Usually eaten as accompaniments with tea and coffee, these snacks range from savoury to sweet.
Feasts and lavish spreads are a part of most regional Indian cuisines, but smaller snacks have their own importance too. Usually eaten as accompaniments with tea and coffee, these snacks range from savoury to sweet. They are essential to the food culture of different Indian states and work as identifiers for those specific regions. Here are ten Indian snacks that you must try once:
Matthi needs no introduction to most people, especially those who are from Punjab as the snack originated there. It is like a savoury Indian cracker, best enjoyed with pickles or on its own if it’s spiced. Matthi are made with flour, salt, ghee or oil and mostly use whole black peppercorns to add some spice.
A Gujarati snack popular across India, khandvi is made with a gram flour, yogurt and turmeric batter. Rolls of khandvi are appealing both to look at and in taste, and may be served hot or cold. They are garnished with desiccated coconut, mustard seeds and chopped coriander, and served with chutney.
A deep-fried Gujarati snack made with chickpea flour, ganthiya is often served with tea. They are like small, soft puffs and are not crunchy like most other savoury Indian snacks. A sweet version of ganthiya called ‘mitha ganthiya’ also exists. The snack can easily be found at street stalls in Gujarat.
Similar to banana chips, upperi are a traditional snack from Kerala made by frying slices of plantain in hot coconut oil. They are mostly eaten during Onam and form an important part of the sadhya. Sealed in plastic bags and stacked in shops across Kerala, they are best enjoyed with a cup of tea or coffee.
A typical Maharashtrian creation, batata vada is available as street food throughout the state. Batata vada are like pakoras made by forming a ball of mashed potato and spices, which are dipped in besan and deep-fried. Batata vada is also used in the preparation of Mumbai’s favourite vada pav.
With origins in Bangladesh, pitha are rice-flour dumplings that can be savoury or sweet. They may be stuffed with vegetables, nuts and spices, or coconut and jaggery. In Bangladesh, festive occasions like Poush Parban and Nabanna see households preparing the snack. They are also eaten at weddings.
A salad made with Bengal gram and green gram and seasoned with mustard seeds, Kosambari originated in Karnataka. It is served as an appetiser at feasts during festivals and also offered as prasad at temples. Kosambari may use cucumber and onions to add some crunch, and also rice for texture.
Often confused with dhokla, khaman is a Gujarati dish that is slightly different as it doesn’t use rice. It is made with ground chana dal or besan. Khaman is a healthy snack as it is steamed or baked. A tempering of curry leaves, black mustard seeds and green chillies is used as a garnish atop the bright yellow, spongy snack.
A sweet South Indian tea time snack, kozhukkatta are steamed rice flour dumplings stuffed with coconut and jaggery. Cardamom is sometimes added to the filling for flavour. In Kerala, the sweet treat is eaten for Oshana Sunday and in Tamil Nadu, it is offered to Lord Ganesha to receive blessings.
One of India’s most popular snacks, murukku is made using a paste of urad dal flour and rice flour. The paste is shaped into spirals and deep-fried, resulting in a crunchy texture that’s hard to bite into. Murukku originated in Tamil Nadu and translates to “twisted”. It is also well-known in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.