If there’s one way to make your street food product stand out… make it pink – HOT PINK!
While walking around Kathmandu I kept noticing restaurants and street stalls selling bright pink little deep fried discs.
They looked sort of like an Indian paratha and sort of like a Mexican corn tortilla, only pinker than anything else I’d ever seen.
My curiosity couldn’t take it any longer, so on the outskirts of Kathmandu’s Durbar Square, I found a friendly man serving his deep fried greasy goodies.
Sitting in a little room that looked like a closet with open shutter doors, he sat in the dark while rolling out and deep frying bright pink circles of dough as well as something more recognizable to me, onion pakoras.
As soon as I stopped and inquired, he informed me that the pink snacks were in fact pink puris.
A puri is basically an Indian fried bread.
I had quite a few of them in India, specifically in Delhi where I enjoyed many meals and snacks of chole bhature – bhature being a variation of a puri – but none in India were pink.
The balls of divvied out dough sat upon a clean metal counter top, waiting their turn to be slapped into discs and tossed into the oil.
A few moments on each side and the puris came out crispy on all sides, oil soaked, and still as pink as ever.
The oil immediately penetrates the paper, and my hope is that the ink doesn’t bleed onto the edible puris, but that’s just the way it is!
I’m not totally sure how local Nepalis eat these pink puris, but since I was so curious, I ate one immediately on spot.
It was greasy indeed, and didn’t have much flavor other than oil and crunchiness. In India as I mentioned I ate puris with chickpea curry and various forms of dal, but at this stall he was just making the deep fried side of things.
These hot pink puris would have definitely been tastier paired with some curry.
Along with pink puris, the vendor also had a metal colander full of onion pakoras.
These deep fried fritters are basically onion little pancake bites deep fried into chips. They are crispy, oniony, and salty through and through.
Though the onions pakoras were extremely greasy, they were also extremely tasty.
A big newspaper bag full of pink puris and onion pakoras cost only 40 Nepalese Rupees ($0.41).
Having successfully satisfied my curiosity for the pinkest street food I had ever seen, I continued my exploration of Kathmandu!