Now Reading
Street Food Diaries India and Thailand

Street Food Diaries India and Thailand

Southeast Asia’s two most culturally rich countries- India and Thailand, are also
rich in their cuisines and food cultures. Both these countries see a large footfall of
tourists round the year and offer a diversity of landscapes and experiences in every
distinct part.

What these two also offer are a surprise to your taste palettes and there’s always something new for everyone to taste. While the two countries offer a wide variety of cuisines and dishes, and have very distinct tastes and aromas, but still share an elaborate culture of street foods. Thailand’s street food markets are not unknown to anyone, while India’s diverse range of street foods in every small street in every city, big or small, are popular worldwide.

Street foods are simply ready-to-eat foods that are sold in marketplaces or in the corners of the streets, by small vendors, hawkers, etc. These aren’t offered at cafes or restaurants, but are available at kiosks, booths, small shops, carts or food trucks.

These are portable as they are meant for immediate consumption. In both Thailand and India, you can choose to eat your delicious food while sitting on the seating spaces sometimes provided by these vendors, enjoy it on the go or just take it with you and enjoy it in the comfort of your home.

Street foods are largely popular due to their minimal preparation time, affordability and extensive taste and variety. In India, one can find street food at every turn and corner of every street. Indian cuisines are highly diverse and so are Indian street foods. Every state or even every city or town offers a distinct type of street food indegnious to that place.

There are hawkers or small vendors offering varieties of delicacies, in markets or on the streets. Whereas in Thailand, there are street food markets that have numerous vendors and hawkers selling a large variety of Thai food. These markets are a buffet of Thai food kiosks and have seating spaces for tourists to go around, explore the food and sit and enjoy the rich taste of the food.

In India, if you go to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Lucknow or anywhere else, you will find different kinds of street foods and a different taste for each one. Whereas in Thailand, Lumpini Park, Sukhumvit Soi 38, Khao San Road, Soi Rambuttri, Liab Duan, Bang Rak, Chinatown are the most popular street food markets.

What to Eat When on the Indian Streets?
Street foods are popular all over the world, every country or region has its own personal variety of street food. But nothing beats the wonders of the Indian street food. Apart from the wide variety, Indian street food does not compromise on taste and everywhere you go you will either find a new variety of snack or a different taste and twist to a snack also popular in another part of the country.

These street foods have also moved from the streets onto the menus of cafes and restaurants, with their own personal twist. Despite this, when in India the following street foods are unmissable:

Chole Bhature : Ask anyone in Northern India about their favourite street food and 9 out of 10 would say it is chole bhature. Could be even all 10. This delicacy comprising chana masala and bhatura which is fried bread made from refined flour (maida) served with onions and pickles, started as a quick snack in the state of Uttar Pradesh. It is now one of the most loved street foods in Northern India. It can easily be found anywhere in the area, in every street and on every corner and super cheap but rich in flavour and taste.

While Delhi has its own popular hotspots for the best plate of chholey bhature, some believe that for a delicious piping hot plate one must go to Punjab.

Samosa : This quick snack is a crowd favourite allover the country. It can be found in every part of the country and with a new twist to it in each place.

This fried pastry sort of a snack is a fried, stuffed pastry with its fillings ranging from most popularly potatoes to onions, paneer, lentils and now even noodles and cheese. They also come in different shapes and sizes, which largely depend on the region you’re in. It is eaten with mint chutney and tamarind chutney, and is definitely the most popular chai-time snack in India.

Gol Gappa : pani puri or puchka, whatever itmay be called indifferent parts of the country, is easily the most popular street food and loved by people of all ages. These are small fried balls of flour or semolina, filled with aloo oronions or chana or sprouts and loaded with chutney and flavoured water.

The flavoured water comes in different flavours of sweet, salty, tangy and spicy. The combination of ingredients, flavour of the water and the name of the dish varies
from region to region.

Poha and Jalebi : Largely popular in the Western and Central parts of the country, this combination is considered as the perfect duo of street snacks for anytime of the day. Poha is flat rice prepared in oil with flavours of curry leaves and mustard, with various vegetables and topped with sev or bhujia (Indian, spicy namkeens). Jalebi, India’s most loved, is a sugary preparation loaded in sweetness and flavours.

Might seem courageous to try this combination of distinct flavours, but once you try it, it is definitely a treat for your taste buds. This intriguing combination of contrasting sweet and salty flavours is a popular breakfast option in the said region.

Kachorin : Another popular street food widely available and consumed in the country, kachori is a deep fried patty made from maida, and filled with onions or potatoes or dal or peas. These are crunchy patties that are deep fried and usually enjoyed with chutney and hot gravies generally made from potatoes or lentils.

Originated in Uttar Pradesh, this hot delicacy spread like wildfire all over the country and can be found with differentflavouring in areas like Rajasthan and some Southern states as well.

Aloo Tikki : Another popular street snack, or a ‘chaat dish’ as most popularly called, is the Aloo Tikki. This delicious and decadent dish consists of deep fried patties of potatoes combined with peas and sometimes even paneer. These patties are topped with curd, sweet and spicy chutneys, onions and coriander. This combination of so many distinct but strong flavours is bound to shock your taste buds with a burst of flavours.

Kulfi Falooda: A sweet dish that any sweet tooth cannot afford to miss when travelling in India, is Kulfi Falooda. Generally popular in the West, it can also be found at some popular spots in Delhi as well. This dessert made of a combination of sweet and savoury flavours is actually a mix of three very popular sweet dishes from West India. It has Kulfi, a very popular local Indian ice cream, falooda is a cold fruit-based dessert, and finally the rabri which is a sweet dish made by reducing milk to its condensed form.

This rich combination is then topped with vermicelli or thin noodles and dry fruits like pistachios and almonds, some may even add flavoured sugar syrups for that extra sweetness and flavour. This dessert is nothing less than a decadent dessert.

Vada pav : This authentic Mumbai dish can now easily found anywhere in the country, but still it is the pride of the city and a must try for everyone travelling there.

Every Mumbaikar swears by the vada pav when it comes to street food and also their day is incomplete without it. It is a desi burger, has an aloo bonda i.e. a deep fried potato dumpling inside the bun, served with a red spicy masala and green chilly. It is a simple yet highly satisfying dish.

Galouti Kabab : These super soft kebabs with an ancient Indian historical story about their origin, are served with a hot dipping sauce. These popular kebabs from the city of nawabs melt as soon as they lend on your tongue and are bound to leave a flavourful experience.

Tunday Kabab : Another popular street food from the lanes of Lucknow are the tunday kababi. Another delicacy having its origins from the life of an emperor, these kebabs were originally made by Haji Murad Ali who was a chef in the Mughal kitchen.

He had only one hand and hence the name of the dish (“Tundey” in Hindi means one-handed). These are spicy meat kebabs and are full of distinct Mughal flavours.

Litti Chokha : A unique street food option from the Easter state of Bihar in the Litti Chokha. It is a simple dish but largely popular and delicious. Littis are flour balls cooked slow-cooked over charcoal, served with a curry made from Brinjals andpotatoes, topped with ghee. This combination of very Indian flavours is a local favourite and is bound to become every traveller’s favourite as well.

Ghugni Chaat : The Eastern and North-Eastern Indian regions have some hidden gems to explore, both places and foods.

Any Indian street food list is incomplete without the mention of Ghugni chaat which is an ensemble of dried white peas soaked in a flavourful and delicious gravy topped with local North-eastern herbs and fresh vegetables.

This refreshing street snack is a popular dish in the local street markets of Kolkata and other Easter regions. It is one of India’s healthiest street food choices.

Jhalmuri : If you’re travelling to Kolkata your trip would not complete if you miss out snacking in Jhalmuri. This popular Kolkata street food is a popular on-the-go snack available in every corner of the city of joy. It is a concoction of puffed rice fried in raw mustard oil to give it a pungent flavour, an assortment of spices topped with bhujia and fresh diced vegetables.

Akki Roti : As we move down South, we find a very distinct flavour palette of street food choices. One of the most popular street food choices in the Akki Roti from the state of Karnataka. It is flatbread made from rice flour and served along with a gravy made either of tomatoes or coconut along with a dressing of tomatoes, carrots, onions and green chillies for that additional kick of flavour.

It is only found in the Kannada region and is a local favourite. It is impossible to not immediately fall in love with this light snack.

Paddu : Most popularly known as ‘appe’, paddu is also called paniaran and ponganalu. These are a popular South Indian snack available in every nook and corner in Southern India. It has flavours like the dosa with just a few extra hints of sourness.

These flavourful balls are made from a batter of rice and black lentils, and are combined with onions and other vegetables. It is served along with the staple coconut chutney and tastes
best with filter coffee.

Pav Bhaji : This spicy, hot and delicious Mumbai-based dish is so flavourful that it has reached every region in the country. A highly popular street food in the lanes of Mumbai, is a thick and spicy vegetable gravy with a rich aroma and even richer taste, served along with buttered
and toasted pav or buns.

The gravy is topped with a dollop of butter and lime juice to leave no flavour tone untouched. This flavourful and heartwarming dish will definitely leave you mesmerized and wanting more.

Not to Miss in Thai Street Food Markets Thailand is highly popular for its crowded and aroma-filled street food market. Thai cuisine is now popular world wide due its flavourful taste, rich aromas and decadent tastes that are unique and sensational.

The Thai street food markets are a one stop solution for explorers of Thai cuisine. Here are a few must try popular Thai dishes:

Pad Kra Pao Kai a.k.a Basil Chicken or Pork : Thailand’s most beloved street food dish is the
pad kra pao kai, or the basil chicken/pork. It is a no-brainer if you are confused with the variety on the menu, then this dish is always a safe bet. It is your choice of meat- chicken or pork- stir fried in Thailand’s holy herb the basil. The meat is then cooked in a combination of garlic
and chillies with flavours of fish sauce, and served

Som Tam : The simplest Thai street food is the som tam or the papaya salad, as popularly known around the world. It is a light salad of freshly pounded raw papaya prepared into a salad with peanuts, garlic, chillies, fish sauce, tamarind juice, tomatoes and lime juice. This combination in itself makes for a delicious recipe and an explosion of flavours, but it can also be combined with salted crabs or dried shrimps for that extra crunch.

Gai Pad Med Mamuang a.k.a Thai Chicken with Cashews : Another simple yet flavourful Thai
favourite is the chicken stirred fried in onions, garlin, red chillies, and with cashews for a crunchy flavour. This dish though easy to make, is a flavour like no other and will always leave you wanting for more.

Oyster Omelet : Everyone loves omelets, but this is not like your other egg omelets. These are crisp and highly satisfying omelets that are topped with glossy oysters which melt in your mouth immediately. These omelets with a twist are high on flavour and something you must have not tried before.

Khanom Bueang : In simple terms, these are tacos made from rice flour. These are super crispy and taco like, filled with coconut cream and shredded coconut. Some even use flavoured creams for a twist of flavours. Though these are generally sweet, their savoury versions are a must try too and very indulging.

Delicious Thai street dessert, Kanom Buang, Thai Crispy Pancake or Thai Crepe, with varieties of fillings such as sweet white custard cream and golden sweet egg floss or salty minced shrimp on fry pan

Thai Iced Tea : A pleasant sight for the eyes and a joy for the taste buds, this refreshing drink will surely leave you happy and satisfied. A strongly brewed tea with a pinch of tang from the star anise, an orange hued drink, served with coconut milk or condensed milk to give it a frothy finish. This is one of Thailand’s most loved beverages and definitely a must try.

Khao Phat (Fried Rice) : Eaten everywhere on the globe, fried rice is a definitive comfort food. In any case, the divine taste of the Thai variant is the thing that makes it maybe perhaps the most famous street food dish to emerge from Thailand.

An unquestionable requirement for all travellers to Thailand, to try the khao phat which is accessible at street-side trucks and very good quality bistros the same. A more popularly known variety of the dish is Khao phat khaprow, which simply means fried rice with basil leaves. Utilizing the pan fried food preparation method, fragrant jasmine rice is thrown with stew and basil which gives it the zesty and exceptional flavor. Frequently presented with an egg on top, the dish can be made more filling by adding shrimp, chicken and pork according to inclination.

Moo Ping (Pork Skewers) : This one is bound to be every meat lover’s favourite. The moo ping can be easily found in every corner of Thailand and is a crowd favourite. These are satay-style Thai skewers of pork slices marinated in a concoction of cilantro, garlic, oyster sauce, fish sauce, soy sauce, pepper and sugar, grilled over coal.

For extra flavour the fatty pork is layered with coconut milk as well. Served with a portion of sticky rice and tamarind dip, this dish will definitely make you drool.

Kway Teow Reua (Boat Noodles) : The ‘boat noodles’ get their name from an ancient story attached to them, as they were initially sold at river canals on floating boats in small bowls to ensure zero spilling upon movement.

This dish over time spread all over the country and became a popular and common street food choice. These are noodles topped with your choice of gravy and peanut sauce, or even dry with your choice of meat.

Itim Kati (Thai Coconut Ice Cream) : A trip to Thailand would be incomplete without beating the heat with their authentic coconut ice cream. Thailand has a lot more when it comes to desserts, like- mango sticky rice or the sweet Thai crepes. But coconut ice cream is like no other dessert.

Made from rich coconut cream with bits of coconut make it the perfect ice cream with a unique texture. It is served with shredded coconut for that extra crunch to the smooth cream. You can play around and choose from a variety of other toppings.

Jok : Thailand has such a wide variety of distinct food options and it is bound to give you a breakfast experience like no other as well. The indegenious Thai rice porridge is a popular breakfast option.

It is not our regular rice porridge. It is unique with flavours and ingredients like lime leaves, kaffir, pork and many others. Served piping hot with a yolk on the top along with several other toppings, it is a Thai delicacy and a breakfast experience you must have never had before.It is like a warm hug and is very comforting with its flavours.

Indo Thai News Co. Ltd. © 2024  All Rights Reserved.

Scroll To Top