India is blessed with diversity, which encompasses vibrant cultures, languages, traditions, and lifestyles. Yet, out of all that stands apart, the delectable cuisines are found in each region of the country.
If you’d like to explore India like a local, there is nothing better than trying out the famous street foods. From the north to the South, each state has its own popular food and cooking style that overflows with rich flavour.
With a total of 29 states in India, here are the most famous and lip-smacking street foods from each of them.
1. Punugulu, Andhra Pradesh
Punugulu, a widespread street food in Arunachal Pradesh, graces the state with its presence. People prepare Punugulu by deep-frying a blend of idli or rice batter, urad dal (black gram), and spices. They meld the batter with onions, coriander, and a small quantity of yoghurt, giving it a spherical, ball-like shape.
You can serve Punugulu with either peanuts or traditional coconut chutney. These crispy fritters are crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.
2. Thukpa, Arunachal Pradesh
Originally from Tibet, Thukpa has become one of the most popular street foods in Arunachal Pradesh. The cook prepares the noodle soup using thick-boiled noodles, vegetables or meat, and strong spices. Not only is the soup extremely delicious, but it is also healthy and filling. It is the perfect winter food and shields one from the chilly weather.
The soup’s popularity has spread to other states aside from Arunachal Pradesh.
3. Khar, Assam
Khar is an Assamese dish that is completely offbeat and unique. It has an unusual combination of pulses, red rice, raw papaya, and traditional Assamese spices. It also uses an ingredient called Khar, a name similar to the dish. Filter water from sun-dried banana peels’ ashes to obtain Khar.
The Khar becomes an alkali and gives a refreshing aroma and taste to this street food. Additionally, there are other varieties of Khar available in Assam that are worth trying.
4. Litti Chokha, Bihar
The Bihari version of the Dal Baati Churma of Rajasthan is Litti Chokha. It is one of the most loved and notable street foods in Bihar. The dish’s simplicity creates a hearty meal that anyone can enjoy at any time of the day.
The dish comprises wheat balls, which chefs prepare to make litti. They also stuff it with spiced and roasted gram flour. Chokha is a spicy curry that uses mashed potatoes and brinjals. Litti Chokha is accompanied by rich desi ghee, which makes it an appetising street food.
5. Fara, Chhattisgarh
Fara is an interesting street food in Chhattisgarh. Similar to a steamed dumpling, the only difference is that it uses rice as its batter. The rice dough, although easy to prepare, requires precise skills and practise.
Fara looks like a sausage or bao-bun and feels like a momo, but the taste is very different. Nevertheless, a generous amount of this street food with chutney makes it delectable.
6. Chorizo or pork sausage chilli, Goa
Chorizo comes from Portuguese cuisine and is a spicy pork sausage. This street food brims with spice and ranks among the top delicacies to experience in Goa.
Along with pork, wine, garlic, and paprika go into the dish. The ingredients are then stuffed into artificial or natural casings and dried over smoke. What follows next are chopped vegetables added to hot water and crushed chorizo. The sizzling and mouth-watering chorizo is ideal to eat with warm and soft bread (pao).
7. Dabeli, Gujarat
Dabeli hails from Gujarat and has its roots in Kutch. This street food is one of the most iconic, not only in Gujarat but all over India. It appears like a burger or vada pav from Mumbai but tastes like no other.
This spicy and delightful snack has a sweet and spicy potato mixture. They fill a small burger bun, also known as Ladi Pav. They garnish the dish with roasted peanuts and pomegranates and mix it with a variety of chutneys and shev. The aroma of spices feels heavenly, and while many attempts to replicate it, you can find the best dabeli only in Gujarat.
8. Bajra Khichdi, Haryana
Bajra khichdi (porridge) is a hearty, nutritious, but equally delicious food found in Haryana. The porridge is made of coarsely crushed pearl millet, Moong Dal (yellow split gram), vegetables, and basic spices.
Sesame oil or pure ghee is often added to Bajra khichdi to elevate the taste. The best way to enjoy the khichdi is by having lassi, pickled vegetables, jaggery, curd, and papad as your side dishes.
9. Sidu, Himachal Pradesh
While visiting Himachal Pradesh, one of the most preferred street foods is Sidu. Sidu, a local favourite, is a type of bread made from wheat moulded with yeast. It is left to rise for at least four to five hours.
The yeast-induced soft bread is roasted and steamed for a few minutes. It is served with ghee, meat curry, green chutney, or dal. Sidu is the perfect winter snack and provides the warmth needed to battle Himachal’s cold.
10. Kalari Kulcha, Jammu and Kashmir
One of the prominent street foods of Jammu and Kashmir is the Kalari Kulcha. This dish is made from Kalari cheese, also known as Miash Krej, which is only available in Kashmir. The round-baked bread is split open and topped with tomatoes, onions, and Kalari cheese.
It is believed that Kalari Kulcha of Kashmir beats every other cheeseburger with its quality traditional cheese.
11. Jhalmuri, Jharkhand
Jhalmuri is a crowd-pleaser and one that cannot be overlooked, especially if you are in Jharkhand. According to locals, this street food is equivalent to Mumbai’s bhel.
The on-the-go snack contains puffed rice added to a mixture of vegetables, spices, and bhujia. Jhalmuri also uses the special muri masala and mustard oil, which transform its taste completely. This yummy, light snack is available on every corner of the street in Jharkhand.
12. Akki Roti, Karnataka
Out of all the assorted street foods available in the state of Karnataka, Akki roti is one of the most underrated dishes. It is a spicy flatbread prepared from rice flour and served with coconut chutney or tomato gravy. A dressing of carrots, onions, and green chilies gives it additional flavour.
A favorite item for breakfast and evening snacks, Akki roti is found at the majority of the street stalls in Karnataka.
13. Parippu Vada, Kerala
Parippu vada, simply called dal vada, is a crunchy appetiser enjoyed in Kerala. It is made from Toor dal (split pigeon peas) and cooked along with ginger, dry red chilies, shallots, and curry leaves. The delicious Parippu vada is best enjoyed with tea, especially on rainy days. The spicy, crispy vada is a one-of-a-kind street food in Kerala.
The delicious Parippu vada is best enjoyed with tea, especially on rainy days. The spicy, crispy vada is a one-of-a-kind street food in Kerala.
14. Poha Jalebi, Madhya Pradesh
Poha is a flattened rice dish, while jalebi is a sugary dessert. The unusual fusion of two incompatible dishes is only found in Madhya Pradesh. It is exquisite and the most sought-after street food in the state.
Served with sev, Mukti, and generous amounts of poha and jalebis, this food creates a filling breakfast. The mix of sweets and salt is a treat that should not be missed while visiting Madhya Pradesh.
15. Vada Pav, Maharashtra
It is hard to choose one street food that represents Maharashtra due to the variety available. But Vada pav stands out from the rest solely due to its classic taste and popularity in other states as well.
The best vada pavs come from Mumbai, which is famous for its local roadside stalls. The vada is made with a spicy potato filling that is deep-fried in a gram flour batter. The pav, or bread, is cut in half where the potato filling goes and topped with hot garlic chutney. It is impossible to stop at one with this simple yet addictive snack.
16. Kelli Chana, Manipur
Kelli chana comes from Manipur, and locals prefer it for afternoon snacks. The chana was originally made from chickpeas but now generally uses spicy yellow peas. Along with it, Indian spices and veggies are mixed and served on a lotus leaf.
The aroma of the lotus leaf enhances its taste. Kelli chana is a treat and is usually savoured with a cup of tea on the side.
17. Jadoh, Meghalaya
Jadoh originates from Meghalaya and represents a type of biryani. It involves cooking red rice with chunks of pork and common spices. But pork is not the only meat used, as sometimes rice is enjoyed with chicken or fish.
You can taste the distinct flavour of this Khasi version of Biryani in Meghalaya. Locals usually enjoy this authentic cuisine during festivals in the morning.
18. Arsa Buhchiar, Mizoram
In Mizoram, Arsa Buhchiar goes beyond being just a street food, as it forms a part of the local’s staple diet.
The food is a form of chicken porridge similar to the ones found in other northeastern states. Along with chicken, rice, vegetables, and local Mizo herbs are cooked together. Arsa Buhchiar has a mild taste but nonetheless tastes delicious.
19. Kinalas, Nagaland
Naga cuisines generally comprise a variety of meat compositions. Kinalas is excellent proof that Nagaland’s street food contains meat. The delicious and savoury broth is known as comfort food.
Kinalas is a noodle dish that makes use of either boiled beef or pork head. After the meat becomes succulent, the soup is topped with a brown sauce or gravy and a few herbs.
20. Guguni, Odisha
Most tea-time snacks are accompanied by Guguni in Odisha. This famous street food consists of cooking dried yellow peas, black grams, or dried white peas in a traditional East Indian-style gravy, resulting in a mildly spicy dish. People often serve Guguni with puffed rice (kurmura) and sometimes even accompany it with hot onion fritters.
The tangy and spicy guguni makes up for Odisha’s appetizing street food.
21. Chole Bhature, Punjab
People all over India relish Chole Bhature, a mouth-watering street food prepared using luscious chickpeas, spices, and vegetables, and not just in Punjab. Bhature is a deep-fried Indian flatbread.
Chole Bhature is one of the top dishes in India that opens up your taste buds.
22. Mirchi Bada, Rajasthan
This simple and spicy street food, also known as Mirchi Vada, is best found in Rajasthan. People make traditional Mirchi badas by stuffing green peppers with a savoury potato mix and coating them with gram flour. They deep-fry them and top them with a tangy tomato sauce.
The overflowing taste of spices in Mirchi Badas makes it one of the most popular street foods in Rajasthan.
23. Momos, Sikkim
Momos are one of the best street foods in the country, but the tastiest ones come from Sikkim. South Asian steamed dumplings, known as momos, have stuffing of minced meat or vegetables, and their cover comprises white flour, dough, and water.
A fiery chili sauce, chutney, or thukpa soup serves it.
24. Kothu Parotta
Kothu Parotta is originally from Sri Lanka, but Tamil Nadu has successfully transformed it into delicious Indian street food. The dish has varieties of parottas like vegetables, chicken, and eggs. Scrambled eggs are present in egg parotta, while chicken parotta comes served with Salma gravy.
No matter which variation you prefer, your Tamil Nadu trip is incomplete without having a taste of Kothu Parotta.
25. Pindi Vantalu, Telangana
Pindi Vantalu is a crunchy South Indian delight and a specialty of Telangana. Either yellow split gram (moong dal) or rice flour is used to prepare it. In other regions, people also refer to it as murukku or chakri.
The crunchiness of Pindi Vantalu makes it a preferred street food in Telangana.
26. Pork Bharta, Tripura
One of the most desired street foods in Tripura is pork bharta or wahan mosdeng. The pork delicacy utilises boiled pork pieces, mixing them with chilies, onions, coriander leaves, ginger, and a specific plant leaf. Those who don’t prefer pork can substitute meat with chicken.
Preparing this is easy, and you can also enjoy the tasty dish with rice.
27. Aloo Tikki Chaat, Uttar Pradesh
Aloo Tikki Chaat is a flavorful street food in Uttar Pradesh. Crispy potato cutlets are cut into small pieces and mixed with spicy and sweet chutney. It is then garnished with sev and onions.
No matter the season, you can enjoy the evergreen Aloo Tikki Chaat as a fulfilling snack.
28. Aloo ke Gutke, Uttarakhand
Aloo ke Gutke is a famous Kumaoni dish in Uttarakhand. The primary ingredient is potatoes, then cutting them into cubes, frying them in mustard oil, and seasoning them with coriander and red chilies.
The street food looks similar to chaat but tastes different yet equally delicious. Aloo ke gutke is often accompanied by hot, piping tea.
29. Mishti Doi, West Bengal
One of the most tempting and tasty fermented sweets comes from West Bengal. Mishti Doi follows a careful process to gain the perfect taste. Boiling and thickening milk before sweetening it with sugar prepares it. Afterward, letting it ferment overnight occurs. Preparing and serving Mishti Doi in earthenware happens because water evaporates rapidly.
The thick dish gives off a sweet and sour taste at the same time and leaves you craving more.
These finger-licking and palatable street foods from each state are the pride of India. Which street food out of all gave you massive hunger pangs?
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