Did you know India has one of the largest street food cultures in the world? Daniel Klein spent a day eating his way through India, north to south (but covering only as much as possible in one day), and composed a fascinating film of the experience. It captures the vibrant colors, ingredients, and techniques behind a multitude of Indian dishes, but maybe more interesting, the people and way of life behind the food.
How do you like to eat when you’re traveling? Do you embrace local cuisine however it’s prepared and served, or are you a little more wary? Do you eat street food?
11 thoughts on “Street Food in India”
I’m a big fan of local cuisine! Interesting flavors, fresh ingredients, and usually reasonably priced — what’s not to love? This extends to street food, too, though sometimes I am a bit more careful with carts. But why travel if you’re not going to try the food? That’s part of the experience!
Fascinating! I’ve just returned from a trip to India organised by my employer, and we were warned at length – as most Westerners are – that to eat street food would be foolhardy, and that to do so was asking for inevitable (gastric) trouble; how lovely to see such a beautifully filmed counter to that!. It made me smile; it’s so evocative of the bustling, joyous Mumbai I experienced.
Saying that, watching street vendors simultaneously cook, smoke, chase animals, handle money and roll up chapatis without any of the myriad of hygiene precautions we have come to expect did make me wince just a little!
Oh, how cool Kate. Yes, it seems wise to be careful. I’ve never been sick overseas but I can’t imagine anything worse while you’re trying to explore a new country.
We love trying street food when we travel! Some of our favorites have been fish tacos on the road side in Mexico, waffle stands in Belgium, hot dogs in New York, and gyros all over Greece. Yum! This video makes me want to visit India.
If the cart/vendor seems sketchy, we skip it, but otherwise assume we’ll be just fine.
I am definitely a street food kind of girl when I travel! It’s usually much cheaper, and I prefer to be on the go exploring or visiting something new rather than sitting down in a restaurant. Though, of course, I do that too, just not for every meal. One of the things I miss most about Europe is the Turkish kebab & shawarma stands! Why have these not become popular all over the U.S.??
As an avid lover of Indian food that seems glorious. As someone that is scared of germs, I’d be wary. I’m so torn.
I spent about 3 weeks in India and gained about 12 pounds . . . the food is good!! Nothing is sanitary there (not in my experience anyway), so after hesitating for a bit, I finally just dove in and ate. Bangkok might be the only other place that I’ve visited that also has such a great variety of street food to try out, and it’s surprising and fun to find things that really are so good!
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The best fruit I ever tasted was from a cart in Thailand!
I miss the kebabs I had in France. Those were amazing. My Italian missionary companion encouraged me to try them, and I really loved them!
I’m from Pakistan, Karachi to be specific and Pakistani people have a vibrant street food culture. Contrary to popular belief (not all of us make bombs *wink* most of us worry about our bowel movement, following our soaps on t.v. and dwelling over what to cook/eat).
Pakistan has intense street food culture. We get these amazing dishes at the roadsides for less than a dollar. Amazing bunkebabs (American equivalent of a spicier, more localized version of burger). We have gola ganda or shaved ice doused in rainbow colored syrups, and haleem, a thick meat and lentil soup, cholay or spicy boiled chickpeas served with onions and tamarind sauce, kulfi – a well cooked sweetened milk concoction that’s frozen to resemble ice cream and a million other things.
If not for anything else, I’m so grateful for our culinary legacy.
P.s. Been reading this blog since long and love it.
I love this video, that food (and all that amazing, steaming chai) made me groan with jealousy. I was skeptical when I watched it of the possibility of that all happening in one day (there are scenes in New Delhi and then on a coast? You’d have to spend most of your day in transit…) Anywho, I went over to The Perennial Plate (http://www.theperennialplate.com/episodes/2013/01/episode-112-a-day-in-india/) and they explain that it’s a “constructed” day: editing/organizing the footage to travel geographically North-South and chronologically dawn-dusk, just not all from the same day. Still, a very cool concept and an impressive feat of editing.