As you know one of my reasons to go and see India was to visit my friends, but also to learn and eat more of this Fabulous Food I wanted to know more about.
I mean we all go to Indian restaurants and eat the Butter Chicken, Chicken Tikka Masala & Tandoori lamb curries, but I wanted to know MORE! The UNKNOWN recipes, and since I have read already a lot about Indian food I knew there was so much MORE!
Particular I wanted to know more about the STREET FOODS! Because this shows the culture of the country, the background of different regions... that is what I wanted to know about!!
But eating on the street for a foreigner can sometimes end up in upset stomachs, so Charu and Kavita, my friends brought me to the places where you still can eat the street food, but in a safer environment... which I totally was happy about, the good food but the more cleanliness places... BEST OF BOTH WORLDS!!
At home Charu already made us some typical breakfast dishes for us to try like the delicious Lassi drink and the yummy Aloo Puri, a puffy bread with a soupy curry with potatoes and tomatoes. And of course each household has their own recipe for this classical breakfast or snack dish. But this one was the first for us... so it will be the BEST and always be compared to the REST!
We also tried Akuri (scramled eggs Indian style with herbs, spices, tomatoes) also called egg bhurji, fried and stuffed parathas (Indian flatbread)... all so yummy!!
So one day we went to Swati Snacks, right around the corner of Charu's home, an experience in vegetarian street food and Gujarati cooking. A small place, but hugely popular, so either you make a reservation or go early to avoid the crowds! This is what we did, since early for Indian standards is normal lunch time for us, we were there around noon, still quite, but soon after it started filling up!
We had some very interesting dishes like Swati's signature dish called Panki; a banana leaf stuffed inside with ground moong dal (split green gram) and besan (gram flour) mixed with a paste of yoghurt, green chillies, fenugreek and asafoetida. It is not spicy, and therefore the tangy green chilli in the chutney complements it wonderfully.
We also had Pani Puri, it's a round, hollow puri (ball), fried crisp and filled with a mixture of water, tamarind, chili, chaat masala, potato, onion and chickpeas. It is small enough to fit completely in one's mouth. And you get this explosion of tastes... it is so yummy!
Then we had Sev Puri and Bhelpuri, which is a is a puffed rice dish with various vegetables and a tangy tamarind sauce. Just 2 different versions. The Bhel puri is with puffed rice and the Sev Puri is with small rice cakes underneath the mixture, both extremely tasty! And you have to try these dishes when you go to Mumbai!!
For the girls we ordered a Dosa. Which is a fermented crepe or pancake made from rice batter and black lentils. It has a neutral and a bit sweet taste, lovely!
As last we had Vada Pav, an unsweetened bun with a filling of finely cut green chilies and ginger and a tempering of mustard seeds and turmeric are added to a mash of boiled potatoes, and after dipping patties of the mash in an herb-seasoned batter of gram flour, the patties are deep-fried. It is typically served with a chutney which is commonly made out of shredded coconut “meat”, tamarind pulp, and garlic.
See here a clip from the restaurant, as you can see we had some of these foods and the drinks the guy recommended we had too, so refreshing! Sugar cane juice and raw mango juice (Kachi Keri)
This was just the beginning of our food adventure!!
We tried many more dishes, all so scrumptious, delicious and dishes that almost nobody knows about outside India, so I hope next time when you go to an Indian restaurant you will try something new. I am sure you will be pleasantly surprised!!
Indian cuisine is so divers and a heaven for vegetarians!!
Please share with me what your favorite Indian dish is... besides the standard dishes I mentioned at my first paragraph!
Have a lovely day,