Wherever I travel, trying out the local foods is always one of the first and favorite things I do. There is nothing like experiencing a country through the food eaten by the people who live in various regions. This true all over the world, but especially in India.
Like the street food found around the world, eating from the stalls and tables outside on the walkways is not always the healthiest option, but it is always the most delicious one. Every state and city have their specialty that is delicious and affordable.
In Lakhanpur, I tried Bhalle – a fried pulses snack served with shredded radish and green chutney. Once you enter the area, you can smell the tangy, spicy aroma. Pulses are a dry legume that grows in a pod that contains up to 12 seeds, such as beans, lentils, and peas.
Almost anywhere in India, you will find this Punjabi breakfast staple that is not only served as a street food but in most Punjabi households, as well.
The ingredients are green peas cooked in Punjabi spices and curry, and then served with fried bread. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. To get the authentic taste, walk through the colorful streets of Amritsar and purchase a plate of the magnificent ChholeBhature. This was the best street food I ate in India.
First served on the streets of Patna, LittiChokha is the Bihari iteration of Dal Batti of Rajasthan. This delightful dish is acceptable for any meal and is a combination of a spicy curry or chikha from brinjal or mashed potato accompanied by Litti or gram (chickpea) bread. Spoon in some ghee for an exotic, delectable treat.
The so-called King of Street Food is, without a doubt, Momos. This dish is native to Nepal and Tibet but has migrated into the hearts and mouths of all Indians. It is extremely tasty and this roadside snack food can be found now in food centers and food courts in the fanciest of shopping malls.
It is made of spicy red sauce, steaming hot dumplings stuffed with vegetables or chicken. These dumplings are a meal you must not miss while traveling in India.
The Bengali version of Golgappe or PaaniPuri is Puchka, and there is no better way to cool off on a hot day than to pop one of these tangy, minty little “bombs” into your mouth. Of course, the best Puchkas come from roadside stands, which is a good thing because you will crave some of these small poppers as often as you can find them.
Eating street food is “iffy” in most countries. But resisting any of these fabulous foods would be a big mistake.