Tag Archives: Pakora

Street food, Hyderabad


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.

Floor design: Kolam,

Floor design: Kolam,

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.

Street vendor selling breakfast items

Street vendor selling breakfast items










Bucket filled with Sambar / curry

Bucket filled with Sambar / curry

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…

Street vendor making crisp dosa

Street vendor making crisp dosa

Bonda and Vada

Bonda and Vada

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: Masala bonda and bhajji

Street food: Masala bonda and bhajji

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.

Street food :Pani puri stall

Street food :Pani puri stall

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.

All content and images copyright Veena S. (2013 -2016) http://www.walktomarket.wordpress.com. Please see copyright disclaimer













World Palate Recipes- Hyderabadi Mirpakaya Pakodi ( Jalapeno Fritters)


World Palate Series 

Hyderabadi Mirpakaya Pakodi /Bhajji

(Jalapeno Fritters)

I had promised my readers some local recipes on my return from Hyderabad and Mumbai. For a festive recipe from my home town Mumbai, see Besan Ladoos for Deepavali.

Now lets’ savour street food from Hyderabad. The street stall down the lane where I reside, has always been a popular meeting point for the local labourer community. ‘Ting ting…. ting ting ‘ announces the hawker as he hits his large seived iron ladle on the simmering hot iron pan. Mirchi Pakodi or Mirpakaya Pakodi, as called in local Andhra language are sizzling hot and ready. Soon, crowds begin to gather around the simple Lungi clad hawker who fries the stuffed chilli peppers and hands them out coarsely on paper plates, garnished with chopped onion. Hmm… I was wary of taking a photo here – lest the local labour community begin to get curious.:(

Welcome to Hyderabad! The city of  Charminar, the iconic building with four minarets and the popular Chudi Bazaar, Lac Bazaar and pearl markets in the old town areas. But it is the Hyderabadi cuisine, and the popular Biryani, that draws chefs and tourists from all over India!

Pages from history describe the Nizam’s kitchen as elaborate and authentic, drawing the best of Khansama or cooks from the Mughal/Persian/Arabic lineage. It was the art of blending spices, mutton /lamb  and slow cooking Tandoor methods used that created some finest dishes and best kept secrets. It is said, even the young ladies of the house were banned from entering the kitchen! Recipes were passed down ONLY to the incoming daughter-in-laws, and they would learn and guard them. Mirchi ka Salan, lentil soups, kebabs, Biryani, Rogan Gosht and sweet treats like Double ka Meetha and Qubani are some delicacies of the era.

Another type of cuisine is the local Andhra food. Rice is staple diet, cooked in a variety of flavours. After the harvest, rice sweet /puddings are cooked traditionally using clay /earthen pots. For a Tamarind rice recipe, see here. Also popular are podi /chutneys/pickles that have a fiery, tangy element. Andhra people mix it with mounds of rice topped off with ghee and the fiery pickle to enjoy a hearty meal and some lip smacking. Beware you timid outsider…the experience might send your tummy rumbling and eyes tearing.

Let me share the recipe of Mirpakaya Pakodi / Mirchi Pakodi 

Mirchi photo


4-6 broad peppers / Jalapenos (de seeded)

Oil for frying

For batter:

1 cup lightly roasted Gram flour (chick pea /Besan)

2 tbsps. roasted flattened rice / Poha

Cumin powder, salt, chilli powder, ajwain – as per taste

Pinch of Soda bi carb (optional)

Fresh cut coriander as required (optional)



Mirpakaya pakori ingredients

Mirpakaya pakori ingredients

For stuffing:

100 gms.unsalted, roasted peanuts

50 gms. sesame seeds, roasted

1 inch size ball of tamarind

salt /cumin powder to taste

2 medium finely chopped onions


Mirpakaya /chilli - stuffed

Mirpakaya /chilli – stuffed


Wash, dry and de-seed the chilli pepper and leave aside to dry.

Prepare the stuffing – Coarsely grind the peanuts and sesame. Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add 2 tbsp. of warm water to tamarind and crush the pulp to make juice. Add this as required to dry ingredients, avoid making it too soggy. Begin filling the chilli peppers one by one, set aside on plate.

Heat oil in large wok /frying pan – do not smoke it!

Prepare the batter by mixing ingredients with small amount of water, at a time, to make a thick, pouring consistency.

Take one chilli pepper at a time, gently dip and rotate it in batter, coating it on all sides. Put it into the hot oil. Do same with remaining. Fry gently, turning it so as to give even heat and cook chilli on all sides till brown.

Remove from frying pan using large sieve ladle, draining excess oil. Set aside on plate.

To serve, garnish with chopped onion and lemon slice. Serve whole or sliced diagonally in half keeping th estem intact. Best served with frothy, milky Chai. 

Tip: If preparing 1 hour ahead of party, pre heat oven to low temperature, line aluminium foil on tray. Place Pakodi/ Bajji on them. Keep warm till ready to serve.

Mirpakaya pakori ready for serving

Mirchi /Mirpakaya pakodi