Step into a delectable world of different cuisines in India through these extraordinary Indian cities
Our diverse nation is a treasure trove of cultures and traditions, which also includes a vast spread of different cuisines in India. Whether it is the fiery fare of Northeastern India or the sweet savouries of West Bengal, whether you want a bite of authentic coastal food or authentic mountain cuisine… it is all there for you.
And if you are more adventurous you can add fiery flavour with a tasting of the delicious Mahua of tribal India to the tangy Goan feni to the flavourful Toddy, a palm wine indigenous to Kerala and so on.
Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir
They say Kashmir’s scenic beauty makes it a heaven on earth for travellers; we also say it is ‘Paradise Found’ for food lovers and is a great starting point to taste the different cuisines in India.
Kashmiris love mutton and there are close to thirty mutton recipes originating from the valley, the most popular being Rogan Josh. You also have Gushtaba – lamb meatballs in yoghurt curry; Tabak Maaz – lamb ribs with turmeric, cinnamon and saffron; Kashmiri Haakh – a traditional Kashmiri collard green preparation.
For dessert, try Khubani ka Halwa, a delightful apricot pudding mixed with dried fruits. The high point of the Kashmiri food experience comes in the form of Wazwan, a multi-course meal with almost all dishes made of chicken and lamb – its preparation is considered an art
Special Beverage – Kawah, the traditional tea
To die for experience – Wazwan
Oomph factor – Boat ride on Nagin Lake
The haven of Punjabi cuisine, this northern region of India is all about big-hearted eating and living life king size. Punjab is also home to the delicious tandoori style of cooking, be it chicken or paneer and accounts for some top flavours when sampling different cuisines in India.
In Amritsar, one can find the flavours of authentic Punjab, the fragrant Kasoori Methi (dried fenugreek leaves) and butter-laden delicacies.
When in Amritsar, do try the authentic and very famous Butter Chicken – chicken in creamy gravy; the ultimate Sarson ka Saag and Makki ki Roti – a traditional dish where spinach and mustard meet com bread or roti; Fish Tikka – an oven-cooked Amritsari delicacy; and Amritsari Lassi. Find your way to one of the many places that serve some tasty Amritsari Jalebi to end the food fest on a sweet note.
Made to Measure – Patiala Peg, pride of Punjab(basically an extra-large peg of liquor)
To die for experience – Butter Chicken
Oomph Factor – The Golden Temple
Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
Reminiscent of the Nawab culture, Lucknow is every foodie’s delight. What you get in Lucknow in terms of food is better known as Awadhi cuisine and it would entirely be your loss if you do not try the wonderful dishes when trying out different cuisines in India.
The very first item on your list should be the famous and the delicious, Galouti Kebab; Lucknowi Biryani – the version of Biryani found this side of India comes straight out of the kitchens of the Nawabs; Kakori Kebabs – these amazing kebabs are made of minced mutton and are mixed with aromatic spices before being grilled, in order to get the beautiful colour. Kakori, a city on the outskirts of Lucknow, is where the Kakori Kebab originated.
Check out Pasandey – mutton cooked till tender, in spices and gravy, along with cream and almonds. Complete your culinary journey at Lucknow with Shahi Tukda – a delicious bread pudding, and Malai Ki Gilori, which is an authentic sweet delight.
Sweet delight – The incredibly delicious dahi Jalebi
To die for experience – Kakori Kebab
Oomph factor – The Mughal Shrine, Bada imambara
Kolkata, West Bengal
Once the capital of India, Kolkata was a cosmopolitan city with Jews, Armenians, and Anglo-Indian settlers, paving the way for some of the most sumptuous foods when you can taste different cuisines in India.
Start your culinary journey by heading to Tiretta Bazaar early in the morning. Home to the Chinese community, you will be in for a treat, which includes Chicken Momos, Pork Momos, Shu-Mei, Sausages, Prawn Wafers, Tai Paos, Fried Dough Sticks and Chicken Rolls.
Move on to authentic Bengali dishes later in the day, with Kosha Mangsho – an aromatic Bengali mutton curry; Sorse Ilish – a preparation of “Ilish,” (The King of Fishes) with mustard seeds and green chillies; the quintessentially Bengali Alu Posto – potato with poppy seeds.
While you are at it, try the various green veggies and roots and shoots, most of which are prepared with fish head or small fish. Do not miss out on Kathi Rolls and other street food, and, of course Flury’s, the legendary Kolkata tearoom.
Festival Pancake – The pitha, a sweet snack connected with the harvest festivals.
To die for experience – Sorse Ilish
Oomph Factor – The iconic Howrah Bridge above the holy Ganges
Home to over 15 indigenous tribes, the state of Nagaland is a potpourri of Naga cooking and remains popular while knowing the different cuisines in India. In general, Nagas love their poultry and fish, however, their favourite meats are pork and beef.
It is a common practice in the state to rear animals that are prized as meat at feasts, and keep a stock of smoked and salted meat to be used throughout the year. The meat is first smoked over a large kitchen fire at home, and then it is fermented underground for longevity.
While talking about local food in Nagaland, you cannot ignore the extensive use of freshly available herbs in their cooking. Often, the cooking involves large chunks of meat with the most basic condiments.
One of the most sought after traditional dishes of Nagaland is the pork smoked in their traditional way. The authentic smoked pork is crisp on the outside and succulent from within. The dish can be tossed dry with other ingredients or prepared into a curry with local flavours and paired with steamed rice. It is one of the reasons why eating local food helps to understand different cuisines in India
Hottest spice – The Bhut Jolokia (raja mirchi) is considered to be one of the hottest chilies in the world.
To die for experience – Smoked pork
Oomph Factor – Hornbill Festival (1-10 December) is Nagaland’s biggest annual jamboree.
The southern paradise of India has some of the most delicious foods you can ask for and it is not just idlis and dosas when we speak of sampling different cuisines in India.
Try the local style of eating appams with curries, especially non-vegetarian ones. Then, there is the out-of-the-world Malabar Biryani; Fish Mappas—a curry cooked in coconut milk, which is also eaten with appams; Pomfret Moilee or any other fish moilee – cooked with curry leaves, tomatoes, mustard seeds, and turmeric; and Cheera Thoran – a fried dish of fresh vegetables, which is mostly eaten as a side dish.
Kerala is also widely famous for its very spicy beef fry, a must-try for meat lovers.
Heady wine – Toddy, palm wine indigenous to Kerala
To die for experience – Fish Mappas
Oomph factor – The gorgeous Kerala backwaters
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