5 Healthy and Delicious Beach Snacks of India
This YouTube video shows India's one of the most famous beaches - Marina Beach in Chennai, the capital city of Tamil Nadu, South India
About Indian beaches
Gone are the days when beaches used to be regularly visited in the busy cities of India. Paddling in the waves, building sandcastles, lying on the sand and nibbling crunchy snacks used to be the fond memories of many beach-goers. India is a hot and humid tropical country and hence people tend to visit beaches anytime during the year. Nowadays, with the growing globalization and lifestyle change, beaches have become a weekend leisure and vacation spot. The scenario of Indian beaches is different from that of foreign beaches. Foreign beaches serve as the hub for sunbathing, swimming and beach sports while Indian beaches are filled with orthodox people enjoying the breeze; hanging out with families and friends and of course savoring tasty refreshments.
About beach snacks of India
Indian beaches are incomplete without the trademark snacks served by stall vendors or wandering snack sellers. These snacks actually fall under the category of street food. Popularity of Indian street food reached its peak that it expanded its horizons to other areas including beaches. Thus street food gained immediate attraction among beach-goers and became an integral part of beaches.
What beach or street food is also known as...
In India, beach or street food is commonly known or referred to as chaat, which means delicacy in Hindi, the national language of India, according to Wikipedia.
These Indian snacks are often prepared with a medley of spices famously termed as masala in South-east Asia and condiments widely known as chutneys.
List of famous beach snacks in India
India, being a country of cultural diversity, is also the home to several Indian regional cuisines. Beach snacks form an important segment of Indian cuisine.
Here is a list of beach or street food items:
- Potato snacks
Potatoes is one of the few most popular vegetables which play a key role in the preparation of beach snacks. Potatoes are either fried or boiled and garnished with masala and chutneys. Potato pieces are also used as the element or filling of many other beach snacks.
- Bread snacks
Bread often forms either as a base or accompaniment in beach snacks, so as to provide an extra taste and texture. Bread added to the snack preparations can be either fresh or toasted.
Buttered buns served along with spicy potato gravy and Indian version of burgers strewed with masala and chutneys are extremely popular among beach snack enthusiasts. Bread appetizers such as round deep-fried bread fritters and chutney vegetables sandwiches are also big favorites among the beach-goers.
- Crisp snacks
There is a repertoire of crunchy and brittle snacks, famed for their delectable taste. They range from crisp noodle-like bits that are added in snack preparations for crunchy texture to whole crisp appetizers with varying fillings
Such crisp bases, noodle-like bits and fritters are mostly created from ground chickpea flour paste and are often deep-fried.
Ground chickpea batter drops are frequently used in beach snacks, either as a topping or part of dishes.
Salads range from just fresh cut fruits to cups of fruit pieces and vegetable bits tossed with masala. Additionally, there are other kinds of salads such as nuts salads, lentil salads and crisp salads.
Various chutneys, spices and tamarind sauce are frequently used in salads to jazz up the taste of regular salads and tantalize the taste buds of beach-goers.
- Sodas, sherbets and juices
Indian beverages prepared with local ingredients including herbs, spices, fruits, vegetables and yogurt or curd constitute the vast cuisine of India.
Indian beverages can be either produced locally or at home.
Sodas are mostly manufactured and can be served with masala or herbs.
Sherbets are popular summer coolants which are often made with natural ingredients such as organic spices and herbs.
Juices are made from fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers and herbs.
Sweets and confections add to the diversity of Indian cuisine. Sweets can be sold either in stalls or shops by the beach-side. Numerous Indian sweets included mini-cakes made out of milk, wheat, nuts and lentils; crunchy sweets, thick puddings served in small cups and many more to name which are extremely popular among beach-goers of all ages.
- Regional beach snacks
In each state of India, some regional snacks are prepared to satisfy the varying choices of beach-goers. For instance, in the southernmost state of Tamil Nadu, the round and crisp savory doughnut-like snacks are prepared and served with chutneys. In Gujarat, India's westernmost state, the steamed savory snacks with a tinge of sweetness to it are made for Gujarati customers. Regional snacks complement the variety of Indian beach snacks. The same applies in case of regional beverages and sweets.
- Non-vegetarian snacks
There are beach shacks by the sides of the beaches which create seafood specialty dishes and other non-vegetarian foods. In some coastal beaches, seafood carts are visible, selling fried seafood. The most popular among seafood is fish smeared in spicy masala and deep-fried. A pungent flavor of this fish dish can be sniffed several miles away.
- International snacks and confections
Currently, the popularity of international appetizers and desserts among the Indians are on the rise. International snacks include frankies, burgers, mini-pizzas, corn on the cob, Chinese food and Arabian food. Cotton candy, ice cream, milk-shakes and shaved ice are some of the prominent international confections which are much-loved among beach-goers.
Actually, there are many more snacks in every nook and corner of this country. The above mentioned snacks are very famous and continue to predominate the beach carts and stalls.
The reasons I chose these five snacks are
- Easy to make
- Involve fresh and organic ingredients
- Very less spicy
- Delightful, delectable and of course, delicious.
About 5 snacks
The virtual tour of the above cited snacks is over and now it is high time for reality - bringing home 5 Indian snacks which are extremely famous and well-loved among beach-goers. The names of 5 snacks are
- Cumin beverage
- Boiled peanuts salad
- Vegetable fritters
- Puffed rice snack
- Frozen milk dessert
Learn how to make these five simple snacks and hope you enjoy them as much as I and my family did!
Health benefits of cumin drink
- An ideal body coolant
- Detoxifies the body
- Helps in digestion
- Resistance against ailments
- Contains all the essential vitamins and minerals
Nutritional information of cumin beverage
23% (Based on 2000 calories diet)
Total essential minerals
9% (Based on 2000 calories diet)
1. Cumin Beverage
This drink is very popular, especially during the summers due to its cooling characteristics and is often served either during meals or in between meals.
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 10 min
Ready in: 15 min
Yields: 4 glasses
- 2 teaspoons of extracted tamarind juice
- 1 teaspoon of cumin powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder
- 1 teaspoon of whole cane sugar or brown sugar(optional)
- Salt to taste
- Few chopped mint leaves
- Mix the extracted tamarind juice, cumin powder, sugar, salt and chili powder with 1/2 cup of water
- Simmer this mixture on the stove for 10 minutes
- Then set aside this mixture to cool down
- Pour water into this mixture to make 4 glasses and stir it well
- Garnish this drink with chopped mint leaves
- Add a few ice-cubes into this drink and serve chilled
Special tip 1: For an extra zesty taste, add some fresh lemon juice into this beverage.
Special tip 2: For extra health benefits, add 1 teaspoon of ground ginger into this drink
Health benefits of boiled peanuts
- Rich in antioxidants
- Resistance against cancer, diabetics and heart diseases
- Aid weight loss (Eaten in moderation)
- Good source of folic acid (B-vitamin)
- According to research studies, the boiled peanuts are reported to be 4 times healthier than raw peanuts.
Nutritional information of boiled peanuts salad
17.6 % (Based on 2000 calorie diet)
2. Boiled peanuts salad
This tasty snack is one of the most commonly sold snacks in beaches. They are often sold in paper-cones. They can be eaten plain or served with masala and vegetable bits.
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 5 min
Ready in: 10 min (Before boiling the peanuts, soak raw peanuts in tepid water for 6 hours)
Yields: 4 servings
- 2 cup of raw peanuts
- Salt to taste
- 1 cucumber
- 1 tomato
- A pinch of chili powder
- A dash of pepper
- Few chopped coriander leaves
- Boil the peanuts in a pressure cooker for 3 minutes
- Set them aside to cool down.
- Sprinkle salt, chili powder and pepper
- Add fresh chopped cucumber, tomato and coriander leaves
- Now, the salad is ready to serve
Special tip: You can add lemon juice and any vegetable-bits of your choice such as shredded carrots, mashed potatoes, boiled corn, etc.
3. Vegetable Fritters
One of the most common scenes on the beach is the preparation of vegetable fritters in a large wok. They are then served hot with chutneys on mini plantain leaves or paper-plates to eager customers.
Choice of filling for fritters
- Chili peppers (cayenne and habanero)
- Cottage cheese
- 3 cups of rice flour
- 2 cups of chickpea flour
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon of asafoetida powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of cumin powder
- 5 big eggplants
- 1 green pepper
The healthy side of vegetable fritters
- This dish contained rice flour and chickpea flour, both of which are gluten-free.
This homemade recipe is light, wholesome and hardly oily unlike their beach counterparts.
- Mix rice flour, chickpea flour, salt, chili powder, asafoetida powder and cumin powder with sufficient water to make a medium consistency batter
- Slice eggplants and green pepper into thin slices and dip them in the batter.
- Drizzle the pan with little sunflower oil or olive oil and shallow-fry the batter-dipped vegetables.
- Serve hot with any sauce or dip of your choice.
Nutritional information of vegetable fritters
Calories for 30 vegetable fritters
Special Tip: If you want a spicy version, then marinate the vegetables or meat with the chili powder and salt paste (Adjust according to your tolerance). Set them aside for half an hour before dipping them in the batter.
Health benefits of puffed rice
- Low in calories (Need to be eaten in moderation only)
- Rich in minerals
- Good source of iron
- Presence of cholesterol and sodium is zero
Nutritional information of puffed rice snack
|Serving size: 4|
|Calories from Fat||18|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 2 g||3%|
|Saturated fat 1 g||5%|
|Unsaturated fat 1 g|
|Carbohydrates 107 g||36%|
|Sugar 8 g|
|Fiber 7 g||28%|
|Protein 10 g||20%|
|Cholesterol 1 mg|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
4. Puffed rice snack
This well-liked snack is available everywhere from roadside stalls to hotels due to its playful blend of sweetness, tanginess, sourness and savoriness all in one dish.
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook time: 10 min
Ready in: 20 min
Yields: 4 servings
- 6 cups of puffed rice
- 1 potato
- 2 tomatoes
- 1 cucumber
- Few coriander leaves
- 1 cup of pomegranate seeds
For tamarind chutney
- 2 tsp of extracted tamarind juice
- 1/2 tsp of cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp of chili powder
- 2 tsp of whole cane sugar or brown sugar(optional)
- Salt to taste
For mint chutney
- 1 cup of mint
- 1 green chili
- 1 tsp of whole cane sugar or brown sugar(optional)
- Salt to taste
- Make tamarind chutney by mixing extracted tamarind juice, chili powder, salt, cumin powder and whole cane sugar with 1/2 cup of water and boil for 10 minutes.
- Make mint chutney by mixing ground mint, salt, green-chili and whole cane sugar
- Boil potatoes for 3 minutes and then mash them.
- Chop tomatoes, cucumber and coriander leaves.
- Mix puffed rice, chopped vegetables, mashed potato, tamarind chutney and mint chutney.
- Garnish it with pomegranate seeds and serve immediately.
Special note: Do not leave this snack for a while as the puffed rice will become soggy
Special tip 1: You can also add grated carrots, raw mango pieces, chopped onions and lemon juice
Special tip 2: For an extra crunchy version, add crackers and rice krispies
Special tip 3: Add little tamarind chutney to the yogurt and pour it over this snack. Believe it or not, it is really tasty and wholesome.
The healthy side of frozen milk dessert
- Good source of calcium and protein
- Rich in iron
- Ideal source of good fats necessary for the body
Nutritional information of frozen milk dessert
Calories for 6-8 pieces
7.3 % (Based on 2000 calorie diet)
15.6% (Based on 2000 calorie diet)
5. Frozen milk dessert
This traditional North Indian dessert is different from ice cream that it is thick, rich and flavorsome. This chilled dessert is a big hit among children and adults alike.
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 30 min
Ready in: 5 hours (It should be kept in the freezer for 4 hours till it gets completely frozen)
Yields: 6-8 frozen milk dessert pieces (Depending on the size of the dessert molds)
- 1 litre of full cream milk
- 2 tsp of corn flour
- 70 grams of pure sugar
- 1 pinch of saffron
- 1/2 tsp of chopped pistachios
- 1/2 tsp of cardamom powder
- Boil milk for 30 minutes till it becomes thick
- Then add cornflour, sugar, saffron, cardamom powder and again boil for 10 minutes.
- Set it aside to cool down.
- Add chopped pistachios.
- Pour it into dessert molds and place them in the freezer till they are frozen
- Enjoy them!
Special tip 1: When the dessert-pieces are almost semi-frozen, insert the Popsicle sticks into them.
Special tip 2: You can add more chopped nuts and dry fruits to this dessert.
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Ending on a sweet note
Now all of you know how to prepare these five snacks. I guarantee that you and your family will relish these dishes and end up with satisfactory smiles on your faces.
These recipes are also useful for
- Your kids' lunchboxes
- Kids Cook Monday
- Family get-together occasions
- Parties, particularly beach-themed and on the beach spot parties
- Celebrations and holidays
Just as we developed a penchant for your succulent burgers, palatable pizzas, luscious ice creams and many more, now it is payback time for you to savor our appetizing snacks!
Copyrights © 2012 by Ishwaryaa Dhandapani
For more helpful information, check out the following terms on Wikipedia
- Indian snacks
- Indian snack foods
- List of Indian snacks
- Indian cuisine
- List of Indian sweets and desserts
- List of Indian drinks