A city's street food is its soul. Years of tradition, culture and food habits reflect through these dishes. Be it Mumbai's vada pav, Delhi's papdichaat or Kolkata's egg chicken rolls, street foods like these have been loved by the locals for decades and have kept the spirit of the cities alive.
Although we know of street food favourites that each city of India has to offer, there are several that are just as good yet unknown to many. Have you eaten any of these street foods on your visits to these cities?
While the famous panipuri has many forms right from golgappe in Delhi to phuchka in Kolkata and panipuri in Mumbai, this street food favourite takes a twist in Gwalior. Here, instead of being spherical in shape, it is oblong and hence the name lambi paanipuri.
Apart from their very famous egg rolls, Kolkata also hides another egg favourite - the dimer devil. An Indian take on the British Scotch eggs, they are hard boiled eggs encased in a mashed potato filling, coated with batter and deep fried until crispy. Sounds delicious, right?
The first dish that comes to our minds when someone mentions Kashmir is Roganjosh. But, there's another delicacy the local folks love and that is the Harissa. A rich breakfast dish made usually during winters, is prepared by mixing meat with rice, flavoured with local spices and cooked throughout the night.
Lavanglata is essentially deep fried pastry stuffed with mawa and dry fruits, coated with sugar syrup and sealed with a clove on top. What's special about this mithai is that it is found only at the lassi and chaat shops in Varanasi. On your next visit to the holy city, ditch the high-end mithai shops and look for this instead.
Dahi Bara Aloo Dum
This street food from Odisha is what dreams are made of. It is a combination of dahi vada topped with aloo dum and a yellow peas curry, served with cut onions, coriander leaves and sev. Essentially a breakfast dish, the Dahi Bara Aloo Dum can be found on pretty much every nook and corner and is an absolute favourite among the locals.
What most people don't know about dabeli is that it actually originated in Kutch. A sweet and tangy potato filling sandwiched by the quintessential Indian pav, a dabeli is served with different chutneys, chopped onions, pomegranates, sev and roasted peanuts. It is very popular among the locals of Ahmedabad.
Jaipur is known for its kachoris and one such hit is the pyaaz kachori. Crispy deep-fried kachoris stuffed with a spiced onion filling and served with tangy chutneys, in many ways reflects the street food of the city. Down a lassi after these delicious kachoris!
Daulat Ki Chaat
The term chaat is predominately associated with a sweet and spicy dish. But, this chaat is very different and makes Delhi proud. Making this beauty is quite a task as the preps start a day before. Milk is boiled and then mixed with cream and cooled. It is later placed in a clay pot and left out at night to set and soak in the dew. After a few hours, the milk is churned constantly. It is then scooped out delicately and topped off with dry fruits. Even though the process is a little bit of a drag, it is definitely worth it.
Quail Egg Dosa
Do you love the good ol' dosa? On the streets of Kochi, you will find several forms of this typical south Indian preparation. We are talking about the special quail egg dosa available at Pai Brothers Fast Food in Kochi. On you next trip to God's Own Country?
Native to the state of Karnataka, Akki roti is a flatbread prepared with rice flour. Popularly served as a breakfast item, it is savoured by the locals regularly. Head to Food Street in Bangalore or Thindi Beedi to savour this with chutneys and curry.