Indian fast food and  Street foods

Fast food in India -  Quick meals / chaats

Indian fast food includes the Indian street foods - Indian chaats and many other dishes. Due to the diversity in the Indian foods, the fast food in India is varied too.

The younger generation is more into patronizing the fast food joints as the world over. As the lifestyle changes are happening everywhere, people are willing to spend more on ready foods, the fast foods are becoming more and more popular.

Working people are happy as they get a meal without the hassles of buying and storing groceries, working in the kitchen to prepare foods and the inevitable dish washing etc. chore.

Housewives find this trend useful sometimes as they can order foods from outside for a change.

Here, fast food means quick meals which you eat standing. This is preferable when you do not have time for a sit down leisurely meal, such as at lunch time or at any other time, such as an evening with friends.

There is so much variety in fast foods in India. Vegetarian fast food as well as non-vegetarian fast food is available.

The Indian fast food depends on the region it is served in. there are some items common all over India. Then the south has its own fast food items and the north India has its own variations.

The fast food joints or the quick service restaurants are growing in number and popularity. Some fast food joints become so popular that people are willing to wait for their turn.

Regional fast foods in India

Mini meals - Limited quantity meals

Mini meals are more in demand during lunch times. These include some breads, rice, vegetable side and curry, salad etc. the quantity is fixed but can satisfy a person. These mini meals are cheaper and are served very fast.

South Indian fast foods

The south Indian fast foods include a large variety of popular snack and breakfast dishes.

Idli,  vada, upma, bonda, vada sambar, kesari bhaat, mirchi bajji, churmuri, akki rotti, chaats etc.

A large variety of dosa (pancakes/crepes), masala dosa, davangere benne dose (butter dosa), Mysore masala dosa, spring roll dosa, onion dosa, rava dosa, set dosa, the list is endless.

There is also a variety of rice dishes served as South Indian fast food or street food.

Rice dishes

Puliogare (tamarind rice), lemon rice, biryani, pongal, vangi bhaat, bisibele bhaat etc.

The popular hot beverage in south India is the filter coffee.

Tea, hot and cold badam milk , green coconut water is also available.

Mumbai - Bombay fast food

Mumbai, earlier known as Bombay, is famous for it's street food and fast food joints. It is a place where people from almost all states of India came for a living and settled.

Along with the local Maharastrian food, the Mumbai street food reflects influence from the other states too.

These fast foods includes grilled sandwiches, samosa, ragada pattice, aloo tikki, paneer tikka, pav-bhaji, vada pav, Katchi dabeli, veg and non-veg wraps etc.

Mini meals include both rice and bread, curries.

Chaats such as bhelpuri, dahi puri, sev puri etc.

Vegetable samosaVegetable samosa

Vegetable samosa

Vegetable samosa is usually made with potatoes and peas. You may also add some carrot.

Aloo tikki - potato patties / cutlet

Aloo tikki - potato patties or cutlet is a everyone's favorite recipe.

It is not deep fried and other veggies can be added to it too.

Dahi Puri - Dahi poori

Dahi Puri or Dahi poori is Indian chaat - Popular Indian street food / fast food.

Filter coffee - Drip coffee

Filter coffee - drip coffee is a South Indian coffee recipe.

Bhakri - Jowar roti with chutney and stuffed eggplant

In Mumbai/ Bombay, you can get the Maharashtrian jowar bhakri and zunka (besan / chickpea flour curry) too at some outlets.

Bhakri is also available with stuffed brinjals and dry coconut garlic chutney in some places as a mini meal.

North Indian fast foods

vegetable wheat bread sandwichvegetable wheat bread sandwich

North Indian fast foods includes bhutta (corn on the cob), kachori, chole bhature, samose, chaats, ragda pattice, paranthe, dahi bhalla, poori- aloo subji, rajma-rice, sandwiches etc.

Beverages served are tea, coffee, badam milk, salt lassi, sweet lassi, etc.

Sweets offered are jalebi, gulab jamun, kulfi etc.

In Indore, Madhya Pradesh, poha(spicy beaten rice flakes) and jalebi is very popular fast street food.

Influence of global - international foods

Apart from the regular Indian dishes offered as fast foods, with globalization, the international foods, the western fast foods are served and are in demand with the youth.

These international foods may be served in their authentic flavors and tastes. These are sometimes modified to suit the Indian taste by adding more spices and other ingredients.

One example of this is the Chinese foods. Indian fast food eateries serve Noodle soup, Chinese Manchurians, fried rice, Chinese noodles with the addition of more hot spices to suit Indian palate.

The American/Italian pizza, burgers, hot dogs are gaining popularity day by day. This is visible from the many new food joints opening in the metro cities as well as smaller towns too.

Apart from the franchises of Dominos Pizza, Pizza Hut, MacDonald’s, KFC, Barista etc. the Indian eateries serve their versions of theese items and at the cheaper rate.

French fries, also known as finger chips, are the favorites of all ages but more so of the younger people.

The sinful deep fried potato sticks are welcome at all times.

There is also the Indian Cafe Coffee Day, which has outlets in many cities in India serving a variety of foods and beverages.

Indian fast food Drinks - Beverages

Hot as well as cold beverages are served.

Hot beverages are soups, tea, masala chai, filter coffee, instant coffee, badam (almond) milk etc.

Cold drinks such as aerated drinks, green coconut water, lassi, chaach, milk shakes, fresh fruit juices, sugarcane juice etc. are served.

Now, all fast foods are not junk foods. Healthy foods are also available as fast foods.It is for you, the customer, to make the right choice.

For the health conscience customers, fresh salads, fresh fruit and vegetable juices are also available now a days in some places. As the demand grows for such healthy items, new outlets are being opened everywhere.

How are fast foods served in India?

The fast foods are served in a variety of plates depending on your location, the kind of food served etc.

Some places use divided (sectioned) plates to avoid the use of different cups and bowls and to serve food on one plate. The plates are of different sizes and shapes depending on the foods served in it.

Many a times, apart from the convenience, how the food is served adds to the fun and enjoyment of the food.

Disposable paper or plastic

paper plates
paper plate
sectioned acrylic plate
Disposable plastic cutlery

Disposable paper or plastic, silver laminated, thermocol, pulp paper containers of different sizes, shapes are used in some places.

These include plates, bowls, glasses and cups.They also use plastic cutlery, spoons and forks etc.

Disposable plastic cutlery is also used along with all types of containers.

Dried leaf plates which are biodegradable

In some places, environment friendly plates and cups/bowls made of dried leaf are also used to serve fast foods.

These dried leaf plates and cups/bowls are not only used for fast foods but also for functions at home to serve foods.

Stainless steel containers

Stainless steel plates, cups and bowls are used in some places.

These are washed and reused.

The use of stainless steel is restricted as more water is used. There is also the need for labor to do the plate washing on the spot.

Disposable clay containers

Kulhad - Kulhar - Clay containers

In North India, you may find tea being served in disposable clay cups.

These are known as kulhad / kulhar. It gives kind of 'earthy flavor' to the contents which may enhance the taste.

Hot sugared milk, tea, yogurt(curd/dahi) are served in these terracota containers.

Regional deserts such as rabdi, gulab jamun, Kulfi(traditional Indian ice cream) are served in

Lassi is also served in such clay glasses.

There is now, increased awareness about environment related problems with the use of plastic and other synthetic materials.

Many fast food vendors are avoiding plastic plates, glasses etc and use biodegradable containers.

On the whole, the fast food consumption in India is becoming bigger and bigger.

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