Jalebi, Momos, Vada Pav Among Asia’s 50 Best Street Foods

There are few things that make us as happy as seeing Indian food getting the global recognition they deserve. Indian food has found fans around the world. Even the foods on the street are now being given a gourmet treatment in many exotic restaurants. From chaat to tikkis to vada, the range is massive and so is the robust fan base. Two such, very popular Indian street foods, Jalebi and Vada Pav have now made it to the 50 Best Street Foods of Asia list. 

Compiled by CNN, in partnership with Turkish Airlines, the list comprises popular street foods from various Asian countries like China, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and India. The list ruled out Middle-East and Central Asian foods from the list, as it deserves a separate poll of its own, given the variety. China had the highest number of dishes with five, while there is one from Tibet. Nations like Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, and Thailand, each had three of their street foods on the list and India clocked in two. Jalebi and Vada Pav.

Achcharu from Sri Lanka, Asam laksa from Malaysia, Banh mi from Vietnam, Bun Kebab from Pakistan, Fuchka from Bangladesh, and Ema Datshi from Bhutan were some of the drool-worthy dishes from our neighbouring nations that made it to the list.

Jalebi is a spiral-shaped, crispy, sweet snack that can be found across India today. The origins of the snack lie in ‘zalabiya’, a Persian snack that came to India somewhere after the 13th century. Ever since then, the snack has seen many local renditions, like the Paneer Jalebi. In which the traditional gram flour batter is replaced with chenna.  Here, try the recipe for yourself.

The other Indian dish on the list Vada Pav, was very much born in India, and it is not even that old. The first ever Vada Pav could be traced back to the 1960s, when a man named Ashok Vaidya, thought of sneaking a Batata Vada - a round, deep-fried potato dumpling inside a Pav (bread), and throwing some chutney into the mix. The burger-like snack became an instant rage among those who would travel daily from Thane railway station, and soon it became the identity of the common man of Mumbai. 

The snack is so popular that it also has a day dedicated to it. August 23 every year is celebrated as ‘National Vada Pav Day’. Craving a Vada Pav now? Try this recipe.