Seeking a Renaissance in San Francisco
My trips to India are full of food filled adventures, but visiting from America, my parents always forbade me from eating the street food that I would salivate over. They were afraid my “foreign” immunity couldn’t withstand the raw ingredients and outdoor cooking conditions. Nonetheless, I always lusted after the outdoor food stands whose aroma always managed to find me. Here in the U.S., street food has found its way onto menus of the countless Indian restaurants. The menus usually carry different types of chaat, for the most part. India, of course, is an extremely diverse country, with each state contributing different foods with unique flavors. Indian street food can hardly stop at chaat! I went on a quest to find popular street delicacies of the various states of India. I ended up hosting an Indian street food lunch party for my friends with the recipes I found! Although I wasn’t able to cover all of India’s 28 states, I hit 12 major states with the dishes that were served. Here is the menu I ended up creating. I’ve linked the recipes I used as well.
|All||Mangoes with Chili Powder|
|Andhra Pradesh||Hyderabadi Biryani & Borugulu|
|Karnataka||Mini Mysore Masala Dosa|
|Madya Pradesh||Poha Jalebi|
|Maharashtra||Mumbai Vada Pav & Ragda Patties|
|Orissa||Jhala Mudhi (aka Bhel Puri)|
|Tamil Nadu||Kothu Paratha|
I have to thank a handful of my friends who chipped in with food, drinks, & dessert and helped make the event a success! I realized many of my friends would have no idea what these dishes were, where they were from, or how to eat them! I ended up making India Map labels for each dish. I colored the region the dish was from and added a description of the item as well (photos of the labels, below). Finally, to add an authentic touch, I collected newspapers in various Indian languages and wrapped the food items in the newspaper or served them on banana leaves, as they often do on the streets of India.
I really urge you all to check out what sorts of Indian street food offerings you might have in your own cities and taste the amazing variety of flavors that are out there!