Wondering where to find the best Indian chaat in Dubai? Look no further
Indian street food is synonymous with chaat (savoury snack). From pani puri (or gol gappa if you may like) to dahi bhalla, and papdi chaat to sev puri, chaat lovers simply swear by these gastronomic delights. You will seldom find anyone from the Indian subcontinent without a hankering for this sweet, spicy and tangy fare.
Dubai is no stranger to chaat places, being home to a sizeable Indian population. While chaat eateries are in abundance here, finding the ones churning out the best chow can be tricky. We make it simpler by bringing you the most authentic chaat places, where you can chomp on these zesty bites of heaven.
This crowd-favourite hole-in-the-wall eatery in Al Karama will leave you asking for more. From bambaiya ragda paatice to purani dilli ki aloo chaat and Kolkata ghugni chaat to samosa chana chole chaat, this bazaar is truly brimming with a gargantuan variety of delicacies, all at super value-for-money costs. With its owners hailing from Pune, the restaurant pays ode to the Indian city with many dishes originating from there, such as the hirvi techa dahi batata puri or the puneri missal pav.
They have also added nifty twists to some classic street food dishes, such as the Mexican salsa sev puri or the dynamite chilli khichdi. While the restaurant’s flagship outlet is housed in Al Karama, they have branches in Al Nahda, International City and Discovery Gardens, too.
Doing justice to the Punjabi connotations in its name, Patiala House in Al Karama serves up a chaat feast with its unlimited pani puri for only Dh15 per person and Dh25 for two people. The restaurant, which has another branch in Dubai’s Studio City, boasts rustic dhaba-inspired interiors and serves up hearty Punjabi home-style food along with chaat delicacies.
Weight watchers have reason to rejoice, as their sweet and tangy gol gappas come with a healthier option — wheat and semolina base. Their other north Indian chaat must-haves include dahi bhallas and chaat kachoris. And to give you some perspective on the unlimited pani puri challenge, the current record is a whooping 82 pani puris downed by just one person.
How many do you think can you devour?
While Rangoli is in essence an eatery specialising in Gujrati grub, their pani puris are amongst the best you can find in Dubai. Spicy and piquant, you will find their chaat counters always teeming with people jostling for their fill of pani puris. With branches in Al Karama and Oud Metha, the restaurant dishes out a whole melange of Indian street food favourites such as grilled sandwiches, kachoris and pav bhaji. The foodie haven also serves up lunch and dinner, with an expansive menu consisting of vegetarian South Indian and Chinese cuisines.
This haunt truly is a hidden gem in Dubai, discreetly churning out some of the most lip-smacking chaat you can find. Tucked away in the alleyways of Dubai’s Al Nahda neighbourhood, their signature chaat dishes include raj kachori, bhel puri, sev puri, aloo tikki chole and pani puri to name a few. Patrons are sure to be left in a dilemma over what to eat at Spice Affair, courtesy its expansive street food menu. For this purpose, the eatery has curated a special Chaat Platter for those who would like to savour it all.
Another inconspicuous restaurant that has been fulfilling the cravings of Indian street food lovers is Chaat Bistro. Located in Jumeirah Lake Towers (JLT), with outlets in Dubai Silicon Oasis and Al Karama, the restaurant goes big when it comes to chaat, serving a whole platter — Delhi UPSC Chaat Bhandaar Combo, Mumbaikar’s Triple Combo; and the Family Chaat Platter. You can take your pick from any of the city-specific chaat servings, or perhaps order all three if your foodie gang is accompanying you. Dahi papdi, khasta kachori and sev batata puri are some of the dishes that figure in the platters. Words of advice: head here on an empty stomach!
Just a stone’s throw from Chaat Bazaar in Al Karama sits this al fresco joint, dishing out scrumptious chaat and street food bestsellers. Always thronging with people, the eatery commands loyal patronage, thanks to its stellar pani puri They come with three filling options — ragda, aloo and moong chana – tickling every kind of pani puri lover’s taste bud. Urban Tadka’s other bestselling options include bhalla papri and chole kachori. They also have a brick-and-mortar restaurant flanking its outdoor dining area, rustling up North Indian gastronomic favourites and sweets. Due to growing popularity, the restaurant has now opened an outlet in Discovery Gardens.
What sets Chatori Gali apart from the other cluster of chaat havens is its unique spin on dishes. From their Mexican-inspired desi nachos chaat to the sweet-meets-tangy jalebi chaat, they are known to dial up the innovative metre with their distinct street food versions. Like Patiala House, Chatori Gali too serves a semolina pani puri base option. They also have dishes that you’ll seldom spot in other chaat eateries, such as the ram ladoo (deep-fried moong bean pakodas seasoned with mint sauce and radish) and the namkeen javey (roasted vermicelli steamed and cooked with veggies and spices). This chaat corner has outlets in Al Barsha, Mall of the Emirates, and JLT.