Poha Chat is an Indian spicy snack and street food loved by many. Poha is rice that has been steamed and flattened, and it comes in various sizes. For this recipe, thick poha will be needed. If using thinner poha, don’t soak for long in water – thin poha particularly will need a sprinkle of water only.
Are you ready for a snack? Okra and Cauliflower Pakora (Pakoda) will satisfy your deepest longings. Tossed in some chickpea flour batter, with rice flour for crispness, these little beauties are beautiful dunked into some green chutney and eaten on a sunny afternoon, sitting under a tree.
Or perhaps you are after Okra dishes. Try Try Kurkuri Bindi (Crispy Okra), Ladyfingers Recheio (Okra with Chilli-Spice Paste), and Fried Ladyfingers, Goan Style.
Want more information? Read about Okra here, then browse all of our Okra recipes, and all of our Snack recipes. All of our Indian dishes are here and Indian Essentials here. Or simply explore our easy Early Autumn dishes.
Bhurji are pan-fried Indian vegetable dishes that are not quite dry, but not really wet dishes. They are dry yet damp dishes. The best known Bhurji is made with eggs and is somewhat like scrambled eggs. But we don’t cook with eggs, so the Bhurji that we make are pure vegetarian. They are similar to the Thoran of Kerala and Poriyal of Tamil Nadu. Bhurji is an Andhra dish.
This one is made with greens and sweetcorn, with spices. Spinach and Sweetcorn is a loved combination in India – the sweetness of the corn playing nicely with the spices against the slight bitterness of the spinach. This dish can be served as it is, a perfect side dish to a meal. Or serve it with cumin rice or some roti for a snack. It is also very very good as a filling for Toasties – Indian style toasted sandwiches. Use it as a filling with some cheese and perhaps sliced tomato.
Some time ago, one of my social media connections, dee, suggested that I cook okra with mustard oil. This is her recipe. We were discussing mustard oil and okra – there is such a natural affinity. When we are drying okra, for example, we mix the okra halves with mustard oil and spices before drying.
You’ll love this recipe – simple, quick, easy and deliciously flavoured.
That quintessential roadside chai from Mumbai and throughout South India
Ah, how I miss the road side stalls in India and their piping hot Cutting Chai. Cutting is the transliteration of the Hindi word for half – Cutting Chai is served in half glasses (or smaller, often) as it has a strong flavour, and half a cup of this strong sweet liquid is enough to get you moving for the day! You have to buy it from the road side stalls – restaurants and hotels do not get the same taste.
The flavours are predominantly ginger and cardamon, simmered for some minutes with sugar so that the maximum flavour is extracted. The black tea, too, breaks every Western tea-brewing rule and is simmered for 5 or 6 minutes for the flavour extractions. Then milk is added to create this addictive drink.
When the rains come, then snacks are needed, and it is the same here as it is in India, even though the temperatures are about 20C less than what they might be in India. Snacks means deep-fried too, but it it is a treat, who is to mind?
These are flat vadai, a little like thattai, and very delicious. Grab your flours from your Indian grocery and don’t substitute all purpose flours.
Maddur Vadai, named after the town of Maddur in South Indian, are also sometimes spelt Maddur Vadai.
Are you looking for other Vadai? Try Paruthithurai Vadai – a Thattai Vadai from Sri Lanka, and Kothimber Wada. There are also Gram flour Vada that are made to go into a Kuzhambu, but can be eaten as snacks as well.
Such a delicious snack from Northern India
Poha, a steamed and flattened rice (“steamrolled” I call it) is a great base for Indian snacks. In this poha recipe, it is teamed with onions and peanuts. Kanda Poha goes great mid afternoon with a cup of milky sweet tea (chai). Or it can be a great quick supper dish when you arrive just a little too late home from work. Or, as often done in parts of India, it is a great breakfast dish.
There are several thicknesses of poha – Nylon (very thin and crisp), Paper, Thin, Medium, Thick and Dagdi (thick and chewy). This recipe uses medium or thick poha, which you can buy from your Indian grocery. Thick is preferred. Thin poha is not suitable for this dish.
Okra, or Ladyfingers, are best when cooked fresh. They can be stuffed with a tangy masala, deepfried to crisp (great with peanuts), made into raita, cooked in coconut milk or a spicy gravy, or batter-fried as pakoras. They are even great when dried and served with spices as a snack.
Okra pairs well with sour tastes – for example, lemon juice or amchur (dry mango powder). Always buy young, bright green, crisp pods free of bruises, tender but not soft, and definitely not if they are wilting. There are a range of varieties – long and thin, short and fat, even red and orange varieties.
Kurkuri means crisp and Bhindi (or Bindi) is Okra. This recipe is very common in parts of North India, especially in Rajasthan from Jaipur to Udaipur and beyond. They are definitely a great snack served with drinks, and are also served as an accompaniment to rice and curries. The spices used with the okra are varied – here we have used chilli powder, cumin, chaat masala and amchur – but more complex, or simpler combinations can be used.
The okra can be cooked on its own, as we do here. But you can also tart them up somewhat by including slivers of onion (yum), ginger (tangy) and red peppers.
Are you interested in Okra recipes? Read more about Okra here. And try Slightly Charred Okra with Chilli, Garlic and Thyme, Stir Fried Okra with Sesame Seed, Ladyfingers Recheio, Avial, and Whole Fried Okra.
Greek Tomatoes in Batter, a delicious snack
Domatokeftedes are delicious Greek tomatoes in batter, in fact they are similar to Pakoda/Pakora. They are often referred to as fritters or patties, although they don’t always conform to a uniform shape.
Domatokeftedes are a specialty of Santorini in Greece. They are traditionally made with the island’s native tomato that is grown in the volcanic soil. It does not require watering, and yet the small tomato is sweet and intensely flavoured. This recipe uses any juicy tomato – Roma tomatoes are good. The fritters can be served as a snack or as part of a mezze platter – they are delicious dipped into tzatziki or any yoghurt sauce, sweet chilli sauce, or a herby blended fresh coriander and mint chutney.
This dish is very versatile. And it is such an innovative way to use tomatoes!
More’ish, this dish will not last long in your kitchen
Who doesn’t like tandoor-style dishes? Although we can’t normally have a tandoor oven at home, cooking tandoor dishes in the oven or on the stove top, even on the BBQ, is very possible. These Tandoor Potatoes are amazing – don’t expect them to last very long in your kitchen. A perfect snack, or a side dish for your meal.
Mung dal is a perfect dish – an eat anytime dish but also very good for those sensitive times. Here it is roasted then cooked with coconut for a flavoursome breakfast or side dish.
A dry spicy dish of mung dal is very popular with the people of the mid West Coast of India, for example, Goa and further south into Kerala. It is easy to make and brings the beautiful and gentle taste of mung dal to the fore.
Mung dal is very easily digested and so is a favourite ingredient in Ayurveda and also for invalids. But there is no need to wait until you are on an Ayurvedic regime or are unwell, this is a dish that can be eaten any time. Often served for breakfast, it is also used as a side dish at a Konkani meal. It is also very good as a snack with chapathi too.
A spicy toastie filled with paneer and tomato.
Bread doesn’t actually see the light of day very much in this household. It makes an occasional appearance, for guests, or for some recipe we are making. This week, as we had bread left over from that occasional appearance, we turned to Indian Toasties. This time, it is Paneer Toast.
Sandwiches are serious business in India as snacks and street foods.
You have to love a country that is serious about its sandwiches. Italy with its open sandwich type bruschettas, laden with seasonal ingredients. France with their bountiful baguettes, and India with its spicy mixtures stuffed between layers of bread and often coated with chickpea batter before pan toasting or frying. India has a commitment to sandwiches as serious snacks and street food.
An excellent snack – Kothimbir is the Marathi word for Green Coriander, which is the main ingredient in this recipe. Kothimbir Wada are basically coriander fritters. In this recipe, the chickpea flour batter with coriander leaves is first steamed and then cut into rings to be fried till crisp.
Use really fresh coriander for best results, and serve with chai or coffee. They can also be served as a side dish with a meal.
Vada are traditional Indian dishes. They are commonly prepared at home and as typical street food, being popular tiffin snacks. Wada are generally crisp on the outside and soft inside.
You might like to browse all of our Snacks, and all of our Indian Recipes. Try our Chai recipes here, or our general Tea recipes here. You might also enjoy Wada recipes, or explore all of our Mid Spring dishes.
Indian sandwiches are serious business, taking as much time and attention as some other dishes.
Indian sandwiches and toasties are serious business. Australia is different. Here, we throw sandwiches together quickly, little preparation is involved, they are quick solutions to satisfying hunger at home, work, school or on the road, on a picnic or at the beach.
In India, the fillings are constructed with as much thought and preparation as any other meal. Ingredients are made, other ingredients are sautéed, some are cooked, and then they all come together with chilli for a delicious meal-in-a-sandwich.
Enjoy this one. It is delicious.