With the mouth-watering, delicious and endless varieties, one has to be amazed at the colourful Indian Street Food delicacies. The taste and variety of food in India varies from North to South and East to West. While street foods are appreciated for their unique flavours, they are also important in contributing to the nutritional status of the population. Whenever you visit India, going on a Food Tour is a chance not to be missed. The food tour will enable you to not only taste local food but allow you to experience the culture of India. So here is a list of top 5 authentic India street foods that you must try during your visit to the country.
1. Paratha at Paratha Galli, Chandni Chowk in Delhi
Gali Paranthe Wali or Paranthe Wali Gali, (literally “the bylane of fried bread”) is the name of a narrow street in the Chandni Chowk area of Delhi. As you walk down the lane you will find number of shops selling authentic parathas (stuffed and fried Indian bread). The oldest shop that is selling parathas from six generations is the Pandit Gaya Prasad Shiv Charan (shop number 34) established in 1872. Do you know there are almost 28-30 varieties of parathas that you can taste here?
You will also enjoy seeing the making process of the parathas as they are prepared in front of you. First, they roll the dough (made of wheat/all-purpose flour) then they fill the rolled dough with their special variety stuffing’s like tomatoes, potatoes, mint, cheese, radish, cashew, banana, almond, green chillis, carrot, lemon, dried fruits, green peas, and so many more. Further the stuffed paratha is fried in the clarified butter until is its golden brown in colour. The parathas are then served with chutney (sauce), pickle and a potatoes gravy as a side dish. Let us know which paratha would you like to try when you visit India.
2. Poha jalebi at Chappan Dukan in Indore
Indore’s food paradise the Chappan Dukan (56 Shops) is a must-visit place for all foodies. This street is famous for delicious snacks and sweets. This market is thriving with a huge variety of items. You will find a wide variety of snacks, chaat, sweets, foods, hotdog, momos, hot & cold drinks such as coffees, teas, milkshakes, juices, etc., all at one place. poha (flat rice) and jalebi (syrup field rings) is a standard morning breakfast in Indore.
The combination of poha and jalebi is a very light yet fulfilling sumptuous breakfast. The poha is washed and kept aside to puff up. Then into the hot cooking oil goes the mustard seeds, curry leaves, green chilies, chopped onion, turmeric powder, sugar, and salt. Over this mixture the puffed poha is added to with a small amount of lemon juice & coriander leaves. Once the Poha is ready it is garnished with pomegranate or peanuts and served with Jalebi. So, when in Indore start your day with this tasty and light snack.
3. Vada paav at Khau Galli in Mumbai
Easy to make, cheap, convenient to eat and a popular snack of all the working class in Mumbai is the vada paav. This dish is full of flavours and various textures. It is one of the humblest street foods in Mumbai, yet it is tasty and delicious. If you are in the mood to entice your taste buds or find an excuse to ditch that diet, then visit the Mumbai Khau Galli.
Vada or batata vada is a potato dumpling coated with fried batter. The term vada mostly means a fried fritter or a fried dumpling-like savoury dish. Vada pav can be eaten during any time of the day like breakfast, brunch, or in the evening as a snack. For the authentic taste it is best eaten with hot cup of Indian Tea. The Potatoes are boiled and mashed. Then a tempering mixture made from hot oil, special Indian spices, and curry leaves is added to the boiled potatoes. The mashed potatoes are then made into small to medium balls. These balls are then dipped in the smooth batter made out of gram flour and then deep fried in hot oil. Batata vada is then ready to be served with mint chutney and tamarind chutney (sauce) together with the paav. In recent days, this dish is also called as Indian Burger. Visit the Khau Galli in Mumbai and try the best vada paav here.
4. Chole kulcha in Amritsar
This traditional Punjabi dish can be enjoyed at the food capital of Punjab, Amritsar. Chole kulche is mouth-watering dish having spicy flavours that will explode in your mouth with every bite. At Amritsar see the traditional way of making a kulcha (Flat Bread made from All purpose flour). The dough is rolled into flat, filled with spicy potatoes stuffing and again rolled into an oval or circle shape flat bread. It is then placed into a traditional mud made oven and cooked until golden and crispy.
This kulcha is then eaten with spicy chole which is made of peas. The peas are soaked overnight and then cooked the next day adding traditional spices and garnished with onion, tomato, coriander leaves, ginger, green chilli, lemon and chaat masala. You will find variety of flavours in the kulcha like paneer Kkulcha, mint kulcha, masala kulcha and many more. Chole kulcha is too a traditional breakfast dish in Punjab. You will find many small shops in almost every lane in Amritsar who are selling these traditional chole kulcha.
5. Fluffy, soft idli in Madurai
Extremely nutritious, comfort food for every South Indian, is the steamed rice cake called Idli. This dish has so many modifications like dahi (curd) idli, Kanchipuram idli, fried idli, etc., but the steamed idli still remains the agreed choice for millions in India. Idli is made of fermented rice & lentil batter. This fermentation process in the batter makes it very soft and fluffy. Rice and urad daal (black lentil) are washed and soaked for 4-5 hours. Later it is grinded into a fine paste and this batter is then kept for fermenting (overnight) in a warm place.
Once the batter has risen, salt is added and whisked to mix it well. This batter is then steamed in the idli steamer for about 10-15 minutes. Pair this idli with sambar or chutney or just enjoy it plain. The best, soft, fluffy idli with a traditional taste can be enjoy at Murugan Shop in Madurai.
Jay Kajaria is Founder of Bespoke India Holidays. Bespoke India Holidays is an award-winning company that specialises in creating luxury trips to India and the subcontinent.
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