“Atithi Devo Bhava” which means Guest is equivalent to God is India’s motto. It’s one of the reasons you can be, and often are, a tourist in your own country.
India continues to provide foods for all touristy moods in every possible way — whether you are exploring the high mountains in Kashmir or soaking up the sun down the southern Kanyakumari beaches, you will find that as you travel every 50 miles, the food changes along with the culture.
From spicy pakoras to sweet lassi, or finger-licking Mughlai tandoori chicken to burning hot momos… India has something in store for all foodies.
So while you are here, explore and experience India through all the food lanes we have listed below:
1. Andhra Pradesh
A state known for Nizam’s Legacy, located down south.
Hyderabadi Mutton Biryani is an aromatic rice dish slow cooked in sealed containers with yogurt, several spices, saffron, and chicken or mutton that’s been marinated for several hours.
It is a big hit among all tourists, especially because it’s a similar culinary tradition to American Barbecue — humble cuisines of explosive taste.
2. Eastern Indian States
Due to pleasant weather and beautiful green landscapes, the East region of India is often called “The Abode of The Gods.”
A fairly good number of Tibetans and Nepalese in the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Assam and Nagaland would win your hearts not only with their friendly nature but also with their delectable momos and thukpas.
All of you who had a hard time saying bye to Nestle Maggi noodles would be delighted to try the Wai-Wai noodles in this region.
Don’t forget to stock up your tourist bags with 152 tea packets from Darjeeling, as this place produces the best tea in the world.
A land of Buddhist monks, famous for Nalanda University and Vikramasila University.
While some visit this state to enlighten themselves with spiritual and religious knowledge, others visit this state especially to gorge on to some crunchy and lip-smacking Litti (wheat balls stuffed with Pitthi — roasted and spiced gram flour) dipped in ghee after frying and Chokha (char-grilled aubergines or mashed potatoes). The taste of the dish is worth all the calories that you gain out of the ghee.
“Dil Waalon ki Dilli” is a phrase with which Delhi-National Capital areas are referred to, which means Delhi belongs to people with loving hearts.
From eateries in the bylanes of the Walled City to swanky restaurants in five-star hotels, you will have a memorable feasting experience in India’s capital.
But until you’ve stepped out of Indira Gandhi International Airport and pulled up a chair in a dingy Delhi dhaba/roadside food stall to get a sight of smoking woks, pungent curry pots and oil dripping from a tandoor while waiting in line to get your share of street food – ranging from aloo chaat, papri chaat, dahi bhalla, kachori, bhel puri to kebabs and paani puri – you know your foodie journey isn’t getting over soon.
After having Delhi’s spicy food, anyone would definitely rush to Annapoorna and Ghantewala to try have sweets and desserts to stop that running rose caused due to so much mirch!
The beach capital of India, known for its beauty and wine!
This is probably the best place if you have plans for “wine, dine and sixty-nine.”
Those of you flocking to Goa must try the varieties of seafood cuisine mainly cooked in conventional Goan ingredients, namely kokum, dried red chillis, coconut milk, palm vinegar and cashew nuts. Your sweet tooth cravings will find a solace with bebinca, dodol and doce.
One souvenir that everyone always carries home is the native liquor of Goa – feni.
The people of this state are so friendly that they would love to indulge in conversations with you every now and then. So my tip for you is – don’t get puzzled if anyone greets you with “Kem cho?” (meaning how are you?) on every other street you cross by. Just answer them with a smile, “Hu saaru che.” (Meaning I’m good)
No culinary experience in Gujarat can begin or end without sampling Gujarati and Kathiawadi cuisines that include dhokhla – a breakfast dish made of fermented rice and besan and chickpea batter. Everywhere you go, just try and grab a few quick bites of khandvi quick rolls, as they are delectable snacks made from gram flour and yoghurt, tempered with sesame, mustard seeds and flavoured with green chillies, sprinkled coconut and coriander.
7. Himachal Pradesh
“Him”(snow) and “achal“(unmovable), also called the mountain state, is any trekker’s paradise.
The mainstream reason to visit Himachal Pradesh is for its cool climes and to get a mesmerizing look of snow capped pine and deodar trees standing upright. But let your reason be food, which is as heavenly as the beauty of the place.
You all should definitely try madra, which is a traditional Pahadi gravy dish made from a unique combination of chickpeas, yogurt, coconut, almonds and raisins.
8. Jammu & Kashmir
The valley has repeatedly been compared to Switzerland, and visiting this place is considered de rigueur as the natural beauty of the hill resort of Srinagar will surely sweep you off your feet.
In the chill of a winter night, nothing warms the soul more than a cup of kahwa poured from a sarovar — which is pure nectar of mild green tea flavoured with sugar, cardamom and crushed almonds with a few strands of saffron. Sarovar is a traditional brass utensil made up of copper or brass with a compartment at the bottom that contains burning coal to brew the tea.
One of the staples from the Kashmiri cuisine, rogan josh is a non-veg curry with boneless lamb, cooked in a mixture of caramelized shallots, yoghurt and other spices, chiefly the Kashmiri red chilies which give the dish its characteristic red color.
Karnataka is definitely a treasure trove for travel buffs with the breath-taking sights of coffee plantation in Coorg region.
This state can prove to be foodies’ hub, as you get everything ranging from the best lemon and mango rice in Bangalore to spicy cuisine in the city of Kudagu that specialises in varieties of spicy and tangy flavoured curries, namely koomu curry (a spicy mushroom curry), koli curry (an authentic chicken curry) and yarchi manga curry (lamb curry flavoured with raw mangoes).
To calm down your sugar rush cravings, you can rush to Ooty for sinfully delicious chocolate and pistachio fudges that are easily available at local bakeries.
Kerala integrates tradition with modernity and makes for a lovely seaside state with Portuguese influence.
Here you can savour several mouth-watering vegetarian and non-vegetarian delicacies, each having a distinct aroma and flavour, with banana as the main ingredient in almost every dish.
The traditional rice flour pancakes – kallappams and vellayappams – can be eaten with every other meal.
Irachi Ishtu, an authentic Keralean stew made with chicken, beef or lamb, tastes best when served with appam or plain bread.
11. Madhya Pradesh
“Land for Pilgrim’s journey” — Madhya Pradesh is a culturally diversified state that retains much of its old-world charm.
Whenever you visit this place, make it a point to explore the elaborate and rich cuisine as much as possible. The rich and authentic cuisine tantalizes the taste buds of the tourists by offering achar ghost (pickled lamb), keemas (minced meat), and a variety of pulaos (aromatic rice).
Maharashtra’s most loved and arguably India’s most famous street food is filling and tasty at the same time. Fancy a tasty tango on your taste buds? Vada Pav — which is a potato fritter stuffed between bread buns, served with piquant chutney and green chilies — is what you should look out for.
A desert kingdom that is legendary for its royal hunting expeditions doesn’t seem likely to be a vegetarian’s paradise. However, several communities in Rajasthan are strictly vegetarian, and the aroma of their delectable recipes can rival the meat cuisines of princely feasts.
While Safed Maas, a chicken delicacy, with loads of cream, milk, curd and cashew nuts is a treat for non-vegetarian lovers. For those who love sweets, malai ghewar which is a round shaped Rajasthani festive dessert made from milk, flour and pure ghee is a must-try.
14. Uttar Pradesh
“The land of nawabs” serves cuisine as diverse as its geography. Ranging from everyday classics like sabziyon ki tehari to a princely lakhnavi spread, this diverse state nestles the most exotic recipes in its kitty. Delectable delicacies like chaat, samosa and pakora that top the most popular street food charts in all of India are native to this state.
Galouti kebabs, originally made for Nawab Wajid Ali Shah of Lucknow who had lost his teeth, are royal kebabs which have been literally melting in the mouths of many ever since.
Directly from the land of “gabrus, bhangadas and giddas” originates the famous makki di roti and sarson da saag, constituting a corn meal Indian bread that tastes fabulous with sarson saag (mustard green) and a glass of lassi.
And not to forget that Punjabis are known to be large-hearted people, and they extend this generosity even while adding butter to their chicken. They even smear their rotis with oodles of butter. But they say that is how a Punjabi shows his love.
16. West Bengal
A state rich in culture, traditions known worldwide for its grand Durga Pujo celebrations during Navratris.
When it comes to fish, blindly trust the Bongs. Bengalis make sure that you fill your trunk with flavourful fish curry doused in yoghurt and your taste buds would explode saying, “This is just too maach.”
For the times when you get “stressed”, you need to rely upon the opposite which says “desserts”, (Am I Right?), so West Bengal is the best place to make a trip to ease off all the stress with spongy sugary sweet dessert — rosgulla.