Travel becomes fun when food is awesome. It also lets you explore different regional food items & dishes.
Train rides can be bizarre and entertaining at the same time. You meet strangers, share a few minutes of your life with them, knowing that you won’t meet them again, ever. You look forward to seeing whom will you be sitting next to. You sleep on a berth shaking all night to a rhythmic lullaby. You look outside for hours watching the topography change– from grassy farm lands to meandering mountains. And occasionally, be a part of the collective “woooo” when the train enters a tunnel. There’s nothing not to love about the Indian Railways.
But there is only one thing that turns every train journey from great to super in just an instant. The sight and the smell of local food at rail stations. And it is nothing short of divine gastronomy. Not only is the Indian Rail system one of the world’s largest rail networks, it is also one with the maximum food diversity.
While some Indian railway stations are famous country-over for their regional food specialties, some offer an extensive spread ranging from Karjat Station’s Batata Vada all the way to Jodhpur Station’s Mirchi Bajji.
So quit your next food festival and go on a train journey and you will be pleasantly surprised with the food adventure that you have. Here are a few suggestions on how you can experience a real food fare along with your rail fare.
1. Batata Vada
This one doesn’t need much explaining. Most of you must have tried this, but what you might not have tried are the Vadas sold at Karjat Railway Station. Karjat is a small city between Mumbai and Pune that makes these world-famous potato fritters.
Where to get the best: Karjat Railway Station, Maharashtra
2. Mirchi Bajji
A popular street snack of Rajasthan also known as Jodhpuri Mirchi Bajji has green chili peppers stuffed with a spicy masala potato filling and deep fried. Forget the calories and just binge!
Where to get the best: Jodhpur Station, Rajasthan
Topped with sev and freshly chopped veggies, Poha is the staple breakfast for most of India. Healthy and so tasty.
Where to get the best: Ratlam Junction, Madhya Pradesh
The city of adoration has one more thing to offer that is as sweet as love – Petha. Cure all your sugar cravings with this sweet dish.
Where to get the best: Agra Junction, Uttar Pradesh
5. Aloo Poori
This is a traditional simple potato curry that is served at almost all the railway stations all across India. If you are in the mood for a classic delight, then this dish from Northern India is sure to win you over.
Rabri is a North Indian delicacy made from reduced milk and lots of dry fruits such as elaichi, cardamom and kesar. Have it with steaming pooris, jalebis, gulab jamuns or just as is.
Where to get the best: Varanasi Junction, Uttar Pradesh
Crunch and simply delicious, Murukku is a traditional twisted Tamil snack that one simply cannot get enough of. Try the locally made ones at the Chennai Railway Station and know for yourself.
Where to get the best: Chennai Station, Tamil Nadu
Chai lies at the heart of the Indian Railways. It’s the perfect accompaniment to any snack or dish. As you move from one station to another, you will find variation in taste and colour. Some will be pale yellow, some a fiery orange, yet another greasy and milky. But they will all be rejuvenating, nonetheless.
9. Jhaal Muri
Jhaal muri is a popular street food snack of West Bengal. Jhaal means spices and muri is puffed rice. The rice is tossed together with chopped vegetables and chillies along with mustard oil and tamarind. Spicy but absolutely delicious!
Where to get the best: Howrah Junction, Kolkata
A delicacy loaded with ghee and khoya straight from the heart of Uttar Pradesh. Mathura Pedas are well-known throughout India and are one of the must-haves during a visit to Mathura.
Where to get the best: Mathura Junction, Uttar Pradesh
(This article was originally published by Indiatimes & has been published here without editing except the title)