Indian Street Food – The What and How of the Khau Gallis of India

Indian Street Food – The What and How of the Khau Gallis of India

It is not for the faint hearted. What I necessarily mean to say is that Indian avenue foods needs guts- practically and figuratively! The courageous, however, will be amply rewarded by some utterly new tastes.

India is genuinely a large and varied region. There are in excess of 22 states, every with a delicacies that is identical to, but, significantly unique from its neighbour. In some circumstances, the exact dish has diverse interpretations in distinct states. The street food stuff of every single state faithfully mirrors this variety. If the streets of Lucknow supply tantalizing kebabs, the lanes of Delhi existing their possess interpretation. If the streets of Bombay give you Pani Puri, the by lanes of Kolkata give you their model known as ‘puchkas’. These days, Road Foods in India is not confined to Indian cuisine by itself. You can get Chinese, Continental and even Thai foods, which have, of program, been suitably “Indianised” to match the community palate. Typically, every single main Indian metropolis has a “Khau Galli” which pretty much means the “Foodstuff Avenue” some even have far more than 3!

There are some elementary truths that you need to have to know ahead of embarking on this “street trip”. A little bit of familiarity with the dishes and their nomenclature is also practical. So browse on.

The Avenue Foods Glossary


Chaat, pronounced so as to rhyme with “Element”, is the mainstay of Road Foods in India. It is made up of a spouse and children of dishes that are basically assembled collectively in different proportions, somewhat than cooked to a element. Chaat is designed from a medley of substances like puffed rice, roasted lentils, flattened crisps created from wheat flour, deep fried, spicy noodles manufactured from gram flour, potato patties and round, skinny, hollow, crisp balls that are loaded with salads and dipped in a tangy liquid. The two most essential components in chaat are the eco-friendly chutney known as Theehka (pungent) chutney and the brown chutney termed Meetha(a tangy sweet sour chutney) chutney. Theekha chutney is manufactured from new cilantro, cumin seeds, eco-friendly chillies and lemon juice, when the Meetha Chutney is produced from jaggery( refined sugarcane extract), dates and tamarind extract and finally that magical component that elevates an common dish to a development, particularly, rock salt!

Chaat is typically spicy and tangy while you can generally ask the ‘chaatwalla”, as the chaat vendor is regarded, to tone down the spice. Lesser mortals can also pick to awesome down the spice issue with a liberal drizzle of yoghurt. Though chaat is more of a generic nomenclature and a broad selection of dishes come below its umbrella. Keep this all set reckoner handy when you pick out your chaat dishes.

Bhel Puri – a potpourri of puffed rice, roasted lentils and deep-fried gram flour noodles(Sev) tossed in spicy green chutney and tangy sweet bitter sauce and seasoned with minced onions, raw mango(through the mango period) and contemporary cilantro.

Pani puri – thin, hollow, round balls (puri), stuffed with mashed potatoes or cooked lentils and dipped in a tangy sweet, bitter and pungent liquid. In Kolkata, this dish is termed Puchka, although on the streets of Delhi, it goes by the name of Gol Gappa. This dish can check the most brave, mainly because the chaatwallah pierces the ball with his thumb, fills it with the stuffing and dips it in a bottomless earthen pot. It is a handmade item down to the very last ‘t’ so pack up your hygiene needs in advance of you slurp absent at pani puri!

Sev Batata Puri and Dahi Puri – a dish consisting of mashed potato distribute in excess of a flat wheat based, deep fried cracker and garnished with pungent environmentally friendly chutney, sweet and bitter chutney, freshly minced onions, cilantro and crisp, deep-fried gram flour noodles referred to as ‘Sev’. A sprint of yoghurt on this complete distribute can make it Dahi Puri. Occasionally Dahi Puri is also built from the hollow, spherical puris stuffed with mashed potatoes and minced onions.

Ragda Patties – this is dish in which a tangy spicy chick pea centered gravy is spread on potato patties and seasoned with the identical two chutneys. Ragda Patties is a excellent favorite in the Khau Gallis of Mumbai, on the sea facet stalls that dot the beach front on the Maritime Push in Mumbai, the lanes of Regulation Backyard garden in Ahmedabad in Gujarat and Khan Market place in Delhi.

Pau Bhaji – This pretty much usually means bread (Pau) and vegetables (Bhaji) and was born on the streets of Mumbai. Its fame distribute far and huge and incredibly shortly it designed its way to Khau Gallis all around the region with as many interpretations as there are Gallis. Pau Bhaji is a food by by itself for the reason that it is composed of a spicy gravy of blended greens seasoned with generous dollops of butter on a large iron griddle and served with specific bread that is also toasted on this griddle. It comes to you with minced onion salad and wedges of clean lemon. If you are calorie aware or are matter to health constraints, you can request the seller to tone down the butter, or else, just permit go and love your self mainly because it is value it.

Vada Pav – This is the signature dish of the Khau Gallis of Maharashtra and can be uncovered on the streets of Mumbai, Pune. Straightforward but filling, the vada pav is a sandwich built from the very same sort of bread that is made use of for pau bhaji. It consists of a potato stuffed, spicy deep fried doughnut-like ball called batata vada wedged amongst a part of pau that has been slathered with a pungent, pink, garlic based chutney. It is tangy and spicy not for all those who choose subtly flavoured or bland dishes!


Paranthas type the mainstay of road foodstuff in North India. Delhi has an complete lane devoted to paranthas – the Paranthewalla Galli. This avenue has, down the ages, been serving a intellect boggling assortment of paranthas and has been drawing both Indians and non-Indians, by droves. A Parantha is a flat bread made from wheat flour and stuffed with vegetable or meat. You can fill a parantha with something from easy onions, spicy vegetables or seasoned lentils, to hen, meat or even dried fruit! In Kolkata, the parantha goes by the identify of Kati Roll, where by it is stuffed with kebabs. On the streets of Mumbai. the egg parantha or Baida Roti is the paratha of selection. Paranthas do not have a quite potent presence on the streets of South India, but in Chennai, paranthas come to existence, thanks to the vegetable gravy (kurma) served with them.

Samosa – This calorie ridden snack is ubiquitous in each and every avenue of India. Samosas consist of spicy vegetable or meat fillings wrapped in a triangular instances manufactured of refined flour and oil or butter and deep fried to a attractive golden brown colour. In some cities, samosas are served with ‘channa’, which is a spicy gravy created from chick peas.

Kachori/Kachauri – This is a terrific favorite in the Avenue food items menus of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Central India. Kachauri is a flour dependent, deep fried doughnut filled with spiced black lentils. On the streets of Mathura, Brindavan, Bhopal and the rest of Central India, Kachauri is served with the two chutneys. On the streets of Ahmedabad and other towns of the condition of Gujarat, even so, Kachauri is a round flour based mostly, deep fried ball stuffed with a sweet bitter combination of dried fruit, cooked lentils, aniseed and chillies.

Dosa and idlis – Street meals South India, specifically Tamil Nadu, is composed of a thoughts boggling wide variety of Dosas, which are pancakes manufactured from a batter or rice and lentils. They are frequently stuffed with an array of vegetarian and non vegetarian fillings. Idlis are steamed cakes made from identical batter which is left to ferment so that the end products is comfortable and spongy.

Kebabs and Biryanis – The streets of Hyderabad and Lucknow dish up biryanis and kebabs that have to have no introduction. Kakori Kebabs and Galouti kebabs trace their origin to the royal kitchens and reside in a selection of interpretations now!

Beverages on the Road

Aware of the will need to clean down this sumptuous fare, avenue meals vendors provide both of those branded, bottled beverages as properly as indigenous drinks. The 1 drink that you can come across in streets all more than India is the drinking water of tender coconut. You can obtain these suppliers alongside roadways and even highways. Some of them string a bunch of tender coconut on a bicycle and cycle around. It is pretty exciting to check out the vendor knock the coconuts, select one centered on whether or not you want a coconut with a lot more h2o or cream, place it on his knee, shear it to a cone at one close, slice off the cone and hand it in excess of to you with a straw.

Kala khatta is a famous street food stuff drink, the recipe of which is held near to the coronary heart of the vendor. It is tangy, spicy and sweet, all at the identical time, leaving you in an aura of mystery!

Then there is the ice gola, which is a lollipop created from crushed ice and dipped in a glass of kala khatta and other juices. Ice Gola, all over again, is a must-have!

An additional delicacy is the sugar cane juice. It is take care of to view the hawker place a bunch of sugarcane into an indigenous thresher, obtain the frothy juice on the other side, sprinkle it with a wee little bit of salt and a fall of lemon juice and hand it above, as clean as refreshing can be! Seasonal drinks like buttermilk in summer and hot chai in winter are value a try out. The chai on the road is robust, sweet and milky, so, do not assume any subtlety!

Khau gallis all in excess of India share some primary properties and for that reason some broad guidelines apply.

The Night bird Catches The Worm

Most Khau Gallis start performing all-around 11 o’clock in the early morning but they definitely appear to lifestyle only after sunset and go on to purpose late into the night. Although solutions in the working day are fundamentally skeletal and cater to the workplace goer who is in a tearing hurry or the shopper who is urgently in require of replenishment, it is only in the course of the night that the Khau Galli arrives alive and the gourmand stalls seem. If you a major foodie, then make it a point to plan your Khau Galli pay a visit to in the evening.

Do not be expecting cleanliness

Most of the Khau Gallis have open carts or makeshift tables and stalls. Plates and spoons are cleaned by scraping off the remnants into a can, hurriedly soaping them and then dipping them in a bucket of water. Extremely typically two stalls may share the similar bucket, so turn your confront absent, if you are the squeamish kind. In reality, it is a well-liked belief that substantially of the lip smacking flavor in Khau Galli comes from the dust!

On the other hand, these times, stalls have turn into additional setting friendly and mindful of cleanliness. They provide meals on banana leaves placed on the a plate or on disposable husk plates and use disposable plastic spoons. There is, thus, no problem of reusing plates and spoons. You can request the vendor to give you disposable plates and spoons. Many of them even give you paper napkins.

Do not trouble to bargain

Although there may possibly be marginal discrepancies, prices for the exact same or very similar dishes have a tendency to stay within a band, throughout all stalls serving them. Stalls that present add-ons like much better cleanliness and cleaner surroundings do cost much more, however, there is definitely no scope for bargaining as stalls and carts serving identical fare tend to cartelize and cost the identical value.

Have your very own bottle of h2o

A lot of carts do have a drinking water dispenser and disposable glasses, but there is nothing at all like carrying your very own drinking water. Some khau gallis have drinks carts that sell mineral h2o but the mark-up is considerable. Carrying your possess h2o is safer and economical.

The oldest khau galli in the New Delhi is situated on the streets of Chandni Chowk in Outdated Delhi. ‘Paranthas’ and ‘Chaat’ are the signature dishes of this khau galli. In point, there is a complete by-lane comprehensive of parantha suppliers, aptly identified as Paranthewalla Galli (Lane of Parantha Sellers). Khan Current market is a further popular Khau Galli in New Delhi. Manek Chowk and Law Gardens are the regular Khau Gallis of Ahmedabad. Mumbai has a khau galli in pretty much each and every locality. In Kolkata, stroll along the Esplanade for crisp jhal muri, which is the Bengali variation of Bhel puri, gorge on puri bhaji at Mullick Ghat Flower Market, The aged city in Hyderabad in the vicinity of the Charminar is delivers remarkable road food options right from dishes that are spin-offs from Nawabi delicacies to Tibetan Momos. Your hotel desk can supply you with facts about the khau galli in that place. Do cross look at this data with the locals just before you established off. Content Gorging!