The chill is in the air, you can smell the roasting of peanuts and popcorns from the nook and corners of your street. The wintery chill make us want to nibble on warming foods, thankfully the next door thela-wallah has all the goodies you are looking for. Selling an assortment of interesting snacking options ranging from murmura to gajak, from ajwain mathris to gur ladoos, these thelas can be found parked every afternoon near offices and metro stations. Recently, we happened to pass by a thela (push-cart) and what caught our attention were these locally made namkeens, gajaks, chips and other bite-sized foods carefully stacked on each other, packed in see-through plastic bags. The good part about these thelas is that you get a reasonable quantity of anything you want in less than 50 bucks.
Take a look at some of these interesting food items you should definitely give a try.
Gajak is a popular North Indian sweet, made with jaggery, sesame seeds (til) and sometime rolled into khoya, bets enjoyed during winters. At the roadside thelas, gajak is available in many different shapes like slab, rolls or balls. Also known as rewari, most of the thelas are well-stocked with this winter favourite.
Gajak is a popular North Indian sweet, made with jaggery, sesame seeds
Chikki is a dry and hard sweet made of jaggery and roasted peanuts mostly prepared in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Making chikki is a tedious process; hence it is hardly prepared at homes. You will see many huge slabs of chikki on the thela begging for attention; don’t make the mistake of trying out the different options available.
Chikki is a dry and hard sweet made of jaggery and roasted peanuts
3. Spicy masaledar potato chips
These are not the normal ‘packaged’ potato chips that you are used to having. In fact, you will find these chips in local shops or thelas only. These light potato chips are spiced up with lots of red chilli powder and salt making them extra masaledar and chatpata. These are thicker but still very crunchy, and indeed go very well with a cup of tea in the evenings!
These are not the normal ‘packaged’ potato chips that you are used to having
4. Murmura ladoo
These round delights are made of puffed rice and molten jaggery. Though puffed rice is not nutritionally rich, but it does make for a light snack. The best part about these laddoos is the jaggery, which makes it sweet, irresistible and filling. You can find this sweet treat almost everywhere, but nothing beats the taste of a murmura ladoo from a thela.
These round delights are made of puffed rice and molten jaggery
Naan-khatai is a cookie made with purpose flour, sugar and ghee or butter and baked to make soft, melt-in-the-mouth sweet cookies. These are topped with almonds or pistachios and generally eaten slightly warm. Mouthwatering much?
Popcorns are an all-season favourite, who wouldn’t like these soft buttery delights, especially during winter days. The constant popping of the kernels will make you want them more. That’s how yummy they are.
Popcorns are an all-season favourite, who wouldn’t like these soft buttery delights
You can find a pile of roasted peanuts or groundnuts lying on the thela with a small earthen pot, which has some burning coal inside. It may be to keep the peanuts warm or to keep away the insects and flies hovering around. The joy of eating mungfaliyan and a pinch of chaat masala or kala namak is exceptionally special.
You can find a pile of roasted peanuts or groundnuts lying on the thela with a small earthen pot
8. Gur pare
This traditional Punjabi sweet is popularly gorged on in various states across India. It is the sweet version of namak par and is made with all-purpose flour, ghee, jaggery and deep fried to make a tasty sweet snack.
Puffed rice make for a great snack, the thela-wallahs especially make a delicious bhel-puri by adding some namkeen and masala along with lemon juice. The lip-smacking bhel-puri cum chaat is something to die for.
Puffed rice make for a great snack
You will see an assortment of namkeens stacked on the thela; masala matar namkeen, mixed namkeen, khhatti meethi namkeen and so many more that add to the variety.
You will see an assortment of namkeens stacked on the thela
These lovely winter treats are surely worth devouring. Do let us know, which one is your favourite pick this winter?