The culinary delights offered by the street vendors of India
While staying true to its regional roots, street food in India is adopting continental delicacies ranging from vada pav stuffed croissants to Middle Eastern specialties like shawarmas.
Given the vast diversity that exists within India's borders, the food history has always been extensive. This year’s Godrej Food Trends Report aims to present nuanced stories from India's vast regional landscape to its readers. Over the years, snacking and street food trends have evolved, and while traditional treats like mirchi badas in Rajasthan or aloo chora in Sikkim continue to be popular, the influx of continental treats like Middle-eastern shawarma, chowmein, and sushi has become mainstream in both snacking and street food choices across all states.
For instance, food writer Anindya Sunder Basu notes “While rolls, mughlai paratha, phuchka, and noodles retain their place, momo stalls and Korean food trucks and outlets are on the rise”. Similarly, in Gujarat, while the regular snacks continue to shine, packaged snacks like chaklis and chips in fusion forms with seasonings like cheese, peri peri, Tex-Mex, salsa, and more are also in demand.
To shorten the ambit, we’ve rounded up the latest street food sensations across 6 of these states for your exploration.
Indore is one of the top four food destinations in 2023, according to food experts. The city’s foodies love their poha jalebi, kachori samosa and the crispy garadu as shown above. The latter is made of yam, and tossed in spicy masala and lemon juice! Lately, options like Sindhi Dal Pakwaan, Bihari Litti Chokha, and South Indian Appe have also been in demand, not to mention the momos and chowmein are also quite the hit!
Jammu and Kashmir
Kashmir, home to the rich wazwan also has interesting street food delights up its sleeve. According to experts, there has been an uptake in some such as, nadir monje deep-fried lotus stem fritters or tujji chicken - chicken cooked over hot coals for long hours, thus grilling it to soft perfection.
Street food in Pondicherry is dominated by shops selling bajjis, pakodas and bondas, the latter being, deep fried potatoes coated in a gram flour batter. The street food is also famous for milk bread sandwiches or sundals- chickpeas sautéed in spicy masalas.
Lately, there has been an increase in the prevalence of kathi rolls, shawarmas, and grilled meat, along with the now common, pizza-pasta-salad-burgers menus.
Street food in Kerala is synonymous with thattu dosa (urad dal and rice dosa), rasam vada ( urad dal fritters served with spicy rasam) and Calicut Kallumakkaya ( mussels fry). These days the ubiquitous momos have also started popping up, along with middle-eastern delights such as shawarma. Modern tea chains are offering several different varieties of tea and coffee, and fusion chains are going a step further with tapioca nachos and inji puli chicken wings!
The street food of Meghalaya hasn’t changed to include the more metropolitan pizza-burger-pasta menus and stays true to its roots. Famous street food dishes here include chicken and pork momos, aloo muri, aloo chana, and roasted bhutta. Jadoh, a dish of meat, rice and herbs, is quite famous here. The red rice is cooked in pork fat, to which other spices, veggies and even meat are added!
In states such as Goa, while traditional dishes like chorizo pao and beef fried chops are still being enjoyed, middle-eastern and sandwich recipes are also gaining prominence. In Arunachal Pradesh, tea and coffee are replacing local drinks such as yak milk, while thekthuk (noodle soup), momos, noodles, and fried rice are being preferred by locals. Thus, one can conclude that while there is a shift towards continental flavours, preference for regional flavours remains strong.
When visiting these places, be sure not to miss out on these delicious regional delicacies.
For more information, check out the full GFTR 2023 here.
Have we missed any famous dishes from these states? Let us know in the comments section below