The chaat variants are all based on fried dough, with various other ingredients. The original chaat is a mixture of potato pieces, crisp fried bread dahi vada or dahi bhalla, gram or chickpeas and tangy-salty spices, with sour Indian chili and saunth (dried ginger and tamarind sauce), fresh green coriander leaves and yogurt for garnish, but other popular variants included aloo tikkis or samosa (garnished with onion, coriander, hot spices and a dash of curd), bhel puri, dahi puri, panipuri, dahi vada, papri chaat, and sev puri.
There are common elements among these variants including dahi (yogurt); chopped onions and coriander; sev (thin dried yellow salty noodles); and chaat masala, typically consisting of amchoor (dried mango powder), cumin, kala namak (Himalayan black rock salt), coriander, dried ginger, salt, black pepper, and red pepper. The ingredients are combined and served on a small metal plate or a banana leaf, dried and formed into a bowl.
Some scholars trace origins of chaats such as Dahi Vada (Dahi Bare) to ancient periods. A recipe for dahi wada (as kshiravata) is mentioned in Manasollasa, a 12th-century Sanskrit encyclopedia compiled by Someshvara III, who ruled from present-day Karnataka. According to food historian, K.T Achaya descriptions of dahi vada also appear in literature from 500 B.C. According to culinary anthropologist Kurush Dalal, the Chaat originated in northern India (now Uttar Pradesh) in the late 17th century during the reign of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. He further added that the royal doctors had asked the people of Mughal capital Delhi to consume spicy and fried snacks as well as dahi as a countermeasure to the alkaline water of Yamuna river of the city so the Chaat was invented.
Most chaats originated in some parts of Uttar Pradesh in India, but they are now eaten all across the Indian subcontinent and neighboring countries. Some are results of cultural syncretism – for instance, pav bhaji (bread/bun with cooked and mashed vegetables) originated in Mumbai but reflects a Portuguese influence, in the form of a bun, and bhel puri and sevpuri, which originated in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
Aloo chaat – Potatoes (aloo in Hindi) cut into small pieces, fried till crisp and served with chutney
Bedmi – Puri stuffed with dal and fried till crisp. Typically served with aloo sabji and eaten for breakfast
Ragda patties (Aloo Tikki Chaat)
Cheela- Besan (chickpea flour) pancakes served with chutney and sooth (sweet chutney)
Chotpoti, mixture of boiled diced potatoes, boiled chickpeas and sliced onions and chillies with grated eggs on top. Many kinds of roasted spice powder are used in its preparation.
Kachori- or Kachauri, with variants such as Khasta Kachuari
Mangode – Similar to pakora, but besan paste is replaced with yellow moong paste
Pakora – Different things such as paneer, vegetable dipped in besan (chickpea/gram flour) paste and fried.
Papri chaat – This contains fried patty called papri as an extra ingredient.
Samosa chaat – samosa is broken into pieces with green and sweet chutney added to it.