10 Traditional Cuisines from Different Regions of India
Popularly known as the home of spices, India has been delighting people both with its recipes and ingredients for ages. While Indian spice may have spaded the cuisines across the world, in its part, too, it has been influenced by traditions and techniques from all across Aisa.
The result is a unique range of traditional food and drinks that leaves a fountain of flavours in your mouth. Each cuisine and sub-cuisine has its own specialities too. So if you want to explore traditional Indian gastronomy in its entire splendour, these are the top dishes that you must try out:
Aloo Poshto – West Bengal
This traditional dish needs no introduction for those who are well-versed with Bengali cuisine. Aloo Poshto is undoubtedly one of the most celebrated Bengali dishes enjoyed by Bengalis and people living around the eastern part of India. It’s a simple vegetarian dish cooked with potatoes with a lightly spiced poppy seed base and mustard oil as the cooking medium. When combined artfully, the dish gives a sweet-pungent burst of flavours that goes well as a side dish with plain rice.
Fun facts: The British’s engagement in the lucrative opium trade with China led to the cultivation of opium in eastern parts of India. To make ends meet, the farmers depended on the waste residue of the poppy seeds, which found their way into the Bengali kitchen. Thus, it led to the birth of Aloo Poshto.
Where to Taste? – Local authentic Bengali Hotels, Kolkata.
Zunka Bhakri – Maharashtra
Zunka or Jhunka is a popular traditional staple dish of rural Maharashtra. This Maharashtrian delicacy is a spicy preparation made from gram flour and onion and many Indian spices. This classic dish is best enjoyed with round unleavened bread made of bajra flour known as Bhakri. The combination of Zunka and Bhakriis considered a poor man’s food as it can be easily made from very few ingredients. But once you taste the authentic preparation of this dish, you are sure to know why all so well love it.
Fun facts: This delicious combination of Zunka and Bhakri is so famous in Maharashtra that it has travelled to neighbouring states of Karnataka and Goa too.
Where to Taste? – Pune and other rural parts of Maharashtra.
Dalma – Odisha
The cuisine of Odisha, popularly known as the Odia Cuisine, is highly influenced by both North and South Indian cuisines. Owing to this unique combination, Odia cuisine has earned a special place in the food map of India. Dalma is one such dish that tells us a story of how the traditional food of India influenced in writing the past. This traditional curry is made of Moong Dal and a variety of seasonal vegetables cooked with the choicest spices, which are tempered with panchaphutana and coconut. This sumptuous nutritional dish is usually made on special occasions and is also offered as a “Mahaprasadh” in many temples in Odisha.
Story /Fun facts: Legend has it that the second eldest brother of the Pandavas, Bheema, was the one who had created this dish for the first time when the Pandava brothers were in exile.
Where to Taste? – This preparation is primarily cooked and served as Prasad at various temples of Odisha.
Galho – Nagaland
People of Nagaland love their rice and meat, especially when it’s in the form of Galho. This northeast India traditional food has a soupy kind of texture which is similar to that of khichadi. It is a concoction of various indigenous vegetables, fresh green leaves, the preferred choice of meat, rice, and fermented soy or bamboo shoots. This effortless dish is the perfect comfort food and a perfect substitute for the boring old khichadi.
Fun fact: This dish is said to be created by the Angami tribe, which is said to be one of the oldest tribes in Nagaland. Even though it has a khichadi kind of preparation, traditionally, lentils aren’t used in this dish and are easy to make.
Where to Taste? – Local eateries and restaurants.
Amritsari Fish – Punjab
From the land of classic chicken delicacies comes a famous dish that is a treat for all fish admirers. “Amritsari Machchli” or simply Amritsari fish is a beautiful freshwater fish preparation that is lightly battered in a spicy gram flour mixture that is cooked into golden perfections when deep-fried. Amritsari fish is an absolute crowd favourite among north India traditional food and is considered nothing less than Punjab’s usually preferred chicken delicacies.
Fun fact: History books state that this fish preparation had originated from the Mughal kitchens during the reign of Emperor Akbar. It is said that Emperor Akbar was served with this golden battered fish preparation for lunch and dinner by his royal chefs.
Where to Taste? – Local street food stalls and restaurants in Amritsar.
Laal Maas – Rajasthan
Predominantly a vegetarian state, this red-hot lamb dish is probably the most eminent non-vegetarian dish in the whole of Rajasthan. Lal Maas got its name from the fiery deep red gravy, which gets its colour from the locally grown dried chillies named Mathaniachilie. Many traditional Indian food blog posts convey misinformation about the dish. They suggest making the dish with Kashmiri red chillies or, worse, with tomatoes which mess up the authentic taste of this succulent, tender meat preparation. So when in Rajasthan, don’t forget to try out the authentic recipe.
Fun fact: Back in the day, it is said that Lal Maas was traditionally cooked with wild boar or deer.
Where to Taste? – This delicacy is available in many restaurants around Rajasthan. For a royal touch, the best version of this dish can be had in Ambur Fort.
Pandi Curry – Coorg
It is said that no Coorgi celebration is incomplete without a traditional pork dish known as Pandi. Pandi or Coorgi Style Pork curry is a spicy semi-dark pork dish that is a blend of locally grown spices and ingredients and cooked with a special souring agent known as Kachempuli. This traditional pork curry is rich in fat, spice, and tanginess, which, once prepared, might not look appealing at first, but once tasted, it might be the best dish you will have when you plan your next trip to Coorg.
Story/fun fact: It is said that initially, Pandi curry was cooked with wild boar instead of pork. This dish had originated in the times of Raj, where wild boar would be hunted by locals and eventually get cooked.
Where to Taste? – Many restaurants and diners in Coorg serve authentic Pandi curry.
Gongura Mamsam – Andhra Pradesh
When we think about Andhra cuisine, its heat, spice, flavour, and tanginess come instantly to our mind. Gongura or Puntikura Mamsam is a perfect example that demonstrates what Andhra cuisine offers to the pallet. It is a non-vegetarian dish where the mutton is cooked in a spicy masala base and sour fresh sorrel leaves. This spicy and mouth-watering south India traditional food is a part of every traditional Andhra meal and is an absolute favourite among the locals.
Fun fact: Sorrel leaves grow in abundance in parts of Andhra Pradesh and other states of southern India. This plant is high in nutrition, which is used in dishes and is also used in making various types of pickles, jam, and syrup.
Where to Taste? – Available in most Andhra diners in Andhra Pradesh. This traditional dish is specially cooked at home during the third day of Sankranti.
Unniyappam – Kerala
Unniyappam is a traditional recipe that is quite a popular sweet snack among the Keralites. The key ingredients include rice flour, jaggery, and bananas, which are deep-fried into dark brown fritters. The locals prepare this during some festivals and family functions and are also offered as prasad in many temples in Kerala. It is a perfect snack for people who love to munch on sweets.
Story/fun fact: it is said that Unniyappam was first offered to Lord Ganesh after the installation by Perunthachan. Since then, the custom is still continuing.
Where to Taste? – This snack is served as a prasad in many temples of Kerala.
Adirasam – Tamil Nadu
Adirasam is a popular and significant sweet snack in every Tamil household. It is said that learning how to make this sweet dish is mandatory for every Tamil woman before marriage. Made with raw rice, this traditional sweet dish is made during special occasions and festivals like Diwali, Nombu, and Lakshmi Puja. This deep-fried fritter, in general, is the perfect sweet evening snack in every Tamil household.
Story/fun fact: Adhirasam is said to have an origin traced back to the era of Krishna Deva Raya, who had ruled the southern part of India from 1509 CE.
Where to Taste? – This traditional dish can be enjoyed by local dessert shops in Kerala.
Now that you have gone through this list of Indian traditional food recipes, your stomach must be grumbling already! To enjoy these authentic tastes and get their complete feel, plan your itinerary today. Food and stress do not mix well! So why not gift yourself a hassle-free travel experience as you explore each of these dishes! Intrigued by the offer? Consult our travel experts today and enjoy the new way of travelling. Also avail great discounts on hotel, flight, and rail bookings. Call us today to know more.