It is said that one should take a train trip across India and try the different street foods here, to see the real soul of this vibrant country. The street food stalls are where the colour and the vibrancy of the place could be experienced in its most authentic avatar. Not bound by formal culinary etiquettes, these havens of delicious food open up a world of myriad flavours and cultures. Food stalls were opened at various corners of streets where the factory workers could easily grab a bite at low price. Now, street foods like aloo tikki, kachori and vada paav, loved by millions, have become superstars among the culinary world.
New Delhi is known for its vibrant street food stalls where hundreds of varieties of food items are sold. Chola bhature, the perfect Punajbi meal, is the most popular item here. The swelled up poori made with all purpose flour and wheat flour and a bowl of spicy chana masala (chick peas) would make any foodie go weak in their knees. Rajma chaval (rice and beans) too is a favourite among the street food lovers in Delhi. This dish, however, is light on the stomach and has the goodness of brown beans as well.
Hyderabad is where the much popular mulaku bajji (chilli fritters) is prepared in its most original form. Many vouch for the incredible taste and texture of the chilli fritters available at the street food stalls here, as the best in India. The chilli fritters sold at Jodhpur, Rajasthan is another unique street food. To prepare the Jodhpuri mirchi vada, big chilli is split in half, stuffed with boiled potato and is coated with a smooth gram flour batter before frying to crisp in hot oil.
The poha jalebi which treats your taste buds with sweetness and spiciness from a special masala is a popular street food in Madhya Pradesh. Flattened rice is roasted with masala and is served with sweet jalebi. This dish is available at almost all the way side eateries and street food stalls in Madhya Pradesh.
Litti chokka is a popular savoury snack served at the street food stalls in Jharkhand, Bihar and the eastern parts of Uttar Pradesh. The roti or chokka made with wheat flour and gram flour is cooked over hot coals and is brushed with fresh ghee. It is served with flavoursome litti which has the goodness of ginger, garlic, shallots, coriander leaves, lemon juice, cumin and ajwain. The chokkas are traditionally cooked in the smoke produced by burning cow dung.
The streets of Lucknow are known for serving piping hot aloo tikki and foodies throng here just to taste it. Aloo tikki made with boiled and mashed potato has bags of flavour from the variety of masala that is added in it. The fame of this dish has crossed the boundaries of North India and has gained popularity all over the world as an authentic Indian dish. Aloo tikki is also called aloo chaat or ragada patties.
No suave dish served at a swanky restaurant can beat the popularity of the good old vada paav. The North Indians share a special emotional bond with vada paav, making it one of the most popular street foods in the world. Delicious vada paav is now available in Kerala too. Bun, toasted in a dollop of butter is cut in half and is stuffed with a potato patty. It is usually had with different types of chutneys which add oodles of flavour to the dish.
The Kachchhi debali, a popular street food of the Kutch region in Gujarat looks and tastes similar to the vada paav. The kathi rolls of Kolkata are quite popular all over the country with its unlimited options for fillings. Paratha is filled with different types of vegetables, kebabs or eggs and is made into a delicious roll.