No matter which part of the world you are visiting, the best way to get an authentic taste of the local cuisine is by literally getting out on to the streets! The pushcarts and small shanties serve the tastiest versions of the local cuisine. No fancy dressing up of the food that detracts from its indigenous flavors. No fancy plates and cutlery or ‘great ambience’ to take away the ethnicity of the food. Just the food in totality served in the most rudimentary way possible, yet finger-licking tasty!
First it’s the aroma that pulls you towards these humble eateries. The food servers here don’t treat you with deference, but more with familiarity like an old family member. The food on offer is usually limited in variety, but the taste more than makes up for a long menu.
Sambhar- dosai is a very common dish and easily available everywhere. Rasa vada and the fluffy small ‘kal’ dosas served along with hot coconut chutney make for a filling meal, which you can top off with an omelet. Idli and Sambhar as well as a variety of Uthapams are also part of street food fare and should be on your must-try list. The best part of eating street food is you can actually watch it being prepared fresh and hot in front of you, without any fear of its being recycled food as in many well-to-do restaurants.
The food is usually vegetarian, but don’t be put off as there are quite a few places offering the ubiquitous parotta and chicken curry or chicken fry, a tasty meal full of calories and flavors to die for. A variety of Biriyanis including chicken, mutton or vegetarian add to the aroma filling the streets, beckoning to the passer-by to drop in for a bite!
You might even be surprised to find foods on offer that aren’t indigenous to Trichy, but to north Indian cuisine, such as the ‘pav bhaji’, ‘vada pav’ or ‘pani puri’; the very thought of these flavorful foods sets the tongue watering. Don’t forget to try out the various Sherbets on offer, they can be so refreshing on a hot summer day.
Aside from the taste, the second best part of these authentic street foods is that they are awfully light on the pocket. You can enjoy a meal to the max at quarter the cost that you would have to spend in a decent restaurant….and whether the food there would be as enjoyable or not, would always be a big question mark! A word of caution here is that make sure you have your hepatitis shots up to date before venturing out for street food as the hygiene quotient could be a little off the mark.