All things homemade, lip-smacking and finger-licking-ly delicious!
Monsoons and snacks are a match made in food heaven! Why do the rains make us crave everything batter-fried or deep-fried during chai time? Well, steaming hot, fresh-off-the stove treats are good for the soul you see—especially when you can enjoy watching it rain with your plate of snacks and a hot cuppa.
Man’s Life lists out 12 favourite desi chai-time hits from across India to satiate those rainy-day cravings….
No monsoon season in India is complete without some version of everyone’s (if you don’t fall under this category, you have no taste) favourite pakoras. From fresh palak and potatoes to onions and practically any other veggie you can think of—these besan/chickpea flour fried goodness are a must-have during the rainy season!
2. VADA PAV
We Indians and our love for potatoes know no bounds! Potatoes whether baked, fried or mashed—provide pillowy, melt-in-your-mouth pleasure no matter what the season. However, the demand for this Mumbaiya snack peaks when monsoon hits! Soft pav, with a deep-fried potato dumpling, with garlic-chilli powder, green chutney and hari mirch—is a soul-satisfying crunchy snack that is best savoured while it’s pouring outside! BRB, cleaning the drool off our workstations!
Piping hot samosas are the best cure to hunger pangs on a rainy day. Probably one of the most popular Indian snacks known worldwide, this crispy-and-soft in equal measure munchie, is a treat to our senses. From potatoes and peas and lentils and keema—the options for fillings are endless.
4. PAZHAM PORI (RIPE BANANA FRITTERS)
This one reigns supreme in Kerala. Made with nendrapazham (a kind of plantain banana predominantly used in south India) flour, a bit of sugar, and a pinch of turmeric for colouring—these fritters have just the right amount of crunch and sweetness to make it an ideal snack when it pours! Just one bite, and you’d be a fan! These are totally worth the extra minutes on the treadmill the next day!
5. DAL VADA
This crispy and deep-fried deliciousness is also known as parippu vada. It’s a south Indian snack loved across the country. Made from chana dal or lentil paste with bits of green chillies, curry leaves and a hint of ginger—these have a lot more swag than uzhunnu or medhu vada, if you ask us! Don’t believe us? See if you can stop with just one!
6. MIRCHI BADA
What’s monsoon without a snack with some zing to it? This Rajasthani favourite is a must-have this season and ideal for someone who likes to spice things up. Large, mild green chillies are stuffed with boiled, potatoes mashed with spices and coated with a thick besan batter, and deep-fried. Okay, almost attained food nirvana just with the thought of getting hold of one of these chilli fritters!
They’re technically, Tibetan, but there are many versions available in Sikkim, Nepal and across south Asia. They’re very similar to Chinese Potstickers. Soft dough dumplings filled with veggies or meat steamed to perfection, and served with a sweet, tangy or spicy dip! Can you think of anything else to munch on during a rainy evening? In the meantime, we shall feast on our Momo platter while you ponder over the query!
Baarish ke mausam mein no grilled-corn-on-the-cob = bin paani ke barsaat. Well, you get where we are going with this, right? Grilled sweet corn with salt, a bit of butter, red chilli powder with a generous squeeze of lime—is the most fuss-free yet delectable monsoon snack, if there is one!
9. CHEESY INSTANT NOODLES
When it’s cold or rainy, there’s only one dish that feels like a warm bowl of hug—instant noodles. Add a bit of cheese, and this gooey, slurpy yumminess is all that you need to feel that life’s gooooddd!
Bhaji or bhajiya is similar to pakoras. However, different parts of the country have different ways of preparing them. Goli Baje or Mangalore Bhajji is usually made with a batter of flour, curd, curry leaves and ginger, which are fermented overnight that give these fried balls a hint of tanginess. In Kerala, you’ll get a bhaji with raw plantain stuffing, which has a unique flavour. Like pakoras, you can make these with a vegetable of your choice—and serve hot with coconut, tomato or mint chutney!
Kachoris are truly heaven-sent! Moong dal, mattar (green peas) and pyaz (onions)—are some of the most popular fillings. A crispy and crunchy exterior meets soft, mushy insides: It’s a dance of textures and flavours on your taste buds! Especially, when you dip them into the tangy and sweet tamarind chutney! Drool!
12. FRUIT CHAAT
This is strictly for the health-conscious! With immunity being the priority considering it’s monsoon season combined with a pandemic—there can be no healthier snack than fruit chaat. Include a variety of seasonal fruits so that you can get hits of different flavours. For added punch try sprinkling a pinch of pepper or chaat masala.
Okay, so your diet may go for a toss, but you gotta live a little too, right? Portion control will ensure you don’t overdo snacking! Besides, since these street-food favourites are going to be made at home, you can choose the ingredients and oils to use to cook them. It’s a win-win, if you ask us! Enjoy!
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