Popular Indian Street Foods

Discover the most popular Indian street food recipes and get inspired by a new world of flavour. These recipes originate throughout different regions of India and each one will be made from a different blend of unique mouthwatering spices. 

1. Cauliflower bhaji

1. Cauliflower bhaji

Who doesn't love a bhaji? its crunchy, filling and probably the best accompaniment to an Indian curry. Recently we have discovered that you can make bhajis with other vegetables instead of the classic onion. Cauliflower pairs so well with this batter mix, and creates a contrasting texture of crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.

Not only are they super tasty but they are on the healthier side too. You can adjust this recipe accordingly and if you do we would love to know what you did differently. You can use frozen or fresh cauliflower to make these but if using frozen you may need to parboil the florets to defrost them, then you will need to drain the water from them before deep frying.  

Ingredients

  • Cauliflower florets (250g)
  • Gramflour  (1 cup)
  • Cornflour (3 tsp)
  • Turmeric powder (1/4 tsp)
  • Baking powder (1/2 tsp)
  • Cumin seeds (1/2 tsp)
  • Fennel seeds (1/2 tsp)
  • Water (1/2 cup)
  • Salt to taste.
  • Oil for deep frying 

Method

in a large mixing bowl combine all of the ingredients with a whisk except from the cauliflower florets and oil. Add enough oil to a pan for deep frying and put the hob on a medium heat. Once the back of a wooden spoon sizzles, it is time to cook your bhajis.

Place one or two florets at a time into the batter and once coated remove from the batter and place into the hot oil, cook for around 2 minutes or until golden brown. If they cook too quick or start to burn turn the heat down or off for a while and continue until all of the bhajis are cooked.

2. Puri shells (Indian fried bread)

2. Puri shells (Indian fried bread)

Puri is a deep-fried bread that is round in shape. It is an airy puffed up ball that you can fill. This recipe makes about ten puris, and you can fill these with prawns to make prawn puri or chickpeas with onion and spices. Whilst these originated in India, they are also found in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Mauritius and other parts of the world. 

Sometimes, these are cooked up fresh and sprinkled with sugar for children to have as a snack in India. There are many variations of puri, such as Bhatoora, Lucchi, Sevpuri and Manipuri. These are eaten for breakfast, as part of a snack or as a light meal. In English, puri translates to deep-fried bread. To ensure that the puri balls are crispy, you must ensure that they are thin and cooked for the right amount of time.

Ingredients

  • Wholemeal flour (225g)
  • Water
  • Ghee (50g)
  • Oil for deep frying 

Method

Rub the ghee into the flour, then add water to form a dough. Leave to stand for at least two hours (preferably overnight). Divide the dough into eight balls, then roll out into thin discs approximately 10 cm in diameter. 

Heat the oil just below the smoke point and deep fry each puri individually for about one minute. Turn once in the oil, cook for a further minute, then drain them on kitchen paper and serve fresh and hot.

3. Prawn butterfly

prawn butterfly

I ordered this dish once at an Indian restaurant and was disappointed. I was unhappy because of how much the dish costs and secondly because of its size. I get that prawns are expensive and this dish is delicious, but it is not worth buying from a restaurant for those two reasons.

On the other hand, if you can make them at home, you can make a more suitable portion, and this dish can be annoyed as a starter or side dish. Prawn butterfly is kind of like a prawn pakora as the ingredients are similar. The term butterfly is because usually two prawns are fried together, resembling a butterfly. You can do this if you want to, but it's easier to fry them solo. Whilst this dish could serve four people if you had one prawn each, you could probably devour them all. This dish is best served with a coriander onion salad and a tandoori chutney dip. 

Ingredients 

  • King prawns (4)
  • Gram flour (2 tbsp)
  • Plain flour (2 tbsp)
  • Salt (1 tsp)
  • Water
  • Oil for deep frying
  • Garam masala (1 tsp)
  • Paprika (1 tsp)

Method

Start by mixing all dry ingredients (flour, salt and spices), then add a little water to form the same consistency as yoghurt. Remove the prawns' shells and then coat the prawns in the batter. Deep fry the prawns in for about 10 minutes the batter is golden. 

4. Plain & Stuffed Paratha

Plain & Stuffed Paratha recipes

A Paratha is a large thick Indian bread that originated in North India in the state of Punjab. The main difference between Paratha and roti is that rotis are made from wholewheat, whereas parathas can be made from whole wheat or all-purpose flour. 

Stuffed Paratha is a popular variation that kind of resembles a flattened Cornish pasty. They are best served with relish chutney, pickles or eaten as part of a meal to scoop up some curry. This recipe makes six flatbreads, but please refer to the method below if you want to make stuffed parathas. 

Ingredients 

  • Ghee (115g)
  • Wholemeal flour (450g)
  • Water
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Method 

Rub the ghee into the flour and add water to form a dough. Knead it for a few minutes, then leave it to stand overnight. The next day divide into six balls and roll out each one into a thin disc.

Flour it well, then fold it over the same way that you do with puff pastry. Roll it out again to a thin disc and repeat this process as many times as you’d like. The more you do it, the lighter the texture will be. The final time rolls out the disc to 20 cms. Add vegetable oil to cover 5cms of the pan, then fry the Paratha on both sides until golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper and serve whilst hot. 

Stuffed Paratha Filling

  • Cauliflower florets (50g)
  • Peeled and chopped potato (50g)
  • Chopped onion (50g)
  • Peas (50g)
  • Four chillies (optional)
  • Ghee
  • Fresh mint (1 tbsp)
  • Salt

Spices 

  • Chilli powder (1/2 tsp)
  • Ground coriander (1/2 tsp)
  • Ground cumin (1/2 tsp)

Method

Make the dough as mentioned above and leave it to stand overnight. Cook the ingredients for the filling in a bit of ghee, then mash well and add the fresh mint, salt and spices. Separate the dough into 12 balls, then roll out the same way as mentioned above. For the stuffed Paratha, you will need a pair of discs. 

Lightly spread the filling onto one disc leaving a 2cm crust around the edge like with pizza. Brush some oil or ghee onto the other disc, then press them together to seal. Carefully roll it out to a 20cm disc, then deep fry. 

5. Obbattu puran poli

Obbattu Puran Poli recipe

This recipe is made with love and has a deliciously sweet flavour. It is like a sweet flatbread that is stuffed with a mixture of sugar and lentils. Obattu is a recipe known for its sweet taste, crunchy texture, and aroma while cooking. 

The dish is famous in the city of Anantpur (Ananthapuramu.) The dish is made with Chana lentils, plain wheat flour, clarified butter (ghee), turmeric and sugar. Puran Poli originated from Maharashtra and south India. Puran Poli is a dish that is prepared at festivals, but everyone enjoys eating it. This flatbread dish has various names, including Bobbattu or baksham or oliga in Telugu, Andhra Pradesh, the Holige or Obbattu in Kannada, Puran Puri or Vedmi in Gujarati, Puran Poli in Marathi, Payasabolli or Bolli in Malayalam, poli or uppittu in Tamil, Bhakshalu, pole or polae in Telugu, Telangana and ubbatti or poli in Konkani. 

Its usually served with paal payasam in meals and feasts in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Obbattu is said to have originated in Maharastra; however, other online sources suggest that it originated in Andhra Pradesh. Puran Poli, also known as puranachi poli, gud Polin, punn poli or holgi, holige or bele. Obbattu is a traditional delicacy popular in Maharastra Karnataka, Gujarat & Goa. Puran poli is a dish that has a shelf life of 2-3 days as it is made fresh by hand.

Ingredients for dough

  • Maida flour (1 cup)
  • Turmeric (1/4 tsp)
  • Salt (pinch)
  • Water
  • Oil (2 tbsp)

Ingredients for stuffing

  • Toor Dal (1 cup)
  • Jaggery (1 cup)
  • Poppy seeds (2 tsp)
  • Desiccated coconut (2 tbsp)

Method

  • Start by adding the maida flour, turmeric and salt into a bowl, then give it a good mix. Add a little water to combine it into a dough and then add the oil. Mix by hand until it is a loose dough then rest for about 1 hour.
  • Whilst that is resting, start preparing the stuffing by taking the toor dal in a separate bowl, rinse it a few times then add it to a saucepan and cook it with 3 cups of clean water and place a lid on top. 
  • Meanwhile place the jaggery in a separate pan and add 3 tbsp of water and cook until it becomes the same consistency as syrup. When the Toor dal is cooked and not much water remains slowly add in the jaggery syrup. Then add in the poppy seeds and coconut mixing to combine. Cook for a further 3 minutes. 
  • Grind the dal mixture whilst it is hot until it has become a fine paste, then make the mixture into dumpling balls. Stretch out a piece of the loose dough on a piece of oiled baking paper to make it flat, place the dumpling on top, carefully wrap the dough around the dumpling then gently flatten it whilst keeping the filling inside.
  • This step will need to be repeated until all are made. To cook add a small drizzle of oil to a tawa frying pan, heat it on a medium flame and then add the obbatu to it. Cook both sides and when slightly browned remove it and serve. 

 6. Medu Vada

Medu Vada Recipe

Medu Vada is a famous dish that originated in South India. Vada is a crunchy fried fritter snack that is typically eaten with masala tea. Vada is known as the best selling snack in Indian restaurants. The dish is offered to Hindu gods with a cup of curd rice and sweet Pongal. Vada is sold 4 x vada for 20 rupees (2p) in India, and in England, a takeaway restaurant will sell the dish for about £4.95.

Vada is not spicy and is a great evening snack. Vada is usually served with Idli, Chutney, Dosa, Lemon rice, or Palau. According to Vir Sanghvi, the origin of medu vada is referred to as the Maddur town in present-day Karnataka. Dahi Vada is a dish that can be seen in Indian restaurants in England. A typical description of the dish is like this: A Urad dal dumpling fritter dunked in yoghurt and topped with a sweet and spicy chutney.

Meda vada has many alternative names such as Uddina vade, Medhu vada, Uddi vada, Minapa garelu, Uzhunnu vada, Udid Vada, Ulundu vadai, Urad vada, Ulundu wade, Urdi bara, Batuk.Vada is known for the hole in the centre that allows the oil to have more surface area and results in less depth than the heat has to penetrate to cook the content throughout. Vada is like freshly baked doughnuts, but it has spicy ingredients in it.

Ingredients

  • Urad Dal (1 cup)
  • Salt (1/3 tsp)
  • Ice Cold Water
  • Oil
  • Optional
  • Black peppercorn (1/4 tsp)
  • Green Chilies (2 to 3 chopped)
  • Onion (4 tbsp)
  • Curry leaves (1 sprig diced)
  • Cumin Seeds (1/2 tsp)
  • Freshly grated ginger ( 1 tbsp)

Method

Soak the urad dal in a cup for 4 hours or overnight, then grind the soaked dal to a smooth in texture batter with little water on if required. If the batter becomes watery in texture, the instant relief would be to add some semolina or urad flour. Otherwise, we can also add some semolina to the batter. Let's add the spices, herbs, onions and salt and mix it well.

Take a bowl of water, apply some of the water from the bowl on both of your hands, then take some batter in your right hand from the bowl, give it a round shape with your thumb, then make a small hole in the centre of the bowl batter. Then you can also use banana leaves or zip lock bags to give the medu vada its doughnut shape.

Let's lit the Kadai powering some oil make it heat to medium flame. Once the oil becomes hot, slide the Vada onto the hot oil. Let the Vada slightly turn onto golden brown on each side and turn it with a spatula until its continue to fry; fry it until it turns crisp and golden in texture.

The oil should not be boiling but medium-hot, so the Vada is cooked from the inside. If the oil is too hot the vadas will quickly cook on the outside, but will remain uncooked on the inside. If the oil is not hot enough, it will make the medu vada absorb too much fat; even if the batter is thin, the medu vadas will absorb too much oil. Fry all the medu vada until they become crispy and are brown in colour. After frying drain them on kitchen paper to remove the oil. Serve the medu vada hot or  warm with sambhar and coconut chutney.

Dhal vada recipe

Dhal vada is a variation of medu vada and is also a traditional Indian snack. Even though these are easy to make, we never see these in Indian restaurants for some reason. This recipe makes about eight lentil rissoles. 

Ingredients

  • Urad dhal (200g)
  • Chopped green chilli (1 tsp)
  • Salt
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying 
  • Cumin seeds (1/2 tsp)
  • Black pepper (1/2 tsp)

Method

Grind the dry dhal into flour using a coffee grinder; you can do it in small quantities at a time. After that, add the chilli, spices and salt. Add a little water to turn the mixture into a dough, then allow it to stand for 15 minutes. 

Roll the dough into ping pong-sized balls, flatten slightly, heat the oil, and deep fry each one for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. You can serve these hot or cold.

7. Onion bhaji

7. Onion bhaji

Pakoda or pakora is a deep-fried street food snack made with gram flour, salt, and spices. The main ingredients often onion and vegetables. Onion pakoda is a famous and much-loved snack during the monsoon & cold winters. Pakoda is very commonly prepared in most Indian homes in the evening as a snack and served with Masala Tea.

Onion pakoda is also sold in street stalls, restaurants. South Indian tiffin is served with coconut chutney. In north Indian restaurants, some chat masala is sprinkled over the onion pakoda and is served along with green chutney. Pakoda is easy to prepare when you have sudden guests or friends at home and love to make them feel special. Pakora is a spiced fritter originating from the Indian subcontinent, sold by street vendors, and served in South Asia. They are also known: pakoda, pikora, bhajiya, pakodi, ponako, pakura, fakkura, phulauri and Bhaji.

The famous South Indian bhaji pakoda is a dish that is commonly served as an evening snack with a cup of Masala tea or coffee. A good onion bhaji has a crunchy outside but is soft on the inside. It is seasoned well but has natural sweetness from the cooked onion. Usually, the only problem with onion bhajis is that you want more of them. When cooking, there can be many problems such as too much or not enough seasoning. As onion bhajis are deep-fried, they can be very oily if you do not dry them with kitchen paper after cooking. In England, it is a popular dish to order from an Indian takeaway. I order mine with saag aloo, pilau rice, naan bread, mixed starter of sheek kebab, tandoori chicken and curry. Kundan Lal invented onion bhaji in Peshwar in the 1930s.

Ingredients 

  • Onion (1 large)
  • Besan gram flour 2 tbsp)
  • Salt
  • ground cumin (1/2 tsp)
  • turmeric (1/2 tsp)
  • garam masala (1/2 tsp)
  • Corn oil for deep frying

Method

  • Mix the spices with the flour in a bowl then add a little water until the mixture resembles glue.
  • Slice onions and then add them to the bowl with a little salt.
  • heat the oil to a medium heat and once it is hot enough add a tablespoon of mixture at a time until there is no more space and cook the onion bhajis for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  • After they are cooked remove them using a slotted spoon and place on kitchen paper to drain the oil. You can serve them immediately or if you choose to let them cool you can reheat them later on by putting them in hot oil for a few minutes.

Finally serve them with your curry and rice or have them with a salad and chutney.

8. Indian omelette

8. Indian omelette

Serve with salad or chips and a side dipping of mango pickle. healthy balanced lunch idea very filling. This indian masala omelette is popular in the indian sub continent. Indian omelette typically contain eggs, green chilli, onions and sometimes tomatoes. Whilst eggs are not eaten very much in India the indian omelette is popular. the reason why indian people tend to not eat eggs is because Hindus believe that eggs are another form of meat so they avoid them. 

Omelettes are eaten all over the world, in face it may surprise you that japan consumes the most eggs second to Paraguay then china then Mexico. Even though omelette is a french word they are said to have originated in Iran. In England we typically have omelette with ham, spinach, cheeses, onions. Japanese make an omelette called omurice, In Spain they make tortilla and in India they make the famous masala omelette.

Ingredients 

  • Eggs (4)
  • Ghee (1tbsp)
  • Fresh coriander or parsley (1 tbsp)
  • Red pepper (1/3)
  • Boiled potatoes cubed (2) 
  • Salt 
  • Turmeric (1/3 tsp)
  • Ground coriander (1/2 tsp)
  • Ground cumin (1/2 tsp)
  • Paprika (1/2 tsp)

Filling 

  • Small onion (1) 
  • Garlic clove (1)
  • Green chilli (1)
  • Vegetable oil

Method

Start by preparing the filling, chop onion, garlic and chilli and then fry until softened. Add all of the spices and fry for ten more minutes, then add in the pepper and potato and fry for another 10 minutes. Season it to taste, then set aside. 

To make the omelette, heat ghee in a frying pan and whisk the eggs in a bowl. Pour the eggs into the pan and cook until firm, then turn it over. Spread the filling over the omelette, then fold and garnish with your choice of fresh herbs and serve.

9. Samosa

9. Samosa

The triangular samosa is an Indian snack that is packed with flavour. The filling is usually made from mixed vegetables and spices, although sometimes minced beef or lamb is added. The filling is wrapped in a crispy filo pastry, and most of the time, samosas are spicy. 

If you make too many samosas, you can always put them in the freezer for another day. This recipe makes approximately 16 vegetable samosas or more if using meat. If using meat, you can also use it to replace the potato if you’d like. The main difference is that the vegetable samosa is made from mashed potato spices and peas, whereas the meat filling skips on the potato and is made from fried onion, meat and spices. 

Ingredients 

  • Potatoes (900g)
  • Plain flour (450g)
  • Frozen peas (450g)
  • Salt (4 tsp)
  • Black pepper (1 tsp)
  • Chilli powder (2 tsp)
  • Ground coriander (2 tsp)
  • Ground cumin (1 tsp)
  • Fenugreek leaves (1 tbsp)
  • Corn oil for deep frying
  • Lean minced meat (450g) - optional

Method 

In a bowl, add two tablespoons of corn oil to the flour and a small amount of water to make it into a dough, then leave it to rest for 1 hour. Meanwhile, peel and boil the potatoes in a large saucepan and once cooked, drain the water, add all of the spices, salt, and peas, then mash it all together. If using meat, you would add your cooked meat at this point.

In a separate bowl, make a flour and water paste, it should resemble glue, and its purpose is to glue the samosas together. In another bowl, add a little corn oil. This paste is for brushing the dough later.

Roll the dough out and break it into balls that are at least 2 inches in diameter. Further, roll out in eight discs in total that are 4 inches in diameter each. Brush each disc with oil on one side, then sprinkle flour and join two together. Roll these joined discs out to about 8 inches in diameter, then cook dry in a frying pan and cook for one minute on each side. 

While they are still hot, cut them in half to separate the two pieces again. Place them on a work surface, fold it a third of the way to resemble a semi-circle, then paste the top and bottom third with the flour-water paste into a cone shape.

Add a little filling into the cone, then fold over the top and seal with the flour and water paste. Make sure that the samosa is well filled or it will burst whilst cooking. Next, deep fry the samosas for 15 minutes or until lightly golden in colour. After, place them on kitchen paper to drain excess oil and let them sit for 10 minutes. You can freeze them to recook at another time, or if you are ready to eat, you can finish them off in the grill or by frying them a second time. 

10. Chapati roti

10. Chapati

These are the perfect accompaniment to any type of Indian dish, and whilst they use simple ingredients to make them. They can take a little while to make especially if you want them to be delicious. Most of the hard work comes from the processing of the dough by hand until it is a smooth consistency which is very important for the texture.

To get the recipe to be as authentic as possible, the chapatis in India are usually cooked over an open fire, without any oil and are cooked in a clay pan or tandoori style oven.

Many people make them with plain all-purpose flour, however, this is not an authentic way to make chapattis and will result in more of a chewy flatbread. These Chapatis are the best when just cooked with some melted butter on top and used to scoop up some of that curry sauce!

Ingredients

  • Wholemeal Flour (2 Cups plus extra for dusting)

  • Water (1 Cup)

  • Salt (1/2 tsp)

Method

  • Start by putting your wholemeal flour into a large mixing bowl or chapatti tray
  • Add the salt, mix it well and then add your water.
  • Mix the mixture with your hands for a while until the dough is smooth.
  • When it is smooth, simply grab a handful of the dough and start processing it further. Making sure that it is smooth all around and forms somewhat of a pancake.
  • It can then be rolled out using a chapati rolling pin to make the chapati very thin.
  • Once it is thin enough, you can then place it in a pan to cook, turning often to avoid it burning. It should take around 1 minute 30 on each side depending on your temperature.
  • When the chapatis are cooked, pour some melted butter onto one and then use it as a mop to cover the rest.

11. Bombay Peanuts

Bombay Peanuts

Peanuts are a lovely snack and the raw ingredient can be made into many wonderful dishes such as peanut butter, satay, and more. In the raw state, peanuts don’t taste very nice. The bite is slightly soft and it tastes similar to a piece of unripe fruit, however a great way to improve the taste and texture of your raw peanuts is by using this Indian inspired recipe that makes the peanuts more crunchy, spiced and seasoned.

If you have raw peanuts then you are ready to go and if you have monkey nuts (with the shell still intact) - you will need to remove the shell first. These peanuts taste similar to Bombay mix only better because they are made fresh and the process of toasting the nuts enhances the flavour. 

Ingredients

  • Raw peanuts (300g pack)
  • Ground Cumin (1/4 tsp)
  • Ground Coriander (1/4 tsp)
  • Dried chilli (Pinch)
  • Ground Cinnamon (Pinch)
  • Sea Salt (Pinch)

Method

  1. Start by heating a pan, and after a few minutes add in your raw peanuts.
  2. Once they start to brown you can add a dash of vinegar (this will make them slightly wet and sticky and will allow the spices to stick to the nuts)
  3. Add all the spices and toss for a few minutes adding more vinegar if the spices do not stick.
  4. Let them cool down in a bowl and when cooled, enjoy!

Bombay Peanuts Recipe Video

Frequently asked questions

Where did Bombay peanuts originate?

Bombay peanuts is an element that comes from the traditional Indian bombay mix which originated in the state of Gujarat, India. Bombay mix is popular around the world and is known as chevda in India and chanachur in Bangladesh.

Are Bombay peanuts vegan?

Whilst variations of Bombay mix exist, the traditional recipe is in fact suitable for vegetarians, vegans and is halal. 

Are Bombay peanuts healthy?

Again, variations do exist but our recipe is considered to be healthy as part of a balanced diet and can be enjoyed moderately as a snack. It will depend more specifically on the person as nuts can be high in fat and salt is considered to be bad for those who have high blood pressure. It also depends on your definition of healthy because a healthy diet is a balanced diet. Peanuts for example are a great source of protein, vitamins, minerals and can reduce the risk of heart disease.

That being said they are also high in fats and are often used for preparing oil so eating the right portion size would be the key here. With the addition of the spices like cumin, cinnamon and chilli you can expect to treat many ailments with their rich antioxidant levels, the ability to lower blood sugar, blood pressure relieve digestive issues and more. This makes them a great snack choice.

Where can I buy Bombay peanuts?

Bombay peanuts are not typically sold on there own so unless you fancy picking them out of your bombay mix you will need to make them yourself with this recipe. If you don’t feel up to making your own Bombay peanuts you can always buy a similar variety online. Other popular choices that can be purchased are Balti peanuts, tandoori peanuts, piri piri peanuts and Masala peanuts.

12. Traditional Indian dosa

12. Traditional Indian dosa

A dosa is a famous thin crepe from South India that looks similar to a pancake. However, it is a type of soft, thin Indian pancake, and the thinner the pancake, the crispier the Dosa. It is made with fermented rice and lentil batter. Dosas have a rich history, and in the olden times, Dosa was made using only rice. As time went on, people started to add Ural dal (black lentils), which gave the Dosa its unique crispness, texture and flavour.

The Dosa became popular in restaurants in a city called Udupi, which is in the Karnataka region. The rise of the Udupi restaurants in South India has evolved the Dosa, and now many varieties are served, such as plain Dosa, Set Dosa, and masala dosa. If you want to make homemade Dosa, let us guide you on the process. Cooking the Dosa doesn't require much time, although the fermentation process requires 8 hours.

The fermentation process involves soaking and blending black gran lentils (urad dal) and rice to a batter. When ready the fermented batter is spread like a crepe on an Indian tawa frying pan.

The Dosa can be made using a blender to blend the rice and water into a batter or grind the rice into a flour and then add liquid. As Dosa is made with lentils, it makes for a protein and calcium-rich, low-calorie meal.

Raw rice is the best rice to use to make the dosa batter, but using a combination of parboiled rice and uncooked rice can work with good results too. Whilst you could experiment with rice types like basmati or any other rice of your choice, traditionally, short grain or Sona Masuri rice types are the best.

Adding salt to the Dosa is an essential aspect as it can ruin the dish if done incorrectly. This is because of the complicated fermentation process; for example, the climate can affect the results, so can the type of salt you use and when you add the salt to the batter.

You may have to experiment with the salt adding process until you get it right. As the batter has to ferment for many hours, the batter could go smelly. To prevent this from happening, you can add non iodised salt like rock salt or sea salt before the fermentation as these types of salt will also assist with the process.

In a hot country, it is crucial to add salt just before making the Dosa. Most Indians add salt after the fermentation process unless they live in cooler regions of India like Bangalore.

Depending on whether you add salt before or after, this will affect the taste, which is why you should experiment and choose what works for you. Make sure to avoid Iodised salt by all means if you are adding it before fermentation, as it will prevent the batter from fermenting. Here is our Indian dosa recipe.

The traditional Indian Dosa is classic comfort food that is typically eaten for breakfast or as a starter. The savoury, crunchy Dosa originated in southern India in the region of Karnataka. The flavours are simple, and whilst the recipe is usually very complex due to fermentation processes, we have simplified it for you

Ingredients

  • White rice (3 cups)
  • Urad dal (1 cup)
  • Fenugreek seeds (3/4 teaspoon)
  • Water (3 cups)
  • Salt (1/4 tsp)
  • Vegetable, canola, sunflower oil or Ghee

Method

  1. Start by washing the rice & Urad daal well and then drain. Add Fenugreek seeds to the mix, add enough water to the bowl to cover the mixture by about 3 inches, and then soak overnight.
  2. In the morning, drain the water from the rice mixture, then add the soaked rice, urad dal, and fenugreek seeds to a high-speed blender. Then add about 2 cups of cold water until a smooth, yet slightly grainy paste has formed. Then transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl & gradually add another cup of water to make it into a batter. The Consistency of the batter should be such that it thinly coats a spoon dipped in it.
  3. Add the salt and keep the Dosa batter aside in a warm, dark spot, covered, for 12 to 24 hours to ferment. After this fermentation, stir the batter well. Then the batter will have thickened (you can test again with a spoon). The fermented batter is now ready to make delicious Dosa.
  4. Put some ghee or oil in a small bowl and keep ready. We will also need a small bowl of ice-cold water, a large flat non-stick frying pan Tawa, a paper towel, a spoon, a spatula, and a basting brush.
  5. Fold one sheet of kitchen paper into a thick rectangle & dip the folded paper towel lightly into the bowl of Ghee or oil. Squeeze out any excess and then rub the paper towel all over the surface of the pan to lightly grease. The Ghee or oil should barely be visible in the pan.
  6. Turn on the heat to medium-high. Then add a scant ladleful of batter to the centre of the pan. It's much like you would do for a pancake. Spread the batter in a sweeping circular motion to form a pancake of roughly 8 – inch diameter. It is common for the Dosa to develop tiny holes as you spread the batter.
  7. When you have finished spreading the batter, dip the basting brush in Ghee and drizzle over the Dosa and around its edge. Hold the pan by its handle, lift it, and swirl it so that the drizzled Ghee spreads all over the Dosa.
  8. Continue cooking the Dosa for 2 ½ minutes, or until the upper surface begins to look cooked, it will no longer look soft or runny. Then flip the Dosa to ensure both sides are well cooked. By this time, the underneath should be light golden—Cook for a further 1 minute after flipping.
  9. When the Dosa is almost done, fold it into a third, like a parcel and allow it to cook for 30 seconds more. Before you start making the next Dosa, fold another sheet of paper towel into a wad & dip it in ice-cold water. Squeeze to remove excess water and then rub it all over the pan's surface to cool it slightly. Doing this ensures that your next Dosa will spread evenly and not break because the pan is too hot. Repeat this process until you've used all the batter and enjoy.

Tips & Storage

Any leftover batter can be refrigerated, tightly covered for up to three days. We like to make and serve dosas immediately when cooked to ensure they are crispy and fresh when eaten. If that's not possible, you can make, stack, and serve the dosas later. Just ensure you keep them warm until serving time by placing them in a closed dish. They will lose much of their crispness but will still taste delicious.

A high-speed blender above 500 watts is recommended for making Dosa as it will produce a smoother batter than a food processor. Make sure the water is cold to prevent overheating the rice mixture and the appliance. If the blender becomes hot, turn it off and let it cool for 30 to 45 minutes. If the Dosa batter has been refrigerated, let it stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before cooking. Use a bowl large enough to allow the batter to double in volume. If there is a danger of the batter overflowing, place the bowl on a rimmed baking sheet.

Serving suggestions

When serving your traditional Indian Dosa, you should pair it with chutney, potato masala or Tiffin Sambar.

Set dosa recipe

Ingredients

  • Rice (2 cups)
  • Poha (1 cup)
  • Urad dal (1/2 cup)
  • Methi/fenugreek (1 tsp)
  • Oil (1 tsp)
  • salt (2 tsp)
  • Water (for soaking)

Method

Wash urad dal and rice. Put the rice and urad dal in a bowl and soak in water for 5 hrs. In another bowl, soak poha for 30 min. After soaking, grind the urad dal and rice. Add cold water a little at a time and grind it to a fluff batter. And grind poha after grinding rice.

Mix rice batter and poha batter in a bowl. Add salt needed and mix well. Close it and leaves it to ferment for 7-8 hrs. After fermentation, mix the batter well. Heat pan, add little oil and pour a batter in pan and spread in a circular motion. The Dosa has to be thick. Cook covered on medium heat. Flip the Dosa and cook uncovered for few minutes. So spongy set dosa is ready to serve with coconut chutney, which has its origin in Tuluva Mangalorean cuisine of Karnataka.

Masala dosa recipe

Ingredients

  • Rice (2 cups)
  • Methi (1/2 tsp)
  • Urad Dal (1 cup)
  • Chana dal (2 tbsp)
  • Poha (1 cup)

Method

Firstly, in a bowl, take 2 cups of rice and half tsp methi. Rinse well and soak in water for 4 hrs. In another bowl, take 1cup of urad dal and 2 tsp chana dal, rinse well and soak in water for 2 hrs. After soaking the dal for 2 hrs, transfer the dal to a grinder. In the same grinder, add soaked rice and 1cup rinsed poha and blend it into the batter. Transfer the rice batter and urad dal batter to a bowl and mix well. Ferment in a warm place for at least 8 hrs. After fermentation, add 1 tsp salt and mix well. Masala dosa batter is ready.

Then add a ladleful of batter to a hot pan. Spread as thin as possible for making crispy Dosa and place 2 tsp of prepared aloo bhajia in the centre. Roast until the Dosa turns golden brown and crisp and roll gently. Finally, the masala dosa is ready to serve with coconut chutney or sambar.

13. Soft Idli

13. Soft Idli

What is Idli?

Idli or Idly is a soft savoury rice cake made from fermented black lentils and rice. It originated in South India but is also popular in Sri Lanka. Although Idli is traditionally eaten as part of breakfast it can be eaten any time of the day and is typically served with Tiffin Sambar and Coconut Chutney. The snack is so soft that it melts in the mouth. As idli is made with black lentils it is healthier than eating just plain rice.

Idli is an easily digestible food as the rice and lentil dal are soaked, grounded, fermented and then prepared by steaming the batter. It is a healthy food because it does not contain any fats or oils, and it contains only 39 calories per piece. In India, Idli is considered to be a suitable food to all, including babies, every diet and even for the elderly who generally have poor digestion. Let us show you how to make make soft Idli.

Ingredients

Rice - (4 cups)

White or Black Urad Dal - (1 cup)

Non iodised salt - (2 teaspoons)

Fenugreek methi seeds - (1 teaspoon)

Water - 4 (cups)

Method

1. Wash rice and de-husked Urad dal thoroughly, then soak fenugreek seeds along with the urad dal.

2. Soak the urad dal and rice in a separate bowl for no more than 2 hours. You will need twice as much water in the bowl for the urad dal as it expands as it soaks up water.

3. Drain the urad dal and rice, do not discard soaking water of dal as it helps with the fermentation. Discard excess water from rice fully. The rice has soaked up enough water for grinding.

Essential tip: If you need some water while grinding the rice use a little of the soaking water from the urad dal.

4. Grind the urad dal to a fine paste

5. Grind the rice to a not so fine paste with about 1 cup of water, use less if you can. Grind coarsely if the batter will only be used for Idli.

6. Mix the rice and urad dal pastes together with salt and methi

7. Optional : add fermentation starter and mix well

8. Set aside somewhere warm for ferment for 8 hours.

Essential tip: If your home is cold, you can heat the oven for a few minutes and then turn it off and place the batter in the oven the warm oven.

9. Grease one or more Idli pans well with ghee or vegetable oil. Then spoon the batter into the round indentations of the idli pan.

10. Steam for 12 minutes in a steamer or 16 minutes if you are using brown rice then remove idli from the pan with a sharp knife or thin spatula.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Idli got its name?

Idli looks like the Malli jasmine flower. Some food historians believe that the word Idli was derived from steamed rice in Indonesia. It’s believed that Idli was invented by the cooks of the Hindu Kings who ruled some parts of Indonesia during 800-1200 CE. Idli was first known as Mallipoo Idli which in Tamil refers to jasmine as it is as soft and looks similar to Jasmine.

Why are my Idli's hard and rubbery?

If idli is overcooked or steamed for too long it can result in Idli that is hard and rubbery. The cooking time in regular idli steamers is about to 10 - 20 minutes with a little resting time to cool after it has been steamed. It is much easier to make idli in an electric / steamer cooker and can take up to 15 minutes. You should also ensure that they are fermented for the recommend time otherwise this could also affect the texture. It is also important to stick to the ingredients and method because with the addition of any other ingredients or in wrong amounts this could cause the idli to lose their softness.

How do you eat Idli?

how to eat idli

The north Indian way of eating Idli. Hold the idli with your right hand, and break a piece out from it using left hand, dip it in the catouri of sambhar and eat it. After eating each piece of Idli, it's common to lick your fingers so that even the traces of idli is removed & It's delicious aroma and taste is filled in the tongue. Depending on what you are serving it with you may also want to use a fork and spoon to avoid making a mess.

Can I eat Idli every day?

In addition to being so delectable, Idli is one of the healthiest Indian snacks which can help in shedding a pound or two. It's also considered as one of the best foods to lose weight. Including Idli’s into your daily diet and you can enjoy wit healthy accompaniments.

Does Idli make you fat?

Idli is light meal or snack which contains no fats or cholesterol. Depending on the size it usually has 39 calories per piece of idli, which is small considering our daily calorie requirement, it is best eaten before exercise.

Can Idli be eaten at night?

There's no reason that this is easy to digest and wholesome food couldn’t be eaten any time of the day. It can be had as a breakfast, evening as a snack or as part of dinner. However you should avoid eating foods that are high in carbohydrates before bed as it can quickly turn to fat whilst you sleep.

Which type of Idli is good for health?

There are many types of Idli that are good for health, two of these are: Rava idli - this is made up of rava (durum wheat) & sujji (semolina) which is likely to be good for health. Alternatively, Ragi idli is made from raggi (millet powder), and it's good for muscle building and weight gain, also it is a great source of fibre which will keep you feeling fuller for longer. There are many other types of Idli which are good for health so it depends on you what you like to eat.

What are the different types of Idli?

The different types of Idli are - Rava idli, Rice Idli, Ragi Idli, Moong Dal & Spinach Idli and more.

Can Idli cause gas?

Idli is a fermented food  and can generate increased acidity in the stomach causing heartburn or similar issues like frequent burps, bloating, cramps, nausea or vomiting.

What is the difference between Idli & Dosa batter?

Whilst making idli, you soak and then grind your lentils and rice separately. When making dosa, all ingredients are combined together.

What is Idli served with?

idli serving suggestions

Idli is commonly known for its soft and fluffy texture and idli can be eaten with anything, however, in India its served with Tiffin Sambar, Coconut chutney and many types of chutney like Mango chutney, chilli chutney and also different types of sambhar.

14. Akki Roti

 14. Akki Roti

What is Akki Roti?

Flatbreads are a tasty treat, side dish or can even be part of a healthy quick meal. Throughout India there are different types of flatbread, and the preparation is different for each type. For example, flatbreads can be made from rice flour, wheat flour, corn flour, Maida, suji & more.

Akki Roti is a flatbread made from ground rice. It is famous in the Northern Karnataka region where it originated. Although it is very popular throughout India. Akki Roti is traditionally made from rice flour but it can also be done using durum wheat (rava), old rice, etc.

The making of akki roti can be made using any utensils, as long as the dough is kept flat. When prepared the dough is usually very big but is separated for portioning. Traditionally Akki roti is made by hand but you can use a chapati rolling pin to make it, poori (puri), kulcha, etc. Akki Roti Is easy to make and can be prepared in under 10 minutes. Typically Akki Roti is cooked in a thin frying pan known as a talwa.

3 common types of Akki Roti

1. Akki roti (Rice flatbread)
2. Joladha roti (Corn flatbread)
3. Raggi Roti (Finger millet flatbread) 

Akki Roti Recipe

Ingredients

  • (2 cup) Rice flour (You can buy it or can you make your own rice flour from old rice)

  • 1 Brown onion (finely diced)

  • 2 Desseeded Chilli ( Red or green)

  • 1/2 tsp Salt

  • 1tbsp Chopped Dill Leaves

  • 2tbsp Chopped coriander

  • ½ tsp cumin seeds

  • ½ tsp sesame seeds

  • (1/3 - 1 cup) hot water (important as this will make the rice dough stick together)

  • Drizzle of oil

  • butter or ghee (For spreading)

Method

  1. Mix rice flour with water and salt.
  2. Finely dice onions, chilli, dill leaves, coriander and and then add to a bowl. Mix well, then add it to the rice dough.
  3. Add the cumin seeds and sesame seeds and knead the dough.
  4. Add a drizzle of oil to a frying pan.
  5. Divide the dough into four equal portions.
  6. Put the dough in the frying pan, using your hands flatten it and make five indentations using your finger (top left, top right, bottom left, bottom right and center) - This will help the Akki Roti cook. Then put the frying pan onto a medium heat and cook until golden brown.

    Then the Roti will be ready to eat and we recommend spreading over a little ghee, and serve it with mango chutney or sauce. Ravi Kumar from Bangalore, India, eats Akki Roti 3 - 4 times a week. Akki Roti is loved for its tasty flavour and the crispy crunchiness from the cumin seeds and onion. It tastes similar to a dosa and in India 2 roti’s can be brought in a local shop for around 25 rupees which is about 30 pence in England.

    15. Gobi Manchurian

    15. Gobi Manchurian

    Gobi Manchurian is a mouthwatering Asian dish that is famous in India. Gobi Manchurian is usually served with fried rice, and in India, many restaurants and roadside food stalls sell the dish in the evening from 6 pm to 3 am. Restaurants will make it daily from scratch, and it can be eaten as a starter or as a side with the main meal. The dish is widespread and is becoming more well known around the world. While Gobi Manchurian is made from cauliflower, many roadside stalls make their dish variations using soya beans, chilli, mushroom, masala gobi curry. The Chinese dish contains fried cauliflower florets that are tossed in a spicy-sweet Unami sauce.

    Instead of cauliflower, the dish can be prepared with chicken, prawns, fish, mutton or paneer cheese. The dish was invented by a third-generation Chinese chef born in Calcutta, India, called Nelson Wang. Gobi Manchurian is sold for 40 rupees for half a plate or 70 rupees for a full plate in India, about 0.70p in GBP. Throughout India, the price of the dish varies slightly, but in England, you could expect to pay £5.50 for a small portion. Gobi Manchurian is a spicy dish that combines a tasty sauce and deep-fried chunks of cauliflower. The sauce's flavour comprises soy sauce, tomato sauce & garlic ginger paste, and diced onion pieces.

    Ingredients for cauliflower

    • Cauliflower florets (250g)
    • Plain flour (1/2 cup) 
    • Cornflour (1/4 cup) 
    • Red chilli powder (1/2 tsp)
    • Black pepper (1/4 tsp)
    • Salt (1/4 tsp)
    • Water (1/2 cup)
    • Oil (for deep frying)

    Ingredients for Manchurian sauce 

    • Oil (2tsp)
    • Garlic ( 1 tbsp)
    • Ginger (1/2 tsp)
    • Green chilli (1 ) 
    • Onions (1/3 cup)
    • Red bell pepper (1)
    • Soya sauce (1 tbsp)
    • Red chilli sauce (2tbsp)
    • Tomato ketchup (2tbsp)
    • Red chili powder (1/2 tsp)
    • Rice vinegar (1/2 tsp)
    • Sugar (1 tsp)
    • Salt (to taste)
    • Water (4 tbsp)
    • Black Pepper (1/2 tsp)
    • Spring onion (2 tbsp)

    Method

    1. Start by cleaning the cauliflower florets and add them to warm water for around 5 minutes. Discard the water and rinse the cauliflower a few times. Drain the cauliflower in a colander.
    2. Spread the cauliflower florets onto a cotton cloth so that it air dries. This way is done to remove the excess moisture after washing it.
    3. Let the oil heat in a Kadai pan on a medium flame, then begin preparing the batter. In a large mixing bowl, add plain flour, cornflour, red chilli powder, salt and pepper, then mix it well to combine the batter. Add some water if needed. The batter must be smooth. Add the gobi florets into the batter and coat them well.
    4. Once the oil is hot enough, carefully add the florets to the pan one by one. As you add more florets to the pan, slightly increase the flame to maintain an equal temperature.
    5. After the gobi is cooked, it will be golden brown in colour and will be crunchy. Remove the gobi from the oil, then put on kitchen paper to drain excess oil. 
    6. Then begin preparing the sauce by sautéing the garlic, ginger, bell pepper, chilli and onion until softened. Once softened add the rest of the ingredients (excluding the spring onion) and mix well. 
    7. Once the sauce is made, simply add the fried gobi florets to the sauce, top with chopped spring onion and serve.

    16. Aloo Tiki 

    16. Aloo Tiki

    This dish originated in North India. It is usually enjoyed as a snack but can also be great as a side dish. Traditionally they are served with fresh mint and tamarind chutney. This recipe makes eight aloo tiki potato chaps, so if you want to make less or more, adjust the recipe to your requirements.

    Aloo tiki or aloo tikka is a popular indian street food snack that is usually served with a tasty a mint chutney or sweet curd. The chaps are very crispy crunchy and tasty you will keep going back for more.

    In india aloo tiki i given to children with low weight and malnourishment so it is a good food for people underweight who are trying to put some weight on for health reasons. Aloo tiki is not classed as healthy due to being cooked in oil and does not contain any vegetables. to make it balanced and healthier try adding an indian onion chutney or kachumber salad and some tasty rice. 

    Ingredients 

    • Channa dhal (115g)
    • Salt
    • Potatoes (450g)
    • Breadcrumbs
    • Oil for frying
    • Ground coriander (1/2 tsp)
    • Ground cumin (1/2 tsp)
    • Chilli powder (1/2 tsp)

    Method

    You will need to soak the channa dhal overnight in enough water to cover it to make this recipe. The next day, drain the water and boil the dhal with double the volume of water. When it becomes soft, strain the water and mash with spices and salt. 

    Boil and mash the potatoes. Take a small amount of potato, form it into a cup shape, and fill it with the dhal mixture. After that, cover the dhal with the potato, slightly flatten, then roll it in breadcrumbs. Fry in a pan with oil and then turn over to cook the other side. Serve with some rice, curry, chutneys and sprinkle over some indian spices to top it off.

    Recipes

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