August 1, 2012

Where's the Samosa Van?

I remember the creamy-yellow minivan in Green Park market that we walked to in the evening sometimes, for their famous chowmein; delicious, greasy noodles with shredded veggies, neon-red hot sauce and vinegar. If I stood on my tiptoes I could look into the steamy kitchen from the road as they made the ‘chowmein’. We were so ahead of the trend in Green Park. Of course, the van has long disappeared, and I've never had the pleasure of walking to a food van again, but as with most other things in India, I live in hope.
Gourmet food trucks/mobile vans are revolutionizing the food industry today.  They're democratizing it too, by taking fancy, gourmet meals to the masses. On the road. The lack of overheads obviously makes the food more affordable, and who minds standing around as you tuck into a perfectly cooked kebab or a slice of piping hot pizza? It’ll be so easy to make ice-cream trucks a rage here in India. So why haven’t we yet? We even have the perfect food – chaat, kathis, pao bhaji, channa bhatura, samosas, kebabs and biryani. The possibilities are endless even within the Indian food genre.
Some argue that the weather doesn’t suit, others that Indians will never eat from a van. Or off the road. Excuse me? Have you been to any chaat stall in India? They’re practically diverting traffic. I think it’s just that no one’s really explored the potential of food trucks. I hope this reassures some aspiring entrepreneur somewhere that there will be an audience. Or maybe I’ll just start one myself. Capital donations are very welcome.
Kogi - the Korean/Mexican BBQ truck started by Roy Choi
Voted one of New York's most popular foods and trucks
I loved the name for this pizza truck
Another NYC phenomenon
Haha. This serves meatballs I'm guessing.
The Fojol Bros. beat us. They're 4 Americans serving Indian food and their truck is a rage.


  1. aeshu it is being explpored. In fact two people I met at two different occasions told me about their food truck plan.
    Although I think our ice cream vans and chaatvaalas are probably what inspired the west in the first place. They just have more money so they can turn tiny carts into fun looking food trucks.

    1. I feel we lack the follow-through factor. We could've made our tiny carts/vans/stalls into such a huge success, but we don't think ahead. We like to leave it as is. I'm sure though, that any day now the trend will start here and then it'll just take off. India really is the perfect market.

  2. I think it really is the weather. Food trucks in India, Delhi actually, will be very very successful during winters, but I worry if they will attract anyone during the sweltry summers and rains. Unless they are vans which drive by slowly in residential areas allowing you to buy the grub and running back to the ac's at home. That would totally work ;) thanks for making us think, Aeshna!

    1. Haha - they'd work in summer too! Wouldn't you want to go get an ice-cream or a nice shake from a really cute van in the evening? Maybe a savory snack as well? If they stood at one place, and even changed every other day, everyone would know where to come on what day. It would be super convenient.

  3. Let me know if you need someone to manage and cook in your van... I am totally available... of course, don't mind if i help myself to the food, while working :P

    1. It's a deal! Of course you must keep 'sampling' and 'testing' the goods ;)


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