I have a secret love affair with Indian street food. But I guess everyone has the same story. You go to any part of India and you will never be disappointed when it is about street food. Forget about hygiene factor though!
I haven’t been to many Indian cities, but which ever I have visited I made sure that I try its street food. Like in Mumbai I always had pav bhaji, missal pav on the roads. In Ahemedabad, batata poha, dabeli were my favorite. And in mount abu (my hometown) I always chose pyaz ki kachori and kadi bhajia over any other dish. Again forget the hygiene factor.
Some street food like pani puri, pav bhaji, tikki, dosa-idli have become so common that they are sold in every nook and corner of the Indian cities. Again forget the hygiene factor.
There are some things that we have done at least once when having street food. Like:
-Asking for extra puri or water after having pani puri.
-Asking for a little more sambhar when idli or dosa gets over.
-Ordering one plate for bhel puri and then share with 3-5 spoons.
Few days back, my husband and myself were looking at some old pictures and we remembered our visit to Kolkata, which finally led me thinking of its street food. Serenaded by the constant stream of honking, foot traffic, and hawkers, there’s nothing better than biting into a tasty snack in the busy Kolkata, be it- spicy jhalmuri or puchkas you are sure to get tasty kicks. They like their food to be very spicy or as they call jhal. May be that’s why I love it even more.
Puchkas and jhalmuri are the most common street food of Kolkata, but one dish that will surely catch your attention in Kolkata is –Ghugni Chaat. From a distance it looks like a giant doughnut, bright yellow in colour, and fenced around the outside with a row of ripe red tomatoes and steam coming from the center. I still don’t know how they shape it up like that- all I know is –it was delicious!
The same dish is popular in Bhiar and Uttar Pradesh known as Matar Chaat or Matra Chaat. There it is very dry in consistency and less spicy. I like the bengali version :)Ghugni is made with dried yellow or white peas. Peas are soaked, boiled, tempered, and cooked with tomatoes and spices. The smoldering hot peas are added to a small leaf bowl garnished with spoonful of hot green chutney, lime juice and chopped onions.
In this cold weather I just love to have this chaat. Piping hot and spicy- ah a perfect way to bid bye to the winter blues.
Dried Yellow peas - 1 cup
Tomatoes, chopped - 1
Green chilies, chopped -1
Ginger, grated -1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 3/4 teaspoon
Red Chili powder - 1 teaspoon
Garam masala - 1/2 teaspoon
Cumin seeds-1 teaspoon
Salt - to taste
Black salt - 1/4 teaspoon
Fresh coriander, chopped - 2 tablespoon
Lemon juice - 2 teaspoon
Green chutney - 4 teaspoon (Recipe here)
Tamarind pulp - 3 teaspoon
Roasted cumin powder - 1 teaspoon
- Wash the peas and soak them in enough water for 6-8 hours.
- Then take the soaked peas along with 2 cups of water, salt and turmeric. Pressure cook for 3-4 whistles.
- Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds. Let it crackle.
- When the cumin turns golden, add the chopped tomatoes, green chilies and ginger.
- Saute till the tomatoes become soft, then add the chili powder, black salt and saute for a minute.
- Now add the boiled peas along with the water and tamarind pulp (can add some more water if needed).
- Cover and simmer for 5-6 minutes till done.
- Now add the garam masala and mix well .
- Take around 3/4 to 1 cup of ghughni in a serving bowl. garnish lemon juice roasted cumin powder, onion, mint chutney and coriander leaves.
- Serve immediately.
Street food :