Guide to Indian Street Food
Despite the sudden rise of American fast food joints across Indian metros, churning out their monotonous fare of burgers and French fries and insipid coffees, the grassroots level street food and dhabas will always be there.
Indian street food is something that foreign travelers to India shouldn’t miss, for several reasons. First of all, street food is simply a way of life in India, and partaking of it is a great way to experience a bit of Indian life in the same way that the locals do.
India in is blessed with an amazing variety of street food. A truncated list of food available here can easily fill a small book. Different regions in India have their own unique cultures and cuisines. Some one traveling through India will go through enough cuisines for a large continent.
You can try one of the most famous street food at your home.
Samosa: Triangular Vegetable Patties
For the pastry
3 1/2 cups / 500 g / 1.1 lb Refined flour (maida)
Salt to taste
1 1/4 cup / 60 ml / 2 fl oz Vegetable oil
Water to knead
For the filling
4 tbsp / 60 g / 2 oz Ghee
1 tsp / 2 g Cumin (jeera) seeds
4 cups / 600 g / 22 oz Potatoes, peeled, diced
1 1/2 cups / 150 g / 5 oz Green peas (hara mater)
1/2 tsp / 1 1/2 g Turmeric (haldi) powder
Salt to taste
Red chilli powder to taste
1 tbsp / 18 g Ginger (adrak) paste
4 tsp / 12 g Pomegranate seeds (anar dana), ground
Vegetable oil for frying
For the pastry, mix the refined flour, salt and oil together. Add enough water and knead into a semi-hard dough. Keep aside.
For the filling, heat the ghee in a wok (kadhai); sauté the cumin seeds for a minute. Add the vegetablesm turmeric powder, salt, red chilli powder and ginger paste. Cook until the vegetable are done.
Add the pomegranate seeds and cook covered for 3–4 minutes. Remove from the heat and keep aside to cool.
Divide the dough equally into 10 portions. Roll out each portion in 16cm discs and then cut across the middle. Make a cone with each half in your palms. Place 1tbsp of the filling into each cone. Pinch the edges to seal properly. Repeat till all the patties are done.
Heat the oil in a wok; carefully lower the pattiers, a few at a time, and deep-fry in a moderate heat. When the patties are cooked and golden brown, remove with slotted spoon and adrain the excess oil on absorbent kitchen towels.
Serve hot with coriander chutney or tamarind chutney.
Tips for eating street food
The last thing you want on your holiday is an upset stomach, so you ought to familiarise yourself with the dos and don’ts of street food before you set off. Below, you can see some our top tips.
• Follow the locals: If you notice there’s particular vendor the locals seem to avoid, you’re probably best off giving them a wide berth too. This is one instance where it’s wise to follow the crowd – a busy vendor is probably a good one.
• Give yourself time to adjust: Give yourself a few days to get used to the local cuisine before you throw yourself into the street food lifestyle – this can help avoid unhappy tummies.
• Be wary of meat: Generally speaking, meat from street vendors is best avoided unless you notice lots of locals eating from there and know the seller in question has a good reputation.
• Avoid pre-sliced fruit: The sight of glistening sliced fruit can look really tempting under the hot Indian sun, but often it’ll be drenched in local tap water to keep it looking fresh, which means it’s best avoided if you want to keep your stomach smiling.
Follow us soon on the Indian Street Food trends in differant parts of India.