Food, Restaurants & Recipes India Travel

The Most Popular Street Foods in North India

We Indians cannot resist a good dose of street food. In fact, our day is almost incomplete without it. You might not find as many people in a restaurant as you would around a street food vendor. That’s just how India is.

Some of these street foods are unique to a state, but some are common to all. North Indian street foods are ideal for those sudden hunger pains, and you can be sure that your tummy will be more than full. Besides that, these dishes don’t burn a hole in your pocket because they come for as cheap as Rs. 10! So if you’re unsure what street foods to try, here are some of the most popular.

1. Gol Gappa (aka Pani Puri)

Gol Gappa stall
Gol Gappa (Pani Puri) stall. Photo by Abigail Becker.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I definitely cannot live without eating gol gappas every week. They’re also called as Pani Puri in Mumbai and Puchkas in Bengal.

Gol gappas are round, crispy and hollow puris made of gram flour. These are then filled with mashed potatoes and onions. Some vendors also put chickpeas in them. A sweet red tamarind sauce is then added, and they are finally dipped in a tangy & spicy green water and served. Usually, you get 4-5 gol gappas in 1 plate. Their prices vary depending on the vendor but never exceeds more than Rs. 25 for one plate. If the price exceeds, then the quantity will also increase.

In Mumbai, these are served with different fillings and in Bengal too, but the basic ingredients remain the same.

2. Chole Bhature

Chole Bhature
Chole Bhature. Photo by Wikimedia Commons.

Originating from Punjab, this delicious dish quickly became popular in the nearby states.

This recipe consists of fried bread made of wheat flour served with chickpeas in Punjabi spices. It’s so delicious that you cannot get enough of it. Although it is readily available in all the northern states, you can only get that authentic taste of this dish in Punjab. The Chole Bhature made in Amritsar are very famous.

It is truly a delight to the taste buds. If you’re in Delhi, check our list of Where to Get the Best Chole Bhature in Delhi.

3. Momos

Steamed momos. Photo by rocksee

Although momos are an example of a migratory food that arrived in India from Nepal and Tibet, it has now become almost a staple for North Indians. They are available not only in street stalls but also in high-end restaurants now.

Momos are dumplings filled with either veggies or meat. Now you can also get other fillings depending on your choice, including chocolate! You can either have fried momos or steamed momos. The size of momos depends on the cook. Usually, street side momos are smaller, but the quantity is more. In some street stalls, you can get 6-8 momos for just Rs. 30.

Momos taste best when served with some spicy red chilli sauce. Street stalls selling momos are a much frequent sight in metropolitan cities. This dish is preferred and loved by children and adults alike.

4. Chaat

Dahi chaat
Dahi chaat. Photo by Dhinal Chheda.

Chaat is not just one particular dish but many dishes. Any street food having a sour and sweet taste at the same time have come to be known as chaat. Did you know that the idea of chaat originated in the time of Shah Jahan? The same Shah Jahan who built the Taj Mahal.

Today these chaat dishes, usually including Dahi Puri, Bhel Puri and even gol gappe, are available in every nook and corner of the North Indian states. All of these chaats usually have a crispy puri filled with potatoes or dipped in curd and red sauce. The sour or salty element is given to it by adding some chaat masala. These are then served on small paper plates. They are simply delicious and mouth-watering.

Make sure you try each of these chaats because they’re worth it.

5. Vada Pav

Vada Pav
Vada Pav. Photo by Wikimedia Commons.

Your Mumbai visit can never be completed until you’ve tasted the infamous Vada Pav of the state. This local street food of the metropolitan city is quite inventive in its origin. It’s actually an Indian version of the Western burger, and it will make you go bonkers over it.

It is usually made of two burger buns with a huge big fried piece of potato patty wedged between. This is then sprinkled with spices and usually served with some chutney (sauce). It is very much different from a regular burger in taste and ingredients except for their resemblance. It is truly an Indian delicacy.

By Merlin Chacko

Currently studying English Literature at Delhi University. Obsessed with Harry Potter and NOT Shakespeare. I believe that nothing nourishes the soul like books and travelling. Constantly amazed by the Indian culture and its history. Personally feel that the old forts and ruined palaces in India are almost magical.

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