Street food has always been the source of happiness for every person in India. One of the most crowded places in the country are the street food spots in addition to the fruit /vegetable markets. It is surprising to watch how the sellers of street food items calmly managed to take the heaps of orders being shouted at him/ her every now and then. However, the most curious thing about the street food sellers is that they can also churn out the yummy dishes within few minutes for every person and does not keep their customers waiting for a longer period unlike in a restaurant where people sometimes have to keep on observing when the waiters will bring their ordered platters. Being provided at cheap rates, street food is enjoyed by every class of person along with mouthfuls of gossiping with their dear ones. It is quite true that street food has a kind of distinctly powerful flavour which is lacking even in the biggest and the most expensive restaurants. Although the mystery behind the good taste of street food continues, there are many health enthusiasts who would like to lecture about the unhygienic conditions of the street food in details. However, people still continue to get attracted towards street food which is made lip smacking with a good amount of condiments.
Some of the most popular varieties of street food found across India are-
The small round size fried flour balls that are filled to the brim with different veggies and topped off with water that has been spiced up with different condiments, Pani Puri is one of the ubiquitous street food of India and has been charming the taste buds of everyone with its burst of flavours. With a loud crunch, a Pani Puri is mostly filled up with an array of onions, a chunk of mashed potato and further enhanced up with a tangy or sweet sauce. When the whole combination that is made superbly delicious with the spicy water mixture goes into the mouth, the taste buds first tries to get adjusted with its different flavours and once it is done, the wish of gorging on more Pani Puris rises. For this reason, many people never cares to spend a few bucks on chomping up five to six Pani Puris and would happily do so till he / she feels satisfied.
When the usual mixture of puffed rice is made more delicious with a good dose of sauce or spices and a blend of a variety of vegetables, it goes by the name of Bhelpuri. Although Bhelpuri can be prepared much easily and cleanly at home, its taste seems to have a magical charm only out in the streets. It might be the extra dose of salt or peeper sprinkled over the puffed rice mixture and vegetables or the pouring of a large dose of the sweet sauce that can be the right answer. Whatever be the right answer, the fact is that Bhelpuri feels tastier when eaten with friends out in the streets.
The crunchy pooris that we sometimes make as a homemade snack are prepared in a more enticing manner out in the streets with loads of sauce, curd, salt and pepper and further nourished with vegetables thereby giving birth to the Papri Chaat. This is also one of the much loved chaats of India. With the creaminess and sweetness of curd, the tanginess and hotness of the sauce overpowering each bite of the papads and vegetables in the tongues, Papri Chaat can be extremely drooling to eat.
Corns or Bhutta that have been roasted black in the corner on the roadside wafts gently through the air and compels everyone to go the place from where the enticing aroma began. Once a person reaches there, the shouts of enhancing the taste kernels of the corn by rubbing with a good dose of lemon and chilli powder would soon start. This is a regular scene in a street where Bhuttas are sold. A bite into the charred and soft kernels of the corn can turn upset moods into a happier one and is also a reliever of the pangs of hunger for a long time
Plain boiled potatoes that has been mashed and flavoured with oil / ghee /butter might not taste yummy. However, Aloo Chaat – boiled potatoes garnished with nuts, bhujia, mint leaves, salt, pepper and sauce – always feel heavenly whenever it goes inside the mouth. Another kind of simple snack that can be tossed up at home in a small amount of time is best enjoyed with friends in the street. The answer behind this mystery might be that the salt and pepper is poured in extra quantities over the boiled potatoes or it might be that the sights and sounds of the street brings alive the rich flavour of the potato which is grown underground.
When a combination of potatoes and onions is enclosed inside a flour ball, rolled over bread/ biscuit crumbs and then deep fried in oil in a pan placed atop a huge burner, Aloo Chop is ready. It is always a welcome sight to see frizzled chops being ladled out of the oil and arrange neatly in rows on a table out in the streets. Although most of the popular kinds of street food are enjoyed as a snack which is perfect to gorge on, Aloo Chop is mostly consumed mostly to remove the hunger pangs.
Although there are varieties of rolls being prepared in different corners of a street in India, it is mostly consumed during lunch hours as a full meal than as a yummy snack. The best thing about rolls that are made in the street is that it is much cheaper than the ones available in restaurant. The most common type of rolls that are regularly consumed includes the Vegetable Roll, Egg Roll and Chicken Roll. It is a usual sight to see a crowd of people savouring rolls along with a good dose of sauce between 1 pm and 4 pm in many street food spots of India.
It is indeed amazing as to how a steamed dish, that Momo is, has been able to enthrall the taste buds in a big way. Momo has been a highly favourite street food from the last few years particularly because of the fact that it is served in a plate immediately by taking it out directly from the steamer. As it remains hot and fresh while served, it tastes quite delicious. Moreover, the nutritious fillings inside a Momo is further made more delicious with the accompaniment of the spicy soup as a side dish.
Another regularly prepared homemade dish ie. Ghugni or the chickpea curry tastes more delicious when it is savoured in the streets. A good answer to this mystery might be that the chickpea curry which is made more spicier in the streets and garnished with good amounts of mint leaves and onions becomes more heavenly to consume when witnessing the hustle and bustle of the colourful streets which is no less than an entertaining scene in a movie.
A famous street food from the olden times, Samosa will always continue to rule the tongues and stomachs in India. The taste of spicy mixture of vegetables that is enclosed inside the crispy deep fried flour structure is always use to judge its quality of a Samosa. Being possibly the cheapest street food of India and having excellent portability, Samosa is, therefore, sold as takeaways in large numbers every day.
One of the sweetest street food of India, Jalebi is also widely sold as takeaways in large numbers every day. It is a wondrous sight to observe how the maker of this sweet appetizer artistically does its preparation over a pan of hot oil. The quality of a Jalebi is judged by the quantity of sugar syrup contained in each of its round spirals.
A popular street food of yore, Kachoris are flattened fried flour balls comprising of a mixture of dal or onion and flavoured with various spices. The high level of crunchiness of the outer texture of fried flour and the distinct flavour of the spices inside makes Kachori a delicious snack. Due to its high cheap rates and excellent portability, Kachoris are sold as takeaways in large numbers every day.
No person can stop the urge of taking some peanuts back home once they catch sight of it being roasted in its beautiful shells in a pan over a high fire of a log. Although it is quite a difficult task to crack open the hard shell of a peanut, nobody stops themselves from struggling to bring out the peanut from its shells in order to consume it later. This maybe because the aroma of the roasted peanuts linger all over a room and captivates everyone to eat it soon. A combination of peanuts and black salt is an absolute win-win pair for every street food lover.