Indian Street Food You Must Try- New Delhi

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Indian street food is hands down the best Indian cuisine you’ll ever have the privilege of devouring.  Some of the most popular street vendors have been at it for years, selling the one thing they are good at, and perfecting the recipe.  At these places, you’ll see lines around the block.  But the wait will be worth it.

Each city and neighborhood has its go-to.  From my recent trip to New Delhi, I came away with a whole new appreciation of what I miss out on because I don’t live there.  For anyone planning a trip, or unconvinced, check out the “must eats” listed below!

(If you need anymore information regarding planning a trip to India, then check out my post Preparing for a trip to India)

Gol Gappa (Pani Puri)

Gol gappa is a very popular Indian street food but can also be found at restaurants, and can even be made at home. If you eat this on the street, then make sure you go to a good part of town and to a reliable vendor.  Asking the locals and your tour guides will help you out.  I say this because it involves taking little fried balls, poking a hole, filling that hole with flavor and then dunking the whole thing in spiced water.  Then you pop the entire thing in your mouth.  Because of the water, you want a clean place.

An alternative: Haldiram’s food chain.  I ate mine there and never got sick.

gol gappa
Gol Gappa: one of the most popular Indian Street Food items

Aloo Ki Tikki

This is one of my favorites amongst all Indian street food.  Basically this is a grilled/fried potato (aloo) patty topped with sauces.  The advantage of eating this off the street? Its HOT and fresh and the flavor just explodes in your mouth.  The go-to spot I recommend is in the Chandni Chowk neighborhood at a stand called Natraj’s.  That being said, I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad aloo tikki in New Delhi.

aloo tikki
Aloo Tikki at Natraj’s in Chandni Chowk

As an aside, Chandni Chowk neighborhood is in Old Delhi; it’s crazy crowded and insane.  Another advantage of going there, though, is the spice market.  If you are able to make your way to Chandni Chowk, then DEFINITELY stop by.  For my brother and I, it was one of our favorite shopping trips.

Indian spice market, chandni chowk
One of the reasons Indian food, and Indian street food is so good is because of the fresh spices!

Jalebi

This is an Indian dessert.  Its fried sweet dough that’s then dipped in sugar syrup.

jalebi

Goli Wali Bottle (aka Banta bottle)

“Goli Wali” translates to “one with the bullet”.  The stopper has to be pushed into the bottle in order to drink it.  And that stopper is referred to as the “goli”

This is also famous in Chandni Chowk, however, you can get this in other neighborhoods as well.  It tastes kind of like a fresca–basically a carbonated lemonade, but with a bit of masala (spices) sprinkled in..just enough to make it different.

goli wali bottle
Goli Wali Bottle

Not going to lie, my memory of what this was like was better than my experience drinking it this time around.  However, this is a unique drink to India, so it is definitely a must-try.

And no we didn’t get sick from it.  You’ll be fine 🙂

Aloo Chaat

This is your seasoned potatoes that are fried right in front of you and then you eat them with the help of a toothpick.  This is a standard Indian street food and snack that you’ll find literally everywhere

Aloo chaat --fried potato, an Indian street food stapel
Aloo chaat from Janpath market, Connought Place, New Delhi

Momos

The most recent Indian street food craze is this, India’s version of a dumpling.  But think of your favorite dumplings and then add in Indian spices, including spicy hot-ness.  My favorite, and one of the most popular flavors, is the tandoori chicken momo.  YUMMMMM

Indian momos--the most popular indian street food right now!
Momo’s: the most recent Indian street food craze

Bhel Puri

This you can get from a local vendor, but I also recommend Nathu’s restaurant in the Bengali market in New Delhi.  That place is an institution.  Who knows how longs its been there, but its a known spot and an automatic go-to for good food.

Bhel puri is a hodge podge of Indian snacks mixed together and topped with spices and sauce. Getting the right balance of flavors is what makes this dish tricky.  Nathu’s bhel puri is probably the best I’ve ever had.  Ever.

bhel puri
Bhel Puri from Nathu’s in Bengali Market, New Delhi

Faluda and Kulfi

This is something I wouldn’t recommend you get from any vendor.  Instead, specifically, go to Karol Bagh neighborhood and look for Roshan Di Kulfi. Kulfi is Indian ice cream and faluda is a sweet noodle.  This restaurant decided to combine these two popular Indian street foods. The result is delicious.

Sweet Indian noodle (faluda), plus Indian ice cream (kulfi)
Faluda (sweet noodles–yellow and white), with Kulfi (ice cream) @ Roshan di Kulfi in Karol Bagh, New Delhi

Street Chai

You need to wash down all that salty and sweet food with another Indian staple: Chai. There aren’t that many stands for street chai that still exist, so you’ll need to ask around a bit for those. We had ours in Karol Bagh.  There’s one alley way that still has a stand.  They’ll make it right in front of you within 5 minutes.  It tastes different than any other chai I’ve had.  They only use three ingredients.

Indian street chai to wash down all that Indian street food. The best

and if you need a place to sit, don’t hesitate to use what’s nearby….

IMG_1512.jpg

Chole Batura

Chole is chickpeas; batura is like a roti, except its fried and is made of white flour (regular Indian rotis are made with wheat flour).  The combination of these two is a super popular dish and omg so delicious.

This dish can be found from a street vendor but is also a popular option at restaurants.

Chole Batura
Chole Batura from Nathu’s in Bengali Market, New Delhi

Samosas

This Indian street food needs no introduction as I’m sure everyone knows what this is.  Every single one I had was huge and filled to every corner.  Amazing.

Indian samosas!

Again, if you make it to Chandni Chowk, try another version: the Japanese samosa.  No idea why its call that, but the outside dough is a lot flakier. 

japanese samosa
Japanese samosa, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi

Have you had any of the above? Anything else you’d recommend? Or any Indian street foods that you’d like to know more about? Share below!

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