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9 Delicious Snacks Unique to Indian Beaches (That just happen to be Vegan)

August 02, 2019

9 Delicious Snacks Unique to Indian Beaches (That just happen to be Vegan)

Summer or not, the beach is always a place we'd want to go to. The sense of calm, the continuous oncoming of waves, the salty breeze, interrupted only by the sounds of some heavy chomping on a far end. While it does sound strange, you really can't have one without the other. Going to the beach and picking out a tantalizing summer snack is part of the experience and here's the bonus - it's all mostly vegan. Check out this list some of the most favorite summer beach snacks that are vegan by themselves. 

Bajji

It's always bang in the middle of the beach and there's no way you'd miss a stall. If your sight misses it, your olfactory indicators are sure to lead you there. Remember the cartoons we saw growing up, where a chimney of delicious aroma rose from the kitchen right into the character's nostrils. They'd sometimes float all the way to the food itself, sniffing the air. Trust fried vegetables to work the same magic on you. The generous smattering of spicy orange batter, the choice of vegetables from onions to potatoes, it's surprising how each can add a distinct flavor to the monochrome batter. Not to mention the delectable chutneys they serve on the side. You'd never be able to tell what you're in for - could be white, green or red. But, eaten with those bajjis and having an explosion of flavors with mustard, spice, veggies and crunch - the beachside bajji is an experience. 

Bhajji's at Marina beach - Local food of Chennai

Corn on the cob

You'd hardly think this humble crop would be talked about so much. But, even if you aren't buying it at the beach, you'd stand transfixed, watching it being made. Imagine sparks flying, everywhere, in every sense. You pay a meager amount and get to savor something straight out of heaven. It's not an exaggeration. Corn kernels are one thing, but having them right off the cob is a whole other delight. The Anna/bhaiya at the beach would roast the cob in a stove that looks like a ring of fire, while sparks of red would crack the air around merrily. You can sometimes catch sight of the enthusiastic photographer, trying to capture these moments,these sparks, while you stood there waiting to claim what belongs with you. The unassuming anna, proud of his art, hands you the cob after smearing it with salt, spice and a dash of lime. Nothing could match the zeal and the zest this modest piece of divinity offers. 

Corn on the cob  - Photo by Sandeep Janardhanan

Boiled groundnut salad

If anyone reading is allergic, we'll give you fair warning; we like these nuts. You'd see the couples sitting hand in hand and then the young boy carrying this huge vessel. His first target for a sale would be the couple of course- empty tummy equals empty heart, right? After they refuse, the little boy would look at you and hand you a small package from his vessel, and leave. Who'd have thought it would be so simple to fall in love, you think as you chomp on a delightful mixture of boiled peanuts with spices, salt and mustard. Think of all the effort one must put to make a combination like this work, you think. You pop another groundnut in your mouth, taste a mustard seed, and you understand. The love becomes love because it's comfortable in the silence too. Just like the little groundnut salad in your hand, making your silence at the beach an enjoys event. 

Potato slinkies

Whoever named these things was an absolute genius. Of course, they're called slinkies. An endless spiral of potatoes, fried in oil to the point of crunch, sprinkled with original design flavors? Where do I sign the form to an unlimited supply of that? This was new to the people when it first launched and they were awestruck. Watching the rotund cute potato unveil itself to be this spiral, long, stretch of happening happiness. Hearing the bubbles as it gets fried and keeping really calm till you got your hands on it. Have you ever pictured eating the same slinky with a partner, from either end? Well, you're not alone. 

Vegan food at the beach - Potato Slinkies

Raw mango with a dash of spice

The only place you'd probably see mangoes cut so well is at the beach. Short vertical cuts on a slice of raw mango, served with a dollop of salt and spice. This dish is best had at the beach itself, with the wind in our hair. if you're lucky, you'll spot the same person selling stuffed rice as well. The stuffed rice, mixed together with carrots, onions, salt, red chilli powder, and lime, is served in a humble paper cone. One should try it simply for the assortment of flavors that come with it. 

Cut fruits

Although not exclusive to the beach, there is something special about having sweet things to munch on with a salty breeze around. You'd be spoilt for choice between papayas, watermelons, apples, pineapples and guavas. They sometimes garnish the fruits with salt and red chilli powder and the combination can work a miracle. The salt and spice bring out the sweet tender nature of the fruit like no other. If you're at the beach, don't leave without trying this. 

Lemon soda stalls

These stalls are present across the city, but having it at the beach means you get the waves and everyone's favorite nimbu paani. Who can say no to that, right? Although it's rare to see someone choose this at the Beach, it's a wonder why they don't. If you're someone who likes seeing the beach when the sun is still out, this little cocktail would come in really handy. Pull out your best beach outfit, a large summer hat, get yourself a lime soda and bring in the summer feels this season. 

Ice gola

Yet again, not exclusive to the beach. This has been made popular thanks to retro culture. It was all the rage to see a super star in flared pants and oversized shades, sipping from a bottle of goli soda, in style. The tangy, spicy flavor that erupts in your mouth, the sheer punch of the drink is enjoying to Kickstart anyone's day. 

Ice gola at indian beaches

Cotton candy

Honestly, one of the most inviting things about cotton candy is the shape and color. There's white, pink, yellow, orange and what not. They all look like bits of a really fluffy cloud being carried around. Packed with sugar and candy, this has the capability to melt in your mouth as soon as it is in and you suddenly have a crunchy, yet soft candy to chew on. The fun part is, no matter how big a chunk you'd greedily stuff into your mouth, it'll last two seconds. Cotton candy had the power to make us feel invincible sometimes. 

Cotton candy by the beach

This article was contributed by Janardhan Pokala. Coming from the world of advertising, he's now on a quest to spread the message of veganism, compassion and love. He enjoys cycling, lifting and sitting by himself with a book and tea. Check out his work here 





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