Food is something that we all enjoy. It is known to have therapeutic effects. One that is even better than retail therapy.
In India, there are a gamut of Indian delicacies and recipes. Each region, each state has a few traditional food items of their own. Each of these, is very dear to the natives. In fact, people pride over their cuisines and believe that it strengthens the bond with their roots.
Yes, food connects us to our roots. It is that one string that we all hold onto at all times and enjoy reveling in it. Although other countries also have famous traditional foods, nothing comes close to the cuisines of India. No land has ever been as diverse and ethnically strong as India. The same diversity is reflected in the food.
As you plan to travel from east to west, north to south mapping regions, cities, towns, and villages, here are a few must-eat traditional dishes that will leave you with memories for life.
Cuisines from the East
Assam, Bengal, Orissa, Bihar are a few major states from the eastern and northeastern zones of India. Their cuisines are very famous, including Bengal’s sweets, Assam’s fish, or Sikkim’s momos. Let us explore some of their traditional dishes.
1. Litti Chokha
A Bihari dish, litti chokha represents the earthiness and warmth of the state. It is a staple food of Bihar, Jharkhand, and even Eastern Uttar Pradesh. Very pocket-friendly, this traditional dish is also very healthy in terms of proteins and nutrients. Stuffed with a mix of Indian spices and herbs, litti is traditionally cooked over a slow flame. These are best served with chokha or mashed brinjals and potatoes, and a dollop of desi ghee.
If you are traveling to explore Bihar, then do remember to try this traditional dish. You will fall in love with the simple flavours.
Thukpa is a northeastern delicacy and as famous as momos. Eaten across North East, Bhutan, and Tibet, Thukpa is a very simple, but tasty one-bowl meal.
Cooked using noodles, vegetables, and meat, Thukpa is a comfort food for the people of northeast. You can devour a bowl full of thukpa across Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Sikkim, Meghalaya, and all the other seven sister states.
3. Macher Jhol
The quintessential macher jhol is a Bengali delicacy that is world-famous. Those who enjoy Bengali cuisine, love to savor this dish. A traditional spicy fish stew, this is eaten with rice.
Amongst the famous cuisines of India, Macher Jhol has been the chartbuster for ages. The simple ingredients and complex flavors together make the dish everyone’s favorite. No wonder, it is a staple item in every Bengali and Odiya’s meal.
On your trip to Kolkata, Sunderbans, Odisha, Konark, or Jagannath Puri eat macher jhol. Along with it, do not forget to gorge on Rosogullas and mishty doi. They are their traditional desserts.
Food from the West
Across Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, or Goa one thing that is common amongst all is the love for snacks. The natives of western India like spicy food, but Gujaratis make their food a bit sweeter. Vada Pav, Dhokla, Khakra, Bhujia and hundreds of other snack items come from these western states, forming an incredible part of the cuisines of India. Check out the 3 that we have picked.
It doesn’t matter if you are non-vegetarian or vegetarian, Vindaloo is a very versatile traditional dish from Goa. It is one of the spiciest dishes and has an intense savory flavor. Cooked with vinegar and dry red chilies, a Vindaloo can be made with potatoes, chicken, prawns, or pork.
Goa is a favorite party destination for tourists from world-over. People go there to enjoy food, beaches, and parties. Goan food is as famous as the place. The variety ranges from starters to mains and desserts.
2. Laal Maas
When in Rajasthan, eat the Laal Maas!
Laal Maas or the red meat curry is a feisty Rajasthani dish that is full of flavors and spices. A special variety of Rajasthani red chili – mathania – is used which renders the heat and color to the dish. In the erstwhile days, it was the most favorite dish of the Rajput warriors who enjoyed these strong, bold, and hot flavors.
Undhiyu is a traditional Gujarati specialty. Every Gujarati household prepares this pot of mixed vegetables during winters to savor the richness and nutrition of each ingredient. Cooked over a slow flame, Undhiyu includes numerous vegetables, a long list of spices, and some coconut.
A specialty of Surat, you must eat Undhiyu on your trip to Gujarat.
Cuisines from the North
As you think of North India, a beautiful landscape image surfaces on top of the mind. Right? Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, and the other northern states have varied cuisines.
From Chole Bhature to Chat, Awadhi Biryani to Chicken Butter Masala, there is something for every kind of eater. We have chosen 2 must-eat dishes which have always been in the list of cuisines of India.
1. Rogan Josh
How’s the josh? High Sir! Well, it’s not this josh.
Rogan Josh or Rogan Gosht is an aromatic curried meat dish from Kashmir. Red meat, preferably, a lamb or goat is the main ingredient of the dish which is flavored using alkanet flower or root and Kashmiri chilies.
Rogan josh is one of the signature recipes of Kashmiri cuisine. In a multicourse meal or the wazwan Rogan Josh is always the hero.
On your trip to Kashmir, ask our Scouts to suggest to you the best hotels to stay and eat the traditional food of the region.
2. Aloo Ke Gutke
A traditional Pahari dish, aloo ke gutke belongs to Uttarakhand. It is a simple dish of potatoes, stir-fried in spices.
Pahari cuisine is as simple as the Pahari people. They live a quiet and happy life amidst nature and like their food to be simple as well.
Aloo ke gutke is usually served with cucumber yogurt and a hot cup of Indian Chai. It is a tea-time favorite amongst the natives.
Do not miss eating this potato dish in Uttarakhand.
Dishes from the South
Some of the best breakfast items liked and enjoyed by most Indians include Idli sambhar, vada sambhar, dosa chutney, rasam, tamarind rice, coconut rice to name a few. But, do you know that the list of traditional South Indian dishes is as long as the names of the states! From Hyderabad to Kerala to Tamil Nadu to Karnataka the vastness of the region is as magnanimous as their cuisine. One thing common to maximum recipes across these states is the ingredients that include rice, lentils, spices, dry red chilies, fresh green chilies, coconut, and local fruits and vegetables.
We bring to you 2 of the most delicious, must-eat food items from the southern belt of India.
A very commonly eaten dish in South India is Puttu or steamed rice cake. It is mainly popular in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and some parts of Karnataka. Considered to be one of the healthiest breakfast items, Puttu tastes best when eaten with a curry or chutney. Give it a try and you will definitely love these cylindrical rice cakes.
A popular ingredient used in South Indian cuisine from Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu the Gongura greens has a distinctive tangy taste and is a great source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Various dishes like chutneys, non-vegetarian dishes like lamb curry, shrimp curry, or simple vegetable curries are made with it.
On your trip down south, do remember to carry home a box of the gongkura pickle which is a traditional recipe and can be enjoyed with most cuisines of India.
Indian cuisine has made a global presence and influenced food across the world. People enjoy using our spices, herbs, and our simple food with complex flavors. And in India, our food choice largely depends on the range of diversity in soil type, climate, culture, ethnic groups, and occupations. The choice and medium of cooking and eating substantially vary from region to region.
So, go out and try all the lovely, authentic and traditional food that our country has to offer. To explore the different states, you can always get in touch with our travel advisors who will help you plan your trip with ease and based on your requirements. Connect below & let’s plan a food trip for you now!