Northeast India is a melting pot of cultures and cuisines. With sturdy influences from its neighbor states and countries, Assam has developed some distinctive foods that you just seldom realize anywhere else in India. You’ll find Tibetan-, Burmese- and even Bangladeshi-inspired dishes at street food stalls everywhere in Assam, and even some terribly attention-grabbing endemic recipes. So let’s have a glance at the top 10 street foods to try in Guwahati.
Quick Facts about Food in Guwahati
- Flavors: Assamese flavors can be pretty peculiar. Fermented fruit and vegetables are often used, and many spices are avoided altogether. If you’re the experimental type, you will absolutely love it.
- Types of food: Assamese food is great for both vegetarians and meat lovers. There’s plenty of fresh local produce for excellent vegetarian meals and Assamese love their meat. From pork to fish to duck and even silkworm, it’s all available here.
- Where to eat: If you want to really taste the culture of a place you have to visit its local markets. In Guwahati, you can find hundreds of food vendors on street corners, with handcarts and bicycles, especially in the crowded market areas.
From the famous momo to the familiar jhal muri here are some of the local street foods in Guwahati you absolutely have to sample.
Best Snacks You Can Find In Guwahati
Relished by all and also the popularity of any northeastern dish by far, the versatile Momo traces its origins back to Tibet. You can find this traditional dumpling, steamed or deep fried, around any street corner in Guwahati and is a favorite snack with locals and visitors.
Stuffed with something from mushrooms, paneer or vegetables to chicken, prawn or pork, these tasty, gently tasteful morsels are usually accompanied with a traditional Assamese chili dip.
Where to eat: At the Ganeshguri Market in the southern part of Guwahati, you can find some of the best Momos you will ever eat. This street market, a favorite among tourists and locals, where you can buy anything from garments to groceries, is worth a visit just to experience the local street food if not the bustling bazaar.
With close proximity to and strong Tibetan influences all over the region, it is no surprise that there are similarities in Assamese and Tibetan cuisine. Chowmein, famous the world over as a Chinese staple, is one such dish; even sharing names across borders.
Delicate handmade noodles stir-fried with fresh crispy vegetables and shredded meat or seafood, Chow Mein can be found at roadside carts selling this fast food all over the state.
Where to eat: Rebate Chat House on MN Road in Guwahati is popular for its Chowmein and other Chinese-inspired dishes.
Tribals of Assam have some unusual foods on their plates. One of them is the silkworm. Fried crispy with spices on the outside and soft and cheesy on the inside, you will definitely love this snack if you didn’t know what you were eating.
Fast becoming a hit in the city, too, grab a serving for an experience that will probably leave you surprised and asking for more.
Where to get it: At Inamsing in Guwahati Club on RG Road.
It is no wonder then that one of the most common desserts in Guwahati is also made with rice. Payash or Payas is a sticky rice pudding, sweetened with palm sugar, mildly flavored with cardamom and saffron and garnished with dry fruits and nuts. Eat this deceptively simple milk-based pudding hot or cold but be sure to try it.
Where to get it: Nearly all local restaurants will have this as the dessert.
The next time you happen to be in Guwahati, be sure to look around and you will be surprised to find a treat around every street corner!
Lucchi, a flatbread made with refined flour and deep fried, is almost identical to the poori found all over the country. Find roadside vendors serving this surprisingly light fried bread, hot and fresh, with vegetarian or non-vegetarian gravies.
A few seconds in the hot oil and its ready to eat; mildly crisp and delicious simplicity makes this the highlight of a meal rather than the sideshow.
Where to eat: If you are in any of Guwahati’s commercial areas you are very likely to come across stalls and small shops selling mid-day meals served along with hot luchi.