You can take a woman out of India but you will never get India out of her. If you are like me -- you would give up several days of food in return for fresh street made Chaat food on demand, in the middle of the city cacophony. I was up in Oh Canada a few days back -- and some parts around Toronto are as Indian as Chandni Chowk. Actually Chandni Chowk with four times the space and half as many people :-D What better place to look for authentic chaat on the other side of the globe? A simple google search for "best chaat Toronto area" yielded an article from the Toronto Star which recomeneded -- Dhaba (King West, Toronto), Brars (Brampton) and Mirch Masala (Brampton). The first two finds were quickly vetoed because they served Chaat as appetizers! How tacky and high society! Give and take respect, people! Mirch Masala in Brampton, Ontario was touted to be the place to get together with friends over a fun meal. One look at the menu sampler on the article and I was sold. Pani Puri. Bhel Puri. Papdi Chaat. Whats not to like?
We drove into Bramdesh, as the localites lovingly refer to Brampton -- and into this hidden jewel somewhere outside of town
8917 The Gore Rd,
We pulled into the sprawling strip mall aptly titled Jaipur Gore Mall, lined with Indian businesses -- a Hindu temple, a Hindu Montessori school, Subzi Mandi cash and carry, Chilli Szhezuan Indian Chinese restaurant etc. Snug n the middle was 'Mirch Masala' standing out with its bright yellow sign and the attractive posters boasting of the sheer variety in the menu. "21 Paratha varieties", "51 eggless cake flavors", "100 % Vegetarian". We walk in -- and we are the only ones there! Maybe we were the only chaat crazy ones on a late Sunday afternoon. Well -- no time is better for chaat than right now if anyone cared for my humble opinion.
On glance at the menu and you know you are out for a smogarsboard. Why can't you have yourself a Pani Puri, a Bhel Puri, Dahi Puri, Aaloo tiki chaat and Papdi chaat when you have it all for less than CAD 5.00 a piece? Once you are down with the light stuff, head over to the 11 different varieties of vegetarian burgers. Are you reading this McDonalds? Now that is what I call a happy meal. Try a 'samosa'wich burger -- a burger packed with samosa pieces and spicy chickpea curry, topped with onion, tomato and lettuce. Add chilies to your burger, kick back your shoes and sink in. Samosa does not fancy you today? No problem, try a Indian curry burger or a Bollywood burger or a Greek Burger. Make it a combo and add Masala fries and a soda.
Ok, you really wanted to go to Brars but your chaat crazy wife guilted you into coming to Mirch Masala? Don't worry, you will not be missing out on anything. Have a Paneer Tikka platter - includes grilled paneer tikka, with grilled peppers, tomatoes and onions. With a side of chickpea curry, butter nan and rice for CAD 8.99.
And end the meal with hot gulab jamuns. Wash it all off with a fresh lime soda or masala chai.
Sriracha hot sauce flows free as the Niagara Falls. Goodbye bland food!
Next time you are in the area, stop by at Mirch Masala and enjoy a quick meal. The menu is sure to please all kinds of taste buds. If any locals are reading this -- please enlighten me -- why wasn't the place swarming with people, a place like this deserves dedicated patronage :) Is there a better chaat place I should try?