Eager food lovers enjoy visiting the different cities of India because of the myriad culinary delights on offer. It is amazing, how a particular dish containing the same ingredients, can be made different from one end of the country to another. Each city has its own unique flavors and culinary style that makes it different. The country is a gem when it comes to variety in food preparations, and each city follows its own cultural norms while preparing food. Come, discover some of the best places in India where you can treat your palette to a real foodie deal.
Kerala has many irresistible indigenous dishes, especially the traditional Sadya consisting of 26 dishes including different varieties of Payasam. This is a vegetarian dish, so if you want to try out some non-veg stuff while at Kochi, try Appam and Mutton Stew or Grilled Pearl Spot Fish in banana leaf. Puttu and Egg Roast or Chana Curry is other favorite combination of the natives. Spicy Chicken Fry, Kerala Prawn curry, traditional Beef Fry and Fish Moilee can be had with chapatti, rice or Malabar style Paratta.
And if you relish Biriyani, then you must try Thalassery Biriyani made delicious and mouthwatering with stuffed meat, authentic masala and dry nuts. And of course, dessert goodies – banana fritters, Ada Pradhaman, Milk Payasam, Chatti Pathiri and Bonda are just a few of the top favorites. You can also try the traditional Toddy (drink or alcoholic sap from palm and coconut tress) while visiting tourist places in Kerala.
It is impossible to tour Mumbai and not savor the ubiquitous dishes they have on offer. You can start by sampling the Thali or meals with its wide array of dishes including breads, rice and snacks. Vada Pav (potato dumplings deep fried and then placed in a bun), Pav Bhaji and meaty kebabs are must try.
And if you have a stubborn sweet tooth that you cannot ignore, savor the kulfi (Indian version of ice cream) varieties. Apart from the few mentioned above, there are a number of street food varieties that you can relish while walking the streets of Mumbai. You can also explore the Muslim eat street of Mumbai to savor Mughal/Muslim cuisines.
Sweet, spicy, oily – there is a huge selection of delights that would make your mouth water while touring Delhi. Mutton Kebab near Jama Masjid in Old Delhi attracts people from far and wide. Stuffed Paranthas and Chole Bhature are also top favorites.
And sweet lovers, pay attention: you can try Rabri Faluda (a mouth smacking drink), crunchy and yet gooey jalebis, Sohan Halwa (nutty Punjabi delicacy), Kulfi and Papri Chaat (for all those chaat lovers).
Tourists relish rice with ghee and gunpowder (yes, that’s right, and gunpowder is a mix of ingredients made with ground chana dal, toor dal, red chilies, roasted Begal gram, coriander seeds, black sesame seeds and jeera).
Quit worrying about your calories and just indulge in a sweet binge because what you relish at Kolkata cannot be replicated in any other place. Fish curry (Macher Jhol) and rice is the staple food in Kolkata, so that’s something you must try without fail. Kolkata Biriyani made with chicken or mutton is a special recipe that will taste divine on your taste buds.
There are a number of Benagli vegetarian recipes that you must try, like Shukto, Alur Torkari with Luchi, Dhokar Dalna, Begun Bhaja, Aloo Posto, Dhonepata Bata (made from made from coriander leaves, green chillies and tamarind), Ghugni (dried white peas with different flavours) and Labra (mish mash of vegetables cooked very carefully).
And sample the sweet dishes as well, because the traditional Bengali sweets are enormously popular. Shondesh, Roshogolla, Bhapa Doi. Chanar Jeelapi, Pati Shapta, Darbesh and Nolen Gurer Paayesh are just a few of them.
Chennai is home to a number of universally loved authentic South Indian dishes. Idli-sambar with a variety of chutneys is a dish you must have as breakfast. You can also try the different varieties of Vada (deep fried delicacy) and dosas. Pongal is a typical Tamil Nadu dish prepared with raw rice, ghee, pepper and nuts.
If you are feeling tired, you can sip on Jil Jil Jigarthanda prepared by mixing milk, nuts, Nannari Sarbath syrub and Ice cream. It is a famous Madurai based refreshment drink. Filter Coffee is another famous drink that will instantly refresh you. For lunch, you can try tamarind rice, Meen (fish) gravy and Karandi Omelette prepared using eggs and stuffed meat.
Chennai is a hot spot for sweet dishes as well. Mothi Ladoo, Malai Beda, Wheat Halwa, Special Mysorepak, Coconut Barfi and Kesar Beda are just a few of them.
Kashmiri food is primarily vegetarian, but if you are a meat lover, you will enjoy Rogan Josh, the signature dish of the land. It’s an aromatic lamb dish that was introduced by Mughals, but stayed on as a favorite for centuries. Sweetened Kashmiri rice made with milk, ghee, pinch of saffron, sugar, cashew nuts, almonds, green cardamom among other ingredients is another popular dish in Kashmir.
Other dishes to try out are Matschgand (minced meatballs cooked in spicy red gravy), yoghurt lamb curry, Dum Aloo, Kashmiri Muji Gaad (fish and lotus stem blend) and Goshatba (mutton cooked in flavorful yogurt gravy and spices). Pure veggies can try out Lyodur Tschaman (cottage cheese cooked in creamy turmeric based gravy), Veg momos, Skyu (small pieces of wheat flour cooked in water.) and Kahmbir (pan-shaped local bread).
Ahmedabad is known for its Dhokla, the soft and juicy delicacy served with green chutney. If you love to experiment, try street food. There are so many sumptuous varieties that would make you come back for more.
Paani Puri or Gol Gappa is another mouthwatering snack in the city. Try Dal Vadas, Maska buns, momos, samosas, stuffed paranthas, Bhuna Gosht. To satisfy thoese sweet cravings, munch on Jalebis, Ice Gola, Motichur ladoo, Shon Papdi, Churma Ladu, Badam Kesar Ghari, Chhuti Bundi and several more.
Trying out all these culinary delights is almost like going on a food pilgrimage. However, this is a short and crisp information on what you can devour at the different places in India. There are really lot more delicacies to explore, and this list is just an introduction to great Indian food found in different cities. Be ready to stomach it all!
Sunu Philip is the Inbound Marketing and Creative Head for Paradise Holidays,
Cochin – a Kerala based tour operator. She loves reading, exploring new places and trying out different cuisines!