Whether you’re a localite or non-resident or just a tourist to the city, you can’t escape the aroma of the street foods in the Bhubaneswar. You can’t miss the insanely crowded fast food stalls located across the city. Over the past 4-5 years, the city has witnessed many new restaurants, hotels and even leading food chains including KFC, Dominos, Pizza Hut, and Subway. Interestingly, despite the invasion of pizzas, burgers and sandwiches, the popular madness for desi street foods has not lost it’s charm.
The mouthwatering whiff of Gupchup and Dahi-Bara or Chat as you go past the food venders on your way to college or work, is enough to drive you crazy. Talking about city’s omnipresent delicious street foods, let’s hit the top 5 on desi chart. And here are top 5 indigenous street foods the city drools over.
Gupchup, also known as Panipuri is one of the top street foods you can barely resist. From college-bound teens to health-conscious grown-ups, everybody loves the spicy tangy taste of Gupchup. Available at every corner of city streets until a few years ago, Gupchup can now be found (at a premium price) across some city malls as well. They serve you gupchup in a whole new way, making it seem very hygienic and sophisticated for the upwardly mobile consumers. But, truth be told, Gupchup is best enjoyed when you’re standing with your friends circling the street vendor and waiting for your turn.
Just like Gupchup, Chat offers the exact sweet and sour flavor but in a more colorful and spicy way. The deep purple color of beetroot, the red tomato, the sweet pink onion, the mesmerizing green coriander and the golden pampad create a visual treat. Aaloo chat, pampdi chat, and so many other varieties of chat are visually so tantalizing, sometimes it’s really hard to decide which one you should go for.
Bara-ghuguni, can be easily billed as the Khhanti Odia comfort snack. Bara is a deep fried pulpy paste prepared from black gram (commonly known as biri) and Guguni is basically a curry made from dried field peas (commonly known as matar). In isolation, both bara and guguni can rock your snacks; but in tandem, they literally leave you asking for more. Hot bara dipped in warm guguni is the most popular and convenient snack.
The greatest thing about Bara is that it can be consumed in more than one way, and yet each and every time, you feel its magical taste in a whole new way. This is exactly why Dahi-Bara came into being (time unknown) and swept the city off its feet. Bara soaked in curd water and served with aloodum is our all-time favorite snack. You will find dahi bara walla (dahi bara seller) selling dahi bara at every crowded place. They don’t have any stalls but they can be referred as the meals on the wheels. While some of them station themselves at specific locations of the city, others just travel across the city streets with their containers loaded typically on a bicycle. They tie huge pots filled with dahi barra and guguni/ aloodum to their cycles and roam across the city to give you a plate full of mouthwatering goods. And we bhubanewarians took it as breakfast, lunch and dinner too.
Idli and Dosa:
Originated in Southern part of India, Idli and Dosa have also become daily diet of many Bhubanewarians. Idli is a steamed cake made from rice flower and black gram and served with sambar and chatni and dosa is a flat oval shaped rice and gram crispy roti, stuffed with potato, green peas, carrot, beet and other spices. In many parts of the city, South Indian hotels tend to sell Idli and Dosa more than any other cities in South India itself. Despite not being originated in Odisha, Idli and Dosa have become an indispensable part of our day to day life replacing traditional Enduri and Chakuli Peetha, not only as the staple source of breakfast but evening snack as well.