22 Vegetarian Indian Street Foods That Will Make You Salivate Unattractively

Thanks, delicious Quora thread. Now I’m craving something that’s 1,000 miles away.

1. Jalebis (Varanasi)

Flickr: clicheshots / Creative Commons / Via quora.com

Gloriously sticky orange coils of deep-fried wheat flour soaked in sugar syrup. You can also find them across south Asia, the Middle East and east Africa.

ID: 3599833

2. Imartis (Varanasi)

Imartis are a bigger, stickier, and orangier version of the humble jalebi.

ID: 3599888

3. Kachori sabzi (Varanasi)

This traditional brunch snack is made by filling small dough balls with a spicy potato mash, but is delicious at any time of day.

ID: 3599894

4. Malaiyo (Varanasi)

A winter dessert peculiar to Vanarasi. Made with cardamom and pistachio, it tastes buttery but feels foamy on the tongue, and it’s served in little clay pots which you smash on the ground when your meal is over.

ID: 3599907

5. Chura matar (Varanasi)

An aromatic winter breakfast dish of beaten rice flakes with green peas and spices.

ID: 3599934

6. Vada pav (Mumbai)

Flickr: scaredykat / Creative Commons / Via quora.com

Spicy potato fritters in a bun, sold outside railway stations across Mumbai (and elsewhere in the Indian subcontinent).

ID: 3599984

7. Bhel puri (Mumbai)

Flickr: apowter / Creative Commons / Via quora.com

A savoury snack made from puffed rice and salad with a sharp tamarind sauce.

ID: 3599991

8. Pani puri (Mumbai)

Deep-fried hollow balls of puffed bread filled with tamarind water, chickpeas and spiced mashed potato. Pani puri is eaten all over south Asia.

ID: 3600000

9. Pav bhaji (Mumbai)

A bun served with a side of vegetables.

ID: 3600012

10. Idli vadas (Bangalore)

Flickr: techno_freak / Creative Commons / Via quora.com

Idlis are steamed rice cakes (the one in the photograph is a “kottle idli”, which was steamed in a banana or jackfruit leaf), and vadas are spicy savoury doughnuts, eaten across south India as a breakfast food.

ID: 3600028

11. Benne dosas (Bangalore)

Dosas are savoury, south Indian pancakes made from rice batter and black lentils. “Benne dosa” translates as “butter pancake” – these are made with extra butter and served with different toppings of your choice.

ID: 3600056

12. Vellayappam (Kerala)

A light, lacy pancake made with rice and coconut. It’s traditionally eaten for breakfast as an accompaniment to a curry.

ID: 3600079

13. Capsicum bhaji (Bangalore)

Spicy pepper fried with chopped onions and coated in a crisp batter.

ID: 3600092

14. Aloo tikki (Delhi)

Flickr: haynes / Creative Commona / Via quora.com

Spicy potato croquettes served with tamarind sauce, chopped green chillies, and green peas or chickpeas.

ID: 3600117

15. Paratha (Delhi)

Wholewheat unleavened bread, pan-fried with butter (ghee) and stuffed with vegetables like boiled potatoes, radishes, cauliflower, or Indian cheese (paneer). Serve spread with butter as an accompaniment to curry, or with a side of chutney, yoghurt, or pickles.

ID: 3600129

16. Falooda kulfi (Delhi)

Kulfi is a slowly prepared Indian ice cream made with evaporated and sweetened milk. This kulfi is flavoured with rose, basil, jelly, and tapioca pearls.

ID: 3600173

17. Momos (Jammu)

These boiled dumplings originated in Tibet and Nepal but are served all across India. Traditionally filled with yak meat, you can now buy vegetable versions (and those filled with beef and lamb) on street corners with a dip or, in winter, a hot clear soup for dunking.

ID: 3600205

18. Grilled sandwiches (Mumbai)

Not just any grilled sandwich, this is one filled with spiced mashed-potato, coriander leaves, masala, and green chutney. Available on all self-respecting street corners.

ID: 3600216

19. Idli chilli fry (Pune)

A simple stir-fry combining chopped leftover idlis (steamed rice cakes) with vegetables, chilli, and coriander.

ID: 3600255

20. Litti chokha (Bihar)

Coal-baked balls of wheat flour and ghee (clarified butter), served with a spicy aubergine, onion, and tomato mash.

ID: 3600301

21. Poha (Indore)

Soft and fluffy flattened rice that’s traditionally served for breakfast, often with cut-up jalebis.

ID: 3600315

22. Poori bhaji (northern India)

Delicious deep-fried puff bread served with spicy curried potatoes.

ID: 3600365


“Varanasi” originally misspelled.

ID: 3601219

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Robyn Wilder is a staff writer for BuzzFeed and is based in London.
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