Skip To Content
  • APA badge

21 Indian Snack Foods The Rest Of The World Urgently Needs

Magic masala – and that's all I'll say.

1. Lays Magic Masala

2. Pakoras

Rawpixel / Getty Images

Often found on every street corner in India, pakoras are essentially batter-fried vegetables laden with a myriad of spices. They're perfect for an afternoon snack, accompanied by a steaming cup of chai.

3. Bread-Butter-Jam

4. Jalebis

Percom1 / Getty Images

Fried dough spirals soaked in a cardamom-infused sugar syrup, these sinful snacks are often called Indian doughnuts. Up North, they're eaten alongside rabdi, a sweetened condensed milk dish, for breakfast. Their South Indian counterpart, the jaangiri, is equally delicious.

5. Kaalaan

6. Pork Shapale

7. Mirchi Bhajji

Mtreasure / Getty Images

These little fried delights are found all over India and while they go by different vernacular names, the fried chili exterior + spicy, vegetable-laden stuffing is universally loved.

8. Bakharwadi

Ajaykampani / Getty Images

These little spirals are the perfect mix of sweet and salty. They find their home in central India – Maharashtra, to be exact – and their unique stuffing of coconut, poppy seeds, and sesame seeds makes for an addictive, anytime snack.

9. Kurkure

instagram.com, Mds0 / Getty Images

Cheetos' Indian cousin, Kurkure blends tangy, spicy, sweet, and salty together in ways that'll make your heart sing. And if you think Cheetos are addictive, just WAIT 'til you try these.

10. Shankarpale

11. Bread Pakode

Manu_bahuguna / Getty Images

This is literally just deep-fried bread with spices. It's also arguably the best way to carb-load, ever.

12. Banana Chips

Ajaykampani / Getty Images

These aren't any ordinary chips. Found in Kerala, a Southern coastal region, these humble plantain chips get fried in coconut oil to give them a taste that's unlike anything you've ever had before.

13. Vada Pav

Chotaniaman / Getty Images

This little slider has been called India's answer to the burger. I'm not quite sure I'd agree, given that there's a whole lot of starch and not any cheese or veggies, but I WOULD say it's more satisfying than any burger you could ever eat. A fried potato patty nestled inside a fluffy bun, topped with just the right amount of chutney – you won't even miss the meat.

14. Chakli

Ajaykampani / Getty Images

Some call them chakli. Others refer to them as murukkus. Regardless, it's easy to get lost in these swirls of fried rice and lentil flour. Now, excuse me while I go eat 20.

15. Maggi Noodles

16. Khakra

Kailash Kumar / Getty Images

The Western Indian state of Gujarat has a LOT to offer, and khakra is just the beginning. Made with wheat flour and a blend of addictive spices, you can't stop with just one. Or 10.

17. Masala Peanuts

Kailash Kumar / Getty Images

By now, you might've noticed a trend: Indians really like their spice and if there's one thing we know how to do, it's to make simple snacks better by adding some masala to the mix. Take these peanuts: add a dose of your favorite spice blend to some flour, dredge peanuts, and fry. Magically addictive.

18. Tandoori Chicken Momos

Siraj Ahmad / Getty Images

This dish takes the humble, steamed, and relatively healthy Tibetan momo, or . stuffed savory dumpling, and amps it wayyyyyyyy up. And tbh, I'm not complaining ONE bit.

19. Medhu Vada

Shashikantdurshettiwar / Getty Images

I often bribe my grandmother to make these for me whenever I go home, and one look at them will probably tell you why. Savory lentil batter, deep-fried, and often served with some spicy condiments like chutney and sambar, a vegetable stew. You can't get any better than that.

20. Aloo Bhujiya

Kailash Kumar / Getty Images

Part of a larger category of snacks called namkeen, bhujiya is yet another fried food favorite. Best of all, it's extremely easy to make: throw together some boiled potato, nutty gram flour, salt, and spices, and your dough is done. All that's left to do? Fry.

21. Mixture

Kailash Kumar / Getty Images

I always used to wonder why we called this snack "mixture" at home but honestly, there's no better way to describe it. I've had hundreds of variants over the years and while the details might differ, this snack always consists of some fried dough in a myriad of forms, salted and spiced nuts, and, if you're lucky, some sweet-and-spicy cornflakes for the perfect bite.