Thursday, July 19, 2012

Hut-K Chaats Tastes too Good to be Healthy

the Rock & Rye was my choice, not Dr. Bhojani's. Don't judge me, it's delicious.
Swaroop Bhojani is a molecular cancer researcher in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Michigan Medical School. He has authored articles with titles like Nuclear localized phosphorylated FADD induces cell proliferation and is associated with aggressive lung cancer and Phosphorylated FADD induces NF-kappaB, perturbs cell cycle, and is associated with poor outcome in lung adenocarcinomas. But that's not the impressive part of his resume. Bhojani, along with his wife Sumi, run Hut-K Chaats, which serves up casual Indian streetfood with a healthy twist.

I had been meaning to check out Hut-K Chaats for a while now and on my last trip to Mark’s Carts, I decided to stop by for a snack. “Chaat” is a Hindi word describing savory streetfood, typically made with a fried dough filled with ingredients common in South Asia. I will state my bias upfront – I could eat samosas by the shovel full, so I was already looking forward to the samosa roll at Hut-K Chaats. The samosa roll is essentially the common ingredients of a samosa – potatoes, lentils and peas – along with a chutney made from mint, cilantro, spinach, dates, and mangoes all wrapped in a multigrain wrap and topped with a crispy chickpea flour topping. I ordered mine hot, which was just the right level of heat. The familiar taste of the samosa filling was there, along with the right herby notes from the chutney to put it over the top. The wrap provided enough structure to eat with your hands (everything tastes better when eaten with your bare hands) and the crunchy topping gave a little needed texture. I wish I could eat one of these every day for lunch.

Mrs. T went with the papdi chaat, which disappeared before I could snap a pic. The papdi chaat was a mixture of chickpeas and crunchy pieces of baked flatbread, topped with yogurt and a chutney similar to what was in the samosa roll.

Bhojani describes his food as both delicious and nutritious and calls it “nutrilicious” - I don’t think I can disagree with him. With another location out on Packard, it will fit nicely into my weeknight takeout rotation.

Hut-K Chaats
3022 Packard Rd.
Ann Arbor, MI

Hut-K Chaats @ Mark's Carts
211 W. Washington

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