Who doesn't love Indian street food? Bhel puri, sev puri, aloo tikki, paapdi chaat, pav bhaji, chhole bhatoore... you get all these at small thelas along the streets of India. You even get Chinese veg. noodles and momos these days!
My favorite Indian street food is pani puri, also known as gol gappe in some parts of the country and bataashe in others. In Jaipur, they are called pani pataasi. This is what a typical Indian pani puri thela looks like...
Ladies swarm around these thelas in the evening. And the vendor works his way deftly through his various containers, stuffing the empty bataashe with the aloo-chhola mixture and the various chutneys he has prepared in different flavors... spicy, sweet, and sour. The speed at which these guys work never fails to amaze me! Here's one at work...
One-by-one, the prepared bataashe go into such foil or pattal donas that all the ladies are handed as soon as they place their order. We (i.e. the ladies) then pick up the entire gol gappa and stuff it into our mouth, relishing the crunchy, spicy, tangy flavor! Ohhhh! Just thinking about it is making my mouth water!
I have actually bunked coaching classes to go and have pani puri with my friends! Seriously! I don't think there's anything else in the world that can help you achieve that level of pure ecstasy! Every nerve, every fiber of your body comes alive! Mmmmmm!
Do you like street food? What's your favorite?
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