panipuriThe city of Delhi offers various types of food options, priced sensibly for people with different budgets. While big and fancy restaurants are found all over the city and people still enjoy fine dining, what is also very popular are the street snack options that this city has to offer. Street snacks are popular with people of all ages. Whether they are looking for a little something to munch on while walking on the roads, while waiting for someone to come or while they are busy shopping, these snacks are bought regularly to fill the stomach with little treats.

Earlier, old Delhi or Chandni Chowk was the place for street snacks. Although snacks are found in different pockets of the city, loyalists still argue that the chaats taste best in old Delhi. There are different types of chaats sold such as papri chaat (a crispy wafer base with boiled potatoes and chickpeas on top, garnished with yoghurt and tamarind sauce), aloo chaat (boiled potatoes mixed with spices and tamarind sauce), fruit chaat (different fruits on a plate with salt sprinkled on them) and so on.

Apart from chaats, golgappas are also popular street snacks. Golgappas are crisp fried shells also known as panipuris. They are filled with boiled mashed potatoes and chickpeas that have been mixed well with spices. The golgappa is then dipped in tamarind water and offered to customers. The customers stand around the seller as he places one golgappa after another on their plates. This street snack must be consumed fast as each plate can hold only one golgappa at a time.

The streets of Delhi also contain the halwais (those selling sweets) and the namkeen sellers (those selling snacks). Among sweets, rabris and ice lollies are very popular. Samosas are very popular street snacks too. These fried snacks usually contain a stuffing of potatoes mixed with spices. There are some shops where hundreds of samosas are sold daily. Tea, sold in small earthen cups or plastic cups, is commonly sold along with samosas. Other common beverages sold on the road include nimbu paani (lemonade), milkshakes of various flavours and soft drinks.

Parathas are another popular street snack choice. There is a special Paranthewali Gali in old Delhi that is famed for their delicious parathas. It is believed that many freedom fighters and celebrities would frequent this place to eat parathas. For those who are not familiar with them, parathas are round flatbreads soaked in ghee. They are served with pickle, tamarind chutney and/or a vegetable preparation.

More recently, momos are also found on the streets of Delhi. While steamed momos are more popular, fried momos are also sold regularly. As this snack is available in both chicken and vegetarian forms, this is fast becoming popular. Sometimes chicken rolls are also sold at the same outlet.

While consuming street snacks, customers must turn a blind eye to the lack of hygiene in preparing these foods. Otherwise, they ought to buy these snacks from small eateries that have started selling them. However, those who frequent these roadside stalls will swear by the delicious taste of these snacks.