Tastes of India
One word that fully validates the eminence of Indian food is “Variety.” Like the vast and glorious Indian sub-continent, the food of this country holds the distinction of being exceedingly diverse and opulent. In fact, it is a culmination of regional culinary traditions and novel gastronomic experiences. From the classic Mughlai cuisine of the north to the spicy yet delicious dishes of the south – the variety and richness of the Indian menu often startles the first-time visitors.
Usually, travellers carry a stereotypical image of Indian food, which is predominately created in the restaurants in the other parts of the world by limiting Indian cuisine to a few typical dishes like Biryani. India has so many dishes and flavours that it would take more than a couple of years to taste or explore all of them but the typical perception about Indian food is limited to Mughalai or North Indian dishes – signature biryanis, tandooris, thick butter naan breads and yogurt-based sauces. In fact, the popular dishes of South India are totally different from the dishes of the North – likewise every state has something special to offer when it comes to food.
The only way to explore the true variety of Indian food is by travelling around India. In fact, there are a lot of various regional cuisines to enjoy – Mughali, Punjabi, Gujarati, Bengali, Goan, Keralan, Kashmiri and Maharashtrian, to name a few. Each region has its own special spices, dishes and cooking techniques – so much to explore! Following are some of the famous regional cuisines of India.
Punjab and North India
Highly influenced by Mughlai food, the mainstay of Punjabi and North Indian food is meat and bread. Known for its mouth-watering tastes and exquisite flavours, this food is usually cooked in a tandoor, which is a clay oven heated by burning charcoal. Most of the North Indian curries come laden with thicker curd-based gravies.
Popular Punjabi dishes: Naan, sheekh kebab, tandoori chicken, chicken tikka, butter chicken, chole-bhature, samosa, and daal makhani (lentils in a butter based gravy).
Rice is an integral part of the South Indian daily diet and dominates all South Indian cuisines. Besides rice, seafood is a speciality of Kerala. Most of the dishes are cooked by using the coconut oil. Tamil Nadu is famous for its Chettinad cuisine – one of the spiciest foods in the world.
Popular South Indian dishes: Popular combinations are rice and idlis, dosas or uttapams, and vadas.
The people of Bengal love fish and it is cooked in many ways – fried, stewed with vegetables, and curried. However, the most famous version is jhaal, where the fish is cooked with mustard seeds and hot chillies. West Bengal is also known for a delicious range of milk based Bengali sweets.
Popular West Bengal dishes: daabchingri (coconut prawn curry), Machcherjhol, mutton biryani, rosgulla, and saundesh.
Gujarat and WestIndia
One of the most interesting things about Gujarat’s cuisine is that it comes with a tinge of sweetness and most of the food is traditionally vegetarian. It comes forth as the perfect choice for those who do not eat meat.
Popular Gujarati Dishes: Khandvi (Gram flour, tempered with coconut and curry leaves), Uundhyu (melange of veggies), Mango salad, Dhokla, Handvo (mix of buttermilk, flour, lentils and rice) and above all the famous Gujarati Thali.
Goa is known for its seafood and the Portuguese influence in food is pretty apparent.
Popular Goan dishes: Goan fish curry and pork vindaloo.
Take a look at some of our suggested cuisine themed tours. Contact us for a tailor made culinary journey in India.