Top 3 Most Popular Indian Street Food Items

India is a country with a very diverse culture. The geographical regions, climate, religions, languages and customs all have great effects on the country’s various cuisines. Every region has their own specialty selections and some of the food is cooked occasionally only at homes while others are sold every day on the streets. When travelling through the country you can find a wide variety of street food which is a unique thing about India that I’ve hardly seen anywhere else in the world. They say the cuisine changes ever 100 kilometres and is an expression of the local landscape and history. If you move to the north part of the country you can relish chaat, samosa, jhaal-moodhi, etc. and towards the South India the street food is idlis, vadas, dosa etc.

You can find street food across India. Even tiny towns and hamlets have their own specialities which they are often known for. Bigger cities like the metros Bombay, Delhi, Kolkata and Banglore have a larger spread of street food as these cities have people that migrated from other regions as well in search of better jobs and education.

Eating in restaurants can be an expensive affair therefore most wage workers and even others cannot afford eating out very often and hence the street food option which is much cheaper are popular.

What sets India apart is that the street foods have a personality of their own. It’s not only cheap comfort food. It’s a whole cuisine in itself. Interestingly, many culinary inventions and trends happen at the street level in India. Indo-Chinese food which is a blend of Indian and Chinese cuisines, really took off on the streets. When a certain street item becomes very popular, bigger restaurants then take it up and include it in their menus or even open entire restaurant chains that sell just that street food item, but now packaged and sold in a better location, more suitable for those that don’t want to engage with the often less hygienic environs of street food stalls. Vada Pavs and Pav Bhaji in Mumbai are too prime examples of this trend and so is Indo-Chinese food.

Of all the street food, the 3 top street foods that have crossed all borders and states and have become popular all across the India and even globe are following.

Pani-puri: Puris are basically small hard hollow balls which are made from wheat flour and are popped up into the mouth as a single piece one at a time. Each puri is size of the mouth therefore is easy to eat in one go. Pani is flavourful water and is prepared adding extract of tamarind along with mint and coriander leaves and even some black salt is added to the water. Depending on the level of spice you can digest, the pani is accordingly made sweet or hot. The filing inside the puri also varies from region to region, in the northern part a small piece of mashed potato is added whereas in the western region people prefer hot boiled chickpeas stuffed inside the puri.

Samosa – Samosa is another very interesting and favourite street food. Again the stuffing inside the triangle cone shaped tortilla wrap is varied depending on the people’s choice. One basic ingredient however remains the same that is the Potato. It is street food which is famous all across the country.

Indian Chinese – Excluding the main part that is the noodles rest all the spices used in the making the Indian Chinese is altered to suite the Indian taste buds.

Indian people are culinary enthusiasts and they always have a taste for good spicy food. Just talking about these make me crave them. You can find some of these at restaurants here in the US. But really, the place to really have them is right there on India’s streets.

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