Indian Snacks

Almost everyone who knew I was going to India advised me to bring carbon pills. Apparently there is a high probability of diarrhoea. I should avoid eating anything from street hawkers and drink only bottled water.

Except for one chick pea I took off the hand of a street hawker, the rest of the food I tasted were all prepared in the kitchen. I think it’s not necessary to be overly paranoid, and I had no incidences of diarrhoea throughout my 10-day trip.

If you are not used to spicy food though, you might want to check beforehand if the dish you ordered is spicy because spicy food is true to its name in India. Don’t let the appearance of the dish deceive you because what looks mild and green can burn your throat!

Most dishes were a tad too salty for my liking, so you might want to ask for less salt if you’re like me. The thing I really like about eating in India is that you can specify what you want, or not want, in the dish and you will have the dish tailored to your preference. Try doing that in Singapore and sometimes you get puzzled looks from the waiters or end up with your order, requests ignored. I’m talking about requests like less salt, less spicy, sauce on the side, no cheese…nothing ridiculous like chicken in a vegetarian dish or mussels in fried noodles.

I was told this is a summer drink, great to cool off on a hot day. It’s green mango with sour plum. It didn’t taste sweet or sour, just a little salty.

Vegetable pakora. The Japanese equivalent of “Yasai Tempura”. This particular dish had potato, onion, cauliflower and eggplant. I’m usually not a fan of onion, but this one was thin and crispy and smelt really good.

I forgot what the name is for this, I remembered it to be a kind of fried vegetable pancake.

These are sweets you get after your meal. Aniseed is a natural breath freshener.

Does anyone know the name of this dish? There’s something that looks like crispy rice, mixed with beans and some kind of sauce — rojak-style.

We stumbled on this after dinner and had absolutely no idea and no guts to try it. The man told us that the lump of brown sticky thing was rose petals. We could smell the faint scent of rose too. I don’t know what makes up the rest of this interesting snack. Does anyone know?

8 responses to “Indian Snacks

  1. Nandita Gupta

    I enjoy reading your posts for the simple reason that I find it interesting to know what visitors think about India…I find your comments and observations very balanced and perceptive…especially the one about percieved ideal lifestyles..
    About your queries on the snacks…the crispy rice snack is “bhelpuri”. It originated in the maharashtra region and is an interesting mix of spicy and sweet flavours with a crunchy texture. Apart from crispy rice, it has salty savouries, onions and potatoes and green chillies, all mixed in a tamarind sauce.
    The last one is “paan”, a traditional after meal mouth sweetner and digestive. Frankly, I don’t know all that goes into it, but some basic elements are the betel nut leaf in which rose petal extracts,areca nuts, a plant extract called “katha” paste, a brush of limestone paste goes in. But beware, if you ever try it, do make sure to specify you want the “sweet” variety with soft and sweet areca nuts and without tobacco…the last one is a killer….You can aslo google “paan”.

  2. Bobby Awasthi

    Noted Your write up.I will ilke to add few words
    to that, for your info.
    01.Indian foods (N/S/E/W) all around is salty,
    due to heavy Indian summer,Every one Sweats.
    WE they loose lots of salt during the salt is in take at various levels. and a must.
    02.Pan cakes, a) Papads, b) Veg catluts
    03. Rose stock made sweet is used in Pan Leaves
    when eaten after meal .
    your 10 days trip was too a short a trip for india. even a city of Bollywood needs one month to visit,feel and see it.

  3. I love north India food too. Did you try the dessert? Most of them are super sweet. Try them.

  4. d rose thing is actually called gulab jamun…

  5. I came across your blog quite by chance, probably because of the header “Indian snacks”. But after reading all your other posts about my homeland, I would first like say kudos to you for potraying things in a correct manner. I know its not the easiest place to visit. So when celebrities such as yourself would focus on the positives and not dwell on the negatives, it is a refreshing change from what I hear all the time. The rojak-style dish you mention, is called “bhel”. It puffed rice with onions, tomatoes and lots of other ingredients all mixed with tamarind sauce. The other after dinner dish is called “paan”. Whole lot of things wrapped in betel leaf. Some of these cause you to spit, which would explain some of the spitting that you would have seen. Really tasty, but not my favorite.

  6. Hi Hi,

    That rojak dish is called Bhel Puri very popular in central, western and northern part of india,Every state has it own way, Mumbai makes it in different way, Delhi makes it in different way but taste is great,

    The other dish is called pan a sweet digestive, but gives u red touge and lips. The brown colour think is like malacca sugar sweet ,

    have fun, i hope u didnt put on weight, coz my friend visited mumbai for 10days she said she put on 2 kgs 🙂


  7. Hello Joanne,
    If you know Mustafa area in Little India,they would have a few hawkers making something similar to that of bhel.Mostly the Bangladeshi workers would trek there,especially on weekends.

    ooOOh and OoooOh,the green vegetable pancakes are “tikka” or vege cutlets.They have meat versions of “tikka” too.

    ..and omg,they have beetle leaves in Peninsula Plaza in all those many burmese stores.even in Little India,our very own小恩杜。

  8. it’s called bhel, just another fast food of India. You are right its not necessary that every person visit India will have diarrhea or food position. If u r not used too of spicy and reach food just stay away. India has great taste n variety of foods.

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