A diverse nation is a treasure trove of cultures and traditions, which also includes a vast spread of diverse cuisine. Whether it is the fiery chillies of Northeast India, or the sweet savouries of Bengal, whether you want a bite of authentic coastal food or love the idea of mountain cuisine, the delicious Mahua of tribal areas to the delicious Goan feni — perhaps the most defining characteristic of Indian cuisine is its diversity.
They say Kashmir’s scenic beauty makes it a heaven on earth for travellers; we say it is also ‘Paradise Found’ for food lovers. Kashmiris love mutton, so 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.
The haven of Punjabi cuisine, it’s all about heavy eating and living life king size. Punjab is also home to the delicious tandoori foods, be it chicken or paneer. In Amritsar, one can find the flavours of authentic Punjab, the 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 corn bread or roti; Fish Tikka – an oven cooked Amritsari delicacy and Amritsari Lassi. Find your way to some tasty Amritsari Jalebi to end the food fest on a sweet note.
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 you would be at a loss if you do not try them all. The very first itemo on your list should be the famous and delicious, Galouti Kebab; Lucknowi Biryani – the version of Biryani found this side of India comes straight out of the kitchens of the Nawabs; Kakori, on the outskirts of Lucknow, boasts the famous Kakori Kebabs – these amazing kebabs are made of minced mutton, mixed with aromatic spices before being grilled, to get the beautiful colour. Try Pasandey – mutton cooked till tender, in spices and gravy, with cream and almonds. Finish your culinary journey at Lucknow with Shahi Tukda – a delicious bread pudding, and Malai Ki Gilori, which is an authentic sweet delight.