India is known as the land of spices as it produces the maximum variety of spices in the world. Well, it’s clearly reflected in Indian cuisine, which is world-famous. In fact, you get to experience up to 35 distinct cuisines in the Indian subcontinent. Yes, you read that right! And we are here to ensure that you get to try out the best ones.
India holds an entire universe of foods and flavours, which interests foreign individuals in exploring this universe. So, if you are amongst them, read till the end. For now, just know that each part of the country will offer you a completely different menu. The choice of spices is similar in most dishes, but each tastes so different yet delectable. You can expect lots of pepper, chilli, jeera (cumin), Ilayachi, Dalchini and cloves, but we assure you that none will disappoint you. We must have built ample excitement by now, and your taste buds must be going crazy. So, without further ado, let’s see what iconic dishes you must try if you are trying Indian food for the first time.
First on the list is the heart of North India, butter chicken. The name is enough to make any Indian drool anytime, anywhere (if they prefer non-vegetarian). But you are just stepping into Indian cuisine, so we suggest you keep this dish at the top. Butter chicken is delectable chicken that has been pan-cooked in spiced, pureed tomatoes, milk, and cream. Tomatoes, garlic, onion, chillies, and other flavours are cooked in the gravy until it turns a vibrant crimson colour. It has a creamy texture, which is just what you long for when consuming Indian food. Butter chicken is a must-have whether you’re in India or just interested in eating Indian food. Though It is readily available, you prepare it at home as well f you wish you wish to add a personal selection of spices.
Ask any Indian about their favourite Indian snack, and their answer will be Samosa! So, samosas are next on our must-have list. Samosas are a well-known traditional Indian dish/ snack. They are tasty pastries that can be baked or fried and filled with savoury contents. These classic samosas are usually stuffed with potatoes, onions, peas and spices like cardamom and pepper. The traditional accompaniment to this richly prepared Indian snack is sweet Imli chutney. Samosas are often vegan and available on all Indian streets! Oh, and don’t forget to order a cutting Masala chai with your hot samosas and chutney; it’s a match made in heaven.
Biryani is the way to go if you want a deliciously aromatic rice meal that will pique all of your senses. Indian biryani evolved into a variety of rice-based cuisines specific to each region. However, Hyderabad must be the place where the dish is most closely connected, claims Saveur. Extra-tender meat with warming spices like cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and, most notably, saffron distinguish the famous Hyderabadi rendition. But you can definitely find a vegetarian version as well. Biryani is loaded with veggies, nuts and, dried fruit, fresh herbs and served with the choice of gravy or curd.
Consider masala dosa as the pancake of southern India, but thinner, more like a crêpe, and usually filled with savoury ingredients. Dosa batter, which has a crisp outside and a softer centre than flour pancake batter, is created from fermented lentils and rice. Popular fillings include onions, potatoes, chutney, coconut, and fresh coriander; there are wide varieties. When it comes to masala dosa, a popular dish in Mysore, you can typically find it either filled with potato curry and butter or a variety of chutneys like tomato, mint, and coconut. The result, which is also gluten-free, is ideal for momentarily sating your appetite at any time of day. Additionally, you can anticipate some gut-friendly bacteria in your meal due to the fermentation process.
Chole Bhatura, also known as poori Chole or Bhatura chana. It originated in the northern regions of the Indian subcontinent. It is a mouth-watering and spicy, exotic Punjabi dish that is easily available in almost every Indian restaurant in most parts of the country. The main ingredients used are maida flour, chickpeas and sooji. Chole is prepared by cooking the chickpeas and adding spices, whereas the Bhatura is prepared by combining salt, flour, and oil and kneading them into a thick dough. Then the dough is rolled into circles and deep-fried. It is often eaten as a breakfast dish and sometimes with a glass of lassi. It can be a street food or a complete meal served with onions, pickles and green chutney. The dish is an absolute hit.
Indian cuisine is all about spices and choosing the right ones to bring out the best in every dish. This careful selection of ingredients makes our dishes a must-try. Though we recommend trying as many dishes as possible, but if you are just starting with Indian food, you can cover this list first.