If there is one thing that India does well, it is mouth-watering street food. From aromatic biryanis to crisp and crunchy snacks, a visit to the sub-continent is sure to present a feast that any fan of Indian food would be hard pressed to resist. With all that’s on offer around the sub-continent, you could easily spend a couple of weeks enjoying a culinary tour of the states and never eat the same food twice…But then again, we all have our favourite Indian delicacies we just can’t say no to! Whether your particular poison is a chunky, golden samosa stuffed with spiced potatoes, or a succulent kebab dripping with flavoursome juice, you are bound to find it on the streets of some of India’s biggest foodie cities.
Indore is one of the most notorious cities for street food in India. Why? Because it plays host to the famous bazaar known as Chappan Chowk. When you take into consideration that Chappan Chowk’s second name is Chaat Market, it doesn’t take the intellect of Sherlock Holmes to figure out that this bazaar specialises in delicious street food with the decadent deep-fried snacks, chaat, a particular speciality of this specific foodie hotspot.
The first thing to be aware of at Chappan Chowk (aside from the absolute requirement you show up good and hungry) is that the prime time to visit is after 6pm. The second thing is that you are about to embark on the street food experience of your life! Not only will you find sugary Indian confectionary and sizzling chaat, you will also find global snacks such as pizza and noodles – a reflection of the diverse tastes Indian people enjoy in the modern world.
As the sun goes down, the food hots up with the smells of spices infusing the air and the shimmering heat of the red hot pans creating an ambience filled with all the exotic allure of the East.
Some of the most popular Indore specialities renowned throughout the states is poha and jalebi. This combination of snacks may seem like an unusual pairing, but the aromatic, spiced, beaten rice complements the piping hot, crunchy texture of jalebi to perfection. Look out also for bhutte ki kees: a popular breakfast and lunch as well as street food snack. Bhutte ki kees is created from grated corn, lightly fried with spices, chilli, a dabble of ghee and a splash of milk. In fact, dairy is important throughout Indore – one of its most popular drinks, the creamy fruit shikanji, is a milk-based beverage.
In the mood for something super light? Pick up some crispy namkeen and sev, Indian crackers that go down a little too easily…And for dessert? It has to be the stodgy, comforting Indian pancakes known as malpua – don’t forget to soak them in sugar syrup.
Of course, you don’t need to travel all the way to India to indulge in lip-smacking Indian street food. Book a table at one of London’s best Indian brasseries and you’ll see food heaven is a lot closer than you might have thought.