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Street Food Festival

Street Food Festival-2013

A joke that has been doing the rounds recently is that, the 3rd National Street Food Festival organised by The National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI) in Delhi was a bigger hit than Dhoom 3! Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium was declared HOUSEFUL.

The three day event which began on 20th December and lasted till the 22nd of December, witnessed a footfall of almost 18,000 people. The catchphrase of the gastronomic affair was ‘Swad hai, Romanch hai, Street Foods ki Baat hi kuch aur hai’.

Street food vendors from all across India had come to participate and flaunt their regional speciality. The event was organised by NASVI in order to promote, professionalise and brand street foods. It was also aimed at influencing the policy makers in order to transform the usually ignored genre into a secure zone.

The entry fee was merely Rs.30 and totally, worth it all. Stalls from Chandigarh, U.P., Bihar, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Assam and host state Delhi were seen. The fest had something for everybody. The ones having a sweet tooth indulged themselves in desserts like jalebi- rabri and kulfi, while the hard core vegetarians found sarsoon ka saag with makke ki roti to their delight. There were ample options even for the non-vegetarians; there were seekh kababs, chicken tikka, mutton and chicken korma, biryani, fish tikka and so much more. The list can go on.

The first stall that caught my eye was of Bihar. Their speciality ‘littli chokha’ was a popular demand. Litti, a small naan- like thing is made with flour and a ‘sattu’ stuffing and is served with potato curry or a non-veg curry.

Chicken tikka rolls from the Mughlai Cuisine stall were next on my plate. Amazingly soft and perfectly barbecued tikkas tasted heavenly with the green chutney and lemon. The roll was worth Rs. 80/-

The Tamil Nadu stall had Tamarind Rice, Pyaaz pakodas and puddu to offer. I tried the puddus which were cute rice balls. Made of rice, peas, chopped onions and green coriander, they were served with green chutney and sadly, were not so tasty as they looked.

The famous Mysore Pak from Mysore was also a hit with the people.

I then jumped to the Punjab Stall which offered amazing chicken and sarsoon ka saag. It was served traditionally with makke ki roti.

The aloo bada at the Chandigarh Stall was also popular among the visitors. It was a different kind of bread roll, one can say, without the bread of course. The stuffing was similar, that of mashed potatoes and tasted similar too.

The jalebi rabri was the best one I have ever had. The jalebis were crispy, aptly sweetened and tasted very delicious with the creamy rabri.

The Lucknow stall also had interesting dishes on its menu. It had Mughlai Biryani and Boti Kabab for all. The Biryani was amazing. The rice was soft, pleasant and nicely coloured.
Street food is a carrier of culture and heritage and festivals like these help us revive this truth.

My experience at the fest was wonderful. There was so much to explore, so many foodies to meet, so much love to share!

Anubhav Sapra is an avid foodie! He is a Founder but proudly calls himself a Foodie-in-chief at Delhi Food Walks. He is also a street-food and Indian regional cuisine connoisseur and loves to write about street-food.