9 Best Traditional Indian Food for Every Connoisseur

Craving to try some authentic and traditional Indian food? The options are huge and it is simply not possible to try them all at one go. While some of them are exclusive only to the individual states with its distinct authenticity, few others are popular all across the country. This list is all about nine of the must-try traditional Indian foods to tickle your taste-buds with, and at the same time to offer you a glimpse of the traditional cooking style.

A traditional Indian platter has much more to offer than these nine. But as of now, enjoy these few:

Traditional Indian Food
1. Biriyani

Originated from: Hyderabad

What is it: Mughal dish served as main / full course

Traditional touch: Cooked in low flame and sealed with a crusted pastry ‘lid’ that’s cracked open at the table.

Biriyani was brought to the Indian Subcontinent by Muslim invaders from Central Asia and Persia. This rich and delectable traditional Indian food is an amalgamation of fragrant rice, baked with saffron or turmeric and whole spices, and deliciously topped with moist marinated meat and a hard-boiled egg (sometimes potato). This dish is pungent and hearty, and exceptionally appetising when served with raita (curd chutney), salad and other condiments.

2. Makki Di Roti & Sarson Da Saag

Originated from: Punjab

What is it: Corn meal Indian bread served traditionally with mustard leaves and spinach

Traditional touch: Cooked in traditional way by adding all ground spices and topped with butter or ghee

Traditionally a Punjabi dish, this traditional Indian food is relished as a healthy dinner in almost every family in Punjab. The green gravy is called the saag, that is made from mustard leaves or sarso, with the right addition of spinach, fenugreek, radish and spices, and is served perfectly coordinated with Indian bread made of corn flour (makke di roti). This is typically a winter dish as the gravy helps to keep you warm, especially when served with a heavenly blob of butter and a lump of jaggery to go along with it.

3. Dosas

Originated from: South India

What is it: Staple breakfast (sometimes meal) made of fermented rice batter

Traditional touch: Masala dosa and paper dosa are the most traditional varieties and must try dishes

Dosa is a crispy, flat bread – quite similar to a pancake – which is made of fermented rice batter and stuffed with mashed potato filler. It is served with sour and pungent lentil sauce called sambar, and coconut condiments. The stuffing can be replaced with a variety of options ranging from vegetable mix, cottage cheese, onion, and other fillers to enhance the taste and variety of this humble staple dish.

4. Puranpoli

Originated from: Maharashtra

What is it: Sweetened flat bread cooked on a pan from all-purpose flour stuffed with lentil and jaggery

Traditional touch: The tradition varies from adding jaggery to coconut as stuffing

One of the most traditional dishes of Maharashtra is the famous Puranpoli, made from all-purpose flour cooked on a pan till it turns golden brown. The bread is crammed with a paste of lentil and jaggery and sometimes grated coconut. The best part of it is that the dish is made traditionally in every family of Maharashtra in their own unique and special recipe, and the preparation style keeps on varying throughout the state.

5. Bisibelebhath

Originated from: Karnataka

What is it: A complete meal made of rice, lentils, vegetables and spices

Traditional touch: This nutritious wholesome meal is a staple of Kannada families that originated in the Mysore Palace traditionally 

This recipe needs quite an elaborate preparation and includes the use of spices, nutmeg, asafoetida, curry leaves and tamarind pulp in the mail ingredients rice, lentils, and several types of vegetables. The addition of these ingredients makes the dish to stand out in taste, aroma and flavour. Some versions of Bisibelebhath are traditionally cooked by adding thirty different ingredients and following a special procedure.

6. Macher Dimer Bora

Originated from: West Bengal

What is it: Fried fritters with fish eggs

Traditional touch: Traditionally made and enjoyed during monsoons during the breeding season of freshwater fish

Bengalis have a distinguishable craving for fish, and the same is reflected in their culinary traditions as well as in their food habits. Macher Dimer Bora is one Bengali delicacy where the fish egg fritters are primarily encrusted in a batter of chickpea flour and spices and fried in high flame. These fritters are also cooked in medium spicy gravy to make it a side dish. These fish eggs are all natural and not processed, and extremely appetizing, to say the least. 

7. Litti Chokha

Originated from: Bihar

What is it: Dumplings of flour made of ground pulses and cereals baked in clay oven and served with generous amount of ghee

Traditional touch: Served traditionally with chokha made of brinjal, onions, and spices.

One of the most traditional Indian foods to offer at the Indian heartland is Litti Chokha – the rustic dumping with a distinct smoky flavour. The tight dumplings are traditionally baked in clay ovens and doused with a generous amount of ghee to offset the dryness of the coating. The dumplings are served with a fiery dip of mashed brinjal, onions and spices known as chokha. A must try for its unmatchable taste!

8. Jadoh

Originated from: Meghalaya

What is it: Red rice cooked with pork

Traditional touch: Traditionally cooked with pork blood and black sesame seeds to bring on the punch of flavour

This is one authentic Khasi dish that involves cooking red rice in a generous amount of pork fat. Quite similar like the famous biriyani, Jadoh is also rice cooked in meat. The local people enjoy Jadoh Snam which is a more authentic variation cooked in pork or chicken blood to add a distinct metallic taste to the rice. However, the addition of blood has to be done quite carefully as it can enhance as well as bring down the taste.

9. Unidhiyu

Originated from: Gujarat

What is it: Vegetable curry slow cooked in an even pulp

Traditional touch: Traditionally cooked upside-down in earthen pots, heated from above

This traditional Indian food can be prepared in as many vegetables as you can think of, and is packed with nutrition and goodness to give you a healthy meal option. Served as a side curry, Unidhiyu is a blend of vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, eggplant, green beans, peas, purple yam, and other seasonal vegetables. Mostly cooked in winter when there are plenty of vegetables grown and available for Unidhiyu. The most interesting part is the cooking procedure that is done in earthen pots placed upside down and cooked from above.

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