If you are a foodie and love to taste different kinds of food from across the world, you are in the right country. India is well known for its wide variety of snacks and appetizers and the best part is that you wouldn’t have to travel around the world to taste the Chinese “Chow-Mein” or the Kebabs from Turkey. India has been a melting pot of multiple cultures and this is global cultural diversity is best observed in her cuisine.
What are appetizers and snacks?
Appetizers and snacks in general are finger food or ready to eat food and are very similar to the French “Hors d’oeuvres”. Some of these are quite popular and have become street food, while others are served at homes, restaurants or at parties.
With every state or region having its own food culture, many appetizers or snacks are also customized to adapt to the taste of that particular culture.
Read on for 15 of the most popular appetizers or snacks, otherwise also termed as Indian “Fast food“.
- Achari Paneer: Achari Paneer is not only yummy but also healthy and high in protein. This versatile dish can be served as an appetizer or as an accompaniment to a main course. First Paneer cubes are marinated in a spicy Achari marinade and then cooked in a Tava or tandoor. You can also make mouth-watering Achari Paneer Pulao.
- Aloo Roll: A winter party calls for this spicy snack. These yummy hot bread potato rolls are made of spicy potatoes, which are flavored with coriander, green chilies chat masala and peanuts. Aloo rolls are wonderful tea time snack for the monsoon. Ask any Indian Foodie about their favourite snack during the rains & this would be a sure-shot mention. These rolls can also be baked and not deep fried making them not just delicious, but healthy as well.
- Aloo Chaat:Another mouth-watering potato recipe is Aloo Chaat. This is one of Mumbai’s popular street food. Baby potatoes are marinated in Indian spices and sautéed in oil. It is deep fried on a low flame to get that crisp deep golden-brown layer and is served with delicious chat toppings, Moong and Sev.
- Bhel Puri: When we talk about snacks how can be forget to mention Bhel Puri, the spicy crunchy snack. Yet another popular street-food, this scores well with both food lovers and the health conscious. Apart from the two main ingredients of puffed rice (murmura) and fine sev, it also includes a sprinkle of fresh vegetables like cucumber, carrot, onions, tomatoes, mint or coriander chutney. It’s versatile enough for anyone to create their own versions.
- Batata Vada:This deep fried savory appetizer is also known as “Aloo Bonda” in the southern parts of the country. This fried potato dumpling is made with a spicy potato mix, gram four and deep fried. This popular street food in Mumbai is crispy outside and soft inside.
- Bread, Potato rolls:These are perfect tea time snack and can be served as an appetizer as well. Like Batata Vada, this mouthwatering bread potato rolls are crunchy on the outside and soft and spicy on the inside.
- Egg Roll:If you are wandering in the streets of Kolkata then you cannot miss its famous egg roll. It is basically a wrap which consists of an egg and salad and is served with various dips and sauces. If you wish, you can team it up with some chicken soup.
- Litti Chokha: If you happen to go to Patna you would be amazed to see how people are in love with this appetizer and snack known as the “Litti Chokha”, which is indeed quite healthy and nutritious. The main ingredients of “Litti Chokha” are Gram flour, Brinjal and boiled Potato. This can either be eaten as a snack or a main course.
- Mirchi Bajji (Pakode) or Chilli Fritters: If you really want to test your taste buds, then Mirchi Bajji from Hyderabad is a must have. These are green chilies stuffed with various fillings and then covered in batter and deep fried. This city is very famous for its mouth-watering and in-numerable varieties of Biriyani, all known for its authentic tastes.
- Poha Jalebi: It’s a staple breakfast snack in Indore. It is served with nylon sev and green chilies and are served in “Donna” – handmade bowls made out of leaves.
- Smoked Tandoori Paneer Tikka: This classic dish from the Mughal region of the northern part of the country is called by many names including Nawabi Paneer Tikka, Malai Paneer Tikka, Tandoori Paneer Tikka and Hariyali Paneer Tikka. It’s made from fresh Paneer that is flavored with a variety of spices.
- Spring Rolls: The seven sisters of India (the north-eastern states) have brought a very interesting snack known as the spring rolls. It has become so popular that, it is now one of the most loved snack in the entire country. They have a crispy shell of flour and vegetable or shredded meat filling inside. It is served with hot and spicy chili sauce.
- Stuffed Mushrooms: If you are looking for a fun appetizer to entertain your guests before the actual meal, this appetizer is the perfect choice. The texture of the mushroom, the softness of the cheese along with the crunch of the bread crumbs make this one-bite-appetizer everyone’s favourite.
- Vada Pav: Vada Pav is a popular street food in Mumbai. People tend to wake up early in the morning and often have Vada Pav for breakfast from the roadside vendor. This is an Indian style burger with Potato Bonda (mentioned earlier in this article) filled in-between a bun is served with various dips and sauces.
- Vegetarian Hariyali Malai Kebab: Kebabs are yet another tea time snack which is very popular in Hyderabad and Northern India as well. Kebabs are mostly prepared out of shredded meat, but can also be made of vegetables such as potatoes and mixed vegetables. The ingredients of Vegetarian Hariyali Malai Kebab they are Paneer, Potatoes and Mint Chutney. They are crispy on the outside, soft from the inside and sprinkled with chat masala, these make perfect party accompaniments.