We are here to take you on a delicious journey through a variety of street cuisine! Street food has been a part of Indian culinary culture for centuries, deeply rooted in the country’s history and traditions. The origins of street food can be traced back to ancient times when hawkers and vendors would sell snacks and quick bites in marketplaces, near temples, and along trade routes.
Then came the Mughal era, which introduced us to flavourful kebabs, chaats, and other savoury delights. Even today, Indian street food is a tangible expression of India’s rich cultural heritage. These food stalls and markets often act as social hubs, bringing people together. Prepare to experience this unique adventure, where we will talk about some of the most flavourful delights to excite your taste buds. From sizzling grills to a warm bowl of noodles, this expedition is sure to stay in your hearts and stomachs.
Unveiling the 10 Most Famous Street Food in India
Come explore with us the rich tastes, cultures, and aromas of some of the most liked street foods in different states of India that have now become a well-liked global phenomenon. So, let’s don our foodie hats and explore these delicious treats. Here is the list of the 10 best street foods in India to celebrate India’s culinary diversity.
1. Aloo Tikki
Every event, whether it be a wedding, house party, market stroll, or a trip to the mall, would be incomplete without the delightful Aloo Tikki. Although its precise origin is unknown, these flavourful tikkis are liked by one and all and are among the most famous street foods in India. It is something that will attract your eye every time you are on a street food stroll, regardless of whether you are on work breaks or leisure outings.
To make hot and crispy Tikkis, the spiced mashed potatoes are filled in the dough and then fried. This meal is a blast of taste and is often served with tamarind chutney or a mixture of tamarind and mint. A few vendors may also add onion and coriander to garnish the dish, thus enhancing its flavour.
2. Cholle Bhaturey
This meal was once a common street cuisine in Punjab, but today, it can be found in every street food market throughout North India. Bhaturey is a fried bread primarily made of maida, and cholle is a delicious chickpeas dish that is prepared using a mixture of spices.
The dish is so delicious that it’s impossible to stop yourself from eating it. This cuisine is at its best when served on the streets. The flavour isn’t warranted if you eat Cholle Bhaturey in a fancy restaurant. It won’t taste the way it should until it receives the desi street effect. It’s much more delicious when served with pickle, onion, and chile salad.
The samosa has become an essential component of Indian cuisine even though they are not traditionally Indian. There is no doubt that samosa is one of the most popular Indian street foods. It is our quick go-to morning and evening snack, and you can find it in almost every Indian cafe, restaurant, and gathering.
A samosa is a thin pastry shell, traditionally made with all-purpose flour or maida, filled with a mixture of ingredients. The filling combines mashed potatoes, peas, lentils, and spices. It is then then deep-fried or baked until it becomes golden brown and crispy. Samosa usually has a triangular or pyramidal shape. Samosas are typically served with tamarind chutney, green coriander chutney, or hot steaming tea.
4. Vada Pav
The next iconic fast food is the Vada Pav, which comes from the Indian city of Mumbai. The Vada Pao is a spicy Indian-style burger. No matter what time of day it is, everyone, from wealthy businessmen to schoolchildren, stops by a vada pao stall. This traditional Marathi delight will warm you up from the inside out, thanks to the hot chiles within. Vada pao is served with various chutneys, the most popular being garlic, to enhance its flavour. When living in Mumbai, having one becomes essential.
This delicacy is made from a deep-fried potato dumpling inserted within a pav, or bread bun, that has been cut practically in half. It is typically served with a green chili pepper and one or more chutneys. Vada pao was once an inexpensive street cuisine served on the streets of Mumbai, but it has now taken its place at all the eateries and food booths throughout India. Because of its roots and physical similarity to a burger, it is often known as a “Bombay burger.”
Made from crushed and fermented lentil-rice batter, dosas are thin crepes and come with different fillings. Though it originated in South India, it has gained popularity across the Indian subcontinent and is typically consumed for breakfast or as a mid-meal snack.
Rice and lentils are soaked for a few hours and then crushed into a fine batter to prepare this dish. After that, some salt is added to the batter, and it is left overnight for fermentation. Once the batter is ready, it is put onto a skillet or cast-iron pan and baked until crispy and golden brown. Dosa comes in a variety of forms. The fillings in a dosa can be a mix of veggies, potatoes and spices. The most popular variety is a masala dosa with a mashed potato filling and is served with sambar and coconut chutney.
6. Pani Puri / Puchka / Gol Gappa
Among the most intriguing street dishes in India is our mouth-watering pani puri. It refers to a well-liked variety of chaat prepared using puri, which are crispy, hollow balls. These balls are usually filled with a mixture of crushed potatoes, chickpeas and flavoured water. One can also enjoy it with tamarind chutney, mint chutney, chaat masala, green chilli and onions. Preparations differ depending on the location. It is well known across India under several names, such as gup chup, pakodi, fulki, gol gappa, and puchka.
Pani puri is intriguing because of its unique blend of spicy, sweet, and sour flavours and its way of preparation. Before the entire puri is immersed in tamarind water, its top is pierced and filled with the spice combination. You are supposed to consume the pani puri whole before it crumbles as the puri is fragile, just like a potato chip. Until you tell him to stop, the vendor will continue pouring one puri after the other.
India is among the many countries globally where kebab is a very popular cuisine. Kebab originally described grilled beef meals that are served on bamboo or metal skewers. Some traditional preparations used mutton or lamb meat, while others were made of chicken and fish. Today, one can also find veg kebabs made using paneer, tofu and other vegetables like bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, and zucchini.
The kitchens of the Mughal Empire in India are where contemporary kebabs first appeared. Shish kebab (skewered cubed meat), or sekh kebab (ground meat), are two types of Indian kebabs extensively seasoned with Indian spices. The Lucknow speciality known as tunde ke kabab, or galouti kebab, is made with buffalo meat and is among the most popular varieties of Indian kebab.
A family of frozen Indian sweets is known as Kulfi. It has a denser consistency, looks like a frozen ice cream bar, and is our classic Indian ice cream. It is well-liked all over India and the subcontinent.
Milk and sugar are combined with spices, nuts, and fruits to make a Kulfi. To prepare this dessert, slowly heat the flavoured and sweetened milk until it thickens, then rapidly freeze it in tightly sealed moulds. This quick freezing way yields a creamy ice cream free of ice crystals. Although there are several flavours of Kulfi, the most common ones are mango, pistachio, rose, cardamom, and saffron.
9. Misthi Doi
A classic Bengali delicacy called misti doi is created with fermented, caramelized dahi (yogurt) that has been sweetened. Mishti doi literally translates as “sweet curd” since the Bengali words Mishti and doi mean “sweet” and “curd,” respectively. It’s referred to as meetha dahi in Hindi. To make this dish, first, the milk is cooked until it becomes somewhat thickened. After that, it is sweetened with jaggery or brown sugar. Then, let it sit and ferment with curd for the entire night.
Although it’s traditional to secretly add a small sprinkle of cardamom for aroma, flavourings are often not used. Misti doi is always prepared in earthenware bowls because the porous sides of the bowl allow water to evaporate more easily and thicken yogurt even more. Additionally, it allows the proper temperature for the creation of this dessert.
10. Kathi Roll
The Nizam’s restaurant in Kolkata created and popularised the kathi roll, also known as the Kati roll. It is made up of kebab meat wrapped in paratha with chutney, egg, and other veggies. Kathi rolls were once made solely of beef, but they are now also prepared with other protein sources, such as mutton, chicken tikka, or even simply paneer or tofu.
The Kathi roll is thought to have been developed with British consumers in mind. Since traditional kebab meals took too long for office workers to prepare, the Kathi roll was created as a quick and convenient substitute for kebabs. The word “stick” (kati) in Bengali describes the bamboo skewer that’s used to prepare the kebabs. It’s a delightful and easy-to-eat wrap.
Flavours come alive, and the street becomes a theatre for culinary wonders in the fascinating world of Indian street foods. All the foods mentioned above are a celebration of our culture, creativity, and community. Be it the tantalizing Cholle Bhaturey from Punjab or the delicious Mishti doi from Bengal, each food celebrates India’s culinary diversity. Their recipes have passed down the generations, so foodies like you and me can relish our cultural roots through food.
So, remember to try them out next time you’re out walking the busy food streets in India. Their combination of flavours is what truly makes them the best street foods in India. If you have never tried these dishes before, I suggest you become a blank canvas and enjoy these extraordinary culinary adventures.
Which city has the best street food in India?
Deciding which Indian city has the “best” street cuisine is challenging! Due to our unique demographics, different places in India may have different food preferences. Delhi attracts Chole Bhature and Aloo Tikki, while Mumbai delights with Vada Pav and Pav Bhaji. Kolkata inspires with spicy Kathi Rolls, while Lucknow enchants with its spicy Tunday Kebabs. In the south, Hyderabad has the hot Mirchi Bajji, and Chennai has crispy Masala Dosa. The best place for street food will depend on your taste preferences and culinary experiences.
What is the most selling street fast food in India?
Identifying which is the “most selling” street food in India is challenging because preferences and geographic areas can greatly impact popularity. Nonetheless, a few strong contenders who often get great national rankings are Samosas, Vada Pav, Dosa, Pani Puri, Cholle Bhaturey, and Aloo Tikki.
Which is the tastiest Indian street food?
There is no way to pick just one tastiest Indian street foods due to our diversity and regional variations. Each food offers a unique blend of textures, flavours, and aromas that appeal to various palates and personal choices. So, the best way to find the tastiest food is to explore each of these delicacies yourself!
Why is Indian street food famous?
The appeal of Indian street food comes from its unique blend of spices and recipes. Indian street foods have strong spice combinations that take the cuisine to a whole new level. Our street food is a cheap, affordable, and culturally immersive way to enjoy the magic of Indian cuisine.