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  • Writer's pictureEsha Chandra

28 Dishes That Define India!

"Food brings people together on many different levels. It’s the nourishment of the Soul and Body; It’s truly love."
-Giada De Laurentiis

Don’t we all agree with the above quote?

Food is the best way to get to know a place and its culture. Moreover, it has a way of bringing people together. After all, it is the star of celebrations as well as casual get-togethers, isn’t it?

Keeping this in mind, we have compiled a list of 28 delicious and mouth-watering Indian dishes which will surely make you drool irrespective of whether you consider yourself a foodie or not.

1. Kashmir - Rogan Josh

How can we talk about Kashmir and not mention Rogan Josh? Generally savored with rice or naan, this flavorsome non-vegetarian dish is a red lamb-based curry consisting of ginger, bay leaves, Kashmiri chilies, and yogurt.

A meat dish in red curry

2. Himachal Pradesh - Chana Madra

Madra is originally a delicacy that belongs to the Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh. Chickpea curry with a yogurt-based gravy, this recipe contains various spices like tamarind, onion, ginger, and garlic paste that greatly enhance the taste of this already delicious dish.

Chickpeas in yellow, yogurt-gravy

3. Punjab- Sarson da Saag & Makke di Roti

Ask anyone in India, the first thing that comes to our mind when we think of Punjabi cuisine is Sarson Da Saag with Makke di Roti (Indian bread made using corn flour). Sarson da saag is a flawless fusion of healthy and tasty. Made using mustard leaves, along with spinach, green chilies, and spices, this dish, with a generous dollop of butter, is the perfect wintery guilty pleasure.

A mustard leaves dish, with a type of Indian bread on the side

4. Uttarakhand - Aloo Gutuk

A Pahari culinary gem, Aloo Gutuk will provide your soul with what it needs. An easy recipe consisting of boiled potatoes, red chili powder, salt, turmeric, and coriander powder, this dish, coupled with Bhang ki Chutney, Pooris, and Kumaoni Raita, will surely leave you craving for more.

Potato dish with lots of spices

5. Haryana - Meethe Chawal

Meethe Chawal (sweet rice) is a mouth-watering dessert made using Basmati rice, ghee, and sugar along with some cardamom, saffron, and dry fruits like cashews, almonds, pistachios, etc. Very popular in the state of Haryana, it is best served hot and fresh.

Yellow colored rice with almonds on top

6. Uttar Pradesh - Tunday Kebab

The iconic and beloved Tunday Kebabs are famous for their savory flavor and melt in your mouth quality. A modification of the decadent Galawati Kebab, this dish is prepared using almost 160 ingredients, including meat, yogurt, ginger, cloves, and lime. These kebabs taste their best when served with rumali roti, or crispy ulte tawe ka paratha, and are so flavorful that people flock to street vendors and restaurants alike for a generous helping.

Minced meat dish with onions and lemon on the side

7. Bihar - Litti Chokha

A trip to Bihar would be incomplete without relishing the taste of freshly cooked Litti Chokha, the trademark dish of the state. It is your magnificent welcome to the Bihari cuisine, in all its ghee-dripping glory. Litti (dough ball made of whole wheat flour and sattu) served with Chokha (roasted and mashed vegetables) is every foodie's dream come true.

Dough balls with mashed vegetables

8. Jharkhand- Dhuska

Dhuska is one of the most common and popular street food items in Jharkhand and is a household favorite as well. Usually consumed during breakfast, this crispy snack is normally served with gram curry and chutney. It is a delicacy that should undoubtedly be on your must-have food items list!

Potato crisps with a curry based dish on side

9. Sikkim - Phagshapa

Phagshapa is a pork dish of Nepali origin that is prepared by stewing the meat with dry chilies, ginger, and radish. A particular favorite during summers, this spicy and tangy recipe is best had with rice.

A meat dish containing lots of vegetables

10. Assam - Masor Tenga

One of the most popular dishes of Assamese cuisine, Masor Tenga, is a light and savory fish curry. Prepared by cooking fried fish in a rich, tangy broth made with tomatoes along with lemons, this dish will melt-in-your-mouth and leave you wanting more.

A fish dish with gravy and garnished with coriander

11. Arunachal Pradesh - Pika Pila

Pika Pila is a famous Arunachali pickle that is mostly made by the Apatani tribe. Made using bamboo shoots and pork fat with a dash of king chilies, it is a popular accompaniment to food in the state.

Pickle in a jar

12. Nagaland - Zutho

Zutho is a famous rice beer originating from Northeast India and is extremely popular in the state of Nagaland. It is a drink of the Angami Nagas and consumed by all rural Naga tribes.

Cup having a stick in it, filled with white beer

13. Manipur - Eromba

Boiled vegetables along with dry Ngari fish are used to prepare this very flavorful and spicy Manipuri delicacy. Garnished with maroi nakuppi and a sprinkle of coriander leaves, Eromba is generally served with steamed rice and is a favorite among the locals.

A fish dish garnished with onions

14. Mizoram - Misa Mach Poora

Misa Mach Poora is a mouth-watering side dish that must be on every foodie's must-try list. It is grilled shrimp marinated with mustard oil, lemon juice, orange zest, and an assortment of spices. These are roasted on banana leaves and typically consumed with boiled or steamed rice.

Fried prawns on a pan

15. Tripura - Mui Borok

The traditional Tripuri cuisine is known as Mui Borok. The main star of this cuisine is Berma, a type of fermented and dried fish. It has a pungent taste and is mostly incorporated as a spice in dishes because of its somewhat salty and spicy flavor.

Fish in red gravy

16. Meghalaya - Jadoh

A specialty of Shillong, Jadoh can be found at various food stalls across the city and is quite popular among the locals. This delicious dish consists of rice mixed with succulent pieces of meat and topped with a combination of herbs and spices like green chilies, onions, ginger, turmeric, black pepper, and bay leaves.

Yellow rice with pieces of meat and some vegetables

17. West Bengal - Sandesh

An extremely well-liked sweet from the state of West Bengal, Sandesh is made of khoya (a form of condensed milk) and is paradisiacal in taste. This relatively lighter and healthier dessert is not overly sugary, thus, allowing people with a non-sweet tooth to enjoy it also.

White sweet topped with pistachios, on a plate

18. Odisha - Dalma

Aah Dalma! Eaten across the state of Odisha, this dish is a flavourful and aromatic preparation of moong dal and vegetables such as pumpkin, plantain, and papaya. Mostly eaten with steamed rice, this mouth-watering recipe will surely satiate your appetite.

Yellow dal garnished with a red chilly

19. Chhattisgarh - Fara

Fara are steamed rice dumplings served at breakfast, especially during the winter season. A popular dish in rural areas of Chhattisgarh, these rice balls are seasoned with various spices and coriander leaves.

A bowl containing cylindrical rice cakes with ketchup on side

20. Madhya Pradesh - Poha

Poha is one of the most popular food items not only in Madhya Pradesh but also in the country. Prepared using flattened rice, potatoes, onions, peas, and groundnuts, this dish tastes its best when served with green chilies, curry leaves, and a dash of lemon juice. It is a favorite among locals and tourists alike.

Flattened yellow rice topped with coriander and peanuts

21. Rajasthan - Mirchi Bada

A scrumptiously delicious delight from the streets of Jodhpur, Mirchi Bada is the perfect dish to compliment a hot cup of tea. During monsoon season, when temperatures dip, a plate of this steaming snack is nothing short of a dream.

22. Gujarat - Undhiyu

Made of brinjals, potatoes, and unripe bananas, cooked in coconut and spices, Undhiyu is indeed the king of Gujarati dishes. It is the reason why every person in Gujarat impatiently awaits winter.

A bowl containing brinjal, potatoes and other vegetables

23. Maharashtra - Pav Bhaji

A trip to Maharashtra is incomplete without Pav Bhaji, a dish that has become synonymous with the state! This lip-smacking recipe, consisting of a thick vegetable curry made from seasonal vegetables, potatoes, tomatoes, and onions served with pav, has managed to conquer the heart of every Indian.

Mashed vegetables with bread and onions on the side

24. Andhra Pradesh/ Telangana - Hyderabadi Biryani

Andhra Pradesh and Telangana gave a whole new definition and taste to this dish. Biryani perfectly describes the culture of Hyderabad. Just like the city, this iconic royal recipe uses a rich combination of fragrant herbs and spices to give the rice a lush and succulent taste.

Yellow covered rice with pieces of meat on it, garnished with coriander

26. Karnataka - Mysore Pak

Mysore Pak is a simple but very famous South Indian dish prepared with gram flour, sugar, and desi ghee. This sweet is enjoyed on various auspicious occasions like Pongal, Onam, and Diwali and is loved by people of all age groups.

a dessert topped with pistachios and almonds

27. Goa - Vindaloo

One of the most conspicuous indicators of Portuguese influence on Goan food is Vindaloo. Formerly known as Vindahlo, folks started calling it Vindaloo because of the use of potatoes in the dish.

Meat in a red colored gravy, garnished with coriander

27. Tamil Nadu - Lemon Rice

A lemon-flavored tangy dish containing a variety of spices and herbs, Lemon Rice has an abundance of flavor and is pretty easy to make! It is best-served with sambar, chutney, or yogurt and pickles.

Yellow colored rice with peanuts and slices of lemon

28. Kerala - Malabar Parotta

Flaky, fluffy, and crumbly is how a Malabar Parotta can be defined best. This melt-in-your-mouth flatbread is usually drenched in yummy curries and stews to cut the spice of the dish while adding an element of crispiness to it. This mouth-watering street snack is quite popular among locals as well as tourists.

A basket containing paratha, a type of Indian Bread with a bowl of vegetables behind it

Happy Eating & Exploring!

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