In a country like ours finding good food is never an issue and the one thing that is common pan India is the availability of delicious, cheap and quick – on the go street food. Right from full meals to little bite sized snacks, vegetarian delights to meaty treats, traditional Indian eats to fusion food you could never imagine was possible, the Indian street food scene has myriad option for a food lover. This Republic Day, we tell you about popular things from the main cities and list out several others that you should definitely sample if you haven’t already!
Kolkata – The city of joy is undoubtedly the street food capital of the country. Anyone who visits is in for a treat with a myriad variety in street food that is unmatchable. A puchka is the Bengali version of a paani puri, with a crisper, bigger puri made essentially with semolina and filled with boiled potatoes and the standard meetha and theekha paani. Besides this, jhal muri is healthy option if you like puffed rice tossed with spicy chutneys and condiments to be eaten with a flat crisp puri. A Kolkata roll essentially is a refined flour parantha fried with an egg, filled with condiments, meat kebabs, onions and fresh green chillies often served with mustard sauce or kashundi as it is called in Bengal. You will find a roll joint at every nook and corner in Kolkata, but the ones from Nizams are supposedly the best. There is not much that we can say in favour of the delicious Bengali sweets that hasn’t already be said. So make sure to forget all your calorie woes before you dig into the delectable rossogullas, chumchums, and mishti doi’s.
Rasgulla, chumchum, egg roll, kathi roll, momos, jhalmuri, puchka, jhalbhora
Mumbai – The city that never sleeps, the NY of India and the financial capital of the country with titles like this Mumbai sure has a lot to live up to and completely does when it comes to great food. Pav – Mumbaiya bread is really the hero in Mumbai street food. A delicious go-to when your pockets are feeling particularly light, Vada pav - A spicy gram flour coated deep fried potato mixture stuffed in pav smothered with spicy chutneys. If you want to avoid the vada replace it with a mix of crunchy onions and thin slices of potato bhajiya for a bhaji pav or just have eggs prepared your way to go with it. Pav bhaji a delicious spicy mix of mashed vegetables with loads of butter served with pav fried in more butter - yes all of this on the streets of Mumbai, many times available all through the night! The creator of a humble dosa must have never imagined the number of ways this delicious pancake could be made and served. From being a simple rice flour pancake served with chutney to ones filled with a variety of ingredients, the dosa, now dons several brand new avatars! Ranging from a pav bhaji mixture, Indo-Chinese version of noodles, cheese, a dosa has come a long way from south Indian homes to street carts in Mumbai.
Vada Pav, bhajnee thalipeeth, missal pav, spring dosa, mysore masala dosa, baida roti, chinese bhel, schezwan noodles, dahi batata puri, pav bhaji, samosa pav, dabeli, paani puri, tawa pulao.
Delhi – The capital of the country is also the place where getting a cheap and delicious meal is possible, no matter what your craving is. Be it hot paranthas from the famed paranthe wali galli or succulent non vegetarian kebabs and spicy kormas in adjoining shops or golgappas and aloo tikki chaats from little chaat carts that have made big names for themselves in the food lovers world! Crisp tandoori paranthas laden with ghee, most often served with spicy chole, chatpata achar and maybe some pickled onions as a salad is a meal enough to fill your tummy and completely satisfy your taste buds. When it comes to chaats the ones from Delhi are iconic and most popular even with tough competition from their equally delicious counterparts elsewhere in the country. Piping hot potato tikkis served with chole or melt in your mouth sweet and sour dahi bhalle or crisp puris topped with assortment of condiments and chutneys – there is something for everyone to eat on the streets of Delhi!
Burfi parantha with rose and rabdi, keema parantha, delhi aloo tikki chaat, aloo tuk, matar paneer parantha, uttapam, samosa chaat, chole kulche, kulfi falooda, lassi.
Central India – In the holy city of Varanasi, kachori sabzi is a popular breakfast snack made by filling dough balls with a spicy potato mixture and deep fried. In some other places like Bihar kachori sabzi means a khasta kachori served along with a similar more runny spicy potato curry – eat it in whichever form great taste is guaranteed. Besides this chuara matar is a lovely pressed rice and green pea dish, much like pressed rice or poha that is a favourite breakfast and snack item across central India. A lot of times pieces of broken jalebi are added to this for the contrasting sweet flavour and crunchy texture.
Puri Bhaji, jalebi, imarti, rabdi, mawa kachori, pyaaz kachori, raj kachori, lassi, banarasi tamatar chaat.
South India – Street food in South India is similar to its counterparts in the country and is yet completely different. Idlis and dosas are obviously a staple, but the popular ones in the southern street food scene are different from the ones we are used to. Delicious vellappams are like fluffy idlis in the centre and crisp like a dosa around the edges. Kanchipuram idlis, loaded with the flavour of peppercorns and spices are popular quick snacks. Bondas and dal vadas are served with coconut chutney, piping hot sambhar or rasam and a dry chutney called gunpowder. Besides this mini samosas filled with spicy meat mince or mixed vegetables are common sites on the streets of South India.
Neer Dosa, Kanchipuram Idlis, Moong dosa, rasam, sambhar, coconut chutney, molagapodi, appam, stew.
For these and several more recipes celebrating our rich heritage in food browse through www.sanjeevkapoor.com
Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient.
His recipe portal www.sanjeevkapoor.com is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.
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