If it is the sights & smells of the humble street food that entice you, and if biting into that kachori or aloo tikki tingles your taste buds like no restaurant food ever could then Indore is the place you should be headed to.
This buzzing city could stake its claim for the top slot of being the foodie capital of India. When you wake up and walk out in the street to the sight of tantalising heaps of delicious poha and fresh from the kadhai jalebis, you will know why Indore is the undisputed heaven for vegetarian street food lovers. The Chhappan Dukaan (referring to the 56-odd shops) and Sarrafa Bazaar are pilgrimages you must make to relish Indore speciality foods. You have to see it to believe how a jewellers’ market by day magically turns to a gastronome paradise by night. Let us tempt you with a list of the best Indore street food for your next visit to the city:
1. Dahi Bade
You’d be wondering what’s so special about these simple lentil balls dipped in curd and found in every nook and cranny of the country? You have to try them at Indore’s sarrafa bazaar to see the humble dahi-vadas transform to a work of art. At the Joshi dahi vada wala, watch with wonder how he twirls the bowl up in the air, then expertly adds 4 different spices with a single pinch before handing you this melt-in-mouth tangy delight. The dahi vadas are yummy and the experience will stay with you for a while. Its popularity and coverage on most food channels in the country is a testament to the quality of this Indore street food.
Where: Joshi Dahi Bada House, 24 Bada Sarafa, Sarafa Bazaar
2. Sabudana Khichdi
Who thought the bland pearly white tapioca seeds (sabudana) could feature amongst the best Indore street foods list. That is what street food is all aboutin Indore – turning the mundane to the magical, with a little innovation and some spicy sprinkling. You can watch with delight how the boiled sabudana is mixed with a variety of namkeens and crunchy chips, topped with spices and sprinkled with lemon and coriander to make it one of the yummiest version of the food you’ve ever had.
Where: Sanwariya Seth is a name to reckon with when it comes to sabudana khichdi, with several outlets across the city including one at Sarafa Bazaar
This is Indore’s version of the crispy and tangy Aloo ki chaat from Delhi. A yam-variant, Garadu, is diced, fried to golden brown and then sprinkled with a good helping of the special masala (yes, in Indore there’s a special spice mix for every dish!) and lots of lemon juice – the perfect recipe for yumminess in a platter.
Where: Several shops at Sarafa Bazaar serve them fresh
4. Poha Jalebi
Wherever you are in Indore, you’d be at a walking distance from a kiosk or shop serving steaming hot poha from the wee hours in the morning till late afternoon. This delicious and healthy street food is the best way to start your day when in Indore. Steamed to perfection and topped with the ubiquitous Indori sev, a sprinkle of coriander and a dash of lemon you wouldn’t be able to stop at one helping. It can be teamed with spicy kachori for a whole new experience. When eating Indore food, you must do it their way by wrapping up your breakfast with the mouth-watering crispy jalebis.
Where: Every sweet shop in Indore serves poha jalebi. The poha at Young Tarang in Chhapan Dukaan is very popular.
Suggested Read: 31 Indian Snacks Which Can Turn You Into a Local From a Tourist!
5. Bhutte ki Kees
We bet you’d never have had this variant of the corn anywhere else in the country. Another Indore speciality food, the bhutte ki khees is essentially boiled and grated corns tempered with heeng, cumin, green chillies and fennel seeds, topped with some spices, a pinch of lemon and garnished with grated coconut.
Where: Joshi Dahi Bada House, Bada Sarafa, Sarafa Bazaar
6. Khopra Patties
Considering how many of the Indore street food offerings are unique to the city and its out-of-the-box thinking food vendors, it could win the competition for innovative street food variety hands down. A fried to perfection potato patties with a coconut filing and good helping of tangy chutney’s is what these khopra patties are all about. The iconic Vijay Chaat House, one of the best places to eat in Indore, serves these and many more yummy delights at both Sarrafa and Chappan dukan outlets.
Where: Vijay Chaat House, Shops 6-8, Chhapan Dukan, New Palasia
Don’t get deceived by the name, this is no cool lemon drink to wash down all that chaat you’ve gorged on at Chappan dukan or Sarafa Bazar. This thick milky variant is a mini-meal in itself. Rich in texture and somewhere between a rabdi and lassi in taste, the Shikanji glass is garnished with heaps of dry-fruit.
Where: Madhuram Sweets at Chhapan Dukaan, New palasia
Suggested Read: 5 Popular Hot-Spots Serving The Most Famous Street Food In Agra
8. Egg Benjos
The egg benjos at Johnny’s Hot Dogs are one of the most famous Indore food items that you must try during your food trail through the city. In the primarily vegetarian food landscape of Indore, Egg and Mutton benjos at Johnny’s are probably the only non-vegetarian items that have such a huge fan following amongst the youth. A spicy masala omelette sandwiched between soft round buns served with chutney and ketchup is very popular. The mutton and vegetarian variants are nice too.
Where: Johnny’s Hot Dogs, Shop no.2, Chappan Dukan, New Palasia, Indore
9. Lal Balti ki Kachori
Indore boasts of an entire list of must-try kachori places for those who love these delicious spicy balls of fried dough filled with a range of stuffing. Jostling for the title of the most famous kachori with a host of other shops is the uniquely christened ‘Lal balti ki kachori’. Their kachoris stuffed with potato filling and served with their unique green chilli chatni (a very spicy version, not for the faint-hearted!). You must visit the place to figure out the reason for this interesting name.
Where: Near Gas Agency, Nagar Nigam Chiman Bagh, Jail Road, Indore
10. Malpua and Mawa Bati
While feasting your eyes on the sights at Sarafa Bazaar, one temptation you cannot resist is trying out the golden brown succulent malpuas displayed on huge tawas at various food stalls. Team it up with some rabri for that perfect dessert to end your food extravaganza at Sarafa. The Mawa baatis which are a bigger and richer version of the gulab jamuns will also make you drool.
Where: Bada Saraf, Sarafa bazaar
Suggested Read: 15 Must Try Delicacies Of Street Food In Mumbai
If these aren’t enough to satiate the street food lover in you, we would also like to recommend the yummy faluda kulfi at Nema Sweets and the 6-flavored pani puri available across various outlets in the city. Before you fly away from this foodie paradise, don’t forget to pack some savory Indori namkeens from Akash Namkeen to carry the flavour of Indore food back home!