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The Charms Of Street Food

 By Pavithra Nirmala

Aman Wilson Photography
Food!!!! It spells happiness, joy, sharing, and satisfaction. It is something that lightens our mood when it is our favourite dish had in that perfect ambience. However, there is one particular type of food which is not only handy and ready-to-eat, but also makes us forget our poised, controlled self and turns us into the foodies we all pretend not to be. 

Street food: The road-side shops, the make shift stalls, the small carts; and all filled with gorgeous, delightful and mouth-watering spicy food that has now become a favourite with people of all age groups.

There is a typical set who will argue that street food is unhygienic, unhealthy and unsafe. Given an option they would probably prefix a ‘un’ against every food related adjective. But that never dims the attraction of these delicacies. A rich, affordable multi-cuisine, with a natural ambience is how I would describe the street food outlets.

First, what kind of eatables can be categorised as street food? Ready-to-eat food, generally termed as ‘fast food’ available in road side shops, make-shift carts and dhaabas can be called the street food. 

Food in itself is a wonderful thing, so what is so unique about these road-side food servers?
The answer would include so many of its attractions that it would probably convince the reader that it is not only the most sought-after one but also the best of its kind. These road side shops have more to offer than just the food on your plates!!! Let’s dig in further to know more…

Hanging out with friends would not have been such a great idea if not for this experience. Ordering from the road side at 11:00 pm, munching a quick bite from your readily available dish and sharing it with your friends is what adds flavour to your youthful days. Standing with the plates in your hands, talking to your friends and being perfectly at ease, envelopes us in comfort. Though there are neither chairs to sit on, nor any waiters to attend to us, we feel perfectly comfortable standing amidst the aroma rising from different dishes with just a lamp to light the place.
We all know that everyone enjoys eating; there just can’t be anyone who doesn’t love what they eat; but let us look at what street foods have to offer us and how they maintain their stand among hi-fi restaurants teeming with luxuries.

One would say that lack of proper surroundings would be a negative for road side shops.
Aman Wilson Photography
But turns out it doesn’t matter as long as the food offered is good enough. 

Some of the most popular street foods are pani-poori, bhel-poori, chaat, Chinese dishes, and sandwiches. These road side wonder-worlds bring with them the riches of their region, a plethora of dishes and combinations that speak about the flavors of that place. It is interesting to note how varying the proportion of just a handful of powders can give you a new taste every time, the next one always better than the last. 

Street food has not only opened up a new world for food lovers, but also turned out to be the best of hangouts. It has sprung out places where you can chat, relax and laugh out loudly without having to mind your manners. 

Another interesting thing about street food is that all the ingredients are in front of you and your dish is prepared right in front of you. But in case of hotels and restaurants you never know what’s in your dish and one can’t even predict how it’s gonna look until you have seen it. 

A point which strongly favors street food over restaurant food is that they do not concentrate much on the decoration of dishes; it is the taste that comes first whereas the importance is given to both the taste and looks in hotels and restaurants.

Just the sight of colorful dishes, steaming hot, waiting to be grabbed up is enough to lure us to the street shops. Their natural ambience and low cost are 2 of its greatest strengths. Who now has the patience and time to walk into a hotel, find a table, go through the menu card, order and then wait for the dish?? One would prefer to go to make-shift stalls, ask for any dish, and see your plate getting fully loaded and pay only half of what you pay at other food outlets.

If asked to frame in one sentence, it will be “Street foods have become the most sought-after food outlets which economically combine the vantages of variety and taste”.

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Pavithra Nirmala
Well, describing myself usually takes me long as I find it difficult to pick the words that fit me the best. Straight-forward (a bit too much), easy to get along with, cleanliness-freak and intriguing would be the words my friends would attribute to me.


 

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