Street food recipes
Milagai bajji / chilli bajji is a traditional south Indian tea time snack, which is thoroughly enjoyed in the evenings. You can easily find stalls selling them in Chennai Marina beach, small tea shops in Chennai or in busy marketplaces. The milagai bajjis can be easily prepared at home.
Vazhakkai bajji/raw banana fritters is a very popular evening snack in Chennai, which is usually accompanied with a cup of tea. Vazhakkai bajji is a south Indian snack, which you can find near Marina beach in Chennai, served in paper plates with a spicy onion or tomato chutney. We often order milagai bajji (chilli fritters) and vazhakkai bajji (raw banana fritter). Apart from beach in Chennai, it is also made at home and also available at small tea shops as a snack in the evenings.
Cashew Pakoda (Munthiri Pakoda in Tamil) is a very famous evening snack in South India. Cashew pakoda is made of chickpea flour (besan in Hindi) along with other ingredients. It is very simple and easy to prepare and goes well with tea as an evening snack. To get more flavour into the cahew pakoda, mint leaves and curry leaves are important along with a very little ghee/dalda/oil added to the flour. The texture of the cashew pakoda is crisp and crunchy unlike other pakodas which are crisp but soft inside – like Palak Pakoda or Chilli Bajji.
Andhra Mirapakaya bajji/mirchi bajji is a famous and popular street food of Andhra. It reminds me of my childhood when I used to visit my grand parents’ town (Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh). I used to see small stalls in the town where they used to sell Mirapakaya bajji (Mirchi bajji), but those chillies are small in size (Indian chillies which are used normally for curries) and are medium to very hot. The Mirapakaya bajji/Mirchi bajji, will be served hot, with pappu podi (roasted gram and garlic powder) and chopped onions on the bajjis.
Stuffed mirchi bajji/Andhra cut mirchi bajji is a very popular street snack of Andhra. I have tasted mirch bajji in Hyderabad, Vizag (Vishakapatnam) and also from Anantapur and other places. It varies and the chillies used are medium or hot. Each home also has their own version. You can find these chilli bajji stalls in street corners but only in the evenings after 5pm. The street vendor wraps the mirchi bajji in newspaper and sprinkles a little chopped onions and pappu podi.
Pav bhaji is by far the most popular and famous street food of Mumbai (India) and a very popular fast food dish from the roadside vendors in India. Pav means bread (bun) and bhaji means mixed vegetables curry. A spicy gravy is prepared in which various boiled vegetables are added, mashed well and served with a butter fried pav (bread or bun). Pav bhaji masala is usually made with butter and served with a dollop of butter on top of the bhaji.
Kaalaan varuval (mushroom fry) or chilli mushroom is a very famous street food of Coimbatore, which you can find near busy market places or children’s parks where the street vendors sell this delicious street food. Though I am not a very big fan of mushroom, for a change I sometimes prepare mushroom curry, mushroom 65 and mushroom pokada. After tasting this mushroom fry (kaalaan varuval) street food, it was a hit for me.
Mirch pakora /Chilli pakora is a very popular street snack in India in the evenings. You can find these chilli pakora stalls in corner of the streets but only in the evenings after 5pm. Mirch pakora/Chilli pakora can be served with any chutney you like and each stall has his own variation. In this recipe, I have not used the small chillies but instead, I have used bajji chilli which are thick and light green in colour.
Misal is very famous in the entire state of Maharashtra and a very popular street food. Misal is mostly made for the breakfast but can enjoy as a snack too. It consists of two curries one is dry one (moth beans curry) and the other curry called as tarri/kat which is thin spicy gravy. This recipe requires lots of oil (you can add less), it is a traditional Indian dish. Main part of this mixture is Sabji/Usal made from sprouted Matki/Moth beans but some add mixed beans also.
Bhel puri is every ones favourite and famous in India. It is a street food and all the chaat vendors make bhel puri as per their recipe. At homes and other places all have their own recipe of bhel puri and know with different names. Now a days you get different kinds of mixtures(crispies) like cornflakes mixture, bhel mixture, boondhi all in ready made packets the same way we get Bombay bhel ready made packets, from which we can make delicious and tasty bhel puri.
Bhel puri is one of the most famous and favourite of all chaat. It is a mixture of spicy, sweet and sour. It is know by different names in different places like jhaal muri(hot puffed rice) in kolkota, churumuri in Bangalore and other places often called as bhel puri. It can be easily made at home as per your taste. Bhel puri is made with puffed rice, a mixture of vegetables (onion, grated carrot, coriander leaves, boiled potato, green chillies, cucumber), sweet chutney (tamarind chutney), green chutney and sev (a thin fried noodle made with gram flour).
Pav bhaji is the most famous street food of India and most popular snack. Pav means bread (bun) bhaji means mixed vegetables curry. Spicy gravy is prepared in which various boiled vegetables are added and mashed well and served with a butter fried pav (bread or bun). As soon as I say mashing the vegetables, only one thing come to my mind is taka tak. Taka tak means mashing the vegetables and the sauce together with a spatula on the big pan or tava, they will be holding one spatula or 2 and will be doing taka tak – taka tak on the vegetables, till it is mashed and mixed well with their sauce.
Ragda patties the most popular snack and chaat food of Mumbai and is available in every chaat stall. It is usually found near the chaat based vendors who will be selling pani puri and other chaats. Ragda patties is a curried dry peas which is spooned over the potato patties, it is like aloo tikki chaat. Ragda patties are served with pav, but I have served with just ragda patties or with some small puris which is served for pani puris, with onions and with 2 different chutneys (green chutney and tamarind chutney) and other spices.
Pani puri(in south and other places) has many names and each state has its own name as puchka (culcutta) or golgappa or pani kae bataashe (Marathi). Pani puri is the best and the most favourite and popular street food of India. Pani puri can be eaten as a chaat or snack. The filling and the water which goes inside differs from place to place and each house prepares it differently as per their taste. I have made pani with mint and tamarind flavoured, which gives the real chaat vendors taste, next time aim going to make pani with different flavours.
In Chennai the most popular snack which is very popular and sold near Marina beach is Thenga manga pattani sundal. Thenga manga pattani sundal is a snack which is eaten mostly near the marina beach in Chennai or near the parks. A boy comes with his barefoot on the sand and with his sundal bucket, some murk (made with rice flour, with some spices) and some news papers with him. With the help of newspaper he make a cone shape pocket and serves the sundal. I always ask him to top with more mango pieces.