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 ("Bhalla" in Hindi), gram or chickpeas and tangy-salty spices, with sour home-made Indian chilli and Saunth (dried ginger and tamarind sauce), fresh green coriander leaves and yogurt for garnish, but other popular variants includedAloo 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, or yogurt; chopped onions and coriander; Sev (small dried yellow salty noodles); and chaat masala, typically consisting of amchoor (dried mango powder), cumin, Kala Namak (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.
In cities where chaat is popular, there are popular chaathouses or dhabas, such as Mumbai's Chowpatty Beach. The chaat specialities vary from city to city.