10 Street Foods Of Guwahati That You Must Savour This Durga Puja
GUWAHATI: Durga Puja or Pujo is here! With the beat of dhak, illuminated colourful pandals and mouth-watering dishes the city is dolled up to welcome Devi Durga. Along with the various cultures and traditions, each festival brings with it a huge range of mouth-watering dishes making festivals and food synonymous.
Pandal hopping no doubt is important but for a foodie his priorities are obvious. During the five days of Durga Puja, Guwahati turns into a huge food court because there is food everywhere making it an ideal time for foodies to relish the delectable delicacies of the season.
No doubt restaurant food is delicious and comes with a well-seated atmosphere but the charm of having street food is undeniable. There are food stalls in every nook and corner of the city, especially surrounding every single pandal. These food stalls give a tough competition to the more established eateries of the city with their instant service and tasty food. While one might have to pre-book or wait at a restaurant to have a meal, a street stall will serve you lip-smacking food within minutes at a very reasonable rate. Made with a mixture of unique ingredients and spices, the street food in Guwahati is influenced by various cuisines from around the country/world. From Chinese noodles to Tibetan momos, from crispy pakoras and jalebis to spicy rolls and chops, the street food in Guwahati has much more to offer. No matter how decked up a foodie is they will never miss the opportunity of having food even if it means eating their own lipstick or ruining their clothes.
Adding to your list of what to eat this Puja, here are some must-try foods from the streets of Guwahati.
“Ruti nohoi ma roll hoi” *takes a huge bite of roll*. How many times have you explained to your mother that rolls are not rotis? Roll is a delicious mixture of vegetables, meat, eggs, lots of onions and sauces wrapped together in a Maida Paratha. Parathas cooked along with eggs and studded with meat are the show stoppers in the world of rolls. It is the most hassle-free food item that allows you to eat while you walk. For some, the last bite of the roll is the best because even though it has all the extra oil *burps* it also has the extra flavour and keeps you craving for more.
You cannot just say no to a plate of Chowmein or Chow-Chow. Streets of Guwahati are filled with hawkers selling Indian style Chinese Chowmein. Tossed with huge chunks of onions, cabbage, chilies, various spices and sauces and sometimes even egg and meat this Indian style Chowmein has its own unique flavor which cannot be compared to Hakka noodles. Chowmein is often enjoyed with tomato and chilli sauce and obviously some raw onion slices on top. There is a joy in watching the vendors while they make fresh batches of Chow-Chow and make you wait for your plate. When you walk out of a pandal and get the smell of someone making Chow-Chow, go and grab a plate and don't forget the extra onions.
Puchka is like the person who is always on your mind and forever in your heart. Puchka is that friend in the group who you can never hate! Be it the traditional Puchka with a potato and pea filling and dipped in tamarind water or the fancy ones served with various types of water Puchka is a must for every pandal hopper. When you bite into a Puchka there is a blast of flavors in your mouth and no matter how spicy it is you always crave for one more. And it is always mandatory to ask for an extra Puri from the Puchkawala.
Pakora or Pokori is an all-time snack. Make it with bread, chillies, potatoes, onions or chicken, it can never go wrong. Tiny breaks while checking out pandals can be enjoyed with pokoris. Recently the city has witnessed some chicken Pakora sellers who are quite famous for their pakoras. What can go wrong with anything dipped in Besan batter and fried in hot oil? Also don’t forget the spicy chutney that comes along.
*Grabs another Piyaz Pokori and munches*
“Pet beya holeu Ghugni tu khamei,” said another foodie. Durga Puja celebrations are not complete without gulping down a plate of Ghugni topped with onions, chillies along with tangy and sweet sauce. An Aloo Chop along with the Ghugni is like sone pe suhaga.
A plate of hot and spicy Ghugni along with some chop be it egg, aloo or chicken, is emptied within seconds when with friends or family and that joy is only experienced on the streets.
You can take out a northeastern out of the Northeast but you cannot take out MOMOS from their regular treats. Be it Durga Puja or a regular day momos will always top our what-should-i-eat list, obviously along with the spicy chutney and steaming hot soup.
How many times have you told the momo vendor, “Dada, olop extra soup?” The best part about eating momos on the street is having the extra soup and if you’re friends with the momo seller you might even score some extra momos.
Even if there is a chance of burning our tongue while gobbling down steaming momos and hot soup, we are never giving up on them! Be it chicken, pork or veg/soya momos will always be our favourite.
For our never-ending love for momos please get yourself a hot plate of momos and rejoice with some extra soup and chutney.
DOSA AND PAV-BHAJI
Taking Guwahati street food to a different level, food vendors now make sure to cater to all our food needs. Various food vendors in the city now also serve Dosa, Pav Bhajis and other dishes inspired from various parts of India making it a feast for foodies of the city. You can never say no to buttery Pav Bhaji even if it makes your hands greasy.
Biryani, more like BIR-YUMMY, is our go-to comfort food. Be it the scorching summer or a chilly winter, a foodie can never say no to Biryani. Especially during Durga Puja, one can find a Biryani stall outside almost every pandal. Biryani is probably the best combination of rice and meat; eggs and potatoes add the icing on the cake. With the rush of visiting all the puja pandals, Biryani becomes the perfect go-to food because it's filling, tasty and obviously smells amazing.
“Jalepii, nimki, khurma nukhuake Durga Puja nohoi de aru,” said another foodie. Jalebi is the most popular sweet during Durga Puja. You might not find a paan shop in a locality but you will find a Jalebi stall. No doubt eating a Jabeli makes your fingers sticky with sugar but you cannot just not have it. Jalebis come along with Nimki and Khurma. On Dashami it is mandatory to eat Jalebis and bid goodbye to Devi Durga on a sweet note waiting for her arrival the next year.
So, here is wishing all readers a gastronomically fabulous Durga Puja and do make sure to savour each of the items mentioned above!