Street Foods of India – Gol Gappas, in particular

May 1st, 2009

I am so excited because I taught the Street Foods of India class again. Once again it was a hit amongst the students. I had a great time too.

What made me the happiest was the ease with which all the students accepted Gol Gappas.

A gol gappa or pani puri is a round, hollow “puri”, fried crisp and filled with a watery mixture of tamarind, chili, chaat masala, potato, onion and chickpeas. Its size is small enough to fit in the mouth.

Gol Gappas are a bit of an acquired taste. Not like eating tripe or eyeballs kind of acquired taste, but definitely something that most people haven’t experienced.

And it requires a leap of faith – kinda – to try a gol gappa.
The fact that you have to put a ball full of spicy and tangy water into your mouth, and experience the explosion of flavors – can be scary to some.

I have nothing to back this up but I don’t think that 5 years ago I would have been able to find so many people willing to try something like a gol gappa and actually enjoy it.

Indian food has come a long way in America and that makes me so happy.

One of the students in my class, an Indian living in New York probably as long as me thought that my class was authentic (as in the food we made). That was a huge compliment because I will be honest – when I was planning to teach Street Foods of India, I thought I might not be able to replicate those authentic flavors of India. I didn’t want the food to taste watered down or inauthentic.

Another student had been to India many times but was not able to experience street foods due to the fear of getting sick; I was so happy to be able to share this experience with her.

So Street Foods of India is going to stay on the schedule at Indian Culinary Center for quite some time to come.

What is your favorite Indian Street Food?


One response to “Street Foods of India – Gol Gappas, in particular

  1. Definitely any chaat, especially Gol-gappas are my all time street food.

    Pls. check out my blogs for Indian recipes.


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