While Ahmedabad's cuisine is limited by the Baniya aversion to meat, in Surat, the Khatris and Ghanchis ensure non-vegetarian fare makes it to the menu
What determines the street food culture of a city is, of course, caste. In the south, where I live, the middle-class composition is upper caste. This is reflected in the dominance of vegetarian snack food. There is actually a place called “Brahmin’s Coffee Bar" (a most popular place) in Bengaluru. Meanwhile, the peasant food of the numerically superior Vokkaliga or Gowda communities is considered more downmarket. Because it is meat. In Tamil Nadu, the food of those not born into the upper castes is represented by the “military hotels". I understand this to mean the food of those who enlisted for the East India Company’s militia (the Madras Sappers down the road from my house goes back to the 1780s).