Indian cuisine is rich, diverse, and is made of wonderful ingredients. People who are not aware of this cuisine assume that it’s all about curries or naan. Nonetheless, there is a lot more to the cuisine. Do you want to know why Indian food is famous globally and everyone’s favorite? Then here is your ultimate guide to Indian cuisine with a list of 10 popular Indian dishes to try😍!
An Ultimate Guide to Indian Cuisine (Know why Indian food is globally famous)
Indian cuisine stands out because of healthy spices and ingredients that bring a heavenly aroma and flavor to the dishes. It can be a bit intimidating to realize that there are several distinct styles of cooking Indian cuisine. The same ingredients are used to prepare a range of dishes with varying tastes, depending on the region/state in the country. For example, the dishes cooked in Gujarat are different from those cooked in Andhra Pradesh or Manipur, etc.
Be it vegetarian or meat-based dishes, Indian cuisine has six major flavors:
The flavors are combined based on the region, season, and ingredients available. While the northern part of India has wheat as a staple diet, southern India uses rice as a staple food. Of course, you will find a mix of diets across the country as people belonging to one region live in another or adopt the dietary practices of another region.
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Healthy Ingredients Used in Indian Cuisine
Indian cuisine relies on plant-based produce to ensure a healthy diet. From spices to beans to lentils, the most used ingredients in Indian dishes come straight from the earth (and plants). Forget the Indian dishes you order for takeouts and look deep into the importance of the ingredients used in Indian cooking.
Turmeric: It contains curcumin and has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant properties. Turmeric is added to many curries, daals, and is often used with other spices like black pepper.
Cinnamon: Also known as Dalchini, this tree bark has a lovely aroma and a range of health benefits. It is one of the must-have spices at every Indian home.
Cumin Seeds: Popular as Jeera, this seed helps in weight reduction and aids digestion. Cumin seeds are good sources of iron as well.
Fenugreek: Methi is used as leaves and seeds in Indian cooking. It helps people with diabetes and is said to increase the production of breast milk in new mothers.
Ginger: This spicy root contains gingerol as an active compound known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger is used in various Indian dishes, including the beverage tea.
Lentils: India is home to a range of lentils (or flat seeds) cooked into a thick soup. Lentils are loaded with plant-based protein.
Kidney Beans: Known as Rajma, these beans come in three colors and sizes. The beans help reduce the risk of diseases like cancer, diabetes, and coronary heart disease.
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List of 10 Popular Indian Dishes
We’ve listed some famous dishes from Indian cuisine, each belonging to a different state/ culture in the country. Obviously, this isn’t an exhaustive list of Indian dishes. It only shows a glimpse into the diverse flavors loved by Indians.
1. Litti Choka- Bihar
Litti Choka is pretty much served anytime in Bihar. From breakfast to lunch or during the evening tea, this dish is a combination of Litti (natural oven-baked balls made from gram flour) and Choka (mashed vegetable made using eggplant, tomatoes, and potatoes).
2. Rogan Josh- Jammu & Kashmir
Rogan Josh is a delicious lamb dish served with hot rice. It has its roots in Persian cuisine and is made using the special Kashmiri chilies that add a bright red color.
3. Idli, Sambar, & Gun Powder- South India (Andhra, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka)
You can’t go wrong with Idli in South India. Though it is traditionally a breakfast item, you can serve idli for lunch and dinner. Black gram and rice are soaked, ground, and fermented to prepare the batter for idli and steamed in flat disc-shaped molds. You can serve idli with sambar, gun powder, or a range of chutneys.
4. Dhokla- Gujarat
From the land of Gujarat comes a fluffy and savory cake made using gram flour. The batter is steamed to cook Dhokla and then cut into squares and tempered with mustard seeds, green chilies, and curry leaves. You can relish this snack anytime of the day.
5. Makki ki Roti & Sarson ka Saag- Punjab
This famous combination is a seasonal dish from Punjab. The roti is made using maize flour, while the Saag (cooked leaves) is made from mustard leaves. The dish is served for lunch and dinner (with a generous dose of white butter).
6. Pachi Pulusu- Telangana
Pachi Pulusu is raw and uncooked rasam (soup) made in tamarind soaked water. Chopped onions, chilies, and coriander add flavor to the dish. It is a summer special served with rice and daal.
7. Pav Bhaji- Maharashtra
Let’s just say that Pav Bhaji is one of the go-to fast foods in Maharashtra. Pav is a soft roll of bread (toasted in butter), and Bhaji is spicy mixed vegetable curry.
8. Prawn Vindaloo- Goa
This spicy Goan dish is a must-try for seafood lovers. The best part is that there are various versions of vindaloos across Goa. Each family has its own recipe.
9. Dalma- Odisha
Dalma is one of the offerings made to Lord Jagannath in the Puri temple. It is made using pigeon pea lentils and an array of vegetables.
10. Zan- Arunachal Pradesh
Zan is a savory porridge made using boiling water and millet flour. It contains charred meat and green vegetables to add texture and enhance the taste.
Indian cuisine is full of flavors and made using naturally sourced ingredients. Explore the world of Indian cuisine and go beyond the spicy curries popular at the takeaways.
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We hope you found this article – an ultimate guide to Indian Cuisine with a list of 10 popular and globally favourite Indian dishes, helpful and informative! Have you tried any of these dishes?
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