With its diverse culture, India is a treasure trove of culinary delights. From the fiery curries of the north to the aromatic spices of the south, Indian cuisine is a rich amalgamation of flavors, textures, and traditions. For any true food enthusiast, exploring the vast and varied world of Indian dishes is a must. Here are some iconic dishes that every Indian food lover needs to try whether you make them at home or at a restaurant.
A fragrant and flavorful rice dish, Biryani is a staple in Indian cuisine. Made with aromatic basmati rice, meat (chicken, mutton, or beef), and a blend of spices, each region in India has its unique take on Biryani. The Hyderabadi Biryani, with its marinated meat and rice layers, is particularly famous for its spicy kick and aromatic saffron-infused rice.
Hailing from the culinary capital of India, Punjab, Butter Chicken is a creamy and indulgent curry that has won hearts worldwide. Succulent pieces of tandoori chicken are simmered in a rich tomato and butter gravy, creating a comforting and luxurious dish. It is best enjoyed with a side of naan or steamed rice. To try a good butter chicken, go to urban-tandoor.com.
A South Indian favorite, Dosa is a thin, crispy pancake made from fermented rice and urad dal batter. Typically served with coconut chutney and tangy sambar (a lentil-based vegetable stew), Dosa comes in various forms, including Masala Dosa (filled with spiced potato filling) and Paper Dosa (thin as paper). This breakfast delight is light, flavorful, and incredibly versatile.
A popular street food in North India, Chole Bhature is a delightful combination of spicy chickpea curry (chole) and deep-fried bread (bhature). The chickpeas are cooked in a blend of aromatic spices, creating a robust and flavorful curry. It makes for a satisfying and indulgent meal when paired with the fluffy and golden-brown bhature.
Hailing from the picturesque valleys of Kashmir, Rogan Josh is a slow-cooked lamb curry rich in color and flavor. The dish gets its vibrant red hue from a blend of aromatic spices and dried Kashmiri chilies. The tender pieces of meat soak up the flavorful curry, creating a hearty and soul-soothing dish.
An undisputed street food champion, Pani Puri is a favorite among food lovers of all ages. Also known as Golgappa or Puchka in different regions, these bite-sized, hollow puris are filled with a mixture of spiced tamarind water, mashed potatoes, chickpeas, and a hint of mint. Each bite’s burst of flavors and textures makes Pani Puri a must-try for those who love the thrill of street food adventures.
Originating from the western state of Gujarat, Dhokla is a steamed and spongy cake made from fermented rice and chickpea flour batter. Typically served as a snack or breakfast item, Dhokla is light, airy, and comes with a subtle tanginess. It is often garnished with mustard seeds, curry leaves, and fresh coriander, adding an extra layer of flavor.
A rich and indulgent North Indian curry, Malai Kofta consists of deep-fried vegetable or paneer dumplings served in a creamy tomato-based gravy. Often stuffed with nuts and dried fruits, the koftas add a delightful crunch to the dish. This opulent curry is a favorite during festive occasions and special celebrations.