India is a land of the diverse. With 29 states and 7 union territories, each of them have their own culture, their own language and different taste buds to satisfy and hence different dishes.
Despite have such diversity, India is witnessing westernization in food, now more than ever. We see American food joints, Italian Restaurants, Mexican food chains, Lebanese Outlets popping open at every other turn we take. It isn’t bad, going global, but while we do that let’s not forget the rich and delicious local that our country and each state has to offer.
Just to remind you of the Rich, flavorsome delicacies of India, here is a list!
- Kashmir – Tabak Maaz
This dish is typical of the region and is commonly relished at weddings and other major celebrations. Packed with the flavour of Persian spices, the ribs are marinated overnight to allow the meat to soften and are then cooked until tender, so tender it melts in your mouth. A last minute dip in the frying pan ensures a mini Diwali in your mouths.
- Punjab – Makke ki Roti, Sarson ka Saag
Sarson da saag (Sarson ka saag, in Hindi, Urdu) is a popular vegetable based dish in Punjab and Pakistan, made from mustard leaves (sarson) and spices.It is traditionally served with Makke Di Roti, which literally means (unraised) corn bread. It is topped with a generous dollop of butter or ghee.
- Rajasthan – Ker- Sangri
Dried berries and beans cooked with yogurt and Indian spices is a specialty from Rajasthan. Rajasthani food is prepared using abundance of spices and oil, and hence is packed with flavour. The use of extra oil is not just for the crunch and the taste but so that the food lasts longer in the hot and humid Rajasthan. This dish is also cooked with a lot of oil and hence is perfect to carry when you have to travel for 2-3 days.
- Himachal Pradesh – Sidu
Sidu is a kind of bread prepared with wheat flour. It is kneaded with yeast and the dough is allowed to rise for 4-5 hours. The Sidu dough is yeast-based, it has to be prepared a couple of hours before you eat this delicacy. This tastes best with ghee (clarified butter), dal(lentil broth) or with the spicey hari chutney. It might look simplistic in the picture, but it’s an exciting ride for your otherwise bored taste buds.
- Maharashtra – Thalipeeth
This one is a Maharastrian delicacy. The Indian version of the “Multi grain Pancakes”, a lot tastier too. The dough is prepared from a special flour made from roasted chana daal, urad daal, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, wheat, and rice.
It is usually served with white water buffalo milk butter and is very popular amongst Maharashtrians. Otherwise it is served with thick ghee or ‘toop‘ (Marathi) or sometimes even with thick curd. Yummy!
6-Kerela – Aviyal
Aviyal (avial) is a finger licking experience for your palate, it is also a band that makes fantastic music, but lets focus on the food part for now. This dish is has a lot of vegetables, curd and coconut and is seasoned with curry leaves. It has a very rich and creamy taste. It occupies an important place in cuisine of the Keralite and is an inevitable part of Onam Sadya spread, the Keralite vegetarian feast.
7.Andhra Pradesh and Telangana – Kodi Kura
Kodi kura (Chicken curry) is one of the most popular dishes in Andhra. Garelu (A snack made with urad dal) and kodi kura is considered to be a great pair in Andhra. In this curry you’ll find cubes of chicken cooked with onion and a home-made masala mix.
The origin of the kodi kura is from a small village in Andhra Pradesh called Guntur, which is known for hot and spicy food. This fiery dish is a must have for lovers of all that is spicy!
The spices very commonly used in Andhra are ginger, garlic, cumin, fenugreek, cinanmom, cloves, cardamom, poppy seeds, coriander seeds, star anise seed and bay leaves.
8.Bihar – Khubi ka Lai
Bihar has a sweet for every city and ‘Khubi ka Lai’ is for the city of Barh. This dessert is prepared using khobi seeds, sugar and mawa. This is sweet but not too sweet, it comes in laddu like form or in cakes! Have it your way!
9.Odisha – Chena Poda (Cheese Cake from Odisha)
Chhena poda is a cheesy dessert from the state of Odisha. Chhena poda literally means burnt cheese in Oriya. It is made of well-kneaded homemade cottage cheese or chhena, sugar, cashew nuts and raisins, and is baked for several hours until it turns a nice rich brown. Mouth-watering, isn’t it! Chhena poda is the only well-known Indian dessert, the flavour is predominantly derived from the caramelization of sugar.
- Delhi (UT) – Makhani Chicken
Not many know that our capital famous for its Paranthas and Chaat is also the one responsible for Makhani Chicken (Butter Chicken) and Tandoori Chicken. Chicken at its best!
11.West Bengal – Bhapa Ilish
The signature Bengali Ilish dish is a vital part of the Bengali Menu. Hilsa steeped in a pungent mustard sauce steamed to perfection with a liberal dousing of mustard oil is a sensuous experience.
12.Tripura – Berma
Traditional Tripuri cuisine is known as Mui Borok. Tripuri food has a key ingredient called berma, which is dried and fermented fish. The food is considered to be healthy as it is prepared without oil. Flavor wise, berma leans more towards sour side. Tripuri food such as bangui rice and fish stews, bamboo shoots, fermented fish, local herbs, and meat roasts are extremely popular within and outside the state. No one mind something fishy if it is this tasty.
- Assam – Masor Tenga
Masor tenga (tangy fish curry) is a light and tangy dish, and is one of Assam’s signature preparations. The key ingredient in a tenga is the use of a souring agent which lends the dish a tart tangy taste. There are wide variety of souring agents that can be used to prepare this dish, ranging from the commonly available lemon, tomatoes, sour spinach to more exotic elephant apple, roselle leaves and garcinia.
14.Goa – Bibinca
The Goan ethos is one of living the good life. Food plays a big part. Goan cuisine is rich with the flavour of produce found in abundance locally, like kokum (sour fruit), coconut and spices. Any celebratory Goan meal or for that matter, a reference to Goan cuisine is incomplete without lingering awhile over Goa’s best known dessert, Bebinca.
Bebinca is essentially a layered dessert that tastes of the tropics. There’s a hint of coconut and a suggestion of ground nutmeg in the wholesome sweet layers, not to forget some caramelization and finally, rich clarified butter that harnesses all other flavors. The texture is firm enough to retain the layers and soft enough to melt in the mouth.
15.Gujarat – Rice panki
Panki is made by cooking a batter between banana leaves. While pankis made with rice flour batter are the most common, other varieties are prevalent, and you’re welcome to experiment! It is worth noting that the presentation of the panki with the banana leaf adds a great deal of aroma as well as visual appeal as it is the conventional way of cooking it right.