Ahmadabad, the capital city of Gujarat is a foodie’s haven in India. While the entire state has a ban on alcohol, people in Gujarat still manage to get high just on food. Gujratis are known for their undying love for food, especially sweet-sugary ones. They tend to lean on quick snacks and dry food which is the reason behind the success of various street food vendors in this state. Ahmadabad’s street food scene is a must-experience in India as it introduces you to unique flavorful rich items like dhokla, thepla, khakra, dalvada, fafda and much more. The very names can make a Gujrati salivate, so as a newbie you would not be left far behind either from the simple pleasures of their sweet and savoury treats. Check out the top street food you must try in Ahmadabad, Gujarat, for a gratifying journey across the western side of India.
1. Khakhra (spicy wheat crackers)
Khakhra is a snack that is common in both Gujarat and Rajasthan. It is quite a simple food item made using wheat flour, salt, spices, and oil. You can even say that it is a Gujrati version of crispy tortillas that can be topped with any food of your choice or eaten without an accompaniment. There are over hundreds of variants in khakhra based on the spices you mix to the base wheat flour and it is often served along with breakfast at Gujarati homes. While plain wheat khakhra itself is a delicious mild snack, when topped with spices like chilly powder, amchur powder (mango powder), chaat masala (tangy powder mix) or methi leaves (fenugreek leaves), the whole snack gets a brand new flavor and aroma. Check out the many khakhra vendors lined up across the streets of Ahmadabad for a crispy yummy bite.
2. Samosa pav (deep-fried savory pastry stuffed in a bun)
When speaking about Indian street food one cannot miss the popular Indian snack samosa. It is a triangle cone-shaped snack stuffed with potato, chickpea mix, or a vegetable mix. Samosa pav is made by sandwiching delicious samosas inside a bun (pav). This is served with spiced chutney and tomato sauce. While Mumbai is famous for its vada pav (pav with fried potato dumpling), Ahmedabad’s samosa pav is an equally popular street delight. With a dash of cheese and spice-mix on both sides of the bun, samosa pav reaches a whole new level in treating your taste buds.
3. Dal vada (split green gram fritters)
Gujarati moong dal vada or dal vada is made using split yellow and green gram soaked over-night. The vada batter is made using green chilies, ginger and garlic ground together coarsely with the lentils. This batter is then deep-fried in ball-like shapes and served with fried green chilies and chopped onions. Dal vada is crispy on the outside and spongy on the inside which makes it all the more delicious. Unlike other vadas, this one doesn’t require any chutney. Numerous stalls in Ahmadabad sell dal vada that you can take away.
4. Fafda jalebi (crispy gram flour sticks with sugary sweet treat)
Fafda jalebi is a plate of yummy delicacy made using two different snack items - fafda and jalebi. They are served together with green chilly and salad. It is a popular breakfast item in Ahmadabad where people start their day with a mix of spice and sweet in their food. Fafda is made using gram flour and spice-mixed dough, which is then fried into a chips-like snack. Jalebi is made using all-purpose flour, gram flour batter that is fried into rings and dipped in tangy sugar syrup. These two snack items can be served separately or together in one plate. Fafda jalebi is often enjoyed with salad and curd.
5. Dhokla (steamed fluffy chickpea cake)
When speaking of Gujarati cuisine, the one dish that comes to everyone’s mind is dhokla. It is a steamed dish, which can be tasted in almost every household of Ahmadabad. Dhokla is made using chickpea flour, salt, sugar, spice and a dash of baking soda to give the cake a rise and soft texture. This cake is both sweet and salty and is often served with green coriander chutney and red chilly chutney. In Ahmadabad, dhokla is something that you can have any time of the day and it is very mild on the tummy.
6. Stuffed parantha (stuffed Indian flatbread)
Parantha or paratha is an Indian flatbread made from wheatflour dough (atta) and is cooked almost every day in many parts of the country. When this flatbread is made with a variety of spicy stuffings such as potato masala, paneer curry, fenugreek (methi) leaves, cauliflower stuffing (gobi) and so on, it is called a stuffed parantha and is often served with curd and pickle. Did you know, there are over hundreds of varieties of stuffed paranthas in India. One of the popular household name in stuffed paranthas is the aloo parantha made with potato stuffing. It is a frequent breakfast in Ahmadabad and a must-try delicacy.
7. Paani puri (crunchy balls with savory fillings and flavored water)
There is not a celebration or a festival in the country that goes without tasting these crunchy balls of joy. Paani means water and puri is small fried hollow puri in the shape of a ping-pong ball. Paani puri is served by stuffing mashed potatoes or sprouts into the hollow balls and then filling it with tangy and sweet water. The paani is a mixture of coriander leaves, green chillies, salt and tangy tamarind juice. When you stuff one whole crispy paani puri (that’s how it is supposed to be had), the spicy water explodes in your mouth and fuses with the potato stuffing while balancing out the taste. The feeling is heavenly.
8. Bhuna gosht (spicy lamb curry)
While it is a well-known fact that most food vendors in Ahmadabad sell vegetarian food as a major population of Gujaratis are vegetarian, non-vegetarian delights are equally popular. One such lip-smacking delicacy is bhuna gosht. The preparation consists of small pieces of mutton (lamb) cooked in a spicy gravy (curry) made of onions and tomatoes. The juices of onion and tomatoes mix with that of the mutton. The meat gets cooked in this juice and it turns into a velvety-soft semi-dry gravy that is often served as a side dish to paranthas or even had with plain white rice or biryani. The Amadvadi Bhuna Gosht is a must-try for all non-vegetarian food lovers.
9. Bun maska (butter lathered bun)
Bun maska is a go-to snack for people in Ahmadabad and it can be prepared in quite a simple way. To make it all you need is maska (butter at room temperature) and bun (pav bun or soft milk bread roll). The bun is cut in half horizontally and butter is spread generously on both the halves to make a bun-butter sandwich. You can add a variety of additional spreads like chocolate spread, cheese spread, whipped cream, jam and so on to your this sandwich. Bun maska and ketli chai (tea prepared by boiling continuously in a kettle) are the best breakfast snack combo.
10. Kulfi (condensed milk frozen dessert)
Ahmadabad is popularly dubbed as the “ice-cream capital of India”, as it is home to the country’s largest dairy brand - Amul. It will be a great miss to leave this city without trying its signature milk-based ice-cream kulfi. Kulfi is made by collecting evaporated milk solids (koya/koa), adding it to condensed or thickened milk and flavoring it with sugar, saffron, cardamom and nuts. This mixture is then frozen to form kulfi. Based on the flavorings added kulfi can be of different variations such as malai kulfi (traditional kulfi), elaichi kulfi (cardamom flavored), chocolate kulfi, mango kulfi, kesar badam kulfi (saffron and nut flavored) and so on. Kulfi is a very popular dessert available by the streets and restaurants of Ahmadabad.
11. Mutton chaap (lamb ribs spice curry)
Another must-have non-vegetarian delicacy is the mutton chaap. It can be prepared in two variations, fried dry snack or as a gravy-rich side dish with rice/paratha/roti. This mouthwatering dish is prepared by refrigerating mutton ribs in a marinade made of ginger-garlic paste, curd, mace powder, and salt. This marinade is taken out of the fridge after a minimum of two hours and deep-fried. The gravy version is pressure cooked with onions, tomatoes, and spices in a soupy consistency to achieve a gravy.
12. Bhelpuri (puffed rice snack)
Bhelpuri is a snack that gives out a variety of tastes like sweet, spicy and tangy. This famous snack is prepared by mixing puffed rice, vegetables, fried savories, spicy green chilly sauce, and tamarind sauce. Bhelpuri is a scrumptious snack that is sometimes taken as a mild-dinner by the Amadvadis. This snack tastes best when had at once after served. Hence, the street food vendors start preparing bhelpuri only after you place the order and you are handed the crispy, yummy snack in less than two minutes.
13. Cheese takda Maggi (instant noodles sauteed with vegetables and garnished with cheese)
While Maggi itself is a unique Indian way of having noodles, cheese tadka maggi is a step-further in its Indian-ness. This street special is prepared using onions, capsicum and tomato sauteed in butter and then cooked along with Maggi and its special spice mix. Amadvadi food sellers add spice powders as well as grated cheese to add an extra flavor. This delicacy is served with a thick layer of grated cheese topping. Enjoy hot maggi as the grated cheese slowly melts into your plate.
14. Baraf gola (crushed ice popsicle)
Baraf gola or ice gola is a popsicle made using crushed ice and flavoring. This refreshing popsicle is a nostalgic childhood memory for many adults today and is still loved by people of all ages. You can dip baraf (ice) in the gola (flavorful juice) and enjoy this delicacy. Gola is available in different flavors such as blueberry, orange, grape, pineapple, lemon, kalakhatta (tangy blackberry), litchi and more. Kalakhatta is uniquely Indian infused with both tangy and spicy flavors.
15. Ragada pattice (potato patties on white peas soup)
Ragada pattice (patties) is a filling street food that is made using spicy white peas soup (ragada) and potato patties (pattice). Ragada is prepared by steam-cooking soaked white peas and gram in a spicy seasoning. This is added as a topping to mashed potato spicy patties and served hot. Ragada pattice is a popular street grub in both Mumbai and Gujarat. Topped with coriander chutney and dates/tamarind sauce, this street food ushers an irresistible pleasure.
16. Maggi pakora (instant noodle fritters)
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
While we all know the feel of slurping noodles, here is a unique dish that lets you munch on noodles. Maggi pakora is deep-fried crispy balls of Maggi that you can have with green chutney and tomato sauce. Maggi pakora takes very little time to prepare and is an absolutely delectable dish. To make this crispy snack you have to mix half-boiled Maggi noodles with grated vegetables, Maggi spice mix, and gram flour and rice flour to make a sticky dough. This dough is then split into small-sized balls and deep-fried. It is indeed a unique and very tasty way of having instant noodles.
17. Batata poha (flattened rice and potato mix)
Batata poha or potato poha is made using flattened rice, onion, potato, ginger, chilly and seasoning. This dish is seasoned with roasted peanuts, mustard, cumin, curry leaves, coriander leaves, and asafoetida. It is a very simple dish and a fulfilling breakfast in Ahmadabad. All vegetables are sauteed along with the seasoning in oil and then poha (soaked flattened rice flakes) is added to this mixture. Poha blends well with vegetables, spices, and salt which offers a mouthwatering taste. Batata poha is eaten along with fried green chilly and plain yogurt.
18. Ketli chai (kettle tea)
Ketli chai is authentic Indian masala milk tea that is prepared using one part milk and half part water in which spices like ginger, bay leaf, cinnamon sticks, mint leaves and tulsi (holy basil) are added along with tea and boiled in an aluminium kettle for long so that all the flavors get fully absorbed in the milk. To this sugar is added according to people’s preferences and served hot from the kettles poured into chai glasses. Ketli chai is a go-to drink in Ahmadabad and an early morning caffeine fix for many Indians. This aromatic tea is said to have medicinal qualities as it has a mixture of spices and herbs. Ketli chai with bun maska is a popular morning snack in Ahmadabad, as discussed earlier.
19. Methina gota (fenugreek leaf fritters)
Methina gota is a delicious Gujrati snack served with green chutney and date-tamarind chutney or just ketli chai in Ahmadabad. This snack is prepared using methi leaves (fenugreek), chickpea flour, cilantro/coriander leaves, curry leaves, ginger-garlic paste, spices, little sugar and baking soda with lime. All these ingredients are mixed together and made into a dough by adding drops of water one at a time. Baking soda is added just before frying to ensure the fritters come out soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. The dough is split into small-sized balls and deep-fried in hot oil on a medium flame. Methina gota is also called methi pakora in some places and is a true delicacy.
20. Khandvi (gram flour rolls)
Khandvi is a very light yet delicious yummy snack roll that can be made in a few minutes. The batter for khandvi is prepared by mixing gram flour, curd, water, finely ground chilly, ginger paste, turmeric powder, and salt. This batter is cooked slowly on medium flame while constantly stirring it into a thick consistency. This thick cooked batter is spread on a clean steel plate or a flat countertop and topped with a mild sprinkle of seasonings. After a few minutes of cooling down the batter is cut into thin strips and rolled to Khandvi. These delicious and soft yellow rolls are decorated by sprinkling fresh coriander leaves and seasonings.
21. Thepla (soft Indian flatbread)
Thepla is a soft Indian flatbread made using wheat flour, chickpea flour, fenugreek leaves, and many spices. Thepla is often presented as small rolls and served with spicy gravy or pickle. It is a popular breakfast dish as well as an evening snack in Ahmadabad and goes well with tea.
22. Bread pakora (deep fried bread in chickpea batter)
Bread pakora is a lip-smacking street food made by dipping pieces of bread in spiced chickpea flour batter and deep-frying them. You can also add a slice of cottage cheese-like a sandwich and then make it into a pakora. This bread pakora is served with green coriander chutney and tomato ketchup. It is a very tempting snack on the streets of Ahmadabad.
23. Surati locho (steamed irregular dumplings)
Surati locho first originated in Surat. These delicious steamed dumplings are made using gram dal, split black gram dal and rice flakes. The dal is soaked and ground into a smooth batter along with chilies, ginger, salt, pepper, asafoetida, and baking soda. This batter is then steam cooked to make yummy dumplings that are topped with sweet and spicy chutneys, lime and sev (Indian noodle-style snack).
24. Handvo (vegetable cake)
Handvo is a famous Gujarati cake made of vegetables especially bottle guard. This spicy cake is cooked using a batter comprising of grated vegetables, soaked lentils, rice, and spices. This batter is then baked in the oven at 180 degrees for 30 minutes. The cake is topped with seasonings and cut in slices. It is served along with green chutney, tamarind sweet sauce, and ketchup. It is a popular tea-time snack in Ahmadabad.
25. Mirchi vada (deep-fried long peppers)
Mirchi vada is basically fried Indian long peppers. Indian long peppers are known for their mild spice and are often made into vada for a delicious snack on a cold rainy day. Mirchi vada can be prepared using a very simple recipe. The peppers are cut in half and stuffed with ginger garlic seasoning or cheese or even taken plain. The chilly (mirchi) is soaked in a spicy gram flour batter and deep-fried. It is a popular snack throughout India and is served with sweet or coconut chutney.
26. Aloo tawa chaat (potato and vegetables savory snack)
The word chaat means a mix of savories, vegetables, and sauces. Aloo tawa chaat is basically a plate of mixed savories, mashed potatoes (aloo), and white pea spice gravy. This is topped with more crunchy savories, raw onions, carrots, green chutney, and date-tamarind sweet sauce. This is an appetizing snack that has a variety of flavors to tantalize your taste buds. The whole dish is prepared on a tawa (a disc-shaped flat frying pan) hence the name.
27. Choley puri (deep-fried bread with white chickpea gravy)
Choley puri is a complete meal consisting of fluffy oil-fried puris (deep-fried fluffy Indian bread) served with raw onions, lemon, and white chickpeas spicy gravy (choley). When the bland taste of the puris mix with the spicy taste of the gravy along with lemon and crunchy raw onions, it is simply magic. Try the hot fresh puris and chole in the many stalls of Amadvadi.
Let Indian street foods do the magic in your mouth
Loaded with a variety of flavors, spices and textures Indian street food scene is something that you shouldn’t miss. The very aroma of these items will tempt you for a generous meal even if you are not hungry. Ahmadabad is very popular for its cheap and delicious street food scene where you will get to enjoy authentic Gujarati snacks and dishes. So, don’t miss the chance of trying all the above-listed items even if it means gaining a few extra pounds.
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