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What is Indian Street Food?
One of the staples of Indian cuisine is their street food. Just imagine walking down a crowded city street and smelling the delightful aroma of spices as the street vendors prepare their mouth watering snacks and treats from recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation. Street Food is popular across all of India's 29 states and each region of the country is known for its own unique foods and flavors. States along the west coast of India are known for their pao (white dinner rolls) and coconut. In West Bengal, a lot of their street food is inspired by the fiery flavor of mustard. They also incorporate a lot of river fish in their food. In North India, a lot of their food is centered around chickpeas, potatoes and flatbreads. In South India, a lot of their food is centered around rice, bananas and coconut.
- Chaat makes up an entire category of Indian Street food that is defined by its spicy, tangy, sweet and savory flavors. The base of chaat is typically made with a starchy food such as samosas, puffed rice or fried bread fritters. Besides the starchy base, chaat also contains a lot of raw or boiled vegetables, which are used to add texture. The vegetables commonly used in chaat are potatoes, tomatoes and onions. Then a chutney is added, which is typically either a tamarind chutney, red garlic chutney or mint chutney. After the chutney is added it is then seasoned with Chaat Masala, which is a blend of spices used to give the chaat its unique flavor. Last but not least is the crunchy topping, which is typically either fried potato bits, sev (deep fried noodles) or fried chickpeas.
- Jaljeera is native to North India and is a very popular refreshing drink during India’s hot summers. It is a tangy, aromatic and spicy drink served with boondi, which are deep fried balls of gram flour. Jaljeera literally translates to “cumin water”, however it contains more spices than just the cumin. Some of the other spices commonly used in jaljeera are mint, tamarind, fennel and black pepper.
- Jahl Muri is another popular street food that originated from Bengal. Jhal Muri translates to “spicy puffed rice”. Jhal Muri contains puffed rice, roasted peanuts, vegetables and various spices. It is best to eat the Jhal Muri fresh to get the full effect of the crunchiness of the puffed rice.
Mumbai Pav Bhaji
- Pav Bhaji is native to Mumbai and was traditionally used as a quick meal for textile workers. Pav translates to “bread roll” and Bhaji translates to “vegetable dish”. Pav Bhaji contains a spicy vegetable gravy that is served with bread rolls.
- Pani translates to “water” and Puri translates to “fried crispy dough balls”. The Puri are crispy dough balls that are stuffed with either boiled potatoes, chickpeas, moong sprouts or white peas. The Pani, which is a sour, tangy and spicy water, is then added to puri with a sweet chutney called Meetha.
- Pulao is an aromatic rice dish that is served with vegetables.
- Vadapav originated from Mumbai, which is one of the most well known areas in India for its street food. Vada translates to “deep fried potato” and pav translates to “bread roll”. Vadapav is served by placing the spicy deep fried potato in the bread roll and then spreading a tamarind chutney, green chutney and garlic chutney on the inside of the bread roll.
- Biryani is a very popular aromatic and spicy rice dish that can be served with vegetables, meat or chicken.
What are the ingredients in ALCO Indian Street Food Masalas?
All of the ALCO Masalas are 100% natural and do not contain any artificial fillers or flavors.Chaat Masala
- ROCK SALT, BLACK SALT, CHILI, BLACK PEPPER, DRIED MANGO, SALT, DRIED GINGER, NUTMEG, MINT LEAF, KACHRI, CUMIN, POMEGRANATE SEED, ASAFOETIDA
- IODIZED COMMON SALT, ROCK SALT, CUMIN, DRIED MANGO, TAMARIND, MINT, DRIED GINGER, CHILI, BLACK PEPPER, KACHRI, ASAFOETIDA, CLOVE, NUTMEG, MALIC ACID(E296)(E296)
- DRIED MANGO, SALT, CORIANDER, KACHRI, RED CHILI, POMEGRANATE SEED, CUMIN, DEHYDRATED GARLIC, BLACK SALT, DRIED GINGER, CINNAMON BARK, BLACK PEPPER, TURMERIC, NUTMEG, CLOVE, CARAWAY, STAR ANISE, FENUGREEK LEAF, MACE.
- CHILI, CORIANDER, CUMIN, DRIED MANGO, CASSIA LEAF, BLACK PEPPER, CLOVE, TURMERIC, DRIED GINGER, STAR ANISE, FENNEL, BLACK CARDAMOM, IODIZED COMMON SALT.
- IODIZED COMMON SALT, BLACK SALT, DRIED MANGO, CUMIN, TAMARIND, MINT, KACHRI, TARTARIC ACID, BLACK PEPPER, POMEGRANATE SEED, CHILI, TURMERIC, CARAWAY, DRIED GINGER, ASAFOETIDA
- CORIANDER, CUMIN, CLOVES, BAY LEAF, RED CHILI, BLACK PEPPER, BLACK CARDAMOM, GREEN CARDAMOM, CARAWAY, CINNAMON, TURMERIC, NUTMEG, MUSTARD, STAR ANISE, MACE, FENUGREEK LEAF
- CORIANDER, CUMIN, BLACK PEPPER, TURMERIC, RED CHILI, DEHYDRATED GARLIC, SALT, MUSTARD, GREEN CARDAMOM, FENUGREEK LEAF, DEHYDRATED ONION, NUTMEG, DRIED GINGER, BAY LEAF, FENUGREEK SEED, MACE, BLACK SALT, BLACK CARDAMOM
- MIXED SPICES (5%), BLACK PEPPER, WHITE SALT, TURMERIC, GREEN CARDAMOM, JEERA SABUT, CLOVE, GREEN CARDAMOM, BLACK CARDAMOM, BAY LEAF
Where does Indian Street Food come from?
Indian Street food is popular across all of India. Each region of India is known for its creation of different types of street foods. Today you can go to any city and find a range of different street foods originating from all different areas of the country. However, each city will add its own twist of flavor to the different dishes.
- Chaat: Chaat originated in Gujarat in North India.
- Jaljeera: Jaljeera was first introduced in Northern India off the banks of the Ganges River.
- Jhal Muri: Jahl Muri originated in Kolkata, which is a city located in West Bengal on the east side of India.
- Mumbai Pav Bhaji: Pav Bhaji is native to Mumbai.
- Pani Puri: The exact origin of Pani Puri is unknown. Some say that it originated from Southern Bihar. Others say that it was invented by Draupadi when his brother challenged him with creating a new food.
- Pulao: Pulao was created through the cultural meshing of Persia, India and Central Asia.
- Vadapav: Vadapav is native to Mumbai.
- Biryani: The exact origin of Biryani rice is unknown. Some say that it originated in India while others say it originated in Persia, which is present day Iran.
How are ALCO Masalas processed?
ALCO Masalas are manufactured by ALCO Foods in Raipur, India. Before ALCO could start manufacturing their own line of masalas, there was much research that went into creating the perfect blend of spices. The chemists at ALCO Foods were tasked with creating masalas that would allow anyone to recreate their favorite Indian dishes from anywhere in the world. After creating a full lineup of masalas, ALCO Foods then needed to find farmers to source their raw ingredients. It was very important to find farmers that they could trust to provide them with consistent and quality ingredients all year round. When the raw ingredients arrive at the warehouse, they are first sanitized. The raw ingredients then go through a cleaning machine, which removes any impurities. After the cleaning process, the raw ingredients are then inspected by hand before they are roasted. A machine is used to roast the spices, which greatly enhances the flavor and aroma. After roasting, the spices are then ready to be grinded down. A machine and sieves are then used to grind the spices down into a fine powder. The sieves are used to extract the non grounded parts from the fine powder. After the spices have been grinded down into a fine powder, they are then packaged and ready to be enjoyed.
What do the Indian Street Food Masalas taste like?
- Chaat Masala: Adds a tart, spicy, tangy, sour and sweet flavor to any chaat dish.
- Jaljeera Masala: Adds a spicy, sour and sweet refreshing flavor to Jaljeera drinks.
- Jhal Muri Masala: Adds a spicy and tangy flavor to the popular crunchy Indian Street Food called Jhal Muri.
- Mumbai Pav Bhaji Masala: Adds an excellent spicy flavor to the Bhaji (vegetable gravy).
- Pani Puri Masala: Adds a sour, tangy and spicy flavor to the Pani (water).
- Pulao Masala: Adds an excellent aroma and subtle flavor to Pulao (vegetable rice dish).
- Vadapav Masala: Adds a savory spicy flavor to the Vadapav (deep fried potato balls).
- Biryani Masala: Adds a spicy and robust flavor to Biryani rice. The Biryani Masala also gives off excellent aromas of cardamom, clove, cinnamon and saffron.
What dietary and health benefits do ALCO Masalas provide?
Dietary Benefits of ALCO Masalas:
- Gluten Free
- Paleo Friendly
- KETO Friendly
ALCO Masalas contain a vast amount of different spices, which have several potential health benefits. Some of the key ingredients that are contained in most of the ALCO Masalas are:
Chili PowderChili Powder contains the bioactive compound capsaicin, which has a variety of potential health benefits. When consumed regularly, chili powder is believed to numb your pain receptors over time and help reduce heartburn pain caused by acid reflux. Chili Powder paired with a healthy lifestyle may also aid in weight loss by increasing the rate your body burns fat. Chili Powder also contains many essential minerals and vitamins, which include:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin K1
TurmericTurmeric has recently become a very popular supplement for its medicinal benefits. Turmeric contains a very powerful antioxidant called curcumin, which gives the turmeric its bright yellow color. Curcumin is not easily absorbed into your blood, but if you consume the curcumin with black pepper it will greatly increase the absorption into your bloodstream and help you reap its benefits. Turmeric has a wide range of potential health benefits which include:
- Reducing Inflammation: Short term inflammation is needed to help our bodies heal themselves, but long term or chronic inflammation can lead to an increased risk of developing diseases. Curcumin does an excellent job of blocking inflammatory molecules, which lowers our risk of developing diseases such as cancer. Turmeric is also commonly used to help relieve pain caused by arthritis.
- Fights Against Free Radicals: Curcumin is a powerful antioxidant that protects our cells against free radicals. Free radicals are chemically active molecules that enter our body when we are exposed to tobacco or certain processed foods. Free radicals and high levels of cholesterol and triglycerides are large contributors to cardiovascular disease.
- Helps Fight Cancer: There have been studies that show turmeric can help reduce the spread of cancer by killing a large variety of different cancer cells. Turmeric has also been shown to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy.
- Protects us from Alzheimers: Curcumin has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and protect us from Alzheimer’s, depression and mood disorders. Turmeric helps reduce the inflammation and protein plaque build up in the brain.
- Aiding in Digestion: Medically, cumin has been most commonly used to aid with digestion. Cumin can increase the activity of digestive proteins and release bile from the liver, resulting in better digestion. Cumin may also help with IBS symptoms.
- Rich in Iron: Iron is used to carry oxygen in the hemoglobin of red blood cells, which allows the cells to create energy. Iron deficiency can lead to fatigue, weakness, dizziness and headache.
- Contains Antioxidants: Cumin contains a variety of compounds that function as antioxidants. Antioxidants are said to reduce cell damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals can attack your cells when food is processed or if you are exposed to smoke or radiation. If the free radicals become too high, it can cause heart disease, diabetes, cancer and more.
- Food Borne Illness Prevention: Cumin has antimicrobial properties, which can reduce your risk of contracting food borne illness. At one point, cumin was actually used for the purpose of increasing food safety.
- Lowering Blood Pressure: Coriander is said to lower blood vessel tension by promoting the interaction of calcium ions and acetylcholine. Therefore, Coriander could lower your risk of heart attacks and strokes.
- Skin Health: Coriander oil has actually been patented for its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Coriander could help with a variety of skin conditions ranging from dryness, fungal infections and eczema.
- Aiding in Digestion: Coriander contains borneol and linalool, which help our liver and bowels function properly. Coriander also contains a variety of compounds that have antibacterial properties, which can help us treat diarrhea and food borne illness such as salmonella.
- Reducing Cholesterol: Coriander can help reduce bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol levels because it contains a variety of compounds that are good for your cholesterol health.
- Bone Strength: Coriander is an excellent source of calcium, which is a very important mineral in bone growth and durability.
- Kills Bacteria and Fungi: The oil extracted from Cardamom seeds may be effective in killing bacteria and fungi. Studies have shown that the oil from the cardamom seeds kills bacteria and fungi by damaging their cell membrane.
- Helps with Metabolic Syndrome: Cardamom can also aid those with metabolic syndrome, which leads to heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Metabolic syndrome includes health conditions such as obesity, high cholesterol and high blood sugar. A study was conducted on women with metabolic syndrome. The study found that those who consumed the green cardamom had lower levels of inflammatory proteins, C-reactive protein and other markers compared to the placebo group.
- Contains Antioxidants: Antioxidants are said to reduce cell damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals can attack your cells when food is processed or if you are exposed to smoke or radiation. If the free radicals become too high, it can cause heart disease, diabetes, cancer and more.
- Helps Maintain Oral Hygiene: Cardamom has been used for hundreds of years as a mouth freshener. It can also be used to lower your risk of cavities and gum disease by killing the bacteria in your mouth.
How to use ALCO Indian Street Food Masalas?
- Chaat Masala can be used for a variety of different dishes. Chaat Masala is commonly sprinkled onto Indian Street Food chaat dishes such as Aloo Chaat and Aam Aur Chana Chaat. Chaat Masala can also be sprinkled onto fruit, vegetables, dosas, frankies, lassi and many more.
- Add 4 tbsp of Jaljeera Mix to 1 cup of water and let it sit for 20 min
- Mix the water and Jaljeera Mix
- Add 2 cups of ice cubes
- Mix Again
- Add 1 tsp of chopped mint
- Add 1 cup of unsalted boondi
- Stir Again
- Refrigerate and chill for 10 min
- Add chopped onions, tomatoes, cucumbers and green chilies to a bowl
- Add cubed boiled potatoes (not mushy)
- Add chili powder, salt, Red Chili Powder and Jhal Muri Masala
- Add lemon juice
- Add mustard oil
- Add chopped coriander leaves
- Add peanuts and puffed rice
- Mix all of the contents in the bowl
Mumbai Pav Bhaji
- Mumbai Pav Bhaji Masala is used to enhance the flavor of the Bhaji. Just add the Mumbai Pav Bhaji Masala to the Bhaji (tomato based sauce with boiled and mashed vegetables) to give it an irresistible zesty taste.
- How to Make the Pani (Flavored Water):
- Combine lemon juice, salt, ginger, mint leaves and coriander to create a paste
- Mix 2-3 tablespoons of Pani Puri Masala with 2 liters of water
- Add the paste to the water and Pani Puri Masala mix
- Refrigerate to chill the Pani
- Heat oil in a pot
- Caramelize chopped onions and green chilies
- Add ginger and garlic paste
- Sauté until the ginger and garlic paste disappear
- Add mixed vegetables and chopped mint
- Sauté until mint aroma is released
- Add water and bring the water to a boil
- Add the rice to the pot and cook until rice is fluffy
- Mix the contents of the pot
- Boil Potatoes
- Heat oil in a pan
- Mash boiled potatoes and season the potatoes with the Vadapav Masala in the pan
- After the mashed potatoes have cooled down, form balls from the mashed potatoes
- Mix gram flour with water in a bowl to create a batter
- Add the mashed potato balls into the batter
- Deep fry the mashed potato balls
- Deep fry until crispy
- Biryani Masala will pair great with any type of meat or vegetable Biryani dish. Biryani Masala will add an excellent amount of flavor and amoma to any stir fry or rice dish.
What makes ALCO Foods' masalas unique?PREMIUM QUALITY AND TASTE
- We are very diligent in our efforts to procure the highest quality spices in the world. The aroma and bold flavors of our spices will make you fall in love with experimenting and trying new flavors in the kitchen.
- We do not add any artificial flavors, so all of the spices are 100% natural and ethically sourced directly from the Earth. We believe you should never have to use artificial flavors when the Earth provides so many great tasting natural flavors for us. There are also no added preservatives. We are committed to serving you food products that you can feel safe consuming. We believe that you should always know what you are eating, which is why we do not use any strange chemicals created in a lab to help extend the shelf life of our products.
- We are committed to strengthening our community, which is why all of our spices are ethically sourced and purchased from farmers in India.