Nothing better than being transported by the aromas and the taste of Indian cuisine. The cuisine of a country is the perfect way, not only to enjoy a good meal, but also to know the culture and customs of the place you are traveling to. If you have arrived here, you are probably planning your trip to this fascinating country, so we recommend you take a look at our itineraries to India.
But first of all, we want to explain what Indian cuisine is like and what kind of food you are going to try in this country . In India, the first thing that attracts attention is the taste of spices and condiments , always perfectly combined to enhance the delicious taste of the dishes. Some of the most characteristic Indian flavors are cayenne, clove, ginger, cardamom or saffron. With a mixture of these and other spices you get the famous garam masala or the curries that, after all, are the perfect blend of various condiments.
In Indian cuisine you will find all kinds of stews and also use a lot of vegetables, rice and vegetables , always with curries or masalas. A truly exotic flavor that is sometimes accompanied by chai (tea), one of the country’s flagship drinks that is also served with spices and aromatic herbs.
Indian starters or snacks
The samosas are a typical empanada of India but also of other near countries like Pakistan or Tibet. It is a dish that is also common in Indian restaurants or kebabs in Europe. Inside the samosa there is a potato filling accompanied by vegetables. The texture of the outer dough is very crispy and is served fried. Like many dishes in the country, it is a vegetarian snack. The price of a samosa is about € 0.15.
2. Masala Dosa
The masala dosa is a kind of crêpe or galette rolled with potatoes, onion, curry, turmeric, cilantro, rice and lentils. It is a strong dish, since inside this crêpe these and many more ingredients are hidden accompanied by a coconut chutney. This dish is vegetarian and also has a spicy point.
It is usually served in two different sizes and the price is usually around € 0.50. It is a dish that is eaten with your hands and that you can find in street stalls as well as in restaurants.
3. Chole Bhature
When you are in Delhi , the capital of India, you can not miss the chole batura. It is a fried bread that is swollen and eaten with chole , a paste of spicy chickpeas and spices. This combination is designed for you to dip the bread in the chole and enjoy a nice contrast between the softest taste of the bread and the spiciness of the sauce.
This dish is originally from Punjab and is usually eaten as a quick meal or for breakfast. If you take it as a breakfast you will see that it is often accompanied by lassi, a drink made with coconut, water, spices, yogurt and, sometimes, fruit.
This snack is made with a base of chickpea flour noodles, puffed rice and tamarind sauce . Sometimes it is served in cone format with a teaspoon and can be taken while visiting the city. It is usual to see it in Bombay, especially in the beach area, where people come to take this tasty snack.
5. Kati roll
If you want to try an authentic kebab, sure the kati rolls will enchant you: a dough of parathabread rolled with lamb and vegetables inside. It is also common to find kati rolls with chicken meat. It is taken accompanied by a refreshing sauce, lime or lemon or chaat masala , a mixture of spices containing powdered mango. The price of a kati roll ranges from € 0.40 to € 1.80
6. Daulat ki chaat
The daulat ki chaat is a kind of souffle – as the Indian food critic Pushpesh Pant calls it – made with milk, cream, sugar, pistachios and spices like saffron. It is especially common in the city of Delhi, especially when the temperatures are pleasant, since the heat undoes it. Its price is very economical: a ration costs about € 0.15.
Indian typical main dishes
7. Kashmiri Aloo Dum
The Kashmiri Aloo Dum is a vegetarian dish based on potatoes . It is a recipe that is part of the traditional culinary culture of the Kashmir region, in the state of Jammu and Kashmir , in the north of the country. Even so, this dish can be eaten throughout the country in different versions.
To prepare the Kashmiri Aloo Dum what they do is first fry the potatoes in oil and then slowly cook them in a characteristic spicy sauce that adds a touch of grace to the dish.
8. Tandoori chicken
Tandoori chicken is a very popular dish in Southeast Asian cuisine . It consists of a roast chicken with spices. In fact tandoor means clay oven and is cooked with firewood and charcoal .
The mixture of species with which the chicken is cooked is called tandoori masala. This mixture may consist of coriander, cumin, garlic, cinnamon, cardamom, cayenne, pepper, ginger, clove and bay leaf, among others. But you must bear in mind that the proportions and number of species of the tandoori masala will vary according to the region of India in which you find yourself.
9. Chicken Tikka Masala
Chicken tikka masala has come to the West as one of the most international Indian recipes. Despite this, there is nothing like tasting an authentic tikka masala chicken in India, where you can try the real recipe of this popular dish.
This dish is made up of chicken tikka – that is, chicken marinated with yogurt and spices cooked in the oven – and masala sauce. Masala literally means ” mixture of spices “, so the dish has a very aromatic flavor. It is cooked, also, with tomato sauce and coconut milk.
10. Mithaa paan
In northern India, especially in towns like Bombay, Agra or the Rajasthan area, you can find the mithaa paan. The paan is formed by a rolled betel leaf that contains other ingredients , normally salted. In the case of mithaa paan the flavor is sweet (thanks to the sugary fennel, cardamom or coconut, depending on the recipe) and for this reason it is especially pleasant for both children and adults. Its approximate price is about 0.20 euros).
There are some scriptures in the Nimmatnama-i Nasiruddin-Shahi cookbook that already describe paan recipes, so it is a kind of centennial dish that has lasted to this day.
When walking through an Indian city you see a dessert in the shape of a flower or a spiral, you will surely be in front of the recognized jalebi. These sweets are made with maida flour , sugar and oil and are bathed in a syrup with cardamom, saffron and lemon, which gives them a very characteristic flavor.
Jalebi are also known as zulbia and are popular in several Asian and North African countries. They are served cold and sometimes tempered and when you bite them you will notice the small sugar crystals inside. They are usually accompanied by lime or lemon juice or rose water.
And if what you’re looking for is a refreshing drink , a perfect alternative is the falooda. This drink is made with milk, basil seeds, ice cream, vermicelli noodles, fruit and ice cream. A mixture that may be curious for the traveler but is very common in northern India or Myanmar. There are some variants of this drink that are accompanied by some type of syrup, such as rose water.
Typical Indian drinks
13. Masala chai
For breakfast or after dinner, a good option to finish the meal is with a good masala chai. The traveling tea vendors sell it especially during the evening, when the workers return to their homes and take it on the way.
Masala chai is a tea that is boiled with water and milk . As usual in Indian sweet and savory dishes, this drink is also accompanied by various spices, such as cardamom, cloves or pepper.
El Chaas is a typical drink throughout the country. It is characterized by being a drink made from yogurt , which gives it a slightly creamy texture, cold water, salt and spices like cumin. The yogurt can be of the day or a yogurt that is already a bit sour, which will give it a slightly stronger flavor.
In India it is believed that this drink has digestive properties . Its flavor is refreshing, perfect for the hottest days in India. It is taken all year round, especially in summer, accompanied by ice.