India is a multicultural country with different states offering different cultures and beautiful landscapes. And with the diversity comes diversity in food. Although all the 29 states are not mentioned here on the list, we have come up with some interesting places and food for our top 20 list. And here are the Top 20 states, 20 popular food.
1. Jammu and Kashmir/ Tabak Maaz
Kashmir is famous for its landscape and sceneries. And it also is popular for the delicious food and the intricacies in preparing it. One of the food which is served in Wazwan is also perhaps one of the most popular dishes. Tabak Maaz is a dish made from the ribs of a lamb which is first cooked in spices and then fried in hot oil. It is the barbeque ribs version of the Kashmiris and also a flavour bursting food. So if you’re ever in the Hills and Valleys of Kashmir, give this food a try.
2. Punjab/ Lassi
Some may argue if Lassi really deserves to be on this list when there are many other Punjabi foods such as the Tandoori chicken, Butter chicken, Saarson ka saag, etc. However, Punjabis are both vegetarian and non-vegetarian so all the other heavenly non-vegetarian food may not be acceptable to the vegetarians. In all arguments there is one food shared and enjoyed by all the people of Punjab and that is Lassi. A sweet creamy drink made from curdled milk that is refreshing and good for you.
3. Rajasthan/Dal Bati Churma
This is a simple food which is considered a farmer’s food due to the inexpensive and easy way of preparing it. The Churma is a ball of bread or cake made from crushed wheat which is roasted and then smothered with ghee and Dal Bati is a simple lentil dish which complements and goes well with the Churma.
The savoury yellow cake from the land of the Gujaratis, the one and only Dhokla… It’s light, it’s fluffy, it’s colourful and it’s flavourful. The Dhoklas are made from fermented rice and chickpeas batter which is then mixed with chillies, coriander, etc and then steamed for 15 to 20 minutes.
5. Maharashtra/Vada Pav
It is like they say that if you want to eat something authentic, go to the place where it all began. In this case the not-so-authentic food on our list is Vada-Pav. It is a simple fast food which consists of a bun and a spicy patty made out of mashed potato mixed with spices then coated with gram batter and then fried in hot oil. The Indian Burger is what we would like to call it because of the similar nature of the food in terms of the concept and the visuals. It is served with sweet buns smothered with some chutney.
If there is one thing Goa and the Goans are blessed with, it is the rich heritage of the Portuguese which can be seen in their architect and their cuisine. The Chouricos are spicy sausages made out of pork which is smoked to give the sausages that intense Smokey flavour. This is an authentic food which is eaten in households and during festive seasons. If you’re ever in Goa, forget about the beach for a minute an go try your hands on the spicy Chouricos.
7. Tamil Nadu/Chicken 65
The name 65 comes from the year when this chicken dish was first introduced in a restaurant of The Hotel Buhari. It is considered a snack or an entree dish which is attributed by the use of red chillies. It is a deep fried spicy chicken dish which can be served as it is or with other garnishes. It may not be the standard home food or the states favourite food but it is definitely a worthy food that was originated here in Chennai.
8. Bihar/ Litti
The Litti is made from baked gram flour which is mixed with onions, coriander, chillies, lime juice, etc and then stuffed into wheat flour balls and then fried. The best accompaniments to these little spicy balls are ghee or chokha or curd etc.
9. Jharkhand/Chilka Roti
Chilka Roti is a type of morning snack that is eaten extensively by the people of Jharkhand. The roti is made out of rice and channa dal which is soaked and then grinded together to make a batter. The batter is then cooked over a hot tawa. The Chilka Roti can be eaten with chutneys or other dishes. And because the roti is tender and soft and delicious, it earns our spot in the list.
10. Assam/ Masoor Tenga
Assam is blessed and fertile land with rivers like the Bhramaputra which flows through the state. And it’s no wonder that with rivers comes fishing, and one of Assam most popular dish is the Masoor Tenga, which means sour fish. It is a dish that is made in simple manner with light spices and it goes best with rice.
11. West Bengal/Illish Maacher Jhol
If you want to know about how much the people of West Bengal love their fish you can try by taking part in a traditional Bengali wedding. A lavish meal without fish is incomplete. There are many fish curries and dishes in the Bengali cuisine so here is one dish that resonates with the common Bengali people. The illish maacher jhol which means the Hilsa fish curry is an aromatic and tasty curry which uses limited amount of spices and good chunks of fresh fish. The fishes are not pre-fried and the use of raw fish is the norm. This actually transforms this dish into a nice fish curry with all the fresh fish flavours in the gravy. So come to Bengal and try their Illish fish curry.
12. Telangana/Hyderabad Biryani
We may not know much about Hyderabad. But the one thing we do know about the place is the famous Hyderabadi Biryani. This is the food of the Mughals and their soldiers, the colourful saffron flavoured rice and the delectable fried onions with mint chutneys, etc. This is one food we all love, especially the meat lovers. Be it chicken or mutton or even the Vegetarian Biryani, this is one food which helps make the state even more popular.
The white cylindrical cake is a typical breakfast food consumed by the people in Kerala. The Puttu is made out of rice flour and grated coconut with a little bit of salt which gives this food an interesting texture and taste. The mixture is poured into a cylindrical shaped containers and steamed. The final result is a beautiful white cylindrical cake which is ready to be served with chutneys and bananas or other savoury dishes like kadala curry. Who says breakfast has to be boring when you can make colourful and funky shapes out of your food?
14. Madhya Pradesh/Bhutte ka Kees
Bhutte ka Kees is a spicy dish made from corn and assorted spices. This simple food is as good as it gets with all the flavours and wonderful aroma of the corn. The dish can be made with grated corn or with mixture of whole and broken corns depending on the texture that you prefer.
Thukpa is a soup noodle dish which is fairly popular around India. And if you want to try a proper Thukpa, come to Sikkim and order a bowl of hot delicious and healthy Thukpa. Although there are many other dishes consumed by the Sikkimese people, it is a fact that Thukpa is quite popular there just like the aloo paranth is in Punjab.
Singju is a type of side dish or a salad which is eaten along with other dishes in a proper and traditional Manipuri cuisine. The dish is made by throwing in mixtures of lotus stem, chickpeas,greens and Ngri (salted fermented dried fish). And if salad is not your thing then try the other famous Manipuri dishes such as the black rice Kheer or the Nga Atoiba Thongba(mashed fish curry). I’m positive you would love it.
17. Nagaland/Pork With Bamboo Shoot
If you go to Nagaland and you don’t find Pork, you’re probably in the wrong state. The Nagas loves pork and it’s no surprise that this particular dish is enjoyed and relished by all. This amazing dish is made by stewing pieces of Pork with fermented or dried bamboo shoots, garlic, ginger, chillies etc. The finished result is a tasty and delectable treat for your palate. So the next time you want to eat pork, cook it in a Naga style with the fermented/dry bamboo shoots. Just like butter and garlic goes well together, bamboo shoots and pork goes great together.
The Mughals have their Biryani and the Khasi people have Jadoh, a dish made from cooking rice and pork together with mixtures of garlic, ginger, chillies, turmeric, onions, etc. It has all the elements of a good and hearty dish. It is a common food eaten by the Khasi people in Meghalaya. A dish that lights up your day and fills up your stomach.
Khichidi is a combination of rice, coconut milk, spices, and lentils which is all cooked together in a pot. It’s a vegetarian recipe which gives this dish a plus point in terms of health food.
20. Chattisgarh/Red Ant Chutney
We saved the best for the last and now on our top 20 spot we have the Red Ant Chutney, a dish adored by the people of Chattisgarh. This food is for the brave of heart and the adventurous spirited people. The Red Ant Chutney is actually quite a tasty dish with a bit of tanginess and a slight hit of the garlic and the chillies. The ants and their larvae are collected from their nest in tree tops which is then cleaned and prepared. So the next time you feel adventurous, give this Chutney a try. It is worth it.