India is famous for cheap and easily available street food, its variety reflecting the diversity of cultures in the country. This list of some of India's most widely enjoyed street snacks, and the best places to try them, is sure to give you hunger pangs and make your mouth water.
A North Indian staple, chaat in various forms is today a readily available treat found in almost every city and street. If legends are to be believed, this snack originated from Shah Jahan's kitchen. Over the course of time, a multitude of recipes and versions have evolved, differing from town to town, vendor to vendor. What they do have in common is that they are crispy, spicy and sweet all at once. Some famous chaats are bhel puri, dahi puri, paani puri and papdi chaat.
Delhi is the best place to dig into this yummy combination of spicy chickpeas and fried bread. This street food is usually eaten for breakfast. Besides chhole-bhature, Delhi is also famous for parathas and rajma-chawal.
Poha- jalebi? Sounds weird, but it is the most popular street food in Indore, the commercial capital of Madhya Pradesh. Poha-jalebi is absolutely delicious served with sev and nukti. If you happen to be in Indore, also try its famous samosas, namkeens, lapsi and bafla.
Soul food for the people of Patna, litti-choka looks a lot like dal-baati, but is prepared differently and has its own distinctive taste. This traditional dish includes ingredients like sattu and chana served with choka, which is a puree made out of potato, brinjal and tomato along with pure desi ghee. Tuck into it at breakfast, lunch or dinner on the streets of Patna.
6. Aloo Tikki
From the city of nawabs we get you some delicious aloo tikki. Countless street vendors and stalls sell this piping hot snack, one of the most famous delicacies of Uttar Pradesh. It is prepared from boiled potatoes and looks similar to Mumbai's ragda-pattice. If you prefer your patties to be non-vegetarian, Lucknow's legendary galauti kebabs, with their roots in royal cuisine, are sure to satisfy.
Ah! The famous vada-pav of Mumbai. Also referred to as the Indian burger, vada-pav is Maharashtra's best loved contribution to street food. It comprises a fried potato dumpling (vada) stuffed in a bun (pav) and served with chillies and chutney. Other regional delights include misal-pav, pav-bhaji and kande-pohe.
The best place to sink your teeth into crisp and tasty kachoris is Bikaner, a former princely state in Rajasthan. If the Bikaneri kachoris leave you peckish, also try mirchi bada (a cutlet with chilli and potato filling), another local speciality. Rajasthan also specialises in classics such as dal-baati churma, pakoras and mawa.
This delicacy owes its origins to the Kutch region of Gujarat, but is easily available across Mumbai, Pune and various other cities. The traditional version is a pav stuffed with extra-spicy potatoes, but creative vendors have also concocted varieties such as cheese and Schezuan dabelis.
2. Egg Rolls
Finally, something for egg lovers! For the best egg rolls in India, head to Kolkata where you will find this snack on virtually every street. Bite into a paratha wrapped around a fried egg, with chutney to add some extra zing. Follow this up with puchkas, the local version of golgappas.
Steamed or fried, veg or non-veg, you can savour momos almost anywhere in the country. The most authentic stuff, of course, is available in northeast India, Tibet and Bhutan, but the snack is now as ubiquitous across the nation as chaat or chhole-bhature or aloo tikki.