If you’ve never heard the acronym I.N.D.I.A – INDIA I’ll Never Do It Again, you’ll understand the second you arrive and leave this awesome country. But the thing about the acronym is that it’s true for about 24 hours after you leave, any time longer than that and you’re longing to back. I don’t know what it is about India but once it has you, it really has you.
Of course India is a country which is famous for its scenic beauty, culture, tradition, linguistic diversity and above all food. It is a country of distinctive variety where people of all religion, culture, and language stay united. This is what gives a unique character to the place. This diversity has given birth to a large number of cuisines in India; many of which has earned prominence internationally too. So maybe it’s the food that keeps people coming back, it’s certainly something to do with it anyway – when you make it here, don’t miss out on these five dishes:
1. Idlis and Sambar: – A south Indian flavorful cake made by steaming a batter of fermented black lentils and rice. And this is usually served with sambar which is a vegetable stew. This is one of the most famous of all the south Indian dishes. It is not only light but, tasty too. Its popularity can be accounted from the fact that even the World Health Organization has declared it as one of the most nutritious and safe food to have outside home. It is nutritious as it is made with lentils a protein rich ingredient which is fermented and it is safe because it is steamed and does not contain any fatty ingredients. Idlis and Sambar is an ideal dish for breakfast. Healthy, cheap and delicious?! This is a real winner!
2. Mughlai:-This cuisine comprises of dishes that were prepared mostly in the kitchens of the royal Mughal Emperors in India. It is an elaborate buffet of main dishes with a large assortment of accompaniments. On eating Mughlai food, one can get a feel of the ground spices. The spices used in the preparation of Mughlai food are easily available. Mughlai food is a specialty among the people residing in the Northern parts of the country. Some of the Mughlai dishes have Muslim names such as Biryiani, pulao, kebabs, and kofta. The rich preparation of Mughlai food consisting of flavored sauces and butter based curries is so tempting that you are sure to crave for more. Once you sample Mughlai food, you’ll be dreaming about having it again for the rest of your life. You have been warned.
3. Aloo Paratha with Sweet Curd or Dahi: – Parathas are basically Indian flatbread made with whole-wheat. It assumes the name of Aloo (potato) Paratha when the flatbread is stuffed with potato and various other fillings. It is the most favorite dish of the Punjabis. The Paratha is generally cooked with pure desi ghee and hence, it contains lots of fats & cholesterol in it. But it’s very delicious to eat. The Punjabis make various kinds of parathas like Gobhi paratha, onion paratha etc. Often eaten as a breakfast, this is a cracking way to start your day.
4. Dal-Bati, Raabdi & Ghevar: – Bati is basically firm, unleavened bread which is eaten with dal a preparation of thick stew made from pulses. Ghevar is a traditional Rajasthani sweet made in various varieties and is usually disc-shaped while Raabdi is a dish made with yogurt, flour, muth and bajre ki roti. These are the three most famous Rajasthani Dishes. Rajasthani people generally prefer to use milk, butter milk, or butter in an unusually large quantity so as to minimize the amount of water used while cooking food. It’s very much known to us that Rajasthan suffers a problem of scarcity of water hence; this is how they prefer to substitute for the loss. This gives birth to a very original set of dishes, all of which are delicious!
5. Ilish fish paturi:- Ilish macher Paturi is a preparation of Hilsha Fish cooked in Banana Leaf along with a range of spices. This is one of the most famous of all the Bengali foods. Bengali’s are generally fond of spicy food and usually prefer fish more than anything else. In fact the staple food of the people of Bengal is rice and fish. The land of Bengal is always stocked with a wide variety of fish, the popular ones being salmon, Hilsha, bhekti, magur, carp, rui and prawns and this account for the huge popularity of fish preparation in delicious variety.
India’s food will blow you away really. It has a reputation for bringing on the infamous ‘delhi-belly’ but I’ve been to India 3 times now and have been sick only once so don’t believe the negative hype! That being said, a couple of Imodium tablets in your bag never go amiss – I know I certainly could have done with them when I had to jump off a moving bus leaving my bags and everything on the bus with friends, hoping to manage to meet them 8 hours later in Delhi. A long story for another time! Happy Travels!