Street food is popular all over the world. Have you wondered why? It’s convenient, fresh, caters to local authentic taste, competitively priced, at times nostalgic, and makes for an affordable social place.
In Hyderabad, street food is pedaled on bicycles, push-carts and at kiosks. It is no longer limited to the bustling ‘old city’ lanes. (For Bangle bazaar, Charminar, see here). Find your nearest street corner, watch the locals eat roadside meals.
Two common sights greet the passer by each morning in Hyderabad (and most of South India). First is the artistic, rice powder kolam drawings on the floor of house entrances. The other is the breakfast vendor. Hot idli, dosa and chutney served at almost every street corner!
At one street in Begumpet area, this vendor parks his bicycle, as early as 5:30 am. Steel buckets filled with sambar (curry) hang from the handle bar. On either side of the cycle, two other containers with chutney and idli (soft rice flour mounds) make the balance. For recipe of Palli (peanut chutney) see here. With a beaming smile, he serves his first customer with soft, white idlis on disposable paper plates. Tangy, spicy sambar is ladled on top. Having sold all the food by 10:00 am he packs up.
Nagamma has been serving breakfast on her pushcart for 8 years. She wakes up at 3:00 am preparing the batter and chutneys. The couple drive their van and by 6:00 am, she lights up the makeshift gas burner on her bandi or pushcart. Oodles of batter are dropped into the hot oil, the aroma of sada vada and medu vada (little balls of rice and lentil batter) fills the cool morning air. Her regular customers are street workers, hostel students and nearby office staff.
Thanks Nagamma! Hesitatingly, I tasted freshly made crisp, flat dosa some vada served with coconut chutney. Yumm…
From 5 pm onwards its snack time in India. Freshly made, spicy fried Mirpakaya bhajji or stuffed chilli pakora are a Hyderabadi special. Be brave and tingle your taste buds!
Street food is known to travel far and beyond its regional and cultural borders. The Bombay style pani puri and chaat items, are gaining popularity with a younger crowd. Mostly hostel students, professionals in the bustling IT sector find these kiosks a affordable and relaxing place. You need a strong stomach to digest those spices and water, though.
Summer can be very hot and dry in Hyderabad. Vendors brave the heat and pollution on the roads. They push their carts from main road to side streets or stand nearby a tree. Popular drinks include lemon drinks, water served in earthen pots or matka, tender coconuts or freshly squeezed mosambi, sweet lime juice.
Have you eaten street food in Hyderabad?
What is the street food in your country? What cuisine does it say? Do share your comments.
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