Street talking Indian Street Food — and a mini cooking demo!

Rangana Bhargava


Mention the words street food and most of us Chicagoans think of food trucks parked downtown at lunchtime with vendors selling a variety of freshly prepared ethnic foods. Our program today takes us to India where street food has abounded for years, but with a different twist — no trucks.

What you’ll see are vendors with open carts preparing food right before your eyes; or vendors sitting on the ground cooking at their stoves; or cooks at storefronts preparing one or more items  And while these scenes may be the same across India, the variety of food is endless and served on leaves, newspaper squares, or plates made from clay. Street food addresses the palates and pockets of all, and Indian street food has become a staple for workers, students and tourists.  

Join us as Ranjana Bhargava, one of Chicago’s pioneering Indian cooking teachers, discusses the street food of several Indian regions and gives us tips on their preparation. Says Ranjana, “The art of Indian cooking focuses on combining a variety of grains, vegetables, spices and fresh condiments.”

She’ll cover the following (Links to recipes):

  • Bread, flatbreads, and bread rolls are served with sauces, relishes, or stews. (Paneer Kathi Rolls)
  • Medley of snacks, nuts, and bite-sized grains-soaked, blended or fried. (Bhel Puri)
  • Items filled with sauces, spices, vegetables. (Chutneys and Samosa (combined))                                                                  

Ranjana Bhargava has taught vegetarian Indian cooking for nearly 40 years. Her focus has been to make Indian foods simplified and accessible to all. She has taught from her home in Chicago’s south side well as in schools, libraries and community centers. She has also led Indian culinary tours of Devon Avenue. A psychologist by profession, Ranjana has served as the executive director of five different non-profits and is the founding member of the first shelter for battered Asian women in the United States. 

For information on Ranjana’s classes go to

Wednesday, May 25, 2022
7:00 p.m. Central Time

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