Most people who tend to think of fast food in terms of quick service restaurants providing a flurry of American fast food like hot dogs, burgers, pizza, pasta, etc. would be pleasantly surprised to know that India has a very long tradition of its very own versions of fast food that are relished in virtually every corner of the country. Only Indians prefer to call them street food as typically the best of them come from temporary kiosks that disappear along with their owners at night only to make reappearance the next day at the street corner. Most of the QSRs are tiny hole-in-the-wall shops in bustling bazaars that you would have normally missed but for the snaking queues of customers lining up for a quick and tasty bite of wholesomeness.
You can discover a great diversity of tastes in India; virtually every big city or town is famous for some uniquely characteristic street food that will have the locals swearing by them. Some glimpses:
Chholey Bhaturey – Delhi
Chholey bhaturey are basically a combo of fluffy bhatureys or puris made from all-purpose flour made into dough and fried in hot oil. Depending upon the vendor bhatureys can be very thick and fluffy or at the opposite side of the spectrum be extremely thin and light. The bhatureys are consumed with chholey or as commonly also called chana, which is basically chickpeas that are boiled and cooked in spicy gravy that again could be light or thick depending upon where you are having it. While it originated as a breakfast item that was the favorite of the Punjabis, it is now relished by everyone at all times of the day since a plate of well-made chholey bhaturey can be pretty filling.
Vada Pav – Mumbai
Potatoes boiled and then mashed with characteristic Indian spices and fried in hot oil could by itself be a bestseller. However, when it is inserted in between the halves of a local bun called the pav, added with tangy and hot chilies, coriander, mint and tamarind chutneys it assumes a different dimension altogether to become a hot favorite of Maharashtrians of all ages and social classes. The mashed potato vada, when made properly is crisp on the outside and really soft and mushy on the inside. The palate gets a hit with all the spices that are used, of which ginger, garlic, coriander and green chilies are immediately noticeable. Often referred to as the desi burger, this dish is so popular that not only restaurants have begun to serve it but a few vada pav chains too have set up shop. The day might not be too far off when we could see a McVadaPav making an appearance in the hugely-popular McDonald’s party pack.
Aloo Tikki – LucknowWhile aloo tikki is synonymous with the street food of Lucknow, its exquisite taste and universal appeal has made it a tasty snack of choice virtually all over India. For the uninitiated, aloo tikkis are essentially patties made from boiled and mashed potatoes to which a large number of spices have been added. The potato patty is then shallow fried on a large tawa and served up with an assortment of tangy and mouthwatering chutneys; tamarind, mint, coriander, chili to name just a few. In many places aloo tikki is also served up with a boiled chickpea preparation called chholey.
Jhaal Muri – Kolkata
If you are one of those who think that puffed rice is pretty much one of the most boring things on earth, then you should definitely travel to Kolkata, where it goes by the name of jhaal muri and elevated to a different level altogether. The word ‘jhaal’ means hot and spicy, while ‘muri’ is the puffed rice. The name will give you some idea of the magic vendors can give your taste buds. The muri is taken and a whole lot of spices like red chili powder, coriander powder, finely diced green chilies, diced boiled potatoes, boiled or sprouted chickpeas, diced tomatoes, green coriander leaves, a squeeze of lemon, and a dash of tangy mustard oil or mixed pickle oil is added and shaken vigorously to mix all the ingredients up. Served in small newspaper packets the jhaal muri gets a topping of crunchy sev puri and finely sliced coconut for an experience that is truly divine.
Author bio: Isabella Rossellini has been at the forefront of customer studies that have provided valuable insights into the design and implementation of https://www.mcdelivery.co.in/. Isabella is a very widely-travelled food blogger who has a large following for her extremely insightful articles on culinary habits of people around the world.