Just like our culture is diverse, our food habits are varied. The geography and climate plays a vital role in our food preparation. But the charm lies in how these foods have easily found a place not only in our palate but also in our hearts. Let’s talk about some of the popular snacks that we all love to dig in. Be it the ubiquitous samosa or the vada pav from Mumbai or kati roll from Kolkata or dhokla from Gujarat or medu vada from the South, they have all caught the fancy of the young and old alike.
Who doesn’t love this fried snack that is found in very corner of the street? Ranging from onion pakoras to chili pakoras to vegetable pakoras and chicken pakoras, it is a hot favourite among all. Made of gram flour mixed with onions or vegetables or chicken, it is also called as bhajji in the South. Pakoras and tea go very well together, and if it is a rainy day, it is pakoras all the way, for most of us!
Have we ever given a thought from where the samosa or the singhada came from? Middle East was its origin, but it was the Muslim Sultanate of Delhi that actually introduced it in India. Today, this is one snack that is intrinsic to all the states across the country. The vegetable variant is found everywhere, but for the non-vegetarians there are chicken, mutton and beef samosas as well.
This snack that we all savour at the roadside or in restaurants comes from UttarPradesh. The yogurt-based chaat typically consists of fried dough or potatoes mixed with chili and tangy chutney made of tamarind. Whether it is the alu chaat or papri chaat or dahi vada or curd vada (as it is called in the South), it is an all-time favourite.
Vada pav or the Indian counterpart of the burger, is a spicy potato vada stuffed in a pav or unsweetened bun. This vegetarian snack that is indigenous to Maharashtra is a must try if you are in Mumbai, Pune or Kolhapur. It is not only filling but also gives a run for your money.
The ever-soft dhokla from Gujarat is not only a snack item, but also makes a good breakfast menu. Made of fermented rice and chickpeas batter, it has a number of variants ranging from toor dal dhokla to cheese dhokla, rawa dhokla, Khandhavi dhokla and sandwich dhokla.
The doughnut-shaped medu vada is a hot favourite not only in South India but also in the North. Made of gram flour, potato or lentil, it is savoured best with spicy coriander chutney. Nothing can beat the vada on a rain-soaked afternoon.
Pani Puri/ golgapa/ phuchka
This snack, known by different names in different parts of the country, for instance golgapa in the North, phuchka in the East and pani puri in the West and South of India, is a favorite among the students and office goers alike. A hollow deep fried puri is filled with spicy and tangy chutney made of tamarind along with chickpeas.
The bhelpuri as it is called in Maharashtra and in the North and jhal muri in the East of India, is a tasty puffed rice mixed with spices, tomatoes and chilies and mustard oil (in the East). Bhelpuri is said to have come from Gujarat. Light on the stomach, it makes for a lip-smacking snack.
The moment we talk about roll, we think of Kolkata’s kati roll. The delicious flatbread or paratha with filling of your choice, like chicken, egg or vegetables with sauce, is a must-eat when you are in Kolkata. Today, you get all kinds of filling from corn to mushroom to paneer to minced meat.
Kachori or katchuri is mostly popular in the North and West besides the East of India. Made of refined flour stuffed with urad dal mixture, this snack seemed to have come from Rajasthan or Uttar Pradesh. A visit to Rajasthan is incomplete without sampling the mawa kachori.
Do you have a favourite snack, which has been left out? Share them with us.