This is the ultimate how-to guide for assembling a show-stopping chaat-cuterie board or Indian-style charcuterie board filled with desi chaat items!
What is a chaat-cuterie board?
A chaat-cuterie board is an Indian spin on the traditional charcuterie board. Just like a typical charcuterie board is filled with meats and cheeses, this board has all of the elements needed to create a chaat, a category of Indian street food snacks. It is the perfect way to serve chaat for large parties and crowds in a DIY way that is also so interactive.
I first heard of the term chaat-cuterie board from the Instagram creator Kamana Bhaskaran. Since then, I've realized how easy it is to compose one as a centerpiece of a chaat-party. If you are curious on throwing a chaat party you can also read this blog post, which is a detailed guide that goes into detail about coming up with a menu, guest list, and decor.
Equipment for chaat-cuterie board
When it comes to equipment or tools for a chaat-cuterie board, it is fairly simple. Here is what I recommend:
- Serving boards or platters - If you are throwing together a small chaat-cuterie board, a simple wooden board can help frame all the chaat ingredients in one space. Cake stands or platters also help when it comes to creating different elevations to spark visual interest in your board.
- Butcher paper or parchment paper - I love draping the center of the table or the entire table with butcher paper on which to place all the chaat-cuterie items. You can place the crunchy crackers like papdi directly on the board as well. The butcher paper also can be a canvas where you can write the names of the different items with a marker!
- Lots of bowls and spoons - Add each component like veggies in small individual bowls across the board to create pops of color.
- Use squeeze bottles for pani - I love putting pani in plastic bottles so folks can easily pick it up and directly pour the pani into the puris.
- Use deli containers to mix bhel puri - I place deli containers near the bhel puri ingredients so that folks can add all the ingredients in the deli container (which has a lid) and then shake to mix!
- Create small signs to explain how to make chaats - It is really hard to mess up chaat but put up signs with instructions on how to make the most popular types of chaats for those who aren't familiar with this street food.
What to put on a chaat-cuterie board
When thinking of a chaat-cuterie board, think of it as a DIY buffet to compose your favorite chaats. Chaat is all about juxtaposing flavors and textures. So when you compose a chaat-cuterie board, you want to make sure you have at least one element in each of these following categories:
- Crunchy Elements
Here are ideas for dishes and ingredients that fit in each category!
Puris are crunchy hollow semolina balls that can be filled with almost anything. Once on the snack board, they can use them to make either pani puri or dahi puri. You can buy a pani puri kit which will have the puris or make them at home.
3. Murmura (Puffed Rice)
Puffed rice is the perfect crunchy addition to your chaat board that is also gluten free. It is great for composing the dish called bhel puri.
4. Crunchy Peanuts
Crunchy peanuts are great to snack on their own or add to almost any chaat -- especially bhel puri.
Fillings for a chaat-cuterie board are items that quite literally fill you up or make the chaats you are composing hefty. Here are some ideas for fillings:
- Boiled Potatoes
- Boiled Chickpeas
- Spiced Potato and Chickpea filling - you can find the recipe for this filling in my papdi chaat recipe.
- Samosas - Store-bought or homemade samosas are filling snacks that can be broken up and made into chaat or eaten on their own.
- Keema Cutlets - If you are looking to add some meat to fill in your table, keema cutlets are a great addition that pair perfectly with the chaat sauces! Check out this recipe for baked keema cutlets.
The three iconic sauces for chaat are a spicy green chutney, a sweet and sour tamarind-date chutney, and a cooling, creamy and tart dahi sauce for chaat. I've linked all the blog posts which have recipes as well as brand recommendations for store-bought versions.
Here are a list of veggies and herbs to cut up and place in bowls or platters on your chaat-cuterie board:
- Shredded carrots
I hope you enjoyed this article on setting up a chaat-cuterie board! You can also check out this article which gives you ideas, recipes, grocery lists, and decor ideas for throwing a chaat party at home. Let me know down below if you have any comments or any other questions I can answer.