20 Most Famous Foods in India

India is a land with culture linked with cuisine. Every religion, region, and community has a distinctive style of dishes and cooking methodology. This is why Indian cuisine is one of the most diverse and interesting ones that you can find.

Here is a list of the top 20 dishes India that you should try while visiting India.

1. Madra & Bhature, Himachal Pradesh

Himachal Pradesh has numerous cuisines and the best of all is Pachadi cuisine. One of the top dishes of this cuisine is Madra. Madra is usually cooked in the winter season, using charcoal fire. Chickpeas are slow-cooked with almonds, sultana, coconut, and yogurt. The dish is creamy and spicy. It is usually served with chapatti or rice.

Madra Himachal Pradesh
Madra, Himachal Pradesh

You can find variants of bhature famous throughout northern India. The version of Himachal Pradesh is more traditional and tasty. The dish is a chickpea pancake, which is deep-fried in oil and served with a side of spicy curry made with vegetables or meat. The dish is served with a glass of lassi chilled and spiked with cardamom.

Cholte Bhature
Cholte Bhature

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2. Irachi Ishtu, Kerala

The term ‘Ishtu’ was derived from ‘stew’. This is lazy but comfort food. Ishtu is made with meat or potato. The best of all is the one made with chicken. The stew primarily contains coconut milk spiked with cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves.
The meat is cooked in coconut milk and served hot. Ishtu with appam is one of the iconic dishes of Kerala state. Ishtu is not very spicy and thus, it is one of the best dishes for foreigners to try.

Irachi Ishtu Dish Kerala
Irachi Ishtu, Kerala

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3. Makki Roti With Sarson Saag, Punjab

Choose any Punjabi cookbook and you will find this dish. This is a delicacy, which is usually cooked between November and February. The roti is made with corn meal and generous amount of ghee.

The saron saag is a curry made with mustard greens cooked in butter and cumin. A complete meal will have a green salad and a thick buttermilk on the side. The flavor of the corn meal roti will complement the strong taste of saag.

Makki Roti With Sarson Saag
Makki Roti With Sarson Saag

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4. Daab Chingri, West Bengal

King-sized prawns are quite common in West Bengal. This dish has a complex cooking methodology. The prawns are cooked inside a tender coconut until the prawn absorbs the flavour of the coconut. Later, the prawn is cooked with cream, coconut, mustard seeds, turmeric foes, and others.

Just like any other Bengali dish, this is also cooked in mustard oil. The pungent smell of mustard oil adds a highlight to the combination of spices used. The dish has a soupy consistency and is served with rice.

Daab Chingri West Bengal
Daab Chingri West Bengal

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5. Pork And Dried Bamboo Strips, Nagaland

North-east Indians have a naga culture of incorporating bamboo into their traditional dishes. This is one such dish. A bit of warning before you try this dish – this dish is very spicy and flavored. This exotic dish uses Naga pork and tender bamboo shoots.

The pork pieces are cooked slowly with herbs and chili. A lot of ginger is added in this dish. It is cooked with bamboo to infuse the meat with the flavour of the shoot. The dish is served with boiled rice with a side of pickled onion.

Pork And Dried Bamboo Strips
Pork And Dried Bamboo Strips

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6. Thalipeeth, Maharashtra

This dish is a fiber-rich healthy option to try. This is a very famous breakfast items in this region. The dough for this pancake is made with roasted chickpea flour, black gram flour, wheat, millet, and rice. This multi-grain dough is poured like a crepe.

The distinct flavour of this pancake comes from cumin, onion, coriander leaves and seeds. Usually, the dish is served with buffalo cream on the side.

Thalipeeth, Maharashtra
Thalipeeth, Maharashtra

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7. Masor Tenga , Assam

This is a traditional fish curry, with a fusion of Bengal and Assam cuisine. The fish is cooked until tender with baby tomatoes and lemons. The dish is spiked with dried mangosteen to give a distinct flavour. Onion and garlic are added in generous to this dish and is serve with rice with a side of sweet coconut gravy or chutney.

Masor Tenga, Assam
Masor Tenga, Assam

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8. Rogan Josh, Kashmir

According to historians, this dish came down to India from Persia. This exotic dish is usually made with tender lamb. The meat, which is marinated with a long list of spices, is cooked very slowly over fire from charcoal.

Later, the meat is cooked with a creamy mixture of ground almonds and sultanas. The dish is served with roti or rice. Some add saffron to bring out an interesting color to the dish.

Rogan Josh Kashmir
Rogan Josh, Kashmir

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9. Biryani, Hyderabad

This dish is quite famous around the country. Each region makes it a different style. Hyderabadi biriyani, dum biriyani, Lucknow Biriyani, and Calcutta Biriyani are quite famous.

In general, biriyani is a dish where rice is cooked along with the meat and numerous spices. The assortment of spices used by each community is different. The dish is served hot with raita (curd with onion and chili) and boiled egg.

Hyderabadi Biryani
Biryani, Hyderabad

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10. Malai Kofta

This is a Mughalai dish made with meat rolled into balls with arrowroot and other spices. It is then cooked in fire as they add tomato onion gravy over it. The dish comes in various versions starting from dry meat ball kofta to vegetable kofta.

Malai Kofta
Malai Kofta

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11. Palak Paneer

This dish is quite famous around the country. Cottage cheese is cooked in butter and cubed. It is then added to a cooked puree of spinach, garlic and green chili. It is served with parathas or rice.

Palak Paneer
Palak Paneer

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12. Dosa, South India

Dosa is a famous breakfast dish in South India. This crepe is made with a batter of rice and black gram. It is served with chutneys on the side. There are numerous versions of dosa based on the ingredients added to the batter of black gram. In some variants, the dish is stuffed with mixture of potato, meat, or others.

Masala Dosa South India
Dosa, South India

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13. Dhokla, Gujarat

This is a very light and easily digestible dish, which is a famous breakfast item. The dish is made with fermented batter of rice and chickpea. The batter is spiked with grated coconut, coriander, and chili. The batter is steamed and served with tamarind chutney.

Dhokla, Gujarat
Dhokla, Gujarat

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14. Avial, Southern Tamil Nadu and Kerala

This is a creamy mixture of vegetables. Vegetables are cut into large pieces and cooked in tamarind water. Coconut gratings and spices are ground and mixed to the dish. It is usually cooked in earthen pots and served hot. Using raw mangoes instead of tamarind is a variant of Avial. Some serve it after mixing it with sour-less yogurt.

Avial Tamil Nadu and Kerala
Avial Tamil Nadu and Kerala

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15. Khichdi

This dish is famous around the country and many religious communities believe that khichdi should be the first solid food that a baby should eat. This dish is made with a mixture of rice and lentils. It is served with a side of ginger chutney. A version of this dish includes cooking vegetables (potato, carrot and others) along with the rice.


16. Gajak, Rajasthan

This is a dessert, which is quite famous in numerous destinations of Rajasthan. This dish is made with sesame seed, which is cooked in jaggery syrup and left to dry. The dish is served after it becomes crunchy. You can find numerous different varieties of this dish. The Gajak made with peanuts are common in southern India.

Gajak Rajasthan
Gajak, Rajasthan

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17. Pesarattu, Andhra Pradesh

This is a healthy and tasty pancake made with green lentils. The batter for this pancake is spiked with spices. It is served with coconut chutney and tea. The dish is quite spicy. Thus, ask for a milder version if you believe you cannot handle the heat.

Pesarattu, Andhra Pradesh
Pesarattu, Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh Guide

18. Tan With Changaang, Manipur

This dish is a very common breakfast item. The dish is a flatbread, which is served with any type of pumpkin dish. The flatbread comes with a side of sweet black tea, changaang.

Tan Manipur
Tan, Manipur

19. Bai, Mizoram

This is a pork dish cooked with bamboo and vegetables. The meat is marinated with local herbs and pork sauce (butter, in case of vegetarian Bai). The meat is then cooked with vegetables, bamboo shoots, and a lot of green spinach. It is steamed slowly and is served hot with Zu, local tea.

Bai, Mizoram
Bai, Mizoram

Beyond these, there are numerous varieties of dishes made from exotic ingredients in traditional methods. Do you know that southern Indians serve dishes in banana leaf to infuse the meal with the flavour of the leaf?

Coastal areas use a lot of coconut based dishes to bring out the flavour of the seafood dishes. If you wish to try some of the exotic varieties of dishes, visit India during any festival season.

20. Pao, Goa

Goa cuisine is quite famous for sea foods and European styled desserts. If you wish to enjoy a native styled breakfast item, Pao is the right choice. This is toasted bread, which is soaked in curry made with mixed vegetables. It is cut and served hot.

Pao Goa
Pao Goa

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