It is widely believed that street food strictly means ‘junk and unhealthy’. But with more and more people joining the health conscious bandwagon, the thela wallas too are coming up with a plethora of options in healthy snacking, which are both delicious and nutritious.
We have shortlisted quite a handful of street food munchies that could be gorged on at any given time of the day.
Sprouts as we all know is rich in fibre and is full of proteins too. Many people opt for the option of sprouts as a breakfast or an evening snack and off late you can actually find many people crowding near the thela wallas selling sprout salad!
The sprout salad that is available in the Master Canteen stall has boiled sprouts with chopped onions, tomatoes, carrots, a handful of peanuts and salt and pepper to taste. The blue thela that is offering this recent favorite snack is, in fact, witnessing more number of customers than the gupchup stall next to it. “Sprouts salad is my every day evening snack and I come to this stall every day and get myself a plate of salad that costs just Rs 10 but is quite fulfilling and tasty,” says Damini Samal, a working professional.
Steamed or Roasted Corn
Corn like sprouts is also high on nutritional value and is enjoyed and loved by almost everyone. Especially during the monsoons, we all like to go and get ourselves a roasted corn and add a dash of extra lime and salt to it and relish it till the end.
While roasted corn is a preferred option for many, steamed corn is also equally popular. Steamed corn with a pinch of black salt is the perfect street food snacking that can give your body a protein boost.
Steamed and roasted corns are available in many places in the capital. Ramkishore Biswal, who has his stall near Ekamra Haat tells us, “Everyday I do a business about Rs. 200. People prefer the roasted corn much more than the steamed variety and school going kids and college goers are my regular customers.”
Soma Das, a homemaker says, “My mother in law who is almost 70 years old loves to gorge on steamed corn and I make it a point to get it packed for her almost every other day.” While the roasted corn comes for ten rupees, the steamed corn is available for twenty rupees.
Soups whether vegetarian or non vegetarian is undeniably one of the healthiest street foods and who doesn’t like a bowl of hot steaming soup in the monsoons? Available in plenty across stalls and hotels, soups come in various options like chicken manchow soup, veg clear soup, hot garlic soup and many more.
One of the popular destinations for soup snacking is in Sahid Nagar where this stall boasts of the perfect preparation in just Rs. 10 and the crowd that flocks the stall every day speaks volumes about its popularity. Sprinkled with little or no sauce, chopped garlic and coriander, the soups are a bit among the people!
Owner Raju Samanta says, “I sell soups like hot cakes every single day. I make it a little thick and put in enough vegetable or chicken to make it filling. I also avoid using too much spices and keep it broth like and simple.”
Not just a snack to munch on when a film is going on, but popcorn is a nutritional and fat free street food snack that can be eaten by people from seven to seventy. Salted and non salted, popcorns are everyone’s favorite and that is why many thellas are selling freshly made popcorns which people mostly relish, a little warm and buttery!
The stall near Forum Mall is quite popular among popcorn lovers. Owner Balkrishna Saha says he has seen a decent rise in his number of customers over the last one year. “I am happy that people are coming to my stall to buy popcorn instead of spending a huge amount on the ones available inside the mall. Why buy it for Rs 100 when you can get it for Rs 10?”, he sums up.
Needless to say, fruits are packed with vitamins and minerals but many people consciously stay away from cut fruits because they are unsure how long has it been kept this way. But, some of the stalls like the one in Market Building ensure that they prepare your bowl of papaya, grapes, watermelon, apples, guava and oranges in front of you.
Available for Rs. 20, the fruit salad bowl has enough nutritional value than fruit juices where you can also be apprehensive about the water and ice used.
Stall owner Jagmohan Panda tells us, “I peel all the fruits and keep them ready but I cut and serve them only when a customer places an order. There are many people who come to my stall even at 9 pm to eat a bowl of fresh fruits.”