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These mouthwatering snacks prove why Indore is called the `Street Food Capital of India'
India is a land of diversities, and these diversities greatly reflect on our local cuisines. While travelling in India, it just requires a few kilometres of travel to find totally different varieties of gastronomical delights. Every state in the country has its own unique and distinctive dishes which not only appeal to the taste buds, but to the eyes as well.

The central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh bears no exception in this regards. If Bhopal in MP is popular for its non-vegetarian dishes, the city of Indore in the state is a vegan's delight. Indore is popularly known as the `Street Food Capital of India'.

A visit to the city's Sarafa Bazaar at night is sure to overwhelm you with the aroma of delectable delicacies cooking. Sarafa Bazar in Indore is a popular hub of spicy eateries in the city. As the name would suggest, `Sarafa Bazaar' in Hindi means jeweller's market, but the market area also boasts of tea stalls, restaurants and a big chaat bazaar, serving some sinfully delightful varieties of chaat.

They say that if you want to know about the culture of a city, you must sample its street food, and a food lover should never miss an opportunity to try delicacies like pav bhaji, poha, kachoris, idli-vada etc at the Sarafa Bazaar in Indore.

Not much is known how Sarafa Bazaar came into existence, but it is believed to be about 100 years old. The market it is said was encouraged by the jewellery shop owners, as the hustle bustle would keep their shops secure at night. And hence they started providing space in front of their shops to food vendors. Today, Sarafa Bazaar has developed into a large scale street food market, which sees 3,000 footfalls every night, including tourists and locals.

Sarafa Bazaar stays open well into the night, buzzing with activity as busy food vendors serve to the irrepressible appetites of customers. There are around 50 varieties of snacks available at Sarafa Bazaar, and some so unique that one would struggle to find them elsewhere. Indore's cuisine is all about richness and tartness and rarely subtle.

Here are a few unique delicacies which Sarafa Bazaar has to offer for food adventurers:

Bhutte ki Kees


This unique dish is seasonal, as it is made from corn. It is simply melt-in-mouth, made by shredding and cooking corn with milk, coconut and spices, until it becomes moist and smooth. Bhutte ki Kees is served topped with grated coconut, fresh coriander and lemon juice. Joshi Restaurant is popular for its Bhutte ki Kees.

Pani Puri in 10 different flavours


Pani puri or golgappas, as we generally call them in north India are available in almost every part of the country. But in Indore even the conventional pani pura has acquired a new innovation. Pani Puri at Sarafa Bazaar is served in 10 different flavours along with the staple mint-chilli spiked water.

Khopra Patties


Another famous snack, Khopra Patties are fried potato balls with a core stuffed with coconut and served with a tangy tamarind chutney. Vijay Chaat House at Sarafa Bazaar is popular for serving this dish along with the regular crispy kachoris and samosas.

Egg Banjo


Johnny Hot Dog at Sarafa Bazaar is popular for serving Egg Banjo, a snack made with a a crisp omelette, red chillies and served in a bun, which is melt-in-mouth soft. Over the years, the dish has become the eatery's claim to fame.

Dahi Bada


A trip to Sarafa Bazar cannot be considered complete without sampling the Dahi Bada at the Joshi Dahi Bada House. According to Mr Om Prakash Joshi, who runs the shop, his Dahi Vada's are distinct from others as the vada's are less oily and the consistency of the dahi is thicker.

Poha Jalebi


This is a signature breakfast dish of Indore. It is also a unique dish as it is a marriage between two unlikely companions, the poha, which is a Maharashtran dish and jalebi, which has Arabic origins. Poha Jalebi is served with spicy crunchy missal.

Sabudana Khichdi


This is one of the most popular street foods available at Sarafa Bazaar, and a major source of carbohydrates. Saawariyan Seth, which is run by Om Prakash Vyas, has a unique way of cooking this dish, which was started by his father in 1983.

And for those with a sweet tooth:

Hapus Ice Cream with Shrikhand


Head to the Agarwal Ice Cream shop for this scrumptious desert which is a combination of saffron flavoured shrikhand with pistachio and cashew nuts, served with traditional ice cream made from alphonso mangoes. The shop has been serving this unique desert for the past 55 years.

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