India is a big country and so is the list of delicious cuisine. The extensive immigration and encounter with other cultures like European, Portugal and Moughal benefitted India with a wide variety cooking styles and delicious delicacies. These people taught Indians about the use of different spices in various other ways. Today India is known across the world for its fabulous cuisine, rich culture and magnificent past.
It is very difficult to some up all delicacies of India in just one article. So, I decided to put the must haves from each state of India. So that when you are in that city or state you should not miss to taste these delicacies. You can refer the list as the “food map of India” or “the cuisine map of India”.
North Indian Cuisine
- Kashmir is referred to as “Heaven on Earth”. The place is blessed with enormous beauty and rich cultural heritage. The regional cuisine is another thing for which it is famous for. The must haves in Kashmir: Gustaba, Tabak Maz, Dum aloo, Haak or Karam ka saag.
- Punjab: Another north Indian state with plenty of rich agricultural land and historical past. A visit to the state is an experience of a lifetime. The colorful state of Punjab is famous for it’s regional cuisine like Rajma, Palak paneer, Dal makhani, Makke di roti, Sarson ka saag, Chana Bhature, Amritsari Machchi and Kulcha.
- Himachal Pradesh: The slow paced lifestyle, pollution free cities, tall pine trees, small streams flowing down; lush green mountains are the phrases that best describe Himachal Pradesh. Another thing which makes it an exquisite travel destination is its cuisine. The famous cuisines are sidu, babroo, aktori and dham.
- Uttarakhand: A state in the Himalayan Kingdome famous for adventure travel and glorious hill stations is also famous for its distinguished delicacies like aloo ke gutke, kaapa, jhangora (millets) ki kheer, chainsoo. These are a few must have items when you are on a visit to Uttaranchal / Uttarakhand.
- Uttar Pradesh: The state has rich art and handicraft background and so is the cuisine. The Moughal emperors ruled the state for a very long period of time and that benefitted and resulted is rich and exotic mughlai cuisine for which Uttar Pradesh is famous for today. The Kababs, Biryani, bedmi aaloo kachori, halwa, benarsi chaat are to name a few delicious regional specialties.
- Chandigarh: The “Planned City of India” and capital city of Punjab and Haryana is the beautiful and spacious city of Chandigarh. The famous cuisines of this place are butter chicken, tandoori chicken, mutton pulao and Paneer butter masala
- Haryana: The delicious cuisine of Haryana include Kachri ki sabzi, Cholia (green gram), Chaas-lassi, Bajre ki khichhdi, Kadhi pakode wali
- Delhi : Delhi doesn’t have anything peculiar that can be defined or referred to as regional cuisine, but you can have delicious items like Chaat, Tandoori chicken, Paranthe, Nagauri halwa, Chhole bhature etc.
- Rajasthan: The desert state of India, Rajasthan has enormous historical places like forts, palaces and temples which are worth a visit. But its cuisine is equally exotic and delicious. The must have items include Dal baati churma, Ker sangari, lal maas, Gatte ki sabzi, Pyaaz ki kachori
East and North-Eastern Indian Cuisine
The North-Eastern states of India have a different lifestyle and one can enjoy the slow pace life here. The scenic beauty, beautiful mountains and lush green forests are truly heavenly. The exquisite cuisine includes the following specialties.
- Sikkim: momos, thukpa, gundruk, phagshapa and sael roti
- Arunachal Pradesh: apong (local beer)
- Assam : Maasor tenga, pitha
- Nagaland : momos, rice beer, cherry wine
- Mizoram: zu (a special tea)
- Manipur: Iromba, kabok, chakkouba
- Tripura: Chakhwi, mwkhwi, muitru
- Meghalaya: jadoh, kyat (local beer)
- West Bengal: Bhapa fish, rosogulla, mishit doi
- Orrissa: Fish orly, khirmohan, rasabali, chhenapodapitha,
- Bihar: litti (baked balls of wheat), sattu (ground gram), khaja, khubi ka lai, anarasa, tilkut
West Indian Cuisine
The western part of India is famous for splendid beaches, fabulous hill stations, rich textile, art and handicraft and much more. The regional cuisine includes:
- Gujarat: Thepla, Dhokla, Khandvi, Handvo, panki
- Goa: Vindaloo, xacuti, bibinca, prawn balchao
- Maharashtra : Shrikhand, Thalipeeth, Vada pao, Modak, missal pao, pithla bhakri
Central Indian Cuisine
The central India consists of states like Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Chhttisgarh is famous as a tribal tourist destination and Madhya Pradesh is famous for its archeological sites. All of these states have their own fabulous, mouth watering and interesting regional cuisine. The specialties are as follows:
- Jharkhand: thekua, pua, pitta, marua-ki-roti
- Madhya Pradesh : lapsi, Bafla, Bhutte ki khees, bhopali kababs
- Chhattisgarh: Bafauri (a sweet made with chana dal), kusli (a sweet made with flour and semolina), red aunt chutney.
South Indian Cuisine
The southern states of Indian sub-continent has numerous ancient temples that are famous for their magnificent structure and architecture. They portray the best architectural designs and rich historic past. These temples are worth a look and so is the food. The local cuisine is simply outstanding and delicious. These delicacies from south India include:
- Andhra Pradesh: Hydrabadi biryani, mirchi ka salan, ghongura pickle, korikoora
- Kerala : Popularly referred to as “The God’s Own country” is famous for its splendid beauty, scenic beaches, tall green coconut trees and lovely sea food. The must try item would be Sadya meal, Avial, Malabar parotha, payasam, irachi stew and fish curry.
- Karnataka : Bisi Bele bhaat, kesari bath, mysore pak, dharwad pedha, chiroti
- Pondicherry: Kadugu yerra, vendakkai patchaddy
- Tamil Nadu: Appam, Dosai, idli, sambhar, rasam, chettinad chicken, pongal