India is a colorful country with its diverse language, religions, cultures and food. The street food found in different parts of India, gives you a taste and experience that is truly incredible. As like any street food, it is prepared open-air in a ready-to-eat mode. Let us revel in some of the most popular, lip-smacking street food of India that you would love to relish.
a. North India
1. Pani Puri
Also known as ‘Golgappa’, these are crunchy small dough balls, tactfully punctured to create a hollow and is filled with tangy mix consisting of chilly, chaat masala, potato, onion, tamarind and chickpeas. The filled ball is eaten one at a time that crumbles as soon as you put it in the mouth.
2. Aloo Tikki
This snack is made of boiled potato and a mix of spices in circular shape. Normally, these are cooked on hot griddles. This ready to eat snack has distinctive and tangible touch of yummy mouthwatering flavor.
‘Poori Subzie’ is a popular dish of North India. It is prepared with wheat, Maida or Sooji (coarse wheat flour) and served with Subzie (curry) that has potatoes in gravy.
This simple sweet snack is a combination of tea and roasted biscuit (Khaaree biscuit). It’s a favorite in North India, especially in Uttar Pradesh.
Jalebi is a deep-fried sweet snack, soaked in sugary syrup. It is either served hot or cold.
Samosa is a popular deep-fried snack all over India. It is a triangular pastry, stuffed with potato filling. The filling can vary considerably and also includes chicken, ground lamb and lentils.
This is yet another deep-fried snack made of white flour with potato filling. It is normally served with tamarind, coriander and mint chutney. The ingredients vary in different parts of North India.
8. Aaloo and Gobhi ka Parantha
Paranthas are rich flat-breads made of wheat and can have different types of filling such as mixed vegetables, potato, lentils, cabbage and paneer. These are cooked on hot tawa, enriched with butter or ghee, and are served with plain yogurt, pickle or spicy chutney.
b. Maharashtra – Western India
1. Bhelpuri and Sevpuri
This is a savory chaat snack made of puffed rice, sev (thin fried snack made of gram flour) vegetables and tamarind sauce. Sometimes it is garnished with coriander, lemon juice and onions to add more flavor. Sevpuri, Sev papdi chaat and Dahi Puri are some of the variants of Bhelpuri. Get to the beaches of Mumbai to taste the authentic flavors of Bhel and Sevpuri.
2. Vada Pav
This is a bun sandwich with potato in between. The potato is deeply fried to make it more delectable.
3. Kanda Bhajji (Crispy Onion Fritters)
These are deep-fried onion fritters which are an all time favorite in Maharashtra. Gram flour and spices are other ingredients that make this Bhajji yummy and interesting.
4. Ragda patties
This is another popular chaat based item made of yellow peas, potatoes and spices. Ragda is made of yellow peas with mustard seeds seasoning and is served with deep fried potato cutlet.
c. Kolkata and Eastern India
When you travel to Kolkata by train, you will surely get to taste Chaap, another version of potato patties dipped and fried in flour batter. Onion and beet slices make the perfect accompaniments for Chaap.
This is one of the best street food, highly popular in Kolkata. It is an evergreen snack available all through the year. It has strong similarity with Pani Puri, crispy puffed small Puris with potato stuffing, served with tangy water.
Ghugni is a chickpea curry found in every street corner of Kolkata. It is served as gravy with puffed rice and sometimes onion pakoda/bhajiya.
Think of Kolkata and leave out sweets? Well, sweets complete the essence of Kolkata. Rosogolla is a rich sugary syrup based sweet dish. Little balls of Indian cottage cheese and semolina dough are cooked in sugar syrup.
This is another Bengali sweetmeat made of Indian Cottage cheese (paneer) and sugar. These small balls of paneer are cooked with sugar on low heat.
This delicious, lip smacking food is sold on the streets of Gujarat. Dabeli is a spicy snack made of potatoes mixed with Dabeli masala and sandwiching the mixture between sliced buns. It is normally served with tamarind, garlic, red-chilies and date chutney.
This is one of the must have snacks in Gujarat. These are chickpea rolls in combination with yogurt. The mixture is cooked and is spread on baking sheet or plate thinly and is rolled into swirls.
Dhokla is a low calorie dish made of gram flour and takes a prominent place for breakfast, main course and as side dish. The spiced gram flour is fermented for few hours and steamed for few minutes, before it is spread and cut into pieces. The pieces are then fried with mustard seasoning, green chilies and asafetida. Deep fried chilies and gram flour chutney is often served with Dhokla.
e. Southern India
1. Putu Mayam
Putu Mayam, a famous south Indian dish, is a combination of rice noodles & cold coconut and is eaten for breakfast or a snack.
This is a quick deep fried snack made of gram flour dough with vegetables such as brinjal, potato, plantain and green chilies.
Yet another deep fried snack found at any nook and corner of South Indian streets is Bonda. These are potato balls deeply fried with gram flour coating.
Vadai is the most famous accompaniment along with the traditional South Indian breakfast items – Idli and Dosa. Lentil dough is deep fried to make it crispy and tasty. Onion, coriander, ginger are added to add more flavor to the Vada. Sambar and coconut chutney are often served along with Vadai.
It is a thin layered flat bread made of Maida and fried in oil or ghee. Vegetable kurma (thick gravy) and onion rings make an excellent combination with Barotta.
1. Virgin Mary Meats or Ave Maria Sausages
These are spiced with vinegar, chilly, garlic and ginger. These can be eaten by itself or as an accompaniment to soft Goan Pao bread rolls.
2. Pao bread rolls
It is spongy, fresh baked bread which is the typical breakfast dish of Goa.
3. Goan Potato chops
These are delicious potato chops fried with minced beef stuffing and eaten with salad.
4. Beef chilly fry
It is a semi-dry preparation with lots of onion rings and thin-brown zesty gravy, often eaten with a quick salad.