Monday, February 26, 2024

Interesting Story of Some of the Most Popular Indian Street Foods


Indians are proud of their diversity and they should be. Anyone can enjoy this diversity in traditions, cultures and cuisines of the country. If it comes to food, both Indians and India-travelling foreigners are very lucky. Whenever we talk about Indian food, street foods make an automatic mention. The aroma of street foods makes one’s mouth-watering and takes your craving to the level of sinful greed.

Do you know Indian street foods are not only tempting but some of them have an equally, if not more, interesting origin? Go through the blog to discover it.


Image credit: Youtube

The sight of Bhelpuri teases the taste buds of many foodies. From the crunchy rice puffs, crispy sey to the strong flavour of chilli and tamarind chutney, bhelpuri leaves a mix of lingering salty, sour and sweet aftereffects. You can relish its heavenly taste at any sit-in restaurant. However, for the best taste, you should visit hawker stands and street food stalls.

The credit of penning the recipe of bhelpuri goes to William Harold, an English army cook. Harold was sent to bring a list of ingredients from the streets of Colonial Bombay (now Mumbai). The purpose was to prepare this khatta-mitha-tikha snack and add it to the menu in the officers’ mess.

However, Indians believe that the snack originated during the times of Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj as he wanted a snack that could be made and eaten on the way to battleground.

Kati Roll

kati roll-BMH
Image credit: Food & Wine Magazine

This portable feast is a common evening snack prepared by the roadside vendors. The office-goers, on their way to home, gather at these stalls to enjoy a delicious bite at kati roll. Each bite offers a crunch of onion and chilli and swooshes of spices and sauce mingled with the tender meant packed within the soft paratha.

One should eat kati rolls hot as soon as it is taken off the griddle (tava). There is a veg variety of kati roll for the vegetarians.

Many Kolkatans insist that the dish was invented as a light lunch for the office workers in Bengal. Others claim that the dish was prepared for colonials bosses who were most unwilling to get their hands soiled while having lunch. Whatever theory is correct, the first kati roll came out of the kitchen of Nizam’s Restaurant in the City of Joy (Kolkata) in the 1930s.

Chole Bhature

It is one of the most popular snacks in north India. Here, in nearly every lane, you will see stall owners sitting behind the boiling cauldrons and preparing this tasty snack for a crew of customers looking at. Chole prepared with ginger, chilli, tamarind and coriander is too aromatic to resist your temptation.

Chole bhatura is a staple breakfast food in Punjab. It was imported into Delhi by the migrants who swarmed the city from Pakistan after Partition in 1947. One of the best outlets was set up by a migrant nearly more than six decades ago. His grandchild now runs the family-owned outlet in Pahargunj.


‘Jilipir Panch’

It is a common Bengali idiom to describe complicated people. Jalebi features an interesting wavy pattern and the way it is prepared is equally interesting. The journey from the chewy and crispy outer shell towards the warm and sweet syrup trickling from within delivers an exciting interplay of enriching textural experience.

At some famous stalls, fragrant kewra water or rosewater is added to jalebi batter to allow it to flirt with the foodies’ palate. 

According to the food historians, Jalebis migrated to India from Persia where they were fondly called zoolbia. The earliest literary mention of jalebis can be traced to the 13th century manuscripts. It was introduced to the Indian subcontinent by the Mughals at least 5 centuries ago. With the passage of time, jalebis in India have got flirtatious twists to become one of the most popular sweets in the country.

Hey there, I'm Shuvam, a full time blogger who has the passion of sharing knowledge related to tech, design, finance, health, fashion and many more.