Beating the summer heat can be difficult but it doesn’t need to be boring. With these sweet and spicy twists to popular South Asian street snacks, you might just find the cool you need to coast through the season and possibly transport you back to you favorite gallis from back home where you eagerly cashed your coins for these indulgences. Also Read - DIY Cocktails And Comfort Food: Bid Adieu To The Monsoon With These Recipes In Style
1. Chuski or Gola Ganda
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Colloquially known as shaved ice, snow cones, or ice-lollies, gola ganda (in Urdu) or chuski (in Hindi) is a dessert popularly found on the carts of street sellers. It is made of fine ice shavings and sweet condiments or syrups, typically added just before eating. The shaved ice is often flavored with fruit syrups and regional favorites like rose, kala-khatta (black salt, lemon juice, tangy-sweet blackberry), and paan (betel leaf) masala. Also Read - Watch: Here's The Easiest Dal-Makhani Recipe, Try This to Cook For That Perfect 'Dhaabe Vali Dal'
Easy, at-home recipe:
Take 8-10 ice cubes and grind them in a mixer-grinder until the ice is finely crushed
Take a popsicle mold or a small glass and add the crushed ice to the mold with a spoon
Place a holder, for example, a popsicle or other wooden stick, between the crushed ice in the mold and keep adding more ice to mold firmly around the stick
While holding onto the stick, gently but quickly remove the ice from the mold
Either using a spoon or dipping the chuski in a glass of syrup, add flavors of your choice—a rose sherbet syrup, for example
What could be better than a cool, colorful, and easy dessert on a hot, summer day?
This is a lentil salad that is an integral part of Kannada cuisine. It is often served as part of a meal in marriages and festivals and is typically soaked moong dal combined with salad ingredients of your choice. Likened to vadappapu, as called in Andhra, it is simply soaked moong dal served as an offering to Lord Rama during the Sri Ram Navami festival.
This recipe serves 3-4:
Soak ½ cup of yellow moong dal in water for 1-2 hours
Chop ingredients of your choice (i.e. cucumber, tomato, onion, carrot, cilantro, and 2 small green chilies)
Combine and mix soaked dal and salad ingredients
Add sprinkles of lemon juice, salt, and black pepper to your taste
Optional: Kosambari can be tempered with ½ teaspoon mustard seeds, 2 sprigs curry leaves, and a pinch of asafetida—to be sautéed for a few seconds in 1 teaspoon of oil or until the seeds splutter. For more flavor, coconut shavings or raw mango are nice additions. Kosambari is easily digestible and a great, protein-rich option for those on the health train!
Hinted with spice, roasted corn on the cob is a favorite Indian street snack when it is the right season. Vendors roast the corn on a coal fire or open grill, and add a melee of masalas and lemon or lime. It is best served hot—but it is not uncommon to see people walking around and relishing the dish in the summer months. Feel free to get creative with your spice combinations.
How to make the best corn on the cob:
Remove the corn husk and strings
Roast the corn on a grill or open gas flame at medium-high heat
Flip it every 30 seconds so all sides roast evenly; kernels will pop and blacken to varying degrees
Mix your spices in a bowl (options: salt, cayenne/red chili powder, ground cumin/coriander, chaat masala, black salt, amchur or dry mango powder, mint cilantro chutney)
Squeeze some lemon/lime juice all over the corn so that the spices stick
Rub the spices all over the corn
Serve hot and enjoy!
Lassi is a thick, cooling drink, popularly sipped on the streets from either a straw poking out of a sealed plastic bag, a steel glass, or disposable clay cups. Originating from Punjab, lassi can be sweet or savory, depending on the spices added, and made from either a yogurt or buttermilk base. When called chaas, it is salted, contains more water, and has the butterfat removed compared to lassi. This drink aids digestion, especially when mixed with turmeric, and is an effective coolant. This traditional lassi is not to be confused with bhang lassi—a narcotic drink containing a liquid derivative of cannabis, legal in many parts of India and mainly sold during the festival of Holi.
In a blender, blend 1 ¾ cups plain yogurt, 6 cubes ice, 1 ½ cups water, 2 teaspoons white sugar, and 1 pinch salt. Makes 6 servings, only 50 calories each.
Try mixing mango pulp on your second batch!
5. Pani puri
We can’t forget this street snack, common to several regions of the Indian Subcontinent: in Punjab, Haryana, and Jharkhand it is called gol gappa; in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh pani ke bataashe; in Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu it’s panipuri; in West Bengal phuchhka; phulki in Bihar and Madhya Pradesh; and gup chup in Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, and Odisha.
If the variety of names doesn’t convince you of its popularity, then perhaps trying it will! Basically, it is a hollowed out fried puri, crispy and filled with a mixture of potato, onion, chickpeas, and flavored masala water. Pani puri literally means “water bread” or “water dough balls.” We don’t know much about the dish’s origins, except that the term was first recorded in 1955.
For 15 puris (which you can find ready-made in supermarkets), this is the filling recipe:
Peel potato skins and mash them well
In a bowl, mix potatoes, chickpeas, 1 finely chopped green chili, 1 teaspoon red chili powder, 1 teaspoon cumin/coriander powder, a pinch of chaat masala, and salt as needed
For the masala water: mix 3 cups cold water, 3 tablespoons green chili chutney, 2 tablespoons sweet tamarind chutney, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 ½ teaspoon chaat masala powder, and 1 teaspoon cumin/coriander powder
With a spoon or your finger, make a large hole at the top-middle of each puri
Stuff each puri hole with the food mixture, sprinkle chopped onions on top, and dip each stuffed puri into the cold masala water
Enjoy the crunch and burst!