Some of India’s most famous foods are its snacks; from samosas, the fried potato-filled pastries that are a staple at any take-out restaurant, to crispy, addictive hot mix, made with varying combinations of nuts, fruit, spices, and other ingredients, these are some of our favorites.
This classic Indian street snack flavors potato and chickpeas with an earthy combination of mustard seeds, cumin, curry leaves, and chiles. The savory mixture is dressed up with sweet tamarind chutney and crunchy fried chickpea noodles. Add cooling yogurt and cilantro or mint chutney for tangy and herbaceous counterpoints. See the recipe for Aloo Chana Chaat (Potato and Chickpea Snack) » James Roper This Mumbai street-food snack was inspired by a recipe from cookbook author and teacher Raghavan Iyer. Mashed potatoes are seasoned with cumin, mustard seeds, curry leaves, ginger, and chile; balls of the aromatic mash are then coated in a turmeric-accented chickpea-flour batter and deep-fried until crisp and golden. See the recipe for Aloo Bonda (Indian Mashed Potato Fritters) » Ingalls Photography
Fried Chickpea-Battered Potatoes (Bhajiya)
For this Mumbai street-food snack from Raghavan Iyer, chunks of potato are dredged in a light chickpea-and-rice-flour batter that is spiced with turmeric and chile powder. The potatoes are then deep fried until a golden crust forms and served with cilantro and tamarind chutneys. The spiced batter can be also used for other vegetables such as cauliflower and broccoli florets, sliced plantain, and eggplant.
Cabbage Vepadu (Cabbage Fritters)
Cookbook author Madhur Jaffery describes these spidery-looking cabbage-and-peanut fritters as looking like little Medusa heads, “with the strands of shredded cabbage providing a crunchy, unruly halo.” A popular item in the mess halls of the south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, they can be served as part of a meal or as a crunchy snack.
Hot Mix (Indian Spiced Snack Mix)
There are countless varieties of this ubiquitous Indian snack mix, made with varying combinations of nuts, fruit, spices, and other ingredients. Cookbook author Smita Chandra’s version of the addictive nibble is the best we’ve had, with four kinds of nuts (cashew, peanut, almond, pistachio), plus sweet raisins, nutty coconut, and poha, dried flattened rice flakes.