From Mumbai to New Delhi, cities throughout India boast an eclectic (and delicious) array of street foods. From spicy corn chat to dosas filled with potatoes, it’s easy to get lost in the perhaps unfamiliar words of all the incredible snacking options.
On New Delhi’s Chawri Bazar Road, there’s a small food stall with a Hindi sign where you can find one of the best street foods: kulle chaat. It’s a snack made with various vegetables and fruits that are hollowed out and filled with a blend of spices, lime juice, chickpeas, and most importantly, jewel-bright pomegranate seeds. One of New Delhi’s specialities, kulle chaat is the perfect treat on a hot summer day.
Here’s a run down of the most popular Indian street foods, including some of our own favorites. So next time you’re in India, or about to order some Indian food, you’ll have an insider’s perspective on what to order:
Fried or baked, samosas are crispy pastries wrapped around heavily spiced potatoes and onions. They are a filling snack, perfect for any time of it. They’re often paired with a chutney of sorts and can be recognized for their triangular shape.
2. Pav Bhaji
Originating in Mumbai, this dish is a spicy blend of curried vegetables and paired with a pan-fried bun. The vegetable curry can be made with whatever veggies are on hand, but cauliflower, potatoes, and carrots are some of the usual ingredients.
This is a ready-to-eat snack made of nuts and jaggery (unrefined sugar). The small shop of Lal Chand Rewri Wale in New Delhi is devoted almost entirely to chikki. It’s not only a treat for your palate; it’s also so beautiful!
4. Aloo Tikki
Essentially a potato pancake, aloo tikki is a crispy croquette made of potatoes, peas, onions, and various spices. It is traditionally served with ragda, or a chickpea gravy.
A Northeastern version of dumplings, potstickers, gyoza (or whatever you choose to call them), these irresistible pockets are made with finely minced vegetables and ubiquitous throughout India.
6. Pani Puri
A crispy dough ball that is stuffed with sweet chutney and vegetables, this snack’s tender filling yet fried exterior makes it a deliciously balanced texture. Some pani puri also have a spicy filling, but this treat is delicious regardless of its stuffing.
7. Chole bhature
A Punjabi classic, this dish is made from a spicy chickpea curry and a fried, leavened bread called bhatura. Dipping the crisp bread in the savory, spicy curry sauce is a customary!
8. Kati roll
From Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), a kati roll is a kebab wrapped in a wheat flatbread called paratha. The kebab is usually marinated and chargrilled, before being wrapped in the soft, doughy bread.
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