The word ‘India’ derives from the River Sindhu (Indus River) and it is mainly known for its breathtaking landscape, rich heritage, and vibrant colors.
Words can't describe the beauty of this country. You have to experience it to understand.
From Aryan's (2000 BCE - 1500 BCE ) invasion to the British (1600’s) seizure, India got a chance to explore different cultures, languages, religions, and mainly different ideologies. And above all, India is one of the largest democratic countries in the world (European parliament). However, With its complex culture, religion, and language how can this country unite its people under the same traditions and beliefs? The answer can be found in the Constitution of India, which is not only the supreme law of the country but is also its soul and heart, unifying billions of people under a complex heritage. With this article, we will try to explore the structured culture of India through its food.
India has 28 states. Each state has its own culture and traditions. If you visit Delhi, the capital, and say, “India is polluted but has good places to visit”, you should hold your horse. This country is so diverse that it is impossible to make any statements by visiting only one region. For instance, Delhi is different from Tamil Nadu; and Tamil Nadu is different from Assam; and so on. Every state is so rich in its own culture and food that one can not compare or judge it as a whole. Each state offers unique mouth-watering dishes, from Rogan Josh (red meat dish from Kashmir) to Karimeen pollichathu (a fish dish in Kerala), the number of cuisines to experience is endless.
so if you are planning a trip to India or just a nice meal at the local Indian restaurant, here are a few must-try dishes you can not miss:
2) The Indian snacks
4) Indian pieces of bread
6) Traditional beverages
7) Sweets & Desserts
India is known for a large variety of preparations with rice, including Biriyani large, Pongal, and many more!
● Biryani: flavored basmati rice with fried onions, Indian spices, and any type of meat. Some variations can be with no meat or with the addition of eggs and potatoes. Some varieties of Biryani you must not miss are Dum Biryani - Hyderabad, Awadhi Biryani - Lucknow, Malabar and Thalassery Biryani - Kerala, Kolkata Biryani - west Bengal.
● Pulao: it is kin to Biryani, where one adds lots of veggies and sometimes meat. This dish is based on an absorption process where water is added to cook rice and vegetables. A few types of pulao you should try are Vegetable Pulao, Matar Pulao, Spicy Vegetable Pulao, Tawa Pulao, Paneer Pulao, and Aloo Gobhi Ka Pulao.
● Khichdi: also known as salty porridge, this dish is made with types of dal and rice. It is a healthy delicacy eaten in all parts of India.
● Lemon or Tamarind Rice: made with lemon or tamarind, this dish comes from the South of India dish and is made with sour rice and Indian spices.
● Curd Rice: you can find this in South India. a typical dish made with Indian spices, curd, and sometimes pomegranate seeds.
2. Indian snacks
In every house in India, you will find different types of snacks offered to try. as with everything else, the variety is endless, and here are a few of them;
● Chaat: it is not an Indian snack but a category of North Indian street food. With a blend of sour, spicy, crunchy, sweet, and tangy ingredients, many Indians crave chaat, and you will too! There are various types, like Sev-Puri, Gol gappe (Pani puri), Bhel puri, Aloo tikki, dahi vada, Pav bhaji, and many more. You can find these in any Chaat bandar.
● Namkeens: these are long-time store snakes. Both North and South Indians have their way of making namkeens. In the North, we have Bikaneri- Aloo-Sev Bhujia, Gol kachori, mini samosa, tasty nuts, different kinds of a mixture, Masala Mathri, Moong dal, and more. while in the South, you can try Banana chips, Kokkuvadda, Aylas, spicy Mixtures, Chakli, Murukku, Boondi, Thatti, and others.
● Bhajis or tea time snack: often, Indians have their tea with a ‘Kadhi’ snack. A few examples of these can be Bhajis- Aloo-Banana-Mirchi-Onion- Plantain-Paneer, Cholle Bhature, Vaddas, Bondas, Pulugulu, Samosa, Kachori, Pazhram Pori, Unniappam, Ela Adda, Achappam, and Momos.
We find pickles in every part of India, even if different names call them. they are made with a variety of veggies-seafood-meat preserved in vinegar, edible oil, or brine. A few instances are Mango pickles, Green Chilli, Pickled Onions, Avakaya, Amla ka Achar, Lemon, Tomato, and Chunda.
4. Indian bread
In India, bread is made with different types of flour by employing unique methods. Many people steam it, few bake it, while others fry it. No matter what technique they use, Indians love their bread with tasty curry or pickles. you must try Naan (various kinds), Phulka, Puri, Luchi, Dosa, Idli, Parotta, Apam, Puttu, Paratha, Pathiri, and many others.
India is known for its curries. It has an endless list from Sambar (Tamil Nadu) to Rogan Josh (Kashmiri) but the trendy Butter Chicken is the most popular. A few types to try are Dal makhani, Malai Soya Chaap, Guntur chicken, Mutton Masala, Papu, Natukondi Pulusu with Ragi Mudda, Shahi Kurma, Sambar, Rasam, Chole, Paneer Mattar or Butter Masala, Meen Moilee, Avail, Khoran, Beef Roast, Pork Vindaloo, Shukto, Ribbon ki sabzi, Chaman Kaliya, Kadhi, and Butter chicken.
6. Traditional Beverage
From cold to hot drinks, India has a variety to try, and among them, my favorite is Adrak Chai. flavors vary from one to another, and the following is the list of hot beverages you should look for in winter: South Indian filtered Coffee, Bajar Raab, Chai (Tea) - Kashmiri Chai, Assam Tea, Lemon Tea, Irani Chai, Black Tea, Seven Colour Tea, Masala Tea, Ginger Tea, Butter Tea, and Elachi Chai.
On the other hand, to survive the scourging heat, India has numerous cold-flavored drinks. The following are a must-try: Lassi, Sambaram, Mastaani, Badam & Kesar Milk, Coconut water, Jigarthanda, Jal-Jeera, Aam Panna, Sugarcane juice, Shikanjvi, Solkadhi, and many others.
additionally, Indians traditionally make intoxicated drinks, such as Feni (Goa), Handia (Jharkhand, Bihar, Odisha, and MP), Desi Daru, Kallu (Kerala), Bhang Thandi, Zawlaidi (Mizoram), and others.
7. Sweets & Desserts
India is known for its colorful festivals. During these events, we share a box of sweets with our neighbors to show our love. The following are delicious sweets and desserts you should try when one visits India: Gajar ka Halwa, Jalebi, Kalakand, Laddus, Petha, Sohan Papadi, Kheer, Rasgulla, Kulfi, and Halva.
The cooking abilities and expertise of Indians will never fade. And if you want to know, the secret ingredient of their cuisine is their love and affection, which makes us crave their delicious food even more. So what are you waiting for? Book your tickets and come to explore the flavors of India.
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