What’s Your Go-to Healthy Street Food Snack From India?

India is renowned for its vibrant street food scene, offering a diverse array of flavors and culinary delights to tantalize your taste buds. From spicy chaats to crispy dosas, there is something for everyone. But amidst the delicious chaos, there is an increasing demand for healthier options. So, what’s your go-to healthy street food snack from India? Discover the perfect combination of flavorful spices and nutritious ingredients that will leave you craving for more. Embark on a culinary adventure as we explore the best guilt-free street food options that will satisfy your cravings while keeping you on track with your health goals.

Snack 1: Vada Pav

Description

Vada Pav is a popular street food snack from the state of Maharashtra in India. It consists of a deep-fried potato fritter, known as Vada, served inside a bun, known as Pav. The Vada is made by mashing boiled potatoes with spices and herbs, forming them into patties, coating them in chickpea flour batter, and deep-frying until crispy. The Pav is toasted and served with a combination of spicy chutney and garlic chutney, along with optional toppings like onions and green chilies.

Ingredients

To make Vada Pav, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Potatoes
  • Chickpea flour
  • Turmeric powder
  • Red chili powder
  • Ginger-garlic paste
  • Cilantro leaves
  • Salt
  • Bread buns (Pav)
  • Green chutney
  • Garlic chutney
  • Onions (optional)
  • Green chilies (optional)

Preparation

  1. Boil the potatoes until they are soft and mashable.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the mashed potatoes, ginger-garlic paste, turmeric powder, red chili powder, cilantro leaves, and salt. Mix well.
  3. Shape the mixture into round patties or cutlet shapes.
  4. In a separate bowl, prepare the chickpea flour batter by mixing chickpea flour with water and adding salt and turmeric powder.
  5. Dip each potato patty into the chickpea flour batter, ensuring it is well coated.
  6. Deep fry the coated potato patties until they turn golden brown and crispy.
  7. Toast the bread buns (Pav) on a griddle until they become slightly crisp and brown.
  8. Spread green chutney and garlic chutney on the inner side of the Pav bun.
  9. Place a Vada (potato patty) in the bun and press it gently.
  10. Optional: Add sliced onions and green chilies for extra flavor and crunch.
  11. Serve hot and enjoy!

Health Benefits

While Vada Pav may not be the most health-conscious snack option, it does provide some nutritional benefits. Potatoes are a good source of carbohydrates and dietary fiber, while also providing essential vitamins and minerals. However, the deep-frying process adds extra calories and unhealthy fats. To make it slightly healthier, you could opt for whole wheat buns (Pav) instead of white buns and go easy on the chutneys and toppings.

It is important to enjoy Vada Pav in moderation as part of a balanced diet, as it can be high in calories and may not provide a wide range of nutrients.

Snack 2: Masala Dosa

Description

Masala Dosa is a popular South Indian street food delicacy that has gained popularity across India and even internationally. It is a crispy fermented pancake, made from a batter of rice and lentils, known as dosa batter. The dosa is typically served with a flavorful potato filling known as Masala, along with a variety of chutneys and sambar (a lentil-based soup).

Ingredients

To make Masala Dosa, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Rice
  • Urad dal (skinned black gram)
  • Fenugreek seeds
  • Potatoes
  • Mustard seeds
  • Cumin seeds
  • Onion
  • Green chilies
  • Ginger
  • Turmeric powder
  • Curry leaves
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt

Preparation

  1. Soak the rice and urad dal with fenugreek seeds separately for at least 6 hours.
  2. Drain the soaked rice and grind it to a smooth batter consistency, adding water as required.
  3. Drain the soaked urad dal and grind it to a smooth batter consistency as well.
  4. Mix the rice and urad dal batter together, adding salt. Keep the batter aside to ferment for around 6-8 hours or overnight.
  5. In a pan, heat oil and add mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Allow them to splutter.
  6. Add chopped onions, green chilies, and ginger to the pan and sauté until the onions turn translucent.
  7. Add turmeric powder, curry leaves, and boiled and mashed potatoes to the pan. Mix well and cook for a few minutes.
  8. Heat a non-stick dosa tawa (griddle) and pour ladlefuls of the dosa batter onto it, spreading it in a circular motion to make a thin dosa.
  9. Drizzle oil around the edges of the dosa and cook until it turns crispy and golden brown.
  10. Spread a portion of the potato masala filling on one side of the dosa and fold it over.
  11. Serve hot with coconut chutney, tomato chutney, sambar, or any other accompaniments of your choice.

Health Benefits

Masala Dosa is a relatively healthier street food option compared to other fried snacks. It is low in fat and cholesterol if cooked with minimal oil. The dosa batter is fermented, which improves its digestibility and enhances the nutrient availability. Rice provides carbohydrates for energy, while lentils in the dosa batter are a good source of protein and dietary fiber. Potatoes, although high in carbohydrates, also offer essential vitamins and minerals.

However, the quantity and quality of oil used in cooking can significantly impact the overall healthiness of the dish. Opting for whole grain rice and using less oil for cooking can make it even healthier. It is also important to control portion sizes, as the potato filling can make it calorie-dense.

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Whats Your Go-to Healthy Street Food Snack From India?

Snack 3: Pani Puri

Description

Pani Puri, also known as Golgappa or Puchka, is a popular street food snack that originated in Northern India, but is now enjoyed throughout the country. It is a round, hollow puri (crispy Indian bread) filled with a combination of spicy, tangy, and sweet water-based filling, along with boiled potatoes and chickpeas. Pani Puri is typically eaten in a single bite, bursting with flavors and textures.

Ingredients

To make Pani Puri, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Puris (crispy Indian bread)
  • Boiled potatoes
  • Boiled chickpeas
  • Tamarind chutney
  • Mint-coriander chutney
  • Spicy tangy water (Pani)
  • Chaat masala
  • Black salt
  • Roasted cumin powder
  • Sev (thin crispy noodles)

Preparation

  1. Prepare the spicy tangy water (Pani) by mixing tamarind chutney, mint-coriander chutney, black salt, chaat masala, roasted cumin powder, and water. Adjust the flavors according to your preference.
  2. Gently crack the top of each Puri to create a small hole.
  3. Fill the Puris with a small portion of boiled and mashed potatoes and boiled chickpeas.
  4. Arrange the filled Puris on a plate.
  5. Pour the spicy tangy water (Pani) into each Puri, filling it to the brim.
  6. Garnish with a sprinkle of chaat masala and roasted cumin powder.
  7. Optional: Top with sev for an added crunchy texture.
  8. Serve immediately and enjoy the burst of flavors with each bite.

Health Benefits

Pani Puri is a fun and flavorful street food snack; however, it is not considered the healthiest option due to its deep-fried nature and high sodium content. The puris are fried, which adds calories and unhealthy fats to the snack. The filling of potatoes and chickpeas provides carbohydrates and protein, while the tangy water (Pani) is refreshing and stimulates digestion.

It is important to enjoy Pani Puri in moderation, as the puris can be high in calories and may cause digestive discomfort if consumed in excess. You can make it slightly healthier by opting for baked or roasted puris and controlling the amount of filling and chutney used.

Snack 4: Dhokla

Description

Dhokla is a steamed savory snack originating from the state of Gujarat in Western India. It is made from fermented rice and chickpea flour batter, resulting in a spongy and tangy cake-like texture. Dhokla is typically seasoned with mustard seeds, curry leaves, and green chilies, and is served with tangy and sweet chutneys.

Ingredients

To make Dhokla, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Gram flour (besan)
  • Semolina (sooji)
  • Yogurt
  • Ginger-chili paste
  • Lemon juice
  • Eno fruit salt
  • Mustard seeds
  • Curry leaves
  • Green chilies
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Turmeric powder
  • Water
  • Vegetable oil

Preparation

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine gram flour, semolina, yogurt, ginger-chili paste, lemon juice, salt, sugar, and turmeric powder.
  2. Add water gradually to make a smooth batter.
  3. Let the batter sit for about 15-20 minutes to allow fermentation.
  4. Grease a steamer or a flat plate with oil.
  5. Add eno fruit salt to the batter and mix well. The batter will become frothy.
  6. Pour the batter into the greased steamer or plate and spread it evenly.
  7. Steam the batter for about 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Meanwhile, heat oil in a small pan and add mustard seeds.
  9. Once the seeds start spluttering, add curry leaves and green chilies. Sauté for a few seconds.
  10. Cut the steamed dhokla into desired shapes.
  11. Pour the hot tempering (mustard seeds, curry leaves, and green chilies) over the dhokla.
  12. Serve warm with chutneys of your choice.

Health Benefits

Dhokla is considered a healthier option among Indian snacks due to its steamed cooking method and fermented batter. Fermentation enhances the digestibility of the dish and improves the bioavailability of nutrients. The batter made from gram flour is rich in protein and dietary fiber, providing satiety and aiding digestion. The addition of semolina adds texture to the dhokla.

However, it’s worth noting that the tempering process, which involves adding oil and spices, can add calories and fat to the dish. Controlling the amount of oil used for tempering and opting for healthier oils can make it even healthier.

Whats Your Go-to Healthy Street Food Snack From India?

Snack 5: Bhel Puri

Description

Bhel Puri is a popular street food snack from Mumbai, India, known for its tangy and crunchy flavors. It is a savory dish made with puffed rice, mixed with a variety of chutneys, spices, and ingredients like onions, tomatoes, sev (thin crispy noodles), and chopped coriander leaves. Bhel Puri is a perfect balance of sweet, sour, and spicy tastes, making it a favorite among snack lovers.

Ingredients

To make Bhel Puri, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Puffed rice
  • Sev (thin crispy noodles)
  • Onion
  • Tomato
  • Cucumber
  • Raw mango
  • Coriander leaves
  • Tamarind chutney
  • Mint-coriander chutney
  • Chaat masala
  • Red chili powder
  • Roasted cumin powder
  • Salt
  • Lemon juice

Preparation

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine puffed rice, sev, finely chopped onions, tomatoes, cucumber, raw mango, and coriander leaves.
  2. Add tamarind chutney, mint-coriander chutney, chaat masala, red chili powder, roasted cumin powder, salt, and lemon juice.
  3. Mix all the ingredients well until they are evenly coated with the chutneys and spices.
  4. Adjust the seasoning according to your taste preferences.
  5. Garnish with additional sev and coriander leaves.
  6. Serve immediately and enjoy the delightful mix of flavors and textures.

Health Benefits

Bhel Puri can be a relatively healthier street food option, as it is predominantly made with ingredients like puffed rice, raw vegetables, and chutneys. Puffed rice is low in fat and cholesterol, providing carbohydrates for energy. The raw vegetables like cucumber, tomatoes, and onions offer essential vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. The chutneys, although adding some sweetness and tanginess, are made from tamarind, mint, and coriander, which are beneficial for digestion.

However, it’s important to keep portion sizes in mind, as Bhel Puri can become calorie-dense if excessive amounts of sev and chutneys are added. Opting for homemade or low-fat versions of the chutneys can also make it healthier.

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Snack 6: Aloo Tikki

Description

Aloo Tikki, also known as potato cutlet or potato patties, is a popular street food snack in India. It consists of shallow-fried or deep-fried potato patties that are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Aloo Tikki is made by combining mashed potatoes with spices and herbs, forming them into patties, and cooking them until golden brown. It is often served with chutneys and garnished with onions, coriander leaves, and sev.

Ingredients

To make Aloo Tikki, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Potatoes
  • Bread crumbs
  • Green peas (optional)
  • Ginger
  • Green chilies
  • Cilantro leaves
  • Red chili powder
  • Garam masala
  • Cumin powder
  • Chaat masala
  • Salt
  • Vegetable oil

Preparation

  1. Boil the potatoes until they are soft and mashable.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the mashed potatoes, bread crumbs, ginger, green chilies, cilantro leaves, red chili powder, garam masala, cumin powder, chaat masala, and salt. Mix well.
  3. Optional: Add boiled and mashed green peas to the mixture for added texture and flavor.
  4. Take a small portion of the mixture and shape it into a round or flattened patty.
  5. Heat oil in a pan for shallow frying or deep frying.
  6. Place the patties in the hot oil and cook until they turn golden brown on both sides.
  7. Once cooked, remove the patties from the oil and place them on a kitchen towel to absorb any excess oil.
  8. Serve hot with chutneys of your choice and garnish with chopped onions, coriander leaves, and sev.

Health Benefits

Aloo Tikki may not be the healthiest snack option, as it is typically deep-fried or shallow-fried. However, it does offer some nutritional benefits. Potatoes are a good source of carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. They also provide dietary fiber, which aids in digestion and promotes satiety. The addition of green peas can further enhance the nutritional profile of Aloo Tikki, as they are rich in protein, fiber, and essential vitamins.

To make Aloo Tikki healthier, you can opt for shallow frying with minimal oil or even bake them in the oven. Controlling portion sizes and avoiding excessive toppings like chutneys and sev can also help reduce the calorie content.

Whats Your Go-to Healthy Street Food Snack From India?

Snack 7: Idli

Description

Idli is a popular South Indian breakfast and snack option that has gained popularity across India. It is made from a fermented batter of rice and lentils, resulting in soft and fluffy steamed rice cakes. Idlis are typically served with a variety of chutneys, sambar, and/or coconut-based curry.

Ingredients

To make Idli, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Rice (parboiled or regular)
  • Urad dal (skinned black gram)
  • Fenugreek seeds (optional)
  • Salt
  • Water

Preparation

  1. Wash the rice and urad dal separately and soak them in water for about 6 hours.
  2. Optional: Add fenugreek seeds to the urad dal and soak them together.
  3. Drain the soaked rice and grind it to a smooth batter consistency, adding water as required.
  4. Drain the soaked urad dal (with fenugreek seeds) and grind it to a smooth batter consistency as well.
  5. Mix the rice and urad dal batter together, adding salt. The batter should be a relatively thick pouring consistency.
  6. Let the batter ferment for about 8-10 hours or overnight in a warm place.
  7. Grease the idli moulds with oil or ghee.
  8. Pour a ladleful of the batter into each mould, filling it up to 3/4th of the mould capacity.
  9. Place the idli moulds in a steamer and steam for about 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  10. Once cooked, remove the idlis from the moulds using a spoon or a spatula.
  11. Serve hot with chutneys, sambar, and/or coconut-based curry.

Health Benefits

Idlis are known for their health benefits, primarily because of their preparation method and ingredients. The fermentation process used in making the batter enhances its digestibility and adds probiotics, improving gut health. Rice is a good source of carbohydrates, while urad dal provides protein and dietary fiber. Idlis are also low in fat and do not require any oil for cooking.

The choice of accompaniments like chutneys and sambar can impact the overall nutritional profile of the dish. Opting for coconut chutney, tomato chutney, or sambar made with minimal oil and salt can make Idlis even healthier.

Snack 8: Pav Bhaji

Description

Pav Bhaji is a popular street food snack that originated in Mumbai, India. It consists of a flavorful and spicy vegetable curry, known as Bhaji, served with toasted bread rolls, known as Pav. The Bhaji is made by cooking a medley of vegetables in a tomato-based gravy, seasoned with spices and herbs. Pav Bhaji is typically served with a dollop of butter and garnished with chopped onions, coriander leaves, and lemon juice.

Ingredients

To make Pav Bhaji, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Potatoes
  • Cauliflower
  • Green peas
  • Carrots
  • Bell peppers
  • Onions
  • Tomatoes
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Green chilies
  • Pav Bhaji masala
  • Red chili powder
  • Turmeric powder
  • Salt
  • Butter
  • Pav (bread rolls)
  • Lemon juice
  • Chopped onions (for garnish)
  • Chopped coriander leaves (for garnish)

Preparation

  1. Boil the potatoes, cauliflower, green peas, and carrots until they are soft and mashable.
  2. In a pan, heat butter and sauté finely chopped onions until they turn translucent.
  3. Add minced garlic, ginger, and green chilies and sauté for a minute.
  4. Add finely chopped tomatoes and cook until they become mushy.
  5. Mash the boiled vegetables and add them to the pan with the tomato mixture.
  6. Add pav bhaji masala, red chili powder, turmeric powder, and salt. Mix well.
  7. Cook the vegetable mixture on medium heat, mashing and stirring continuously, until the flavors are well combined.
  8. Slice the Pav rolls horizontally, without cutting them completely apart.
  9. Heat a griddle or a pan and toast the Pav rolls with a generous amount of butter until they turn slightly crisp and brown.
  10. Serve the hot Bhaji with toasted Pav, garnished with chopped onions, coriander leaves, lemon juice, and a dollop of butter.
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Health Benefits

Pav Bhaji, although delicious, is not considered the healthiest option due to the added butter and serving of bread rolls. However, it does offer some nutritional benefits from the variety of vegetables used in the Bhaji. The combination of vegetables like potatoes, cauliflower, peas, carrots, and bell peppers provides a range of vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. The spices and herbs used in the Bhaji can also have health-promoting properties.

To make Pav Bhaji slightly healthier, you can opt for whole wheat Pav rolls instead of white rolls and control the amount of butter used. Adding a generous amount of chopped onions and lemon juice can provide additional flavor and nutrients.

Whats Your Go-to Healthy Street Food Snack From India?

Snack 9: Samosa

Description

Samosa is a popular Indian street food snack that has become a favorite worldwide. It is a deep-fried pastry filled with a savory mixture of spiced potatoes, peas, and sometimes other vegetables or meats. Samosas are typically triangular in shape, with a crispy golden crust and a flavorful filling. They are often served with mint chutney or tamarind chutney for dipping.

Ingredients

To make Samosas, you will need the following ingredients:

  • All-purpose flour (maida)
  • Water
  • Vegetable oil (for the dough and frying)
  • Potatoes
  • Green peas
  • Onion
  • Ginger-garlic paste
  • Green chilies
  • Coriander leaves
  • Red chili powder
  • Garam masala
  • Cumin powder
  • Chaat masala
  • Turmeric powder
  • Salt

Preparation

  1. Prepare the samosa dough by combining all-purpose flour, vegetable oil, and water in a mixing bowl. Knead until a smooth and firm dough is formed. Let it rest for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Boil the potatoes until they are soft and mashable. Boil the green peas separately until they become tender.
  3. In a pan, heat vegetable oil and sauté finely chopped onions until they turn translucent.
  4. Add ginger-garlic paste, finely chopped green chilies, and mashed potatoes to the pan. Mix well.
  5. Add boiled green peas, red chili powder, garam masala, cumin powder, chaat masala, turmeric powder, and salt. Mix again until the filling is well combined and the flavors are infused.
  6. Divide the rested dough into small portions and roll each portion into a thin oval or triangular shape.
  7. Cut each oval or triangle into two equal-sized pieces, forming two samosa wrappers.
  8. Take one wrapper and fold it to form a cone shape, sealing the edges by applying water.
  9. Fill the cone-shaped wrapper with the prepared potato and pea filling.
  10. Apply water to the open edges of the cone and seal the samosa by pressing firmly.
  11. Repeat the process for the remaining dough and filling.
  12. Heat vegetable oil in a deep pan for frying. When the oil is hot, add the prepared samosas to it. Fry them on medium heat until golden brown and crisp.
  13. Remove the fried samosas from the oil and place them on a kitchen towel to drain any excess oil.
  14. Serve hot with mint chutney or tamarind chutney.

Health Benefits

Samosas are a popular and indulgent street food option that is not typically considered healthy due to their deep-fried nature. However, they can still provide some nutritional benefits. The potatoes in the filling offer carbohydrates and essential vitamins, while the peas contribute protein, fiber, and additional vitamins. The spices and herbs used in the filling can also have various health-promoting properties.

To make Samosas slightly healthier, you can opt for baking or air frying them instead of deep-frying. Adding more vegetables to the filling, such as carrots or spinach, can also increase the nutritional value. Controlling portion sizes is important, as they can be high in calories and unhealthy fats.

Snack 10: Kachori

Description

Kachori is a popular Indian street food snack that is loved for its flavorful and crispy crust and delicious filling. It is a deep-fried pastry filled with a spiced mixture of lentils, onions, and spices. Kachoris are often served with tamarind chutney or mint chutney and are enjoyed as a snack or as part of a meal.

Ingredients

To make Kachoris, you will need the following ingredients:

  • All-purpose flour (maida)
  • Ghee or vegetable oil (for the dough and frying)
  • Moong dal (split yellow lentils)
  • Green chilies
  • Ginger
  • Fennel seeds
  • Onion
  • Coriander leaves
  • Red chili powder
  • Garam masala
  • Turmeric powder
  • Asafoetida (hing)
  • Salt

Preparation

  1. Prepare the kachori dough by combining all-purpose flour, ghee or vegetable oil, and water in a mixing bowl. Knead until a smooth and firm dough is formed. Let it rest for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Rinse and soak moong dal (split yellow lentils) in water for about 2 hours.
  3. Drain the soaked moong dal and grind it coarsely. It should not be ground to a paste.
  4. In a pan, heat ghee or vegetable oil and add fennel seeds, finely chopped green chilies, and grated ginger. Sauté for a minute.
  5. Add finely chopped onions and cook until they turn translucent.
  6. Add the ground moong dal, red chili powder, garam masala, turmeric powder, asafoetida, and salt. Mix well.
  7. Cook the mixture on medium heat, stirring continuously, until the dal is cooked and the flavors are well combined. The filling should be dry, not watery.
  8. Divide the rested dough into small portions and roll each portion into a small circle, around 3-4 inches in diameter.
  9. Place a spoonful of the prepared filling in the center of each rolled dough.
  10. Fold the edges of the dough towards the center to enclose the filling, forming a ball-like shape.
  11. Seal the edges tightly by pressing firmly or twisting them together.
  12. Heat ghee or vegetable oil in a deep pan for frying. When the oil is hot, add the prepared kachoris to it. Fry them on medium heat until golden brown and crisp.
  13. Remove the fried kachoris from the oil and place them on a kitchen towel to drain any excess oil.
  14. Serve hot with tamarind chutney or mint chutney.

Health Benefits

Kachoris are a delicious and indulgent street food snack, but they are not usually considered a healthy option due to their deep-fried nature. They can be high in calories and unhealthy fats. The lentil-based filling provides protein, fiber, and essential nutrients, while the spices used in the filling can have various health benefits.

To make Kachoris slightly healthier, you can opt for baking or air frying them instead of deep-frying. Controlling portion sizes is also important to ensure that the calorie intake is not excessive. Adding more vegetables to the filling or using whole wheat flour for the dough can increase the nutritional value.

Whats Your Go-to Healthy Street Food Snack From India?