The food lovers guide to the world
A food lover's guide to the world
India Perhaps the perfect street snack, Indian samosas tick every box for fast food: served hot with vegetables, sometimes meat, inside a deep-fried pastry parcel, they can be dipped in chutney for extra tang. Credit: GREG ELMS: LONELY PLANET IMAGES
Lonely Planet's latest tome, A Food Lovers Guide To The World is a celebration of food, culture and people from around the world. With dozens of recipes for favourite dishes from around the world, it's a vibrant addition to any food, travel and life lover's collection.
Here is an exclusive extract from the book, and click through the gallery above for a veritable feast for the senses.
Samosas: Takeaway Triangles
With its crisp pastry shell encasing a soft filling, these plump, triangular deep-fried pockets stuffed with spicy vegetables are one of India’s most iconic street snacks. The most common fillings are spiced potato, onion, peas, coriander and green chillies, served hot with fresh tamarind, coriander or mint chutney on the side. Southern twists to the typically northern samosa include slight variations in how the pastry is folded, as well as differences in the filling – potato may be replaced with cabbage, onion, carrot, peas and curry leaves.
It’s thought samosas originated in pre-10th-century Central Asia, where they were known as samsas. Thanks to flourishing trading routes between Central and South Asia, they were introduced to India somewhere between the 13th and 14th centuries. Traditionally, they were cooked around campfires during night halts on overland trade journeys, not only because they were nutritious and easy to prepare, but also because they could be transported cold and eaten en route. Old manuscripts describe subsequent ‘royal’ versions of the little pastry parcels being filled with everything from walnuts and pistachios to prime cuts of minced meat.
In South India, the traditional snack is the idlis, a spongy, round rice cake that you dip in sambar and coconut chutney. Other southern stalwarts include vadas (doughnut-shaped deep-fried lentil savouries) and appams or uttappams (thick, savoury rice pancakes with finely chopped onion, green chillies, coriander and coconut). These snacks tend to be fruitier and more mildly spiced than elsewhere in India.
Where To Eat
Samosa vendors are widely found in bazaars and on street corners throughout India. Watching samosas being sizzled in front of you is part and parcel of the Indian experience.
This is an extract from Lonely Planet’s Food Lover’s Guide to the World
© Lonely Planet 2012. Published October 2012, RRP: $49.99.