Indian Cuisine - Guide to Regional India Cuisines
There are so many different dishes to try when you are travelling in India. Some favourites include dosas, naan and paneer dishes. Note that some food places will expect you to eat like a true Indian and therefore eating with your hands is on the cards. Here you have to be quite careful as you should not eat with your left hand therefore will need to use your right hand to break up your bread, encase your liquids (curries) and take a full mouthful in one go. It can be challanging to start with but you will soon get the hang of it. Many places however will provide you with cutlery and therefore signifies that it is okay to eat in the western style. Remember to avoid tap water and make sure your plates and glasses are dry.
From the Bengal region comes bold flavours. Food is a big part of the culture here with rice being the main staple along with usually a fish, egg or vegetable curry dish. Their extensive use of spices and their multi-course meal layout differentiates Bengal from other regions. The Bengali people are also particularly imaginative, and have been known to create ambrosial dishes out of rejected vegetable peels!
Traditional dish: Macher Jhol (Fish in Gravy)
The Portuguese settled in Goa a good 500 years ago beginning the spicy Indo-European romance. The mix left Goa with the hot food mellowed in such a way as to be pleasing to the European palate. The cuisine is predominantly seafood orientated accompanied by rice.
Traditional dish: Ambot-Tik (Fish Curry)
Known for its diversity of cuisine, Punjabi meals often contain a lot of butter (known as ghee) and whole wheat. Many Punjabi dishes have made it onto westerners’ favourite lists such as tandoori chicken, butter chicken and chicken tikka masala.
Traditional dish: Tandoori chicken
Predominantly vegetarian, Rajasthani cuisine is rather spicier in comparison to other cuisines. They love their spicy curries and large variety of sweets. Contrary to western culture, they have put into practice what so many have wanted – they have dessert first! Yes that’s right; the sweet dishes are served before the main meal.
Traditional dish: Rajasthani thali
South Indian Cuisine
Lentils and chillies are used often in South Indian cuisine while they are known to be very partial to their sweets.
Traditional dish: pesarattu (mung bean pancake) and thayir sadam (yogurt rice)