Article by: Sneha Purkayastha, The North-Eastern Chronicle
Visual by: Abiskar Banikya
‘Street food’ — Woah! the name itself brings a smile to our faces, joy to our hearts and makes our stomach growl in hunger.
Well, even if you aren’t hungry enough will you resist street food? Street food is not just about the food that brings happiness but also the memories attached to it; memories of bunking college, after tuitions ‘pet puja’ point, special ‘adda’ with friends near the stalls, complaints about how the momo chutney is spicier than usual and lot more.
History of Street Food
Unlike any other historical insights, it is more exciting to know that ‘street food’ has come a long way too.
The concept of street food was an amalgamation of affordability and taste from times earlier.
The street food finds its place in ancient Greece where small fried fish were sold on the streets.
The ‘chickpea soup’ was a common street food in ancient Rome. In the East, the Chinese market was filled with vendors selling street food.
Guwahati, a place so evolving in nature has never failed to come up with food that suites best to people’s taste.
Let’s look at what we have on our platter to offer you.
Five must-try street food in Guwahati
‘Momos’ isn’t that a ‘soul food’? Sadly, a plate of momo is never enough to satisfy your hunger.
The piping hot soup that complements momo is nothing but a ‘destined partner’. But have you ever had a cheese momo?
Loaded with veggies and cheese the filing is so satisfying to your eyes and taste that it leaves behind an unmatched impression.
Special appreciation goes to the chutney that is tangy, gingery yet so flavourful. ‘Prem Cold Centre’, a store situated in the ever-busy streets of Fancy Bazar, is very popular for its cheese momo. Another such area serving it is in the lanes of ‘Masjid Gali’ in Fancy Bazar.
Every one of us have heard about the craze of Vada-pav among residents of Mumbai, but have you ever tried a typical Vada pav in Guwahati?
The main element of this dish is the ‘Vada’– which is a potato mixture dipped in a batter of gram flour, spices and then deep-fried; and the ‘pav’ which is bun bread. It resembles a burger very much but isn’t one.
The subsidiary element which enhances the taste of Vada pav is its chutneys. This street food is very pocket-friendly and delicious.
The ‘Mumbai King Vada’ pav situated in the Barowari area is one such outlet that provides the authentic vada-pav.
The owner hails from Maharashtra and hence serves the typical Mumbai style vada pav to its customers.
Double Chicken Roll
Without any non-veg options the street food list will be incomplete, so here is one special non-veg street food widely known as ‘double chicken roll.’
Rolls are very familiar street food; it is a flatbread or chapati which is filled with veggies, meat, eggs etc incorporated with sauces and packed together.
The name preferably may have come from closely packing the stuffings inside the chapati in by rolling it; maybe, well who knows?
The double chicken roll is filled with tandoori chicken pieces, cheese, sauces combined to provide the heavenly version of roll you’ve ever had.
The very famous place ‘Street-Za’ serves this speciality. Also, ‘Baba Roll’ from J14 is a must-try.
Isn’t street food incomplete without the favourite of all times puchkas.
Puchka also known as Gol Gappa, Pani puri, Gupchup is the widely famous street food of India.
In Guwahati, alongside the streets of High court near Cotton College, there is a puchka stall that serves puchkas, however the speciality of that stall is that it serves puchkas with 5 different flavours of water.
There is garlic flavoured water, green chutney, meethi chutney flavoured water and a lot more. If you do take a tour around the area don’t forget to try this variant.
Another savoury street food is chaat or chat. Chaat is a spicy, sweet, tangy in short the perfect ‘chatpata snack’ for your boring days.
Well, chaat can be of different types but we will stick to the OG of chaat and that is Papdi Chaat.
The all-purpose flour and semolina fried namkeen known as ‘Papdi’ assembled with onions, tomato, potato cubes, chutneys, curd garnished with peanuts, coriander and ‘sev’. A plate of chaat is a joy to the heart.
There are many places/stalls in Guwahati where you will find chaat but we recommend you a chat place in Bormotoria near Nayantara supermarket. The stall called ‘Chat House’ serves this delicious snack.
Street foods are very simple yet very distinct and flavoursome at the same time.
Exploring stalls and places serving the best street food is an adventure, sometimes you find something exceptionally tasteful sometimes you don’t; while many other times, the simple and non- experimented street food can be a go-to.
The journey exploring street food shouldn’t be limited instead explore more and try out more.