Monday, November 25, 2013

10 Insanely Tasty Vegetarian Foods From North India

The only thought that comes screaming into my mind as I sit down to write the introduction of our highly honored guest blogger for today is -- FOOD. Why? Because, Mark Wiens and Food are synonymous; for me, for so many others like me, for all those actually, who love making food an essential part of their travel and living. Mark is one of those genuine bloggers out there who need no introduction but are some serious force to be reckoned with for all that they do. Mark loves to travel and He loves to eat: Combine the two flavors (in proportions only known to him), and there you have it – His immensely appetizing blog called Migrationology!

You have to hop on there to know what a zealous food connoisseur he really is: From India to Nepal to Tanzania to Bangkok to Phillipines, Dubai and so many more: He takes pride in an impressive list of countries covered under his belt, he has 'eaten' them all! Yes, quite literally! Street food, restaurant food, junk food, staple food: You name it and in all probability, he will have it served on his blog. Browse through all of these and tell me if the sights there don’t leave your taste buds tickling and craving for more! What’s more striking for me though is that through this passion of his, he is taking his culinary adventures to a whole new level of learning and nourishment: by breaking the existing cultural barriers and enriching the world with invaluable lessons for life.

In this very special and a kind guest appearance for 'My Yatra Diary...', Mark is ready to take us all through an array of 10 of his favorite vegetarian dishes from North India: Are you ready to drool?



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As a food obsessed traveler, wandering in India was like being in an amusement park of deliciousness.

Even though I’m not normally vegetarian, India has such extraordinarily tasty vegetarian food, that when I was eating veg, I didn’t miss meat at all.

It could take more than a lifetime to sample the vast array of vegetarian dishes in India, but here are 10 of the tastiest vegetarian dishes and snacks that I ate when I was traveling through North India.

1. Dahi bhalla - Before traveling through India, I normally thought of yogurt as a sweet treat that went well with fruit or breakfast cereal. Wow did my perception change when I had my first bite of dahi bhalla, a savory chaat (snack) where yogurt is is not only salty, but sour and spicy too.

Dahi Bhalla

A bhalla (vada) is a  deep fried non-sweet donut made from dal flour and spices. After being deep fried, it’s soaked to become saturated like a sponge full of spiced liquid, and then topped with thick curd, chaat masala, coriander, tamarind chutney, and chili powder. The result is a sweet and salty, sour and spicy, thick and creamy, snack you’ll never forget.

2. Chole bhature - When I was hungry and needed a hearty snack or light meal, nothing satisfied like a round or two of chole bhature.

North Indian Speacilty - Chole Bhature

This outstanding North Indian speciality consists of two parts: chole, a spicy chickpea curry, and bhature, a puffy deep fried bread. Often served from golden pots tipped on the side, chole is spooned into a bowl, garnished with pickled onions and chillies, and scooped up with bits of the bhature.

3. Parantha - One of Delhi’s most famous streets foods is a paratha from the Paranthe Wali Gali (lane of deep fried bread).

Parantha from the paranthe wali galli, Delhi

These discs of dough are filled with a variety of ingredients, deep fried, and served with a few dipping chutneys and curries. The parathas were good, but I especially loved the side dipping sauces like the pumpkin curry.

4. Palak paneer - Paneer, a thick cheese, is a staple and delicious form of protein for vegetarian food in India.

Palak Paneer

Paneer is prepared in a variety of different methods, but stewed into a thick spinach purée known as palak paneer is one of my favorites. With rice or any form of Indian bread, palak paneer hits the spot.

5. Dal makhani - There are numerous variations of dal available in India, but one of my favorites is dal makhani.

Dal Makhani

Mostly made from black lentils with some red kidney beans mixed in, the bean stew is flavored with spices and butter to create a rich and creamy vegetarian dish that’s packed with protein.

6. Kulle chaat - There are few things I eat where I have absolutely no idea what to expect when I take my first bite, but kulle chaat was one of them.

Kulle Chaat or fruit chaat

Kulle chaat, also known as fruit chaat, is where a few different fruits are hollowed out and filled with a combination of chickpeas, lemon juice, sulfur salt, masala chaat, and topped with pomegranate seeds. The explosion of flavors packed into each bite will make you leap with tasteful joy.

7. Baati chokha - While Indian food is often complex and packed with all sorts of ingredients, some dishes, like baati chokha, are just simple and comforting.

Baati Chokha

Baati, also known as a round roti, is a ball of dough that’s grilled over charcoal, and served with chokha, a mashed potato and eggplant curry sauce.

8. Gol gappa (pani puri) -

Gol Gappa - Street snack in India

Gol gappa is one of the most beloved street foods in all of India, and it’s not only extremely tasty, but it’s fun to eat. Sphere shaped hollow crisps are filled with spicy potatoes and drowned in water that’s flavored with tamarind and coriander. One gol gappa is popped in the mouth for a one of a kind snack sensation.

9. Onions pakoras - I don’t get the craving often, but when salty junk food sounds good, onion pakoras are just about superior to any other crunchy salty snack.


Onion Pakoras

Batter wrapped onions are deep fried to a golden brown and dusted with salt (probably MSG too) and pepper. They are so salty you’ll be chugging water afterwards… but so worth it.

10. Mango kulfi - Similar to ice cream, kulfi is a frozen treat that’s made with thick cream and sugar, sometimes flavored with fruit or nuts, and usually seasoned with cardamom.

Mango Kulfi, Delhi

One version of mango kulfi I enjoyed in Delhi began with a fresh mango. The seed was removed from the top, and the liquid kulfi mixture was filled into the empty space. After being sealed, it was frozen solid, and after ordering it was sliced into pieces, mango on the outside and creamy kulfi on the inside.

This is just a small sampling of the abundance
of vegetarian dishes and snacks available in India.
What is your favorite Indian vegetarian food?


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54 comments:

  1. HI Arti,
    I saw few of your posts when you liked my posts in indiblogger.I like your site a lot.You are one of the first in my network.I have nominated you for the Versatile blogger award. Please collect it here.

    http://www.telugupost.net/2013/11/versatile-blogger-award.html

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  2. Hi Arti,

    How delicious all your food is on this post - thank you for sharing. We have a wonderful Indian Restaurant where I live and we often enjoy the food there.
    happy week
    Carolyn

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  3. Delicious post. Chole bhature is my favourite. :)

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  4. @Arti Just read another wonderful guest post by " Mark " , Nice to read , Thank you so much. Nice to visit his webpage "Migrationology" .

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  5. whew!!! I can not make up my mind as to what is my favorite! I think I want to have a taste of them all! :)

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  6. agree with all of them!!! :D :) frankly any chaat item esp. in Delhi makes it to the list for me

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  7. I so love Indian foods, wish I can try those vegetarian treats!

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  8. Mouth watering. The images make us immediately connect and salivate. :)

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  9. The most drool worthy post I have seen so far . Yummy :D

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  10. Ten insanely tasty dishes from the north and I am sitting in the south where I can only imagine such tasty food. We do get all this in Chennai but that taste that we get in roadside thelas in the north is just missing..... :( I miss north India.

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  11. Delecious indeed.. I am just seeing this at lunch time.. I am about to get to my lunch... My appetite has inreased many times...!

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  12. Awwww....you reminded me of Delhi.....

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  13. The list includes all my favorites.. so I am super happy with this post Arti :)

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  14. As a vegetarian, you got my mouth watering. That mango kulfi looks amazing!

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  15. Cool collection, Arti! Makes me hungry! :)

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  16. I just love street food :)
    A street food very unique to the hills of Sikkim, Darjeeling & Kalimpong is alu chuira http://footloosefoodiesatlarge.wordpress.com/2013/11/08/for-the-love-of-alu-chura/

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  17. India food is always my fav , especialy with paneer inside, you make me miss India Arti :( , here india food pricey, and one more i never see mango kulfi serve like that. I should try next time

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  18. Hi,
    Visiting your blog after a long time. Nice to see with mouth watering recipes. I like that mango kulfi its new one to me. great idea. Thanks for join with us- https://plus.google.com/b/116553062781632808989/communities/108581311793645936620
    Join with our group on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/groups/watchindiawide/

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  19. Awesome we are travelling to Delhi in 10 days and I'm salivating already!

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  20. The yummiest post ....can't help drooling over the mouth watering Dahi Bhallas and Bhature pictures...

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  21. All recipes my are favorite. Mouth watering pics too..Nice to know about Mark Weins. :)

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  22. Mouthwatering dishes. Oh, I miss Delhi so much

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  23. Nice Arti, I didnt know about Dahi Bhalla will try to find out a Restaurant in Mumbai serving this :) and taste it

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  24. Yummy post..Dal Makhani is my favorite.

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  25. I love how in north India you can live on veg dishes without even thinking of meat.

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  26. What a delicious post, I especially like the look of the Kulle chaat - yum.

    Though I suppose it could be argued that to stick with what we know is part of human nature but I can never understand those who travel only to seek out the eateries common to their homeland. Like us Brits who seek out the nearest fish and chip shop or McDonalds.

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  27. mouth watering post, all dishes you mentioned above are my favorites. I am feeling hungry now :)

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  28. I would love to try every single one of these beautiful dishes! We aren't vegetarians, but I try to eat meatless meals several times a week. And we love Indian food, but never really know what we're eating! Wish I knew more about it.

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  29. I wake up hungry in the morning and the first thing I see is this article. Now you can imagine my condition. And have nothing to eat at home :(

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  30. Your post Is Mouth Watering.
    As I am an North Indian after a long Time Your Post Reminds Me of my Favorite Dahi bhalla & Baati.
    In this Weekend I Will be at Home & Thanks In advance Which My Mom Will Give go You after Knowing The Reason Behind My Come Back. :D

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  31. You definitely reminded us of Delhi as most of chaat and foods are pretty famous in Delhi. We thank you to include these delicious food from north India.. It was very nice to read and got tempted by them.. Now I am feeling like I should immediately go to Delhi. :P

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  32. Being an Indian and someone who's staying away from home, I can't stop drooling over the pictures, honestly! I love chaat items - pav bhaji, pani puri and bhel..ah! I feel like I need to book my tickets to India right away!

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  33. Wow, what a yummy post! I am not vegetarian myself, but I don't eat much meat so I love to try some vegetarian dishes from time to time. Parantha looks and sounds so delicious! Can't wait to make it to India!

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  34. My absolute fave is chole bature!

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  35. Yum! Want to stuff myself with all of that now!

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  36. All of them look yummy. I like vegetable food. :D

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  37. I am a vegetarian myself and loved your post. All the dishes are yummy.

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  38. just yummy and tasty
    with pics delicious

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  39. Sheesh! I am drooling over this post of yours. :D

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  40. Really how delicious the north Indian food as Gol Gappa,Dahi Bhalla,Palak paneer,chole bhature so yummy ......Wow I love all this dishes.

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  41. Arti, I love Northern Indian food and grow fat during my visits there. Am getting hungry viewing the food pictures. Think I am going to have paratha for lunch! :)

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  42. slurp slurp.. drooling here seeing so many yummy street food. Wow i just luv all of them..

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  43. I remember eating Parantha and Masala Chai from the streets of Jammu and I absolutely loved it :-)

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  44. yummmmmm..........mouth watering dishes... as i am pure vegetarian.now i have lots of choices to choose from.

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  45. I had a boss that was from Northern India, he took me to a restaurant and ordered Paratha for me, it was delicious. He also ordered me North India coffee, which was so strong it had my hair standing up straight...he wanted to prove to me that my so called strong Vietnamese coffee is not so strong...he was right. :-)

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  46. I am a big vegetarian who is hardcore fan of street food!! Need I say all are my favourite... Slurrrp!!!

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  47. Awesome collection of food !
    We are trying to create a platform for people to share experiences with value for money food. Please drop by:
    paisavasoolkhana.wordpress.com

    We are also on Facebook and Twitter

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  48. Yummmmmm! As a hardcore foodie and a vegetarian at that, this is perhaps my favorite post of the day :D Drooling away to glory now :P

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