All you need is Healthy Food. But a little street food now and then doesn’t hurt.
There won’t be any corner of an Indian local market where you won’t find a street food seller. Not only daily wage earners find this convenient but shoppers relish the street food as well.
So what exactly is Indian street food? The List of Indian street food is endless. But I think the most popular ones would be Pani Puri, Bhel, samosa, kachori, jalebi to name a few. Some of these dishes have become so iconic that they are available and relished on every city street.
The type of street food you get in India changes from region to region, state to state.
This is a guest post by Maheshwar who is an Engineer by profession and finds cooking AND eating local delicacies very therapeutic.
Maheshwar says “Street food in India is evolving for good for food junkies like me. Here is my list of 27 Indian Food Street food which includes the most popular as well as some ‘Unusual Suspects’.”
With my list of 27 Indian Street food, I might not be even scratching the surface of the street food scene in India.
Dig in and enjoy!
Traditional samosa is pyramid shaped made of Flour and filled with the potatoes and peas. served with spicy green chutney and Sweet chutney.
But beware there are lots of variation of samosa. Like you will find different types of stuffing from region to region. Like keema samosa with stuffing like minced chicken or minced mutton stuffing.
My favorite samosa comes from North India, especially from Delhi.
Patti samosa made with flour sheets filling can vary from veggies to chicken to Mutton.
Even though samosa is not of Indian origin but I am sure it’s the most relished on in India.
Kachoris are basically a hollow round flaky snack.
So the typical stuffing is made from the Urad dal and many spices. A good kachori should be flaky and show break easily.
You can find many types of stuffing for kachoris the famous ones are the Onion (Pyaaj kachori famous in Rajasthan), moong dal kachoris, also some sweet kachoris with Mawa filling (Evaporated milk).
Kachoris can be severed in a different way like with potato sabzi.
I can’t resist eating Pyaaj Kachoris.
3. Wada Pav
This is one dish I have grown up with and I still can’t have enough of it.
The most famous dish of Mumbai and the get the best ones there. And a must-have street food.
It’s an extremely simple dish, Wada means just a spiced up ball of potatoes dipped in Gram flour batter and deep-fried, severed with bread (Pav) and some spicy and sweet chutney.
4. Pav Bhaji
This is one more dish from the Mumbai streets and is as filling as a meal.
It’s now available across India but the best is from the street of Mumbai.
It’s a dish cooked which started as a meal for the poor Mill workers in Mumbai now is loved by so many.
Pav bhaji is simply mixed veggies cooked in a special masala blend on a large flat pan (It’s actually a visual treat to see it being cooked), severed with a lot of butter on bhaji, raw onions, lime wedge and buttered Pav (Bread roll)
What is Chat? Chat is a group of different dished which are a mix of crisps, different chutneys, raw veggies. This is a dish which you can customize to your taste and every street food vendor will definitely ask for your preference on sweet, salty, sour and spicy options.
This is tongue tickler ,some of the most famous chats are Bhel, Pani Puri, Sev Puri, Dahi Puri, Katori Chat, Aaloo Tikki Chat.
5. Bhel Puri
Cooking well does not mean cooking fancy!
Bhelpuri is a savory snack, made of puffed rice, vegetables and a tangy tamarind sauce.
A lot of other ingredients are added to Bhel like Sev (Thin strands of gram flour, deep-fried and spiced), raw onions, tomatoes, Sweet tamarind chutney, Coriander and mint chutney, coriander leaves , roasted groundnuts in a paper cone.
It is popular in Indian states likeMaharashtra, Nepal, Gujarat, Odisha, Kolkata, West Bengal, Mysore and Karnataka.
6. Pani Puri
Pani puri one more snack every part of India claims to be theirs.
There are myriad of names to this dish based on which part of the country your like Pani-Patashe or Gol Gappes in North, Panipuri in the west, Puchka in the eastern part of the country
This is also a chat but extremely innovative snack which is a crispy fried hollow puri, which is filled with tamarind water flavored with many spices.
The puri bursts in the mouth and revealing the spectrum of tongue tickling flavors. You can’t stop at wait at one of them.
7. Dahi Puri
Pretty similar to Pani Puri just made on the flat puri potatoes, chutney and served with Dahi.
8. Katori Chat
Basket made from fried shredded potatoes. Filled with spiced chickpeas, different chutney, onion, and chat masala. you can find the best ones in Delhi.
9. Aloo Tikki Chat
One more most eaten chat after Pani-Puri and Bhel.
Spiced and shallow fried potato patty served with spiced chickpeas, onions, chutneys, sev, and many other veggies as per your preferences.
And there are many more chats some of which I would recommend are Aaloo chat, samosa chat (Samosa is used as a base for this chat), Kachori chat.
Are deep fried veggies coated with a thin layer of chickpea flour batter.
The most popular bhaji are thinly sliced potato bhaji (Best ate with Pav and chutney), onion bhajji (The most popular one!), chili bhaji these are relished with tea. Bhaji is the most favorite snack during the rainy season. Served with fried green chilies.
Some other types of Bhaji are spinach, Raw banana bhaji, egg bhaji. There many different types of other bhaji based on the regions on India. They are called telebhaja in Kolkata.
11. Idli / Dosa
Being from the southern part of India I have had Idly /dosa from childhood almost a couple of times a week. This is a street dish is from the southern part of India and has footprint all over India.
Both Idly and dosa start from the same batter made with rice and Black Lentils. But both are way different in the ways it looks and tastes.
Idly considered health as they are steam and pretty light. But Dosa not so health roasted in a pan with oil to a nice crispness. Both idly and dosa are served by coconut chutney and Sambar. Dosa can have some potatoes served if you for masala dosa.
12. Medu Wada
This comes from the south part of India. Made up of black lentil soaked and ground to a paste.
A doughnut has a lot of similarity with the Indian Wada though Wada being a savory snack is normally served with sambar and chutney. Many times served dipped in Sambar (That’s my way to eat).
13. Chole Bhature
This is a snack coming from the north part of India.
This dish is basically a Big puri made from flour and fermented with Curd. Served with spicy Chickpea curry and Raw onions. This is a pretty heavy dish can be a meal in itself.
This is street food which is also normally the breakfast at homes in many parts of India.
Its soaked beaten rice sautéed with onions and chilies garnished by coriander leaves and lime juice.
It’s worth mentioning Poha made in different ways like in Indore which is steamed and had with a special masala garnish.
15. Mumbai Sandwich
This is a sandwich which started from Mumbai streets and no matter where it is sold is still called “Mumbai Sandwich”.
Mumbai sandwich has many veggies like boil potatoes, onions, tomatoes, Beer root slices and cucumber with green chutney (fresh coriander, mint and green chilies) in between 2 slices of buttered bread.
This can be grilled with butter or with cheese. This is one of my fav on the go snack !!! of my fav on the go snack !!!
16. Misal Pav
Misal pav is a one of my favorite street food from Maharashtra.
Misal from different parts of Maharashtra has its own unique character but every Misal is normally hot.
Severed raw onions, pav and at times Curd normally to cool down your stomach after a spice Misal.
17. Egg Roll
Egg rolled inside a crispy Maida Roti.
I love the sizzling ball of Gold!!
18. Ram Laddoo
Let the name laddoo not misguide you. These delicious balls called Ram Ladoos are savoury Lentil fritters.
The crispy and crunchy ram laddoos are served with Green chutney.
This dish comes from the Hills of Himalaya but now found almost all over the country.
My first encounter was with Momos was some years back, where I enjoyed the most was the super-hot chutney served with Momos. It comes as surprise as to relatively less spiced (as per Indian standards ) steam dumplings.
You can find them in many different varieties based in the stuffing like vegetables, chicken. Can be just steamed or can be shallow fried post steaming to give it a crispy exterior.
This is one comforting snack you don’t need to think to have it.
Bread based dish originating from Gujarat region, Its spicy, tangy mix of potatoes, with fried groundnuts, with different chutney, uses a special Dabeli masala in preparation.
Personally, I like the pav to be crisped up using butter. You can get the best ones in the streets of Gujarat and Mumbai.
This is a staple breakfast in central Gujarat and also available across India.
When I had been on a bike ride to Raan of Kutch, I had this almost every morning as my Breakfast. It’s simply fried strips made from hard chickpea dough severed with chilies and chutneys.
Fafda and Jalebis (more on Jalebis later) go hand in hand and is a very amazing combination.
This is a sweet dessert normally eaten across the country any time of the day.
This is a versatile dish is paired with many street foods like Poha Jalebis, Fafda Jalebis, Dhood (MIlk) jalebi, Rabdi Jalebi and can be eaten on its own.
Jalebis are basically made from flour dough fermented with curd, deep fried in Ghee and soaked in saffron sugar syrup. I love them with Rabdi
23. Bun Maska
Bun Maska basically translates to Bun and butter.
It goes extremely well with tea and Coffee. You will find this in many tea shops across the country. Traditionally sold by Parsi tea shops in Mumbai, but can be found across the country. People in cities swear by it and is a good option for quick breakfast.
I relish it by dipping my bun in the coffee, soaking it well and eating it before it breaks and falls off.
24. Dahi Bhalle or Dahi Wada
Dahi wadas are black lentil wadas soaked in sweet Curd and topped with different sweet and hot chutney, Garnished with chat masala and green coriander.
This is the best relished in the summer heat. I can’t miss this cold snack on a hot day.
25. Moong Wada/Bhajji
This is a fried snack available across the country made from split moong dal. It’s Moong dal dumpling deep fried served with green chutney and chat masalas sprinkled over it.
This is the best high tea snack. You can find them served in the paper cones on the street and the best bit sized snack to relish on the go.
26. Kaathi Roll
This is a street snack worth of a meal. My meal on the go if I am in a hurry, Tasty wholesome and comes in an amazing variety.
Basically, it’s a crispy Paratha roll filled with chicken, paneer, potatoes, vegetable with raw onions and chutney served wrapped in a paper. Can be customized as per your liking.
Originating from Kolkata but can be found everywhere in India now.
This is an Indian style ice cream, which is hard frozen flavored milk normally in the cone shape served om the stick. The typical kulfi vendor can be identified with a large earthen pot filled with Ice which has the kulfi molds in the ice.
Kulfis can have different flavors like Badam Pista (my favorite). Rose, mango, cardamom, saffron and many more.
This is a cold dessert relished post-dinner normally.
Needless to say, everyone has their own street-side vendor who makes this amazing desert. Falooda is a milk-based dessert with rose syrup, Vermicelli, dry fruits and basil seeds served in a tall glass. There can be many variations on it based on your selection of ice cream.
Winter Special: Sweets by the roadside!
The yummy gulabjamuns!
Gajar Ka Halwa and Masala Milk.
Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Video on Indian Street Food – 10 of the BEST Foods To Eat in India!
Indian street food is exciting and mouthwatering! In this video, by Mark Wiens, you’ll discover a top 10 list of a few of the best Indian street food dishes that you don’t want to miss
All-time favorite Indian street food of Indian Bloggers!
I asked few other bloggers which was their favorite Indian Street Food and here is what they said:
Misal Pav at Khao Galli (Treat Street) Colaba
Jyoti from That Mumbai Girl says –
Misal Pav at Khao Galli (Treat Street) Colaba is my favorite street food as it brings the best of Maharashtrian food.
Misal Pav is considered to be healthy food as it is made of moth beans. A layer of “farsan” (salty appetizers) is put over the cooked moth beans and is garnished with coriander leaves & lemon.
There are red and green chutneys mixed in it.
You eat it with a buttered Pav (bun).
This dish is also amongst one of the spicy ones. The taste of Misal pav is zesty.
I have relished the taste of this dish since childhood and even today I can’t resist the aroma that fills up my senses.
fried purple yam & Thandai
Neha From Travel Melodies Says –
I had visited the famous Nathdwara in Rajasthan. Nathdwara is considered an important pilgrimage centre by the devotees of Lord krishna.
In this religious place where there is Shrinathji Temple, I was pleasantly surprised to see the streets bustling with bursting with colorful wonders to satisfy one’s palate.
There was fried purple yam on one side and cream color Thandai on the other.
Purple yam also called ‘Kand’ in Hindi is popular in this area and is cooked as a snack or main dish.
This simple fried yam sprinkled with some salt and spices is very delectable. To be honest, I resisted eating it first, but after tasting it I couldn’t stop myself gorging on it.
The other thing we couldn’t miss trying was freshly made Thandai.
Thandai is an Indian cold drink made mainly with milk, almonds, sugar, fennel seeds, cardamom, rose petals, watermelon kernels, and saffron.
I was fascinated by the person grinding all the dry ingredients on a grindstone and then mixing the paste with the milk.
Thandai was perfectly made to quench your thirst and energize you on a hot day.
So what are you waiting for?? Start planning for this spiritual and gastronomic journey.”
My tip for eating street food in India would be to only eat from the place where most of the people are eating because chances of having stale food would be minimal and of course, it would be yummy as well.
Fafda-Gathiya-Jalebi from Gujarat
Ketki from Explore with Ecokats Says –
Fried snacks are unanimous with the people of Gujarat.
It does not matter which time of the day it is, certain snacks like Fafda and Gathiya do not require two thoughts to gobble a plateful.
Both snacks made from Gram flour (Besan), the taste is strikingly different. Gathiya is a favorite tea time snack and a side dish during meal while Fafda is a full on breakfast dish followed by another dessert snack – Jalebi.
Fafda is available at street side stalls to five-star restaurants and generally served with green papaya spiced salad and Kadhi (thick gravy made from gram flour and yogurt with Indian spices).
There are chains of family run restaurants since generations in Gujarat who make and sell Fafda and Jalebi for all days of the year, making it a staple street food and must haves.
Fafda and Jalebi are religiously savored especially during the Indian festival of Dusshera in Gujarat. People line up in queues from the Dusshera midnight to get the piece of fried heaven.
Sunami from The Hungry Trotter says –
Ajmer’s famous ‘kadi kachori’- a fried lentil ball dunked in besan kadi (a gram flour and tempered curd based curry) marries the two famous items from Ajmer- kachori and kadi.
This traditional breakfast delicacy is garnished with tangy and spicy chutneys.
The crunchiness of the kachori coupled with the spicy notes of the kadi is a big win. It’s best paired with a jalebi (an Indian deep-fried sweet pretzel) to add a dash of sweetness.
Where should you try Kadi Kachori In Ajmer? I prefer the Kadi Kachori available at Shankar Chaat House, Gol Pyau Naya Bazar, Near Akbar Palace and Museum.
My tip for eating street food in India: Typically, places frequented by locals see a quick turnaround of items.
So you’re less likely to eat something that is stale. Secondly, deep fried items are relatively safer to eat since they’ve been cooked at a very high temperature,thereby killing all the germs.
The Kathi Rolls of Kolkata
Madhurima from Orange Wayfarer Says –
Who knew poetry can be written with a few blades of onion rings, sprinkles of chat masala, a few chunks of skewered meat (ditch the meat if you want to soak in the creamy love of egg yolk and egg white!), and then be wrapped under the gentle coat of a flour dough and fried in ghee?
They did this on the streets of Kolkata!
A little push from the exiled Nawab of Awadh, Wajid Ali Shah sealed the deal and Kolkatans fell head over heels for this street food, which also serves as a wholesome meal on our first few dates!
Easy on the pocket, high on the spirit of love and share!
History of the first Kolkata Kathi rolls in its modern form can be traced back to Nizams, a veteran shop serving Mughlai cuisine at New Market area, Kolkata.
This quintessential Mughlai “happiness rolled in a Paratha” food further traveled across the ocean and is now enthralling people in New York City as well!
From authentic lamb meat to chicken, paneer and now blasphemous Vegan rolls, all variants, and gourmet lovers have claimed their stake at the famous Indian street delicacy.
You cannot miss the stalls selling Kolkata Kathi rolls when in one of the metro cities. It is surprisingly easy to make at home as well!
In Kolkata, I started eating Egg Rolls in high school and remember paying only INR 7.
Last I heard, it is around INR 14.
SO much has changed in a decade.
Where should you try kathi Rolls in Kolkata? The best of Kolkata Kathi rolls can be found in Haji Biryani, Behala, Blossoms, Girish Park, Nizams at new Market. The Kathi rolls at Kusum are also revered in the foodie community.
Whether you love it or you love to hate it, I feel that India’s mouth-watering street food hits the right spot every time. Either way, I hope that this post inspires you to be adventurous and encourages you to put your pallets to the test.
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What do you think? Are there any other awesome Indian street food dishes that you’d add to the menu? Don’t forget to leave your recommendations in the comments.