mirchi vada
Recipe Vegan Vegetarian

Indian monsoon snacks

We are all aware of seasonal food cravings. Specially during the rainy season, we crave for consuming fried foods and often indulge in roadside deep-fried snacks (collection of street food recipes). Medically the source of this cravings may be due to the dip in the level of serotonin in our blood stream during the rainy season.

What exactly does serotonin do?

Serotonin, often called the “brain’s harmonizer,” is a neurotransmitter that exerts influence over our emotions, thoughts, and even bodily functions. It plays a pivotal role in mood regulation and can uplift our spirits and instill a sense of contentment.

It’s not just a happy hormone, it regulates our sleep patterns, appetite, and even how our intestines move. When the serotonin symphony falls out of tune, mood disorders like depression and anxiety may take center stage. Therapies and medications often aim to fine-tune this delicate balance, by increasing serotonin’s presence in the nerve cells.

Does vitamin D affect serotonin levels?

Vitamin D has substantial influence on the Serotonin levels. Vitamin D and serotonin both engage in a harmonious duet, each complementing the other. Studies suggest that vitamin D’s presence can influence the production and availability of serotonin, the mood maestro. So, just as a sunlit morning can brighten your spirits, a cloudy weather can make you feel low and depressed. Ensuring adequate vitamin D intake might help keep the serotonin symphony in tune.

Why do we crave crunchy, fried foods during the monsoon?

Lack of sunlight, cloudy weather causes a dip in serotonin levels, causing the body to crave for carbohydrates which increase the serotonin levels, especially the deep-fried crispy food, suits this weather really well.

In this article, I am going to discuss 6 such fried food, which you can indulge in to satisfy your cravings.

Mirchi Pakoda

Take bigger sized green chilies or jalapenos available in the market. for stuffing I use a chutney made of green chilies, garlic and salt, depending on the spiciness you like. You can use ground coriander leaves in the chutney too for a variety. Slit the green chilies, stuff this spicy green chutney. Make a batter of chickpea flour. Dunk the chilies in it till it gets completely coated and deep fry till tender and crispy.

stuffed jalapenos | stuffed jalapeno peppers
These are stuffed jalapenos with stuffed spicy cilantro chutney
Check out this recipe

Kanda bhajiya

There are different versions of this pakora available with different street food vendors. Cut onions into long slices. In India we use red onions. The chickpea flour batter will be thick, sometimes spices are added like red chilies, cumin powder, coriander powder, chopped green chilies and fresh coriander leaves. The onions are slathered in this batter and deep fried till crunchy. Super delicious.

Batata Vada

The deep-fried snacks made from this spicy mashed potato is universally loved in the Western parts of India throughout the year. They are staple snacks for college and office goers. The potato vadas are stuffed inside bread called “pav” here in Mumbai. The batata vada is a primary component of the iconic food “vada pav” which is also called Indian burger a popular snack on the go. This is served with a green coriander garlic chutney and fried green chilies.

Batata vada
Vada pav is the most popular street food in Mumbai.People here ,are in love with “pav” which is a form of bread almost similar to burger buns and the food which are soaring in high demands are Pav-bhaji,misal-pav,vada-pav etc.Being originally from Bengal I am a born rice lover.But slowly and slowly I started developing the taste for  some of these street foods and their accompaniments.
Check out this recipe

Aloo pakora/ bhajiya

This is again a very simple and popular dish. who doesn’t love finely sliced potatoes drowned in batter and deep fried. All these traditional snacks are mostly made of chickpea flour or Besan which is gluten free and healthy for your gut. If you want to easy on the oil, you can always air fry them. It’s a traditional take on the modern French fries and you will be delighted to devour them.

Sabudana vada

These traditional Maharashtrian snacks popular all over Maharashtra are consumed throughout the year, mainly during any festival during which the devotees will be fasting intermittently. They are gluten free and filling.

The tapioca pearls are soaked overnight and mixed with boiled mashed potatoes, roasted peanuts, chopped green chilies, fresh chopped coriander leaves, roasted cumin and roasted red chili powder. Then the mixture is made into round balls, rolled over corn flour and deep fried.

Samosa

This is again a very versatile and popular Indian snacks in which is very versatile. Mostly made of refined flour dough stuffed with a mixture of potato and vegetables which vary regionally. In Bengal cauliflower is used during Winter. The stuffing may also contain roasted peanuts and coconut pieces. In Bohri Muslim community minced meat is often used for the filling.

Fulkopir shingara
This is another great street food around the Dakshineshwar Kali Goddess temple in Bengal. The samosas are fried in Vanaspati (Dalda) and are super crispy and has that extra flavor . At home I fry in vegetable oil. But there is something special about the filling which is simple not too spicy and bursting with flavors. Today I am going to share the recipe of a samosa which I had in the Bankura district of Bengal I have been recently. The filling contained fried groundnuts and coconut pieces.
Check out this recipe
Samosa

Other links on the web:

Monsoon cravings decoded: Why we crave for samosa or pakora during rainy season? | Health – Hindustan Times

Why do we crave crunchy, fried foods during the monsoon? | Condé Nast Traveller India (cntraveller.in)

Aboutindrani

Indrani Sen is a teacher,lecturer in Information Technology/Computer Science for the past 12 years. She has authored 4 text books in Information Technology.
She is passionate about cooking and loves to blog about food and travel.This blog is like my baby as I have built it from scratch by myself with little help from colleagues ,friends and of course Google.

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