Originating in the traditionally vegetarian state of Maharashtra, vada pav is as close as Indian cuisine gets to veggie burgers. One for carb lovers, vada pav consists of a deep fried potato dumpling placed neatly inside a small bun. The finger food delicacy in a generally accompanied by a couple of chutneys. Also called a Bombay Burger, these mini potato buns can be found in street food stalls across the city of Mumbai.
Tandoori Chicken is a North Indian dish that may have been around back in 3000 BC. Tandoori Chicken derives its name for the vessel it is cooked in known as a Tandoori oven. It is a cylindrical shaped oven that is powered by burning wood or charcoal. The tandoor oven is made either of clay or metal and offers a distinct taste to meal cooked within it. Tandoori Chicken consists of chicken that is marinated for a few days in a mixture of yogurt and tandoori masala, a blend of traditional Indian spices. Following this, the chicken is then cooked.
Synonymous with Delhi street food vendors, chaat is one of India’s most delicious savoury snacks. The name derives from three Hindi word meanings ‘a delicacy, ‘ ‘licking one’s fingers and ‘to devour with relish’ and this dish truly does live upto its heritage. Although there is now a different varities, the original chaat is a wonderful combination of diced potato pieces, crispy fried bread and chickpeas garnished with fresh coriander leaves, yogurt and dried ginger and tamarind sauce.
Regional dish of northwest India, the Gujarati delicacy like dhokla is a savoury vegetarian snack made of rice and split chickpeas. Its tastier than it sounds. Gujaratis eat it for breakfast or lunch, and sometimes even as a snack or side dish. Dhokla involves soaking the rice and split chickpeas in equal quantities overnight. Then chilli, coriander, ginger and baking soda are added to spice to the dish, and help it rise into delicious bite size. Usually served alongside deep fried Chilli and coriander chutney, this Gujarati delicacy is wonderful moreish.
Popular across South-India, idli are often thought of as the breakfast version of dosa. Eaten at the start of the day, idli are a type of light savoury rice cake. Made by steaming a batter consisting of fermented black lentils and rice, these rice cakes are dangerously easy to eat. Since idli are pretty bland on their own, these mini pancake – like breakfast staples are served alongside sambar, coconut based chutney, or spicy fish curries. Over the years, idli has evolved into many different varieties, so you’re sure to find one that satisfy your taste buds.
Panipuri, or gol gappa, are thought to originated from the northern state of Bihar. A perfect streetside snack, panipuri are hollow deep fried balls made of semolina or wheat. They’re served alongside spicy potatoes chickpeas and a spicy tamarind water. Eating panipuri is an expensive in itself, as you traditionally crack open the top of deep fried shell with a spoon before filling it with delicious accompaniments. Most Indians eat each panipuri with one swift bite to save any of the filling out of delicate case. This infamous street snack unites most of the country- everyone from local college students to city businessman can be found devouring them.
We have cheated a little bit here, as the term barfi can be used to describe any number of Indian sweets. The most traditional type though is milk barfi. Predictably these milk- based sweets are made from milk- powder, condensed milk, ghee and cardamom powder. Barfi is not going to help anyone reach with health conscious goals, but these indulgent fragrant desserts are sure to bring a smile to the face of anyone who tries them. These sweets are traditionally gifted as good luck offerings at occasions like wedding ceremonies but there’s nothing to say you can pop down to the sweet shop to buy one to accompany your afternoon chai.
Next up on the list are the classic samosas. A samosa can differ in shape, size and fillings based on the region but have the same basic no matter where they are found. Samosas features a crusty exterior that is deep fried and is filled with a variety of vegetables such as potatoes, meats or lentils that are heavily seasoned. Samosas are served alongside sauce such as mint sauce, tamarind sauce, and spicy green sauce which compliments the samosa well. Samosas are not only found in India and can be found in the Middle East too.
India’s most famous export, masala chai can be found being sold by everywhere from high end restaurants to chaiwallas at train stations. While there’s many different diluted versions of this classic Indian tea around the globe, the real deal can only be found in India. Authentic masala chai is made by brewing black tea on the stove with a mixture of aromatic spices and herbs. Traditionally, the spices used are green cardamom pods, cinnamom sticks, ground cloves and black pepper, creating a wonderful aromatic cup of tea. There’s nothing quite like sipping a hot cup of authentic masala chai first thing in the morning !
Rogan Josh is a North Indian dish with Muslim influences and first originated in Persia or Kashmir. Rogan Josh is a meat curry dish that features a lump of red meat such as lamb or goat which is colored and flavored by alkanet flowers or roots and differences in the way it is prepared. Rogan Josh is best served with naan or any other Indian Bread.