How To Make Delicious Indian Snacks?
Lip smacking tongue tingling Indian snacks are popular in India, and are the root cause of cultural invasion all over the World. The snacks characterize the World of spicy Indian cooking. The country specializes in snacks that come in a thousand flavors. They are consumed with gusto even at midnight.
The evolution of food styles began many centuries back, right from the Indus Valley Civilization. The impact of vegetarian cooking has been due to the influence of ideologies that taught abstinence from meat consumption.
A major impact that is visible in contemporary foods is due to cultural mix up within different regional styles and that of foreign cultures that stepped into India. Certain food habits have been influenced by the Western cultures, but nevertheless Indian cuisine stays unique, and it stands out from the rest of the World.
Indian snacks are mostly deep fried, hot and spicy. They are eaten when freshly fried otherwise many become spongy and inedible. Except the chivada - admixture of fried indian noodles, peas, spices and nuts - the storage life of fried foods is very less. Most of the snacks that are stored to be eaten later do not contain preservatives. They are consumed within a stipulated period.
India snack foods
The list of snack food in India is long with many variations, this is due to regional flavors added to it. The most popular items that are sold by street vendors and restaurants alike are:
- Aloo Banda
- Bhaji Vada
- Medu Vada
- Stuffed Paratha
- Pav Bhaji
- Usal Pav
- Fried Chick Peas
- Masala Puri
- Pani Puri
- Cholle Bhatura
- Spicy Peanuts
- Moong Dal Fried
- Chana Chor Garam
- Aloo PuriChole
- Jhal Mudi
- Egg Bhurji
- Paneer Bhurji
Some of the above items are basic with recipe variations and local flavors. Many like chaat, paratha, puri, kebabs and chevada encompass large number of snacks that fall under these common denominators.
When you expand the list it is never ending. There is hardly any standard in food recipes in India. The variations depend upon the regional cooking, available raw material and local styles that people favor.
Like the Indian curry the materials used can lead to spicy or non spicy dishes. The addition of herbs and varying degree of spices churn out a new item every time. Even the cooking method and medium can change the flavor.
Some of the Western and Chinese recipes have been incorporated into the in between meals but with a distinct Indian touch. Noodles, cheese, bread, vermicelli, burger, pizza, pasta, sandwich, and many more have become part of food industry in India.
Bhajiya Recipe (Fritters)
Simple Bhajiya Recipe
Batter: Take chick pea flour add water to make a medium or thick batter:
Additions: Add chopped green or red chili as per taste. Add potato and onion that have been cut into small cubes. Add a dash of finely chopped ginger and sprinkle coriander leaves. You can add other herbs, instead of coriander to change the flavor.
Spices: Use red chili powder, turmeric, coriander powder, carom seeds, and whatever else you fancy. But for new comers it is good to use the above. Mix these in small amount and add to the batter. In order to make it more aromatic and spicy you can also use Garam Masala - a hot spice mixture readily available in the market.
Method: Mix the batter well and roll into small balls using your hands. Bring the oil to a boil in a deep fry pan or Kadhai (Hindi). Let the oil cool down a bit and then slow fry the balls one by one. When a gentle brown coloring takes over, set the balls on a plate. Pour tomato sauce to the side of the plate, garnish with ringed onions and serve.
In India, tamarind chutney is the usual accompaniment and tastes far better than the sauce.
Khaman Dokhla Recipe
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How to Make Sev?
Sev is an Indian noodle made of gram flour (Chana). The snack is very popular all over India and is usually had with accompaniment of hot tea.
- Gram Flour - Two Cups
- Red Chilli Powder
- Salt to Taste
- Garam Masala (Optional)
- Garlic paste (Optional)
Make a batter using gram flour and mix all the other ingredients. Take a sieve or net of metal and sieve the mixture directly over the frying utensil. As soon as the Sev is done take it out and place it over a tissue paper to reduce excess oil.
The Sev is now ready to eat.
Note* Other flours can also be used but gram flour is the most preferred one.
Samosa With Tea
How to Make Samosa?
The recipe is very simple, but one has to be apt at folding the outer covering. This comprises of a jacket made of maida or fine wheat flour which is made into a dough mixed with ajwain or carom seeds and salt. The dough is then rolled to make a thin pancake.
The pan cake is laced with some oil and then it is given a triangular shape to form a hollow inside for filling. You need to practice a bit in order to get the perfect shape, nevertheless an amateur job will do initially.
Once the pancake is ready, fill it with meshed potato, green peas, garam masala (Optional), salt, rock salt, cumin powder, turmeric, red chili powder, coriander and garlic. Once the filling mixture is done with close the samosa at edges using help of oil.
Deep fry the samosa till they become brown. Your wonderful yummy snack is ready to eat. Use tomato sauce, green or tamarind chutney whatever you prefer.
How to Make Idlis
Idlis are savory snacks from Southern India. They have become equally popular in Northern India. Along with the yummy sambar they constitute healthy and light breakfast, lunch and dinner. Fried and salted idlis are usually had as snacks.
How to make?
Mix rice flour with moong dal flour in water and soak it over night. Put the mixture in a special steamer known as idli maker in India. Place the steamer on the gas filled with the flour mix. Steam from underside till the idli is soft and done.
Have the snack with sambar a form of pungent curry or fry them in oil and tamper it with rai (mustard seeds), turmeric and salt. Use this as anytime snack.
Tea & Snacks
How To Make Cutlet
This is a popular light food item available in coffee houses, fast food joints, cafes, tea lounges, small street restaurants and Indian homes as well. The ingredients and recipe are as follows:
- Boiled Mashed Potato
- Green Chilli
- White Pepper
- Carrot Pieces (Small)
- Turnip Pieces (Small)
- Egg White
- Bread Crumbs
- Salt to taste
Mix all the ingredients with mashed potato and then shape it. The popular shape is usually triangular. Dip this in egg white or mayonnaise and then layer the cutlets with bread crumbs. This done, fry the cutlets in oil over slow flame.
Serve with tomato sauce or green chutney.
Preparing Sabu Dana Vada
Snacks & Teas Go Together
Snacks in India are often stand alone food items but very often they are consumed with beverages. In the house holds the most popular wash down beverage is tea. Also called chai in Hindi. The brew is made with the addition of milk. Cold beverages like colas are also consumed with the snacks.
Most of the street food vendors serve masala chai tea along with the snacks. Many of these vendors have food stalls associated with hot beverage sellers in crowded bazaars. Upmarket places like tea lounges are becoming very popular. These upscale boutique lounges have been set up by Wagh Bakri Tea Company based in India.
The sophisticated joints serve a vast variety of hot beverages along with light snacks. One can also merrily sip instant premix or ice teas here.
Bihari Liti Chokha
Do You Like Indian Snacks?See results without voting
Though Indian Sweets are always accompanied with major meals they are without hesitation eaten along with snacks and tea. Many sweets are chomped alone by people with sugar teeth.
The sweets in India are very sugary hence do not find much appeal especially with weight watchers. For many foreigners the taste is simply unpalatable.
Sweets are also made using jaggery from cane. These are becoming more popular due to being less sweet. Many types of these deserts contain mawa. Mawa is condensed milk. It is made by continuous boiling till all liquid has completely evaporated leaving solids behind.
© 2012 Uday Patel
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