There are a few rules when it comes to Indian street food, the first is to make sure the food is served piping hot, the kind of hot that tortures you as you stare into the depths of your delicious food until it is cool enough to eat. The second and most obvious rule is to check out the cooking situation for any clear sanitation issues and third is to follow the people. They know whats up.
Street Food is the cheapest way to eat in India and convenient to grab on the go. It is not always the biggest meal but it will satisfy your tummy grumble and nothing is stopping you from going back for seconds, in fact I encourage it.
Here is a tried and tested list of what you can expect to find on the streets and what I personally believe you absolutely must try in India.
Warm, spicy and delicious Masala Chai. Masala refers to the combination of spices cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, pepper, fennel, and star anise although not limited to this combination and Chai means Milk tea and it doesn’t get any fresher or taster than from a chai stand on an indian street. You watch as they freshly crush and grind the spices between chunks of marble stone while the aromas fill the surrounding air. You simply cannot come to India without experiencing a Masala Chai.
A triangle shaped pastry of goodness is stuffed with spiced potatoes, onions, lentils and some other magic mystery ingredients. This is one dish your mouth will be watering over for a long time as it cools down as the samosa is cooked in simmering oil. The trick for those of us who are impatient and a third degree mouth burn is bound to happen at one point or another is to crack it down the centre to allow the inside to cool.
Ill take two double portions please! Perhaps my favourite of all. These are very similar to Samosa with the exception of a circular shape? I cant find too many differences. Again these are filled with potatoes, spices, maybe lentils? Who knows? who cares? they are divine!
Paratha looks similar to Naan but it is nothing like Naan. It is a flat bread usually coated in Ghee (clarified butter) Don’t give up yet, I promise you it is worth a try. It comes in almost any style you can think of from plane to stuffed with everything and anything however more often than not it is stuffed with vegetables or paneer.
Aloo means Potato and Tikki means patty, I’m sure you can do the math on this one… Im not sure what magic they use but its the best damn potato patty you will ever eat in your life (no exaggerations) and is eaten with a side of chutney. Aloo Tikki can be found pretty much everywhere.
This is a desert food which I can describe as a sweet fried dough. This isn’t something that floats my boat but the friends I made whilst travelling seemed to go back for seconds or thirds and would always offer to scoff my portion which I never managed to finish. I gave it a few chances but I’m not a sweet kind of gal. Take it from my friends though, they couldn’t get enough.
There are so many other dishes to try but I didn’t personally try them myself so i’m not going to point you down poison lane. There were some that I really wanted to try but cooking methods looked concerning. Rice dishes such as Bhel puri just to name one but certainly not limited to this one lucky enough to be mentioned, I have considered these a no go zone (Rice is a huge culprit for food poisoning as it retains and breeds bacteria) although friends of mine did try it and they were fine. There is also something called Pani Puri (Puri means water) it is a little round crispy, puffy bread ball thing where they fill the centre with some kind of spiced water and its eaten in one bite, my concern is that it is hard to determine the sanitation of the water. It was best to just walk on by than risk it…a little round and crispy puffy bread though… that sounds like what dreams are made of..am I right?
THANK YOU FOR READING.
Over to you, What are your experiences with street food?
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