Snacks that Suit Everybody’s Palette

Remember Kareena Kapoor saying to Aamir Khan in the Bollywood movie “3 Idiots” about how amusing the names of Gujarati snacks are. She compares them with names of missiles! Well, they certainly tantalize your taste buds. They go “bang” in your mouth with their distinctively salty, spicy and sweet flavors.

Snacks like “dhokla” and “Khandvi” are spongy and wet, but light to the stomach and a sensation to the taste buds. They are made from gram flour and sour yoghurt, plus a host of seasoning and spices added to them gives distinctive taste.

Then, there are crispy and dry snacks like “Khakhra” and “ganthia”, deep-fried ones like “kachori” and those made of rice such as “batata poha” “chevda” and “sev mumra”. These can be spicy or mild or tangy-spicy depending on your taste. These snacks are mostly low in calories.

Each snack is unique in taste and flavor. Along with the biscuit-like “naankhatai” and the slurpy “jalebis”, which feature thin spirals and yellow color, you just cannot miss “vadapav” and “Dabeli” when in Gujarat. These are made using fresh buns and fillings with pungent taste.

It’s a whole Snack Culture out There

It is safe to say that Gujaratis are passionate about snacks. Visit a typical household in this part of India and you will always find two or three jars filled with snacks in the kitchen. A lot of Gujarati snacks are easy to store and portable, especially the dry and crispy ones. Gujarati hospitality includes serving you plates full of “nasto” (snacks in Gujarati). From breakfast to supper time, the snacks serve as appetizers before meals or evening tea-time treats or munchies between meals.

“Farsan” is one of the commonest dry snacks found in a typical Gujarati household. You can even find this snack along the main meal. One of the most popular forms of “farsan” is “chivda.”

Do you know Gujaratis carry their snacks to work, while traveling and even abroad, they are quite famous for this.

The Gujarati Flavor Travels Overseas

From United Kingdom to United States of America, from Australia to Africa, Gujaratis constitute the biggest group of immigrants from India.

Do you know out of the total Indian American population abroad, Gujaratis constitute about 20 per cent of it!!

There is a staggering demand for Gujarati snacks in the Western world. Gujarati business people are flourishing their business of exporting snacks abroad.

Gujarat exports about 20-30 crores of “Khakhra” annually on an average basis. Gujarati students and entrepreneurs settled abroad have boosted the demand of light snacks like “bhakris,” “athanu,” “theplas,” and more. Even “Khichdis” and “shaak” are exported thanks to the spread of Gujarati flavor across the globe. A walk down certain streets of New York, New Jersey, Queens and Los Angeles makes you realize how far Gujarati cuisine has traveled to. There are stores here that sell ready-to-eat Gujarati food packets.

A typical Gujarati “nasto” is incomplete without the classic “masala chai” or masala tea. Forget drinking from the cup, pour some hot “chai” on the saucer and sip with a slurp. When in Gujarat, do as the Gujaratis do!

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