When you visit India, you’re rarely more than a couple of streets away from some incredible street food.
Whether it’s chole bhature in Delhi, kathi rolls in Kolkata or vada pao in Mumbai – the variety available across India’s 29 states is truly dazzling.
Virtually all of the dishes have one thing in common, however: they pack a serious flavour punch.
In this post, we’ve covered 12 of the most popular Indian street food dishes for you to make and try at home.
North Indian Street Food
“Gobi,” meaning cauliflower, and “paratha” translating to flatbread, can be served as a breakfast food or as an appetiser.
The dough is made from cauliflower mixed with various spices, including cumin, ginger, and turmeric. It’s kneaded, rolled flat with a rolling pin, and then cooked on the stovetop.
It’s commonly served with raita, a side dish made with yoghurt and vegetables.
This flatbread dish is made from maida flour, water, salt, and yeast. After it’s baked, it’s brushed with butter or ghee.
In Northern India, the kulcha is stuffed with cottage cheese, potatoes, onion, and other types of vegetables.
It is eaten with curry, specifically, chole, a spicy chickpea curry.
Fried flour balls called “vadas” are soaked in “dhai,” a thick yoghurt, to make this snack or “chaat.”. It’s commonly prepared on Holi, an Indian holiday also referred to as “The Festival of Colours.”
The batter is made from lentils that are soaked until they’re ready to grind into a paste. Then, they’re fried and topped with various spices.
The dish is usually served with different types of chutneys.
A dessert made with vermicelli (a type of noodle), rose syrup, sweet basil seeds with milk, and served with ice cream.
The vermicelli is made from arrowroot, corn starch, wheat, or sago.
Some other versions of the dessert have fruit, nuts, and whipped cream.
A savoury, fried mashed potato patty, made with peas, coriander, spices including turmeric.
The patty is often sandwiched together between bread and served with sauces like tamarind, saunth, and coriander mint.
In parts of India, like Mumbai, alu is served with chutneys or spicy curry.
A breakfast dish that’s a combination of fried bread called “bhatura” (made from maida) and chana masala, which is spicy white chickpeas.
The chana masala includes a variety of spices, including cumin, chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander seeds, garlic, onion, and ginger.
Oil, salt, and flour are combined into a dough, rolled into circles, and then deep-fried in a pan to make the bhatura.
It can be served with onions, pickled carrots, green chutney or achaar – pickled vegetables and fruits.
Tikka can either be made with meat or vegetables that are soaked in yoghurt and a spice marinade, skewered, and then cooked in a tandoor – a clay or metal oven.
Serve it with a mint sauce and naan.
South Indian Street Food
Made with soaked lentils and rice, this dough is ground and fermented until it rises. The batter is spread on a hot pan, like a tava griddle pan. The toppings (such as tomatoes, onion, chillies and coriander) are put on while it’s still cooking. Other toppings can also be used, such as beetroot, grated carrots, or coconut.
Oiled and browned on both sides, it’s then removed from the heat and served hot with chutney or sambar on the side.
Bonda is a deep-fried potato snack and can be sweet, savoury, or spicy. Some versions of the snack are made with sweet potato, grated pineapple, green peas, tapioca, and paneer (cottage cheese).
It’s made by dipping the potato dough into a gram flour batter (made from chickpeas), then deep-frying it. Carrot and coriander leaves are used as the filling.
Bonda can also be served in a soup, or as a side with chopped vegetables
An Indian dessert, much like a butter cookie. It’s made with ghee, oil, water, gram flour, sugar, and cardamom. It’s a sweet served at festivals and weddings, and popular at baby showers.
The sugar is made into a syrup and flavoured with spices like cardamom, honey and rose.
The syrup is heated and mixed with gram flour and ghee in portions, then stirred all together. It’s then poured onto a pan and left to cool completely before serving.
Appam is an Indian pancake, made from fermented rice batter and coconut milk. It can be eaten for either breakfast or dinner.
The batter is mixed together and cooked in an appam pan, and can be made either flat or in a bowl shape.
It can be served with an egg cooked in the middle, or for a more savoury dish, with chickpea curry, meat and chutney.
Similar to a crepe, a dosa is a thin pancake made with fermented batter.
It’s mainly a savoury dish, made with lentils and black gram, a bean that is ground into flour. Some salt is added, and then the batter is ready to fry.
The dosa is served hot with chutney or sambar or served as a meal with a filling of vegetables and sauces.