They say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Since ages, India has been under different influences and this has affected the food and cuisines around it. With various different cultures around its large spread land, India has a variety of flavors and palates.
In North India alone, we can explore many different cuisines as we travel through the various states. Each state has its special food and signature dish which distinguishes it from the others. Among so many varieties and options, we often get confused about which are the tastiest dishes.
So, keeping this in mind, we have compiled a list of some of the most delicious cuisines and their signature dishes. Though we are sure there will always be tastier stuff waiting, read along to find out about some dishes worth trying.
Famous in the Awadh and Lucknow regions, this cuisine mainly focuses on spices and aromas. It is especially known for the Dum style of cooking which is essentially slow-paced cooking on a typical gas Chulha or oven.
Definitely try out the delicious kebabs such as Tunde kebabs, galawati kebabs, and seekh kebabs. For the main course, you can go for the Navratan korma or Shahi Korma along with Chapati or Naan. Tehri is a special vegetable pulao. The sweets usually consist of various types of Halwas made of cereals, sooji, or wheat.
It also has a variety of Chaats like the ragda patties, Sev puri Pakori chat, Chana Chaat and basket Chaat.
As the name suggests, this form of cooking is highly popular in the hilly regions like Himachal Pradesh. Kown for being infused with Pahadi flavours and spices, it offers something for everyone.
Vegetarians should definitely try out the curries like Madrah ( cooked with white peas ), Bhey ( stems of lotus shoots cooked with gram flour), and Siddu ( a type of stuffed Baati/ bread ).
For the nonveg lovers, the Kullu trout is a must-have fish. Among the meaty options, we have Pahadi chicken, Chaa gosht ( lamb meat), and Luchi Poti ( made of Lamb’s intestine).
The Dhaam is a community feast like the Langars in Punjab. If you ever get to partake in this, make sure to thank your stars and eat to your heart’s fill.
This cuisine is especially known for the Tandoors or clay ovens which are widely used in cooking. This ensures that the food is well cooked and infused with all the aromas and is good to chew.
The most popular Punjabi dish is the aloo paratha which is like a stuffed flatbread. It can have various variants like Paneer paratha, Laccha Paratha, or other flatbreads like the Kulcha or Naan. These are served with various gravies like Butter Chicken, Chole or Matar Paneer. Also do not forget the Makki di roti and Sarso da saag when you visit.
The starters which are a must-try include the Tandoori chicken, malai tikka, and Paneer tikka. They also have red sauce and green sauce variants and are usually served alongside fresh mint chutney ( a type of sauce) and some raw onions with a dash of Lemon. Mouth-watering, right?
Punjabi cuisine also boasts of a variety of sweet drinks like Lassi, Makhni doodh, and Falooda. The Falooda is a heavenly dessert that should be enjoyed at least once in your lifetime.
Bought into India by the Mughal rulers, it strongly influenced the cuisines around India like Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan along with almost the whole of North India. It mainly focuses on non-vegetarian cooking and consists of various meats that are eaten.
The Shorba is a type of hot soup or stew infused with many aromatic spices. It can also contain finely chopped vegetables or meat called Keema. This is followed by various starters again consisting of different types of Kebabs. These include Chapli kebab and Shammi Kebab.
For the main course, you can have the Murgh Mussalam, Aloo gosht or Shahi Paneer ( yes, vegetarians, we have you covered!) along with the Royal Mughlai Paratha. The Biryani is of course one of the most important and famous dishes of this cuisine. It is made with chicken or mutton and served with raita.
Do try out the Haleem which is minced meat and legumes cooked overnight with a rich variety of spices in a Chulha or stove. It is so tasty that you will surely remember this taste for a lifetime.
One article can surely not do justice to the innumerable cuisines in the North of India. We will keep trying to cover the other delicious types of cooking from time to time in other articles.