“Nothing brings people together like good food. Maybe that’s why India welcomes a smorgasbord of cultures, traditions and oh yes, food. Check out 11 heavenly dishes from the treasure trove of Indian cuisine.”
Indian dishes are decorated in luxurious blend of spices, scrumptious crusts and subtle flavours. As flavoursome the dishes are, their cooking processes are as elaborate too. The crackle of methi dana in the kadhai of oil and popping of cumin seeds in the pan of ghee, the sauté of vegetables in tadka masala and the gurgling of gravy curries – anyone interested in cooking will have fun exploring Indian recipes. So, dive into a tour to some of the most mouth watering foods and a journey of gastronomical bliss.
Originated in Mughlai cuisine, biryani is an Indian rich dish mostly made out of rice, meat, eggs and vegetables along with toppings of spices, herbs, dried nuts, pomegranates, coriander and herbs. Usually, the dish is served with chilli pepper curry, dahi, raita, onion rings, chutneys or miscellaneous gravies. Based on their cooking process, there are several types of biryani. Of them, Hyderabadi biryani is quite famous in India.
Parathas & Naans
Paratha refers to a layered dough meal cooked in oil, butter or ghee with stuffings of vegetables or spices and, a naan is a flatbread usually squashed and rolled out of white flour. While the potato or aloo paratha is a common dish in North Indian eateries, naans are usually eaten along with daal tadka as served solo or in thalis.
It is said that while the hearts of Indians crave for fun, their souls crave for chole bhature. Spicy temptations of chana masala with appetizing deep fried bhaturas served with onion rings, green chutney or pickle make up for a savoury meal, especially in regions of Punjab. You’ll find this easy to cook dish nearly in every city of India from restaurants to street stalls.
Made of a spice-laden spinach curry, chopped ginger and cubes of fresh paneer, palak paneer is one such recipe that is healthy as well as lip-smacking at the same time. Usually eaten along with a roti, plain paratha or naan, palak paneer is cooked mostly in winters. A non-stick skillet or a copper pot are some ideal choices for cooking the dish.
Marinated chicken slices cooked in spicy tomato gravy and an assortment of fillings – butter chicken is the cliché of a traditional Indian kitchen. The dish finds its origins in The Moti Mahal of Delhi, and is usually served along with tandoori roti, or even rice at some places.
Dal Makhani is no stranger when it comes to Indian cuisine. There is no wedding buffet or party catering which involves dinner but doesn’t include this one dish. Cooked with kidney beans and a buttery creamy paste of malai, dal makhani is available in almost every restaurant, small to big. In many traditional Indian restaurants or havelis, it is served in copper utensils like handis, kadhais or bowls to give off a cultural vintage appeal.
Samosas & Chaats
From prickly gol gapaas to tangy papdi chaat, from tongue sizzling pav bhaji to crispy bhelpuri and aloo chaat, the chaats of India are referred to side snacks or short meals usually sold on roadside stalls or street food market. Out of them, samosa is a famous item consisting of a conical white flour pastry stuffed with spiced potatoes, peas or vegetables deep fried till golden brown. In fact, the savoury of samosas has been mentioned by some of the legendary Indian personalities including Amir Khusro, Ibn Battuta and King Akbar.
Matar paneer forms one of the favourite paneer recipes of Indian homemakers. The aroma of matar paneer coming from the kitchen of a house is enough to invite a celebrating dinner for the members. Enriched with plummy pieces of paneer cooked in thick tomato onion gravy and sprinkled with boiled peas, the dish is easy to cook and hard to resist.
Most popular in Lucknow and surrounding regions, Indian kebabs are made of grilled pieces or rolls of meat or seafood, usually sprinkled with vegetables, herbs or spices. The most common varieties of Indian kebabs include tandoori chicken tikka, sutli kebabs, paneer kebabs and kalmi kebabs.
Idli & Dosa
Well, you can’t be in India and not taste its Idli-Dosa. Both the idli and dosa are prepared out of a fermented batter of rice and gram pulse. While Dosa is a crispy coil rolled out directly from the pan, idli is a steamed version, puffed elliptical discs of the batter. These are served usually with sambhar or rasam.
Go to a roadside restaurant or visit a Punjabi dhaba, and they won’t make you leave with a glass of foamy lassi. Served in drinking vessels of clay or tall copper glasses, lassi is the famous buttermilk variety close to the taste of Indians.