(Chaat masala Hindi चाट मसाला, Urdu چاٹ مصالہ; also spelled chat masala) is a masala used in Indian and Pakistani cuisine. It typically consists of amchoor (dried mango powder), cumin, kala namak (black salt), coriander, dried ginger, salt, black pepper, asafoetida (hing) and chili powder. The ingredients are combined and served on a small metal plate, polystyrene plate or a banana leaf, dried and formed into a bowl, at chaat carts (especially in Gujarat, Maharastra, Punjab, Sindh and all across Pakistan, Northern India, and even Southern India).
Chaat masala has both a sweet and a sour taste. It is used to flavour fast foods of Pakistan and India like Bhelpuri, Golgappa, Aloo Chaat and Dahi puri. It is a spice that can be added to foods and drinks.
Fruit chaat masala
Chaat masala is also sprinkled on fruit, egg toasts and regular salads in Pakistan and northern India. Some spice brands market an alternate spice mix called Fruit Chaat Masala. The Fruit Chaat Masala tastes less of cumin, coriander and ginger, but more of chili pepper, black salt, amchoor and asafoetida. Street vendors usually mix their own chaat masala, which is sprinkled on the chopped up fruit or fresh vegetables (such as raw daikon in Pakistan) unless the customer asks for it not to be added. Sometimes black salt with chili powder alone is used.
In India and Pakistan it is often purchased in large amounts, where it is available in prepackaged form, before the Islamic month of Ramadan as different types of Chaat (especially Fruit Chaat) are prepared at sunset which is the time for the opening of the fast.