To fruit chaat or not to fruit chaat: Why has such a benign (and tasty) dish divided our office?

To fruit chaat or not to fruit chaat: Why has such a benign (and tasty) dish divided our office?

There are more variations of a fruit chaat than Whitney Houston's 'I Will Always Love You' and none of them are as offensive as some people make them out to be.
21 Mar, 2024

Every year, during Ramazan, the same old debate makes its way to our timelines: is it permissible to brush your teeth while fasting? No, sorry, wrong script. What we’re actually here to discuss is whether you should dice your fruit into perfectly small chunks, mix them well and season them with sugar, chaat masala and lemon to consume for iftaar. A wise Olivia Rodrigo once said, “It’s a bad idea, right?” But if you really think about it, maybe not.

A recent podcast between Akbar Chaudhry, Ali Gul Pir and Amtul Baweja got us thinking about the many variations of fruit salad, or ‘fruit chaat’ as desis like to call it, and whether there’s a version that everybody can get on board with. It may be a Ramazan staple, but people have all kinds of negative feelings for this harmless blend of nature’s delights. We’re as surprised as you are…

Many would thank Pir for declaring, “Fruits should be eaten as is. Stop adding masalas to your fruits to create this abomination.” Others would second Chaudhry, “Fruit chaat, I hate with a passion.” The comedian even called it a “sugary saalan” — something we can’t get out of our heads.

Meanwhile, Baweja enlightened us about some fruit chaat variations being worse than others. “Some people add Tang to their fruit chaat. I’ve even seen people adding Rooh Afza…” But while the comedian, rapper and influencer all came to the conclusion that “fruit chaat should be banned,” we had our reservations.

Fruit chaat has been passed down from generation to generation. So much so, that it’s our birthright. There’s no replacement for a mash of your favourite fruits chopped up in one bowl. Heck, throw in a mix of boiled channa (chickpeas) and we’re golden.

There’s also no right or wrong way to make fruit chaat, it all varies person-to-person. Some like it spicy, others prefer orange juice drizzled all over it. We even approve of fresh pineapple juice with a hint of lemon so the fruits don’t oxidise. Basically, whatever floats your boat. But to call fruit chaat, such a basic, harmless dish, an atrocity? We don’t think so.

We were so invested in this debate that we even made a video about it, asking our colleagues whether they do or not like fruit chaat and their divided responses have confused us. Who knew there were so many fruit chaat haters out there.

We’ve also compiled a bunch of non-controversial and really healthy fruit chaat recipes for you to give the dish a second chance. And if you still hate fruit chaat, all we want to say is — who hurt you?

Topped with citrus and honey-good

If you’re grossed out by the masalas in desi fruit chaats, maybe try out this recipe by Kelly Senyei, who promises that if you dress your fruit salad with citrus and honey, it’ll keep your fruit salad looking and tasting fresh for hours, no matter what combination you use.

The ‘ultimate’ fruit chaat

This recipe by Zehra Allibhai looks scrumptious and its presentation also solves the problem for people who are opposed to certain fruits being in the mix. Just pick out the ones you like, mix ’em up, and voila! Also, add the dressings to your liking.

‘Sweet and tangy’ fruit chaat

And finally, this ‘sweet and tangy’ fruit chaat by Sumaira Khan looks absolutely delightful. You can, of course, adjust the zest to your liking but there’s nothing like a mix of fresh orange juice, brown sugar and some chaat masala to amplify the fruits’ natural tangy goodness.

What about you? Do you like fruit chaat or is it really the atrocity so many people believe it to be?


NYS Mar 21, 2024 01:31pm
Craving Fruit Chaat and pakoras are Ramzan staple food...
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Syed Hasni Mar 21, 2024 01:45pm
I have "grape" expectations for this recipe. Dried fruits have great health benefits, add them too. It's really about "raisin" awareness.
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Taj Ahmad Mar 21, 2024 02:18pm
Fruit chats any kind is the best dish on the table and my wife makes it in various varieties during Ramadan and all year around. It’s a healthy # 1 among other dishes on the table.
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Amrikee Mar 21, 2024 08:58pm
Fruit chaat is an iftar staple at our home. Apples, mandarins, bananas, grapes, and dates are essentials. Mix-in some mango juice, salt, and pepper. It's a staple at my in-laws too; however, they use way too much guava juice which I really dislike.
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TALHA SHAFI Mar 22, 2024 09:29am
These gagsters are doing what they are good at … don’t worry continue gobbling ‘Fruit Chat’.
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Jessica Rosemary D Mello Mar 22, 2024 09:32am
I love Fruit chaat. Its a healthy and full of nutrition. It should not be banned.
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