Amazing Indian Bloggers Say What Are The Must Try Indian Dishes
Indian cuisine is the Maharajah among all the other cuisines in the world, not only because of the rich flavor & taste it has, but also of the diversity it offers.
But because of the huge variety of Indian cuisine, it is confusing what dishes to try if some has only a few days to explore India.
All the dishes that these experts suggested will definitely give you a gastronomic pleasure.
Here is a word to word copy of what they said.
You must try the street food in India – which is kind of unique. Try the Gol Gappas in their various avatars across the country. In North try them with cold spicy water while in West they are served with hot chickpeas.
In Kolkata, you get a plain smaller version and in the south, it becomes masala puri. In any form they are divine. You can also try to match them with the Jalebi that is fried right in front of your eyes or with Aaloo Tikki that is made to taste.
India is too diverse to club all kinds of Indian food under one banner. It really depends on which part of the country you are visiting and should try and sample what that region is known for. Having said that if I had to pick I would say two of my personal favorites to try would be Pav Bhaji and a Thali.
Pav Bhaji translates to local bread(pav) and vegetables(bhaji). It was a dish that was created by Mill workers in Mumbai as they didn’t have much money and worked with what they had. The vegetables are cooked down and mashed till it’s almost a thick creamy stew and cooked generously in butter and the bread is used to mop it all up. This started out as a humble dish but over the years has become a signature Mumbai specialty that is now sprinkled with food color to give it that robust red sheen and cooked in more butter than required to make it rich and decadent. It is delicious and a must try.
My second pick is a thali and while it isn’t exactly a dish, it is an Indian culinary experience you can not miss. It is a buffet style of eating where you are served several dishes in smaller bowls that sit in a larger steel plate or thali. Traditionally you can enjoy a Gujarati or Rajasthani thali where several dishes from the region are showcased that way you get a better sense of the cuisine instead of just one dish. You also get to experience Indian hospitality at it’s best and an unlimited variety of different dishes.
These three things tell you anything that is to be told about a place and its people, and is largely available across mainland India.These are from the perspective of travel, and not necessarily my favorite dishes.
1. Biryani: the spices, the rice and what the place addresses as it’s staple ingredients.
2. Chai: Whether it is sweet, milky, black or plain; howsoever you like yours, there is a place for you.
3. Rice: The various kinds of rice available across India is mind baffling! While the world goes gaga over Basmati, which is grown in the region I belong to, I unexpectedly lost my heart to Indrayeni rice(a humble, unassuming variety which packs great flavours) in Pune.
With varied cultures and people and religions, one cannot overlook the variety of food under regional cuisines that exist in India. If I had to take my top three must try pick even without a second thought I would have voted for – Kosha Manghso, Chena Poda and the quintessential South Indian Filter Kapi.
The Kosha Mangsho you can call it a mood lifter. This Bengali all-time favourite, is the perfect lunch recipe that would be loved by all. Cooked with Chunks of goat meat and potatoes in and pure mustard oi the fiery and spicy jhal jhal gravy is worth the wait till you have it. As the Mustard oil gives you the potent kick, topped with garam masala the best combination with it is Luchi (indian Fried bread).
Shifting the palate to a sweeter note those who crave for Cheesecake must know of our very original Indian Cheesecake the Chena poda- the cheese dessert from the state of Odisha. Not many may even know about this showstopper sweet. Baked for hours until it brown, traditionally it was wrapped in sal tree, and cooked in a coal oven till the modern day gadgets took over. Dig into this desi cheesecake and I am sure you can’t stop having one scoop.
With all the belly full how about wrapping your meal again in a very Indian way not with Green tea but with some South Indian Filter Kapi. Served in hot in a traditional tumbler and davara, this coffee is brewed in a coffee filter. And like me if you like it strong then add more decoction. But above all don’t forget to get your coffee mix right. Instant mix doesn’t work. Sip it hot and feel the aroma.
Kerala and everything about this place will forever remain close to my heart. The soggy banana leaves in which the afternoon lunch is packed and the way we lick our fingers clean is what comes to my mind when I think of home food. I couldn’t possibly list down everything but below are the items I make sure to eat every time I go home.
1. Parotta and beef roast: India bans beef and we cook this right in the city center in protest and feed the public AND I LOVE IT! Parotta and beef is a combination we all swear by but it can also be had with Chilli Chicken. Any small or big restaurant will definitely have this one on their menu.
2. Sadhya: I may be cheating here trying to get out of giving only 3 dishes but this is a full 3 course meal in one banana leaf with atleast 17+ items – all vegetarian and this is the only vegetarian meals we Malayalees can digest.
3. Karimeen Polichathu: Once again, cooked in banana leaf, this fish explodes in your mouth with the spices that is used in it. This is best consumed as ‘touchings’ along with a bottle of local toddy.
Travelling in India is fun especially if you see the mouth watering food this beautiful country has to offer. One can get to taste a variety of Indian dishes in all parts of the country. However, there are certain dishes that one should not miss out on, to know exactly why Indian food is loved and craved for by people throughout the world. Here are the 5 must try dishes while travelling in India.
1. Chaat – Chaat is a very famous street food in Delhi. It is actually not one dish but includes a variety of them like sev poori, paani poori or pav bhaji among many others. Most of the chaat dishes have the ingredients tomato, onion, chili powder, tamarind and sev (vermicelli). Though a bit spicy, chaat has an amazing taste which one would relish anytime.
2. Biryani – Biryani is a rice preparation which is available as vegetable or non-vegetarian biryani. It is served with raita (yogurt with onions and mashed salad, primarily cucumber). One should not miss out on a biryani when in India.
3. Chole Bhature – Chole bhature consists of bhatura which is a deep fried Indian bread and chole which is made of chick peas. It can be had any time of the day, be it breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack time. It is also a bit spicy as well as heavy on the stomach which makes it all the more treat to eat.
4. Stuffed Paratha – This is a type of Indian bread is made up of whole wheat flour or white flour and stuffed with potatoes, cabbage, cauliflower or any other vegetable. It is mostly had with butter, curd and pickles. Like chole bhature, you can have it at any time of the day.
5. Masala Dosa – This is available very commonly at vegetarian restaurants in India. It is a type of very thick bread made with the batter of rice and white lentil which is fermented over night. It is served with sambhar and chutey.
India is indeed a melting pot of cuisines, Indian food brims with the flavours and aromas of cultures that have influenced it for ages. The most fascinating thing about Indian cuisine is its sheer variety and range. Here are three dishes that one must try when in India.
1. A dish that is ubiquitous in the South of India is the Masala Dosa. A pancake made of a batter consisting of rice and lentils and stuffed with spicy potatoes. As one digs into a crispy Masala Dosa, the taste buds seem to erupt in celebration and one cannot stop at one.
2. A snack that has become synonymous with India is the Samosa, eating hot samosas washed down with a steaming cup of tea or coffee is indeed a blissful experience. Samosa are deep fried dumplings stuffed with potatoes and peas.
3. For those with a sweet tooth, India is indeed a haven. The sweets of India are tantalizingly tempting and can seduce even the toughest of minds. One sweet dish which is sheer gastronomic ecstasy is Gajar Ka Halwa or Carrot Halwa. This is an Indian dessert made from grated Carrots mixed with condensed milk, sugar, and flavoured with cardamom. A spoonful of this dessert is enough to send your senses into a nirvanic high.
As a foodie, it is difficult to choose only three dishes. As a vegetarian mallu, the first thing that first comes to mind is Puttu and Kadla which basically is comfort food and is normally eaten for breakfast. Something that is familiar and gets you back to your childhood days.
After spending more than 10 years in my city, Bangalore, I am someone who loves eating MTR and CTR dosas every chance I get.
Lastly, I am a huge fan of eating Chaats, especially dahi based ones and I have found Mumbai is the best place to have them.
While exploring Kaziranga National Park in Assam, I had a chance to try Fish Curry cooked with elephant apple and Tomatoes. This is a north-eastern fish curry that devours with a lot of passion by the East Indians. The dish is prepared with deeply fried fish mixed with tomato puree and elephant apple stock. It is served with steamed rice.
Don’t forget to taste Feni when in Goa. It is a local alcoholic drink that originated in Goa. The drink is made from either cashew nuts or coconut. The drink is widely available in Goa at a very pocket-friendly price.
As India is a vast country with a multitude of regional cuisines, there cannot be a universal dish for the country as a whole. But there are a few dishes that have captured the imagination of the entire country and are eaten everywhere. Here are 3 dishes that are a must try while traveling in India :
1. Bombay Vada Pav : Fried potato wada stuffed in pao and eaten with spicy chutneys.
2. Dosa – The South Indian favorite has taken all of India by storm, plus there may be more than 50 varieties of Dosa!
3. Aloo Parantha – This one’s the staple breakfast diet for most of North India.
Forget dishes, let’s talk about the lesser known teas in India ! Below are some of my favorite local teas around India that have me yearning to go back to the place again and again.
1. Lal Chai – A specialty tea known for its bright and rich red color and refreshing flavor. Have it in Meghalaya at any of the local restaurants or request for a cup at your local host’s home. The ‘Lal chai’ is prepared without milk and is a healthier option as compared to the north Indian milk tea.
2. Butter tea – Popularly known as ‘namkeen’ among the locals in Ladakh, it is best prepared in a tall metal device. It contains salt, butter and milk and helps keep the locals in the Ladakh hydrated. The tea is pinkish in color.
3. Kahwa – Kashmiris love their ‘Kahwa’, a milkless tea prepared with special tea leaves, dry fruits and saffron. Honey is an optional addition if you like to have your tea sweet.
India is globally known for its lip-smacking spices and fiery food. Most non-Indians aren’t able to handle the curries, but there are quite a few dishes that a tourist can try – just make sure you have something sweet and a glass of water nearby!
1. South Indian Dosa – Rising from the Southern part of the Indian subcontinent, Dosa is one of the most popular breakfast foods in South India. It is a grilled pancake made from fermented rice and urad dal. It is usually complimented with coconut chutney (sauce) or the traditional Sambar, which is a vegetable stew with Indian spices.
2. Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani – Biryani is usually synonymous to meat, but there are various other types of vegetarians options as well. Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani is a zesty rice, usually accompanied with yogurt salad. It is a popular dish that is loved by people all over the country and if you ever try it, be prepared for some heavy spices to hit your tongue.
3. Chaat – Chaat are different types of Indian snacks which include pani puri, bhel puri, sev puri and so much more. Each chaat is made differently – while bhel puri does not use fried crisps, pani puri does along with a mixture of tangy flavored water. Different chaats have different tastes but they all use almost the same spices and fried crisps. Each chaat, however, has a unique taste that may or may not be spicy and every visitor to India must try these chaats indigenous to the country.
Apart from the mentioned dishes, there are thousands of others from different parts of India that one can try including Stuffed Paratha, Idli-Vada, Butter Naan with various curries – almost every vegetable has a curry dedicated to it! My blog traveljots.com can take you to different parts of world.
1. Hyderabadi Biryani – If you are traveling to South India, the most tempting meal is Hyderabadi Biryani. It has been favorite dish of Nizam (ruler of the state of Deccan). Even in today’s world, it maintains a very special place in the heart of food lovers. Prepared with basmati rice, goat or chicken meat, yogurt, onions, spices, lemon, saffron, coriander leaves, you can’t keep yourself away trying it once. Not only in India, it is a well-known dish across many parts of the world.
2. Sweets from North India – If you are travelling any part of North India; be it Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar or Rajasthan, there will be some special sweets waiting for you. Jalebi, Laddo, Rabdi, Peda, Petha, Gujiya are some of the names which are undoubtedly to try. So, next time, if you are in North India, don’t miss out these sweeties!
3. Vada Pav & Tea from Mumbai – If I recall one of the best snack, Vada Pav tops the chart. King of snack list from Maharashtra, this quick snack meal with tea has been one of my favorite. Before you order for you, just to remind you that it is a spicy meal. So better to have it with Buttermilk, Soft drink or Tea.
Travel teaches you a lot of things; getting along with different people in not so friendly situations, sudden weather changes, tiding over unseen expenses and most of all developing a palate for different cuisines.
I was a fussy eater as a kid. That changed little bit in hostel life at college and then travelling to a new city, new state every two years introduced to variety of dishes.
I loved the ‘Kahwa’, a mild saffron infused tea from Kashmir, ‘Khopra Patties’ potato patty with coconut powder, at the Sarafa bazaar of Indore, five flavours of ‘Pani-Puri’ in Bareilly, ‘Kachori-Samosa- Jalebi’, the standard breakfast at Agra, a typical Chettinad Thali including the chutneys and ethnic salads and pickles of Tamilnadu, ‘Dal-Baati’, and ‘Kair-Sangri’ preparation in Rajasthan, ‘Papdi-nu- loat’ a rice powder preparation from Gujarat, Himachali mutton, Bhapa-Ilish, the Hilsa fish dish in mustard curry and even the ‘Jhal-Muri’ a puffed rice spicy street food snack at Calcutta.
But it is the sweets that tempt me most. I have to eat something sweet after every meal or else it doesn’t feel complete. Of all the sweets that I have tasted, three which I feel everyone must try once are:
1. ‘Ukadi Modak’ is a steamed rice powder dumpling filled with jaggery and coconut spiced with heady nutmeg and cardamom.
2. ‘Mishti Doi’ from West Bengal is the best kind of curd I have ever had. The milk is reduced over a slow fire till it thickens and turns pinkish; sweetened with jaggery and is set aside to set as curd.
3. ‘Kharvas’ is one difficult dish to find. It is made by steaming milk sourced from a lactating cow and mixed with sugar, cardamom and nutmeg. This is a very seasonal preparation but it is worth its taste.
So go ahead and try these if you have a sweet tooth like mine.
I am an absolute foodie, so picking a favorite is tough, but a dish I think everyone should try is a special Oriya preparation of Mutton. It’s known as Mati Handi Mansa which translates into clay-pot cooked mutton. Slow cooked in an earthen pot and on a wood fired clay stove, I agree it’s tedious to make and takes some time but worth every hour and effort spent once you dig into it.
I don’t eat it that often as you can’t find this in Bombay (atleast I haven’t yet), but when I do go home for a few days, especially in the winters my mom makes it for me and I actually eat it for every meal that day and the next if there is any remaining. The earthenware adds a distinct taste and the meat and the potatoes turn out soft and succulent thanks to the slow wood fired cooking. It’s a dish I look forward to having and I guess the fact that it’s not easy to make and not easily available makes the dish even more fantastic. If you do get a chance try to prepare it at home or if you ever visit Orissa try to have it there.
Being an Assamese, I didn’t truly appreciate my own cuisine till I was older and realized how delicious a complete meal is!
I love my mom’s preparations and I can’t praise her cooking enough – she definitely has a knack for making even the simplest dishes taste mouth-watering. Sadly, I didn’t inherit her cooking skills though my sister trained as a chef and is a darned good one too.
So traditionally, we use low spices, low oil and depend on the flavors of the food to lend themselves to the dish. Non-vegetarians will prepare fish or chicken, but we have many people, especially from the older generation who were totally vegetarian (like my grandparents on my dad’s side). The oil that we use is the more pungent mustard oil.
So a traditional “thali” (though we don’t use that term locally) consists of rice (we grow a lot of it in the state so we also eat a lot of it as well). You’ll have a main dish like your fish and a favorite preparation is the “tenga” which is slightly ‘khatta” but very light and our summer speciality, using tomatoes and lemon juice. You’ll also see people squeezing more lime juice into the prepared dish depending on how tangy they like it.
For vegetables, we have many different varieties of ‘xaak’ which is another important part of our cuisine. I don’t even know how many different types there are, but I know we have dozens at least! At the beginning of the meal, we also have what is called ‘aloo pitika’ which is really boiled potatoes with a dash of mustard oil and then mixed with some salt/pepper and maybe coriander leaves. Also, on the side are what we call the ‘pura’ items, which are basically roasted and eggplant with potatoes is my top one that list.
We also have different chutneys as accompaniments made from coriander, spinach, cucumber etc. which might be common with other cuisines. And then more traditional Assamese preparations with bamboo shoot, and pickles like Indian gooseberry, tamarind, star fruit, and my favorite (again my mom makes it best) – the Assamese olive called jalphai (my mouth literally waters when I say that name!).
A few fried items like ‘bor’ and ‘pakoras’ (or pokori as we call it!) are more dishes to fill yourself up adding the ‘crunch’ to the meal and they are usually made of mashed lentils, gram, night flowering jasmine, eggplant, bananas etc.
I don’t remember us eating ‘dessert’ after this wholesome meal but as a mouth sweetener you can always pop in a ‘laddu’ (usually made of coconut. We don’t use coconut in our cooking, but we use it for our sweets. And then top it off with a cup of very sweet Assamese tea! Head for a nap right after.
So if you’re ever in Assam, don’t forget to enjoy the simple pleasure of a full Assamese meal. I believe there are dozens of restaurants that have sprung up and since I can’t convince my mother to feed everyone (though she has fed many of my visiting friends!), I hope you can find one to enjoy this experience. Bon appetit! Sadly, we don’t have an Assamese equivalent of that term, and I can only use my mom’s encouraging words when we’re at the table – ‘kha, kha’ – which literally translates to ‘eat, eat’.
1. Parantha Thali – A typical Parantha Thali at Kesar Da Dhaba in Amritsar. We had our dinner here. The paranthas are deep dipped and soaked in ‘ghee’ The chhole was rather sweet while i was surprisingly expecting it to be spicy. The half a glass of Lassi that i had before the Thali was totally worth it.
2. The impeccable Amritsari Lassi – Not too hard to guess. You could almost see the rich layers of cream on top of the lassi. The cream was brimming over and i had to literally struggle trying to gulp down the whole glass. The lassi was surprisingly heavenly. The only other city that struck me where i could arguably have this kind of flavorsome lassi (while having this glass full) was Jaipur’s famed Lassiwala. This too was at Ahuja Lassi which was my first stop at the morning on the food trail. I enjoyed the drink, soaked in the mild winter chill and slow rising sun, waited and moved on to the next stop.
3. The mouth watering Papri Chaat – This plateful of Papri Chaat was arguably the best dish i had in the food trail at Amritsar. The chaat was flavorsome, the papri melted easily in the mouth and the accompanied chutney and a dash of curd was just the thing you needed to end your food trail. This was at Brijwasi Chaat. A must recommended dish.
Despite being a vegetarian, I have never felt the scarcity in varieties when it came to South Indian food.
Be it main course or desserts, there were plenty to choose from . South Indian specializes in primarily rice based items as well as tiffins.
In tiffins, the broad varieties include Dosa, Idly – Vada, Poori, Pongal, Barotta , Idiyappam and Chappathi.
The Dosa in itself has around 20+ varieties by which it can be made including Plain Dosa , Masala Dosa, Rava Dosa, Mysore Masala Dosa, Paper Roast etc (I’d totally recommend a “Dry Fruit Rava Dosa” next time you are ordering a dinner at a South Indian restaurant).
In South Indian Sweets, the range included Gulab Jamun, Kesari, Payasam ,Rava Laddu, Basin Laddu Coconut Barfi, Halwa among other things.
My top choice in recommendation would be split between Gulab Jamun and Laddu though.
I will pick up three Himachali dishes that I have not eaten as much as I would like to. If you are in Himachal Pradesh do ask around for them!
1. Sidu – It’s is a savory dish. It is a soft stuffed dumpling which is eaten with load of ghee (clarified butter) and it tastes heavenly. The filling is made of walnuts and cottage cheese and it tastes divine.
2. Sweet Rajma – Rajma (kidney beans) is a popular North Indian dish which is spicy. Rajma Chawal (rice) is popular itself. But in the hills you get a sweet version of Rajma. And while I am not a fan of experimenting too much with known dishes, this was one experiment that went right.
3. Nettle Soup – Yes you read it right, they make a soup of bicchu jadi or nettle plant in the hills! I wonder how they pluck it, how they take out the thorns and how they make it but Nettle Soup is just what you need on those cold winter nights in the hills.
Being a foodie myself, I love sampling various cuisines in different countries. But when it comes to my favorite food, it has to be Indian food. I love the variety of food options in India. But today I would like to introduce you to the Assamese Cuisines, which according to me are a must try.
I would recommend trying Traditional Assamese Thali (platter), offers a wide variety of dishes with delectable flavors.
Find out dishes here – Steamed Joha rice (Aromatic Bhaat), Red lentils (Masur Daal), Green Vegetable Fry (Mix Bhaji), Brinjal Fry (Bengena Bhaji), Gourd cooked with Potatoes (Potol Aru Alu Bhaji), Fish curry (Maas Bilahir Tenga), Chicken Curry (Manxor Jol), Duck Curry ( Hanhar Manxor Jol), Small fish fry (Horu mas Bhaja), Mashed potatoes (Aloo Pitika), Bamboo shoot chutney, Kharoli ( A typical paste made with mustard seeds rolled into little balls) and Payox ( Assamese Kheer).
I have a sweet tooth – not the kinds that goes for cakes, meringues or macaroons, but for some Indian sweets. Here are a few of the Indian sweets I love:
1. Khubani Ka Meetha – This utterly-sweet dried apricot dessert is a mad burst of flavours. Its origin is Hyderabad. If you happen to visit that city, do not give it a miss!
2. Chikki – Caramelised jaggery and nuts is all it takes to create a crunch of taste. Originally, it used to be just made with peanuts, but today you can find a wide variety of Chikki replete with almonds, cashews, walnuts, etc. Chikki is not just about taste, but also about textures.
3. Sohan Halwa – This is India’s indigenous stick-jaw! Made with oodles of ghee (clarified butter), this sweet is a hard-as-rock light brown disc. Once you manage to break it and pop a piece in your mouth, you are all set to savor the taste and texture for long!
Hope these sweets from India make your mouth water!
1. Chai – Be it the Highways or the railways or surrounded by the clouds, chai is the only travel companion which will never disappoint. Which ever part of India you are in, chai can never be ignored or missed for sure!
2. Jalebi – Just like chai, another sweet savory treat that will never leave you gloomy anywhere is jalebi. With different colors (yellow, orange, red) and different shapes, this dish surely knows your way to heart isn’t it! and farsan with it is like icing on cake!
3. Chaat – Go anywhere in India, chaat will enter your craving veins with its different styles and delicacies. You can never ever get enough or ignore the charm of chaats while in India. Delhi ki aloo chaat, samosa chaat, Rajasthan ki kachori chaat, Bombay style dahi puri, masala puri , ragda puri, sev puri and the daddy of all chaat is pani puri a.k.a puchka in Bengali.
Indian cuisine is as special as the Indian customs. One cannot stay away from the mouth-watering dishes offered in various states of the country. The most beautiful point to notice about the taste of India is that you will find completely different cuisine in every state. For instance, the main dishes of South India are idli, uttpam and masala dosa which is very delicious and totally different from the north Indian dishes pyaazi pakode, shahi paneer and malai kofta. Some of my favorite Indian dishes are as follows –
1. Samosa – One of the most popular Indian appetizer (generally served in tea time) samosa is the first choice of many. It is prepared with spicy potato stuffing filled in a flour-dough covering and deep fried in oil or ghee. The distinct triangular shape and appetizing smell of the snack makes it special.
2. Panipuri – Those hollow crispy small sized breads, filled with the preparation of potato and chickpeas, spiced up with mint and tamarind water is one of the most favored dish of Indians. Found in almost every part of the country, panipuri is known as various names such as gol-gappe, puchka and fulki. Also, the forms of panipuri change state to state. For instance, it is served with cold spicy water in some parts while in others it is garnished with sev and curd.
3. Bhel puri – How about a delicious, spicy preparation of fried puffed rice with vegetable salad and spicy tamarind sauce? This delicious combination is loved by Indians when served with raw chopped onion and coriander. The tea time snack has also secured a good place in the list of street food.
WOW! Now, that’s plenty of dishes that you got to try while in India.
Have you noticed that dosa and biryani has been the pick of many of the bloggers?
I thank all these wonderful bloggers for giving their bits about Indian food.
And lastly, make sure you try to eat these delicious food with your hands – Indian style.
If you think we missed out on some of the must try dishes, let me know in the comments section below.
Or if you are a blogger and want to add your bits to the post, contact me.