There are certain Iftar dishes that have become a tradition in Ramazan. While the menu at the table may vary every day – samosay, pakoray, channa chaat, etc – one thing that has remained constant over time is fruit chaat. Many attempts have been made to alter this dish with the aim of making it unique (by adding and subtracting various ingredients) and below are a few examples.
Lahori housewife Mrs Halim takes pride in sharing her secret recipe with The Express Tribune. “My secret ingredient is concentrated calamansi fruit juice,” she admitted. “It adds a zing to the fruit chaat, that neither lemon nor lime can create.” While it is not available in Pakistan, below is a list of ingredients you will need to create her citric calamansi-fruit chaat:
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Then let it chill in the refrigerator for about two hours. It is now ready to serve!
Does a combination of channa chaat and fruit chaat sound a little eccentric? Mrs Khan, another housewife and creator of the channa-fruit chaat, begs to differ. She accidently added the channa chaat, in the bowl already containing fruit chaat and “Surprisingly, the result was amazing!” The following day, she took the liberty of adding a small portion of her channa chaat to the fruit chaat, just to test if the flavours were still intact or merely a coincidence, and still found it “absolutely mouth-watering”.
Mrs Husain, a local consultant believes that in order to cleanse our digestive systems in the month of Ramazan, we should use everything natural and organic. She advises that fresh orange juice should be consumed instead of processed juice which contains sugar. It is all about acquired tastes. She further says that people who are fasting should try having fruit salad instead of the traditional, desi fruit chaat which at least “preserves the nutritional value of fruits.”
If you are health conscious and want to devour a healthy bowl of fruit chaat then simply add a bit of lemon juice to spike it up without worrying about any calories. Other fun additions can be mango flavoured Tang and Rani Juice – bon appetit!
• Three bananas
• Three apples
• Three guavas
• Three pears
• One tin of Rani Juice (it contains pulp which adds texture)
• One cup calamansi concentrated juice
• 1 tsp salt
• 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
• 1/4 tsp crushed black pepper
Published in The Express Tribune, August 3rd, 2012.