then, using his finger, stirred up all the ingredients in the fruit cup to mingle all the flavors.

Handing me the kulle chaat
Handing me the kulle chaat

With a little friendly head bobble – the ultimate gesture – the vendor indication “take thee, and eat it my friend, and you will be shocked and changed forever,” – ok I made that up, but I’m pretty sure that’s what he was thinking.

Delhi street food at its finest!
Delhi street food at its finest!

To be honest, I had little clue what to expect when I placed the entire 1/2 a tomato in my mouth for the first time.

But what I experienced was nothing short of a sensation I’ll never forget!

Watch the video below to see my first reaction…

(If you can’t see it, watch Kulle Chaat video here)

The combination of ingredients all mingled together was vibrantly strong, yet everything balanced out into a complete harmonization of flavors.

It was sour from the acidic lime juice, salty from the black salt, spiced from the masala, and sweet from the sweetness of the initial fruit. In addition the chickpeas and pomegranate seeds added texture and substance.

I was impressed and couldn’t believe how good this simple mixture was.

It was overwhelmingly delicious (as you can see from my initial reaction in the video).

Kulle chaat is a must eat when in Delhi (video).

Hira Lal Chaat Wala - the place to get kulle chaat
Hira Lal Chaat Wala – the place to get kulle chaat

Just as a warning, I can’t speak for the cleanliness conditions of this street food snack, and it does utilize raw ingredients. However, it’s worth the risk – I didn’t have any problems.

This is the reason I enjoy eating while I travel so much – the opportunity to taste unique combinations of things you never dreamed of that are so surprisingly delicious!

How to get there: Hira Lal Chaat Wala is located along the main Chawri Bazar road. Take the Metro to Chawri Chowk, exit gate 3, and start walking east on Chawri Bazar road while staying on the left side of the street. In 100 – 200 meters you’ll come to a tiny stall where you’ll see a gloriously colorful pile of sizzling potato cutlets and a few smiling men, and that’s the spot.

Open Hours: About noon – 10 pm, but times vary so go midday or afternoon

View Delhi Travel Guide – Migrationology.com in a larger map

Interested in more about Delhi? Click here to check out my guide to the city.