Imagine gorging on cuisines from 25 Indian states at one venue. Sounds tempting, doesn’t it? So head for the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium where a mind-boggling 175 stalls will leave you spoilt for choice at the Street Food Festival.
The four-day festival, which opened Thursday, highlights the wide spectrum of street dishes available across India. From Delhi’s chilli momos to idli-sambar and dosas of Tamil Nadu, satisfy your appetite with the variety of dishes.
The festival provides a chance to gorge on popular dishes like chole kulche to a little-known staple of Himachal Pradesh – sepu badi – made of lentils.
Then, the festival acquaints visitors with dishes like akanee mutton biryani from Karnataka’s Dharwad district and Mysore’s kalini kebab, deep-fried chicken pieces that evoke the flavour of kasturi methi.
Stalls from Kerala offer a potpourri of rice dishes like the palappam chicken stew made of rice, chicken and coconut milk; Malabar biryani; Kerala biryani; dum biryani; ghee biryani and Kerala Khichdi.
Dehati murg bhaat, a tribal delicacy of Jharkhand and Bihar’s litti – made of sattu – served with mutton curry are some of the other dishes to look out for.
Apart from these, there are stalls of popular street dishes like Punjab’s sarso ka saag and makke ki roti, West Bengal’s fish fry, Mumbai’s famous pav bhaaji, Hyderabadi biryani from Telangana, Rajasthan’s kachori, Delhi’s aloo tikki and chaat.
Among the must tries are Lucknow’s shammi kebab, chicken korma and biryani. The enchanting aroma of the masalas at the stalls where it is served makes them hard to resist.
The stall selling roller fruit ice-cream was a crowd puller, as was the one offering the famous Banarasi paan.
The reasonable price of the dishes – Rs.20 to Rs.150 – is another draw. Thalis and kebabs cost around Rs 150.
“Street food festivals must be encouraged and held frequently,” renowned chef Sanjeev Kapoor said while inaugurating the extravaganza, organised by the National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI) here Thursday.
“I am a lover of street food. Street food is made of local recipes and hence, the taste is more authentic,” Kapoor told IANS before heading towards a stall selling mouth-watering golgappa, his favourite street food.
“Last year around 25,000 people visited the festival. This year we expect around 35,000 people,” said NASVI national coordinator Arbind Singh.
An Android application named Street Saathi has been made by Dheeraj Agrawal, who was a street vendor when he was younger. The free application enables users to search nearby street food vendors by proximity, popularity and cuisine type.
Apart from culinary arts, the festival will have special attractions like interactive competitive games for children such as make the poster on the spot, extempore speech, sing your own food song and write slogan on promoting street food.
On Sunday, the concluding day, an awards ceremony will applaud master street food vendors in categories like hygiene, nutrition, serving, customer relation, innovation and popularity.