Indian children love the Khomcha-Wallah. They wanders the streets, the busier the better, basket of goodies on his head & a cane chair under his arm. When they encounters a likely crowd they sets down his basket on the chair & starts to trade. The basket will contain the half-prepared ingredients of what is known in northern India as chaat - savoury snacks from traditional Hindu cuisine - which may be served in a banana leaf bowl.
item might be Aloo Chaat which is fried, golden-brown potato cubes tossed with chilli powder, roasted cumin powder & chaat masala**.
Another, Dhai Baras which are split-pea patties. They are going to be already fried & softened in warm water. To complete the dish the Khomcha-Wallah may add beaten, creamy plain yoghurt with salt on top, & a choice of spice mixes. mixture will be aromatic & probably contain roasted cumin, black pepper & dried mango powder, another will be hot a fiery with chillies, another sweet & sour like tamarind chutney.
Some Indian cities have become renowned for a definite kind of chaat - Jaipur for Paapri Chaat (similar to Dhai Baras but served with cubed potatoes chick peas) & Mumbai for Pau Bahji (spicy potato & vegetable curry served in a bun) but it is Delhi which is the chaat capital of India.
Some other chaats are:
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Aloo Samosa - small pastry triangles filled with a spicy mixture of small diced potatoes & peas with chillies, chilli powder, fresh coriander, cumin & garam masala.
Keema Samosa - similar to above but including minced beef or lamb.
Aloo Tikki - mashed potato mixed with peas, cumin powder, corn flour, chilli powder & salt, formed in to patties & fried until crisp & golden.
Tandoori Chicken Chaat - Tandoori chicken, shredded & mixed with diced green mango, onions, green chillies, coriander leaves & chaat masala**, dressed with lemon juice, oil & chilli powder.
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