Food presents a way to understand everyday Indian culture as well as the complexities of identity and interaction with other parts of the world that are both veiled and visible.
India has several thousand castes and tribes, sixteen official languages and several hundred dialects, six major world religions, and many ethnic and linguistic groups. Food in India is an identity marker of caste, class, family, kin- ship, tribe affiliation, lineage, religiosity, ethnicity, and increasingly, of secular group identification.
Misal Pav – Mumbai
Misal pav is a popular dish from Maharashtra. It consists of misal and pav. The final dish is topped with farsan or sev, onions, lemon and coriander. It is usually served hot with bread or rolls toasted with butter and buttermilk or dahi and papad. It is served as a breakfast dish, as a snack and also as a full meal.
Makki Di Roti & Sarson Da Saag – Punjab
Makki di Roti is a corn meal Indian bread that tastes fabulous with ‘Sarson saag’ – mustard green and a glass of lassi. The dish is regarded as the traditional way to prepare saag and is usually served with makki di roti literally. It can be topped with either Makkhan (unprocessed white butter or processed yellow butter) or more traditionally with ghee.
Dhokla – Gujarat
Dhokla is a vegetarian culinary dish that is native to the Indian state of Gujarat and parts of adjacent states. Although a Gujarati delicacy, it is also commonly served in other parts of India. It is made with a fermented batter derived from legumes like Chickpea, Pigeon pea and Urad and rice.
Pongal – Tamil Nadu
Pongal, also known as pongali or huggi, is an Indian rice dish. In Tamil, “pongal” means “boil” or “bubbling up”. The two varieties of pongal are chakarai pongal, which is sweet, and venn pongal, which is savoury and made with clarified butter.
Litti Chowkha – Bihar
Litti, also called Baati sometimes, along with chokha, is a complete meal that originated from the Bhojpuri region of the Indian states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. It is a dough ball made up of whole wheat flour and stuffed with gram flour, pulses and mixed with herbs and spices.
Goan Fish Curry – Goa
Goan Fish Curry is a warm, spicy and tangy fish curry that is packed with coastal flavors. To those who are now aware of Goa. All you need is any white flesh fish, tamarind paste, grated coconut, green chilies, onion, refined oil, water and a melange of spices and you are good to go. This traditional Goan recipe is bursting with flavors that will blow your mind.
Kafuli – Uttarakhand
Kafuli is a delicacy of Uttarakhand prepared out of leafy greens such as palak (spinach) and methi (fenugreek) leaves. It is also known as Dhapdi in Garhwal.
Appam – Kerala
Appam is a type of pancake made with fermented rice batter and coconut milk. The origin of Appam is disputed and potential sources of origin might be Sri Lanka or the southern tip of India. It is a common food in Sri Lanka and the Indian state of Kerala where it is eaten most frequently for breakfast or dinner.
Dal Baati Churma -Rajasthan
Dal Bati Churma is the most popular item in Rajasthani cuisine. It is made of three items of bati, dal, and churma. Dal is lentils, bati is a baked wheat ball, and churma is powdered sweetened cereal. Churma is a popular delicacy usually served with baatis and dal. It is coarsely ground wheat crushed and cooked with ghee and sugar. Traditionally it is made by mashing up wheat flour baatis or left over rotis in ghee and jaggery.
Bisi Bele Bath – Karnataka
Bisi bele bhath or bisi bele huliyanna is a spicy, rice-based dish with origins in the state of Karnataka, India. It is said to have originated in the Mysore Palace and it took 100 years for the dish to come out from the place and another 200 years to spread across the state of Karnataka.