Kati and I love street food. Whether it is tacos on the streets of Mexico City or Kabobs in Egypt. Street food seems to be the soul of any country. Street food is an essential part of experiencing a new destination and its diverse culture. In India, the selection is vast and varied. From spicy to mild, Indian street food is a way of life. Every region, state, and even the city’s cuisine is liked by locals who will inform you that street food in their town is better than anything else you want to try in India.
India is known for its taste, easy accessibility, and diversities in several cities like Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore, Mumbai, etc. When it comes to street food, India is on the top.
Foods and Beverages that are sold on the streets by vendors or hawkers in their carts or portable stalls are what is known as Street Food. Meanwhile, tikiyas, chaat, pani puri, and naming a few are well known in India. Be it east, west, north, and south, and every region has its unique and particular street food specialty.
Made with a blend of exotic ingredients, spices, and love, the Indian street foods are one of their kind. Most Indian street food dishes have simple, easy-to-make dishes, but that doesn’t mean they won’t explode. Releasing an array of rich, exotic flavors into your mouth and leaving you craving for more. India is like a vast, delicious maze whose only exit is your way. Not just Indians but numerous foreign tourists also enjoy eating Indian street food with delicacies. If you are also an Indian street food lover, then you cannot resist digging into these roadside delights we are mentioning below.
Pani Puri is one of the favorites and most popular street food in India. Every Indian and even foreigners love to experience this delight. The dish comprises a round flatbread, that is puffed in a cauldron, then a hollow ball called a puri after being fried. In the regular and the traditional version of the food, puri is pressed by the vendor to make a hole in it. He then fills it with the delicious mix of spicy, soup-like pani (tamarind water), chickpeas, onions, potatoes, peppers, and at last the tamarind chutney. Besides, the chaat masala is also added. Some other contemporary and inventive varieties of this dish can be explored throughout the nation.
This Indian street food item is a South Asian version of a potato chip. Aloo tikka is prepared with boiled potatoes, mixed with coriander, onion, and special spices, and then shaped into patties. Next, the patties are fried to form a deep crispy outer layer while the inside is soft-melted from your mouth. These spicy potato cutlets are served with mint and tamarind chutney, yogurt sauce, or ketchup – a South Asian staple.
Although this type of Indian street food is most commonly found in North India and Pakistan, chaat is a generic term for South Asian street food in general. The dish consists of papri (thin pieces of fried dough), which is between steamed chickpeas, boiled potatoes, occasional sprouted beans, and a seasoned yogurt sauce. Other components may be added, such as potato Tikki and samosa, depending on the type of chaat. The dish is then garnished with tamarind chutney and sev.
Kulfi is the Indian equivalent of ice cream. However, there are many differences between ice cream and Kulfi, mainly in taste and texture. Roadside Kulfi is often served in its classic molds or thin toppings to make Kulfi Faloda, a type of ice cream made with float, rose syrup sauce, cooked vermicelli noodles, and gram flour seeds.
One of the easier street foods to make at home. Pakora is frying made by dipping vegetables and meat pieces in chickpea flour-based solutions. It then includes a deep-frying method to golden brown perfection. Pakora is served with an array of sauces, usually tamarind sauce, mint sauce, or magpie ketchup.
Originating from Maharashtra, India, Pav Bhaji is a mixture of mashed vegetables in a tomato-based gravy cooked on a Tawa (flat griddle) and served with a peppery batch-style bread roll. Pav Bhaji resembles an Indian vegetarian version of a sloppy joe. A non-vegetarian version of pav bhaji is made with keema – curry cooked meat and is commonly known as kheema pav.
One of the less spicy (depending on whether green chili peppers are included) foods on this list, vada pav is a slice of deep-fried, carb-laden, vegetarian-friendly paradise. The dish comprises a potato patty rolled in garbanzo bean flour, then deep-fried and sandwiched between two bread buns, which are then served with one or two chutneys or sauces.
Appam is a famous Indian bowl-shaped pancake made from rice flour and coconut milk solution. Commonly eaten for breakfast or dinner, Appam is most prevalent in Tamil Nadu, Sri Lanka, and Kerala. It is culturally associated with Syrian Christians called Nasrani, who bake Appam on a stone.
Chana masala is a special street food of the North India region. It is a spicy chickpea vegetable, usually eaten as a breakfast, staple meal, or snack. It is the popular and delicious vegetarian dish, usually found on railway stations, in canteens, or on celebrations and festive occasions. The chickpea is boiled in a combination of spices and herbs, often served with rice or Indian flatbreads such as roti or naan, then garnished with yogurt or sour cream. Due to the Chana Masala popularity, there are regional versions of the dish, such as the Pakistani version called Aloe Chole, made with chickpeas and potatoes.
The light pancake known as dosa is one of the most famous Indian dishes. It is made with soaked rice and black gram beans mixed into a paste and combined to form a thick solution, usually left overnight. The mixture is enriched with a handful of fenugreek seeds, which gives the dosa its distinctive golden brown color and a delicious, crisp texture.
It is then baked on a hot, oiled, delicate, thin texture and round shape. Indian dosa is a staple dish throughout the country, but some believe that the dosa originated in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
Indian tikka is a dish consisting of boneless meat, mostly chicken, cut into small pieces and marinated in yogurt and traditional Indian spices such as turmeric, cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper, chili, garlic, and ginger.
The meat is roasted on charcoal in an oven, a traditional cylindrical clay oven. To remain tender and juicy, the beef is repeatedly brushed with oil or butter. Tikka is usually cooked and served on sizzlers, but plain varieties are also common.
Golden-brown in color, layered and layered, paratha is a type of Indian bread that is usually eaten for breakfast. The name comes from a combination of the word part and atta (flour), referring to cooked, layered flour. It consists of whole wheat flour cooked in ghee (Indian clarified butter) and comes in round, triangular, square, or heptagonal shape.
Parathas are often filled with boiled potatoes, cauliflower, garlic, ginger, chili, cheese, or radish. They are sometimes accompanied by pickles, yogurt, homemade chutney, or meat and vegetable curries.
Roti is a flat and unleavened bread made from whole meal flour. It is traditionally cooked on an iron pot called Tawa, an important pot in Indian cuisine. In Indian cuisine, roti is essential, just like rice. There are many theories regarding its origin.
One says that it was invented in Persia when made with refined flour and much thicker than today’s rotis. Another theory states that it traveled from East Africa to India, where unleavened bread was a staple, and wheat production was abundant.
Akki Rotti, or rice bread, the main breakfast of the people in Karnataka, is one of the favorite dishes for eating from roadside stalls. People come to the booth serving Akki Rotti before they start with their office work or college lectures. It can also be done as an evening snack with coconut chutney and hot tea for quick bites.
As you can see, there is more to Indian food than chicken curry from your local Indian restaurant. It is a medley of flavors. From mouth-watering pani puri, Dahi Bhalla to chaat papdi, Indian street food is delicious and super captivating delights. As diverse as the country is, each street food is different, delicious and explodes with flavor. Besides, every region has its thing, and one who tastes India’s street food will never forget it throughout their life.
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