delhistreetfood.jpg Delhi will be hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2010 and in preparation for the grand event, the Indian Government is trying to modernise the capital (and get rid of Delhi Belly) by shutting down the 300,000 food stalls that are ubiquitous on its streets. Why is this considered such a tragedy in the making?

On a teeming street corner in Chandni Chowk market, in Delhi, Dipankar Das deftly flips a paratha on to a metal plate and piles it high with steaming vegetable curry.

Next to him, another street vendor stirs a giant pan of succulent jalebi — bright orange, pretzel-shaped morsels of batter soaked in syrup.

For thousands of years, food stalls such as these have been an integral part of life in Delhi, serving hot, nutritious, cheap snacks that many consider to be the only authentic Indian cuisine.

Anyone who's ever been to Asia knows that street food is the easiest way for a traveller to get acquainted with a country's authentic cuisine because it's not gussied up for tourists, it's what the locals actually eat, day in and day out. Delhi without its stalls would be a sad sight indeed. [via The Morning News]

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