India is a land of multi-culture, multi-cuisine, multi-language, and one emotion that is food. Each and every city in India loves food and street food is what unites many people. Although, India has multi-cuisine restaurants people wish to eat street food which has occupied a special place for Indians in general.
Here are some of the popular street foods in India in no particular order (we do not want to disappoint you)
1. Vada Pav
Mumbai’s local delicacy but has won the hearts of many is Vada Pav. Known to foreigners as Indian Burger, Vada Pav is said to have originated by a vendor named Ashok Vadiya who worked near Dadar Train Station in the 1960s and ’70s where he taught a way to satiate hungry workers who are always on the move and it should be an ideal dish which should be portable and easy to prepare.
Ashoke Vadiya made this dish and its popularity skyrocketed as the local political party started to promote this dish which is ideal for the working class. Vada Pav is a dish where Vada which is spiced mashed potatoes or chickpeas which is deep-fried and Pav means bread which the Vada is kept between the Pav bread and added some spiced elements.
Another sandwich kind of dish which is originated in Gujarat is Dabeli. It is a spicy snack prepared with special masala and boiled potatoes and put in a burger called Ladi pav.
For the spicy filling, several chutneys such as garlic, tamarind, date, chili are added, and then one may add roasted peanuts and pomegranate and topped off with namkeen such as bhujia which gives Dabeli a rich flavor. Best consumed with added chili, Dabeli is also one of the popular street food available all over the world.
Although momos is a Tibetian dish, hugely popular as street food in North India you can find Momos stall at many places. With added masala twist, Momos in India has several fillings such as Mutton, Paneer, Chicken, and are served steamed, fried, tandoori, and also you can find gravy version.
These momos are so popular that many momo places can be found in the streets and best served when it’s a cold rainy day momos will be sold like hotcakes.
4. Pani Puri
Known as Pani Puri, Puchkas, Gol Gappa, and many others. Pani Puri is famous in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and it is a popular street food chat. It is believed to be originated in Uttar Pradesh and spread all across Asia.
Pani Puri consists of hollow fried puri and stuffed potatoes, tamarind chutney, chaat masala, onion, red chili, chickpeas, coriander, and when the puri filling is dipped in mint-flavored pani it will be a burst of flavors in our mouth.
One of the popular dishes down south is Appam. It is a bowl-shaped pancake made from rice flour, coconut milk and is consumed as breakfast in Kerala. The dish is popular in Kerala, Sri Lanka, Tamil Nadu, and also is culturally linked to Syrian Christians who called it Nasranis.
The history of appam is still not known but it is said to have originated by Jewish communities in India.
Samosas are popular in India and the world. Due to its crunchy texture and variety of flavors, Samosas provide a huge burst of flavors. It is a deep-fried triangular pastry that has a wide variety of ingredients such as Onions, lentils, spiced potatoes, peas, and some samosas that also contain mutton.
It is said that this dish is said to have originated along the old trade-route from central Asia. Served hot, samosas are best eaten when hot, and accompanying the snack is the spiced mint chutney or the sweet tamarind chutney which is mouth drooling..
7. Tunde Kabab
One of the famous dishes of Lucknow is Tunde Kabab. Prepared with minced meat, this is also known as Galouti Kebab and the dish is to be discovered by Haji Murad Ali.
It is said that Haji Murad Ali had one hand and hence the name Tunde. It is so soft that even a toothless man can savor it. it is delicious and a must-have dish when you visit Lucknow.
8. Litti Choka
When you visit Bihar, litti choka is a must dish that can be eaten anytime during the day. You can have Litti Choka during breakfast, lunch, snack, or dinner it is made from mashed potato and brinjal which is served little and the bread is of Litti Choka is prepared via grams. It is so popular that there are many songs in the name of Litti Choka.
Although this dish is not popular, due to many Northeasterners visiting and staying Thukpa is now becoming a popular dish in India. It consists of Long noodles, strong spices, and veggies.
The noodle soup is full of flavor and it is a go-to dish when the weather turns cold. You can find both vegetarian and non-vegetarian variety of this dish and it can be found everywhere in the streets of NE India.
10. Aloo Tikki
No market stall, chat place, wedding, or any popular places to have street food is incomplete with Aloo Tikki. The exact origin of this dish is unknown but you can find this street food everywhere.
Aloo Tikkis is mashed potatoes mixed with spices and is deep-fried to get hot and crispy tikkis. This dish is served with tamarind Chutney and few vendors also garnish with beetroot or radish.
[ Checkout how to make Aloo Tikki ]