The phrase ‘Unity in Diversity’ holds true on many occasion when one talks about India, one of which is the availability of food. Food connects us all, don’t you agree? In a country with 1.2 billion population, you get 1.2 billion taste buds and that is a huge figure in the culinary world. North, South, East or West, you will always find gastronomic delights in every corner that you can indulge in.
As much as I love to try new food, I believe that for a foodie, the best way to get the real flavor would be to try out street food. So if you are thinking that it is just aloo chaat and tikkis, be informed that India has topped the charts for its diverse options in street food. Indian street food is one of a kind with a mélange of exotic spices and ingredients and if you are someone who loves to swear by street food, get ready to tantalize your taste buds. There is no reason why you should not hang out at the roadside momo stall, or enjoy the crunchy puchkas, as you like it.
Here are some of the delicious treats from all over India:
Chhole Bhature – this lip-smacking dish is a staple in a Punjabi household and can salivate your taste buds at any point of time. This is readily available in any part of India and is considered the desi version of the English bread and butter combination. A great choice for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike.
Tunde Kebab – treat yourself with Awadh culture with this amazing kebab. Succulent and exceptionally soft till the core is what makes it an absolute favorite among food lovers. The history behind the amazing creation goes back to Haji Murad Ali who had only one hand and had created it to satisfy the dying wish of a toothless royal. Enriched history indeed.
Litti Chokha – hailing from Bihar, it is a unique dish which can be had for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A spicy curry made from potato or brinjal and served with litti or small bread made of grams, this is heavenly food when served with a spoonful of ghee. This vegetarian delight has gloriously made its way to almost every corner in the country.
Phucka/ Golgappa – it is very difficult to find a Bengal dweller who has not professed his love for puchkas. Ask any Mumbaikar and you will hear how they swear by their tangy and spicy golgappa. Known by different names, offers the same pleasure, these scrumptious little bombs with spicy filling and tangy tamarind water leaves you craving for more. No one can eat just one holds true for these little delights.
Momo – there is absolutely no doubt or second opinion as to why the little dumplings are one of the most sought-after street food in India. Native to Tibet and Nepal, this roadside culinary has escalated from small stalls to food centers and food malls around the country and the globe. Vegetarian or non-vegetarian, the alluring fragrance is unmissable when you pass and irresistible when served with a bowl of soup or chicken stock and spicy hot chili dip. Even Thukpa is a perfect lip-smacking Tibetan delight that is a complete meal that is very satisfying when you have a cold, or even during a winter day.
Chowmein – this too is a dish that has been given a traditional twist in different parts of the country and is loved by all. Constantly evolving with more and more flavors, add a side dish with this and you have a complete meal. Chow is prepared in various styles both for vegetarian and non-vegetarian platters and is the perfect food for the soul.
Kachori – when it comes to Rajasthan, there is more to the rich culture and tradition. Their exotic and rich variety of food with hot gravy and spicy chutney will keep you longing for their variety of Kachoris, especially in Bikaner. Kachoris are popular not only amongst the locals but tourists too swear by them.
Vada Pao – there are certain things that are synonymous with the commercial capital of India – Bollywood, Marine Drive, and Vada Pao. Considered to be the desi version of a burger, you will find students to businessmen flocking to these stalls every day to enjoy and savor this authentic roadside Marathi cuisine.
Kathi rolls – a visit to Kolkata is incomplete without a visit to Park Street and even more without having a piping hot Kathi roll. With succulent pieces of tender meat wrapped in a perfect fried parantha and accompanied with onion and chilies, these should be added to the wonders of the world list.
As you might guess there is a whole list of food and food blog that you can check out the best street food in your area and around the country. Make your own list and start exploring the best of what the Indian streets have to offer. For the love of food, comment your thoughts below!
Sanjay Jhunjhunwala, Food Blogger