Have you ever given a second thought while relishing your piping hot samosas and pakode with your evening masala tea? I’m sure not, as snacks such as these have been highly ingrained in the Indian psyche since quite a long time. What one forgets is that all such desi savories fall under the category of ‘junk food’. Now, junk food is basically all such food items that are high on taste and calories, but quite low on nutritional value. In the Western context, these include eatables such as pizza, burgers, instant noodles, packaged potato chips, aerated sugary beverages and ice cream, among others. Needless to say, all these items are now also a part of the popular Indian gastronomical culture, even though we do prefer our own desi junk food such as chaat, samosa, pakode, kachori, aloo tikki, ram ladoo, chhole bathure, chowmein, and momos.
Among all these, the most consumed junk food in India is definitely the humble samosa (an average deep-fried samosa contains 252 calories). I say “humble” because it is such a huge part of daily Indian snacking that no one considers it as junk food, and that explains its immense popularity. Largely enjoyed in the northern areas, the samosa is now also popular across the length and breadth of India. Wherever you go in the country, you are bound to find the samosa as a snacking item, albeit in different forms such as these:
- Classic samosa: This is the one that is the most popular in India. It has a spicy filling of mashed potato and peas and is a perfect accompaniment to your adrak waali chai.
- Chhole samosa: This involves the classic samosa immersed in a masaledaar helping of chickpeas (chhole) with a little gravy. Served with mint chutney, this one is a killer combo for sure!
- Keema samosa: How can the non-vegetarians not have their own samosa variant! This one is filled with spicy minced chicken or mutton, and can be served as a bar food item as well.
- Cheese samosa: Filled with gooey cheese, sweet corn and onion, this samosa is a great hit with the young crowd! The combination of these ingredients also makes this one a ‘pizza samosa’.
- Paneer samosa: Did you know paneer bhurji can acquire a mouthwatering trait when stuffed inside a samosa? Well, try this one out, all you paneer lovers!
- Gobhi samosa: For those of you who are in love with gobhi ka parantha, you would surely enjoy the finger-licking combo of minced gobhi and onion inside the humble samosa!
- Pasta samosa: This one is really popular with those who love Italian food. But mind you, the pasta has to be made quite dry to fit neatly inside the samosa. Bit of a difficult task, but the end result is a tasty treat for sure!
- Chinese samosa: Chowmein or maggi noodles, when fit inside a samosa, acquire a heavenly taste for many! Although not many street side vendors will make this variant, some have started serving it to please a Chinese cuisine-loving crowd.
- Egg samosa: Egg bhurji, along with minced onions, is fit inside this samosa to make for a very appetizing snack!
- Chocolate samosa: Needless to say, this samosa, filled with delicious Nutella or chocolate sauce, will shine up your sweet tooth!
- Khoya samosa: This one is essentially like a gujiya, with similar fillings of khoya and dry fruits. The only difference is that its shape is that of a samosa, i.e. triangular. Nevertheless, it too is a hearty dessert!
- Jam samosa: Sweet jam filled inside this samosa makes for a perfect British-like snack with your tea!