Indian food is among the most popular and often consumed cuisines in the world. Popular Indian Food includes a wide variety of curries, rice dishes, meats, veggies, and breads, all of which are seasoned with a variety of traditional spices. Despite the fact that regional and state-specific specialties differ, spices and flavors are generally comparable no matter where you are in the world.
India never stops surprising you in whatever way, whether it is through culture, history, traditions, or cuisine. If you move 150 miles, you will notice that the food changes along with the culture, whether you are hiking in the high mountains of the north or lounging on the beaches of the south.
Top 17 Popular Indian Foods
In order to help you navigate the huge food world of India, we’ve put up this list of the top 17 traditional dishes you simply must try. These 17 Everyday best Indian food menus are loaded with nutritious ingredients, such as nutritious grains, lean meats, and a tonne of fresh fruits.
In India, “chaat” describes a variety of small snacks, dishes, and street food that frequently mixes the flavors of salt, spice, sweetness, and sourness. In addition to loaded bread and deep-fried pastries with dipping sauces, they sell a range of dishes.
- Ingredients: Crisp fried dough, boiled potatoes, chickpeas, yogurt, chutneys, and spices.
- Price: Affordable street snack.
- Best Places: Iconic spots like Chandni Chowk in Delhi and Chowpatty Beach in Mumbai.
Idli is a popular Indian dish in many South Indian households. It is made by steaming a batter made of fermented rice and lentils. These piping hot, savory cakes are commonly consumed on their own, dipped in chutney or sambar, or spiced with a variety of herbs and spices.
- Idli Ingredients: Fermented rice and lentil batter, Aromatic herbs and spices.
- Price: An economical and wholesome dish.
- Best Places to Savor: Authentic renditions found in South Indian households, Notable eateries in regions like Chennai or Bengaluru.
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3. Vada Pav
Vada Pav is a popular Indian nation food sandwich-style snack from Mumbai that gets its name from its two main components: pav, or white bread rolls, and vada, or spicy mashed potatoes that are deep-fried in chickpea batter.
- Vada Pav Highlights: Spiced potato fritter (vada), soft bun (pav), Enhancements: Delectable chutneys (coriander, tamarind), Distinctive Flavor: Tantalizing mix, hint of garlic, green chilies.
- Affordability: Pocket-friendly, flavorful street snack
- Go-To Spots: Mumbai, various street corners across India
4. Masala Dosa
A batter of soaked rice and black lentils is pounded into a pulp and combined to create a thick batter to make the masala dosa, a common southern traditional Indian dish.
It is frequently topped with grated coconut and chopped coriander after being baked into a thin pancake on a hot, oiled griddle and filled with potatoes, onions, and mustard seeds.
- Ingredients: Thin, crispy rice crepe, Spiced potato mixture
- Price: Affordable street snack
- Best Places: Popular eateries in South India like MTR in Bangalore or Sagar Ratna in Delhi
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A tamarind-based soup made with lentils and vegetables is called sambar. Although it comes from Tamil Nadu, South India as a whole enjoys great popularity with it. Traditional accompaniments to the dish include steaming rice or a variety of best Indian flatbreads.
- Ingredients: Flavorful lentil soup, Pigeon peas, tamarind, various vegetables
- Price: Economical, often complimentary with dosa and idli
- Best Places: South Indian restaurants worldwide, Murugan Idli Shop in Chennai or Mavalli Tiffin Room in Bangalore
6. Gol Gappe, Puchka, and Panipuri
These tiny, crisp round pieces are filled with chickpea tamarind paste, potato, onion, and seasoned water. It is small enough to fit entirely inside the mouth and is offered for sale throughout India under a variety of names, including Puchka in West Bengal.
The most popular change involves replacing the spiced water with a little amount of whisky or rum, which elevates the flavor to incredible heights.
- Ingredients: Hollow, crispy puris filled with a mix of tangy tamarind water, mashed potatoes, chickpeas, and spices.
- Price: Affordable street snack, usually sold in small portions.
- Best Places: Street vendors across India, especially popular in cities like Delhi, Kolkata, and Mumbai.
7. Chole Bhature
Chole Bhature is the best street food, which is traditional Punjabi breakfast made up of fluffy fried bread called Bhature and a substantial chickpea soup called Chole.
- Ingredients: Soft, fluffy fried bread (bhature) paired with a spicy chickpea curry (chole).
- Price: Generally an affordable street food option.
- Best Places: North India, such as Giani’s Di Hatti in Delhi or Sita Ram Diwan Chand in Paharganj.
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8. Masala chai
Masala chai is offered by chaiwallas, is a kind of this traditional Indian tea that can only be found in India, even though it is sold in many different diluted forms throughout the world.
- Ingredients: Aromatic tea brewed with a blend of spices like cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves, mixed with milk and sugar.
- Price: Typically an inexpensive beverage, a staple in Indian households.
- Best Places: roadside stalls, local tea shops, and even high-end cafes across India, Kolkata’s chai stalls or Mumbai’s Irani cafes.
Pakora is a savory, deep-fried Indian snack made with cubes of meat or veggies of your choosing, which are then coated in chickpea flour, seasoned with turmeric, salt, chilli, or other spices, and then deep-fried in ghee.
It is a classic Indian snack that can be easily obtained on many street corners. Locals prefer to consume fried meals in the spring to commemorate the monsoon season.
- Ingredients: Fritters made by dipping vegetables, often onion slices, in spiced chickpea flour batter and deep-frying until crispy.
- Price: Generally an economical street snack.
- Best Places: local eateries throughout India, with a special touch at places like Sarafa Bazaar in Indore or Gali Paranthe Wali in Delhi.
10. Butter Chicken
The world loves butter chicken; it is not just a favorite in India. However, this is a rather modern design in terms of traditional foods dishes. The dish was made on the fly for a busload of refugees. However, the combination of tomato-cream sauce flavored with spices and served with tandoori chicken was a hit and quickly became well-known throughout the country.
- Ingredients: Tender chicken cooked in a rich and creamy tomato-based curry, flavored with butter, cream, and a blend of aromatic spices.
- Price: Typically a moderate to slightly higher-priced dish, often considered a special treat.
- Best Places: Featured on menus of Indian restaurants globally, with renowned spots like Moti Mahal in Delhi or Bukhara in Mumbai known for their iconic Butter Chicken.
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11. Pyaaj Ki Kachori
It is a common breakfast or evening snack from North India that is deep-fried and stuffed with potatoes and onions. Mint chutney should be served with it.
- Ingredients: Deep-fried pastry stuffed with a spicy mixture of finely chopped onions, spices, and sometimes lentils.
- Price: Generally an affordable and flavorful snack.
- Best Places: Found in local eateries and street food stalls across North India, with notable mentions like Rawat Mishtan Bhandar in Jaipur or Kota Kachori in Kota.
This Rajasthani dish includes a lentil preparation (dal) to pair with a particular type of hard bread (baati) fried in a traditional oven and a particular type of ground-wheat snack (named Churma) cooked with sugar and Indian butter (Ghee).
- Ingredients: Steamed wheat balls (baati), spiced lentils (dal), and coarsely ground wheat crumbs sweetened with jaggery (churma).
- Price: Reasonably priced, popular in Rajasthan.
- Best Places: Jaipur, multiple cities in Rajasthan.
13. Mutton Hyderabadi Biryani
A flavorful rice meal that is gently cooked in sealed containers with numerous spices, saffron, and marinated chicken or mutton. Available all over India in a variety of forms, be sure not to miss this.
Mutton Hyderabadi Biryani:
- Ingredients: Fragrant basmati rice and tender mutton pieces cooked in a blend of aromatic spices, saffron, and herbs.
- Price: Generally a moderate to higher-priced dish, considered a special and flavorful indulgence.
- Best Places: Hyderabad, renowned for its authentic Hyderabadi biryani
14. Dal Makhani
This is a classic Punjabi delicacy in which lentils and beans are simmered overnight in a tangy masala with the addition of dollops of fresh cream for a creamy finishing touch.
- Ingredients: Creamy black lentils and kidney beans slow-cooked with butter, cream, and a blend of aromatic spices.
- Price: Generally a moderately priced dish, appreciated for its rich and indulgent flavors.
- Best Places: Bukhara in Delhi or Kesar Da Dhaba in Amritsar known for their excellent Dal Makhani.
15. Rajasthani Gatte ki Sabzi
Gatta Curry, also known as Besan Gatte Ki Sabzi, is a specialty of the Indian state of Rajasthan. In this curry, spicy and sour yogurt sauce is used to cook chickpea flour dumplings. When you eat gatte pieces in vegetable curry as part of a Rajasthani lunch, you must never forget to order gatte ki sabzi.
Rajasthani Gatte ki Sabzi:
- Ingredients: Gram flour dumplings (gatte) simmered in a spiced yogurt-based curry.
- Price: Typically an affordable dish, popular in Rajasthan.
- Best Places: Enjoyed in local Rajasthani eateries and households, with notable mentions like Spice Court in Jaipur or Natraj Hotel in Udaipur.
The term “thali” is also used to describe an Indian-style lunch that is served on a platter and includes a variety of different foods dishes with different variations, such as North Indian Thalis and South Indian Thalis.
- Ingredients: curries, bread, rice, dal, chutney, and desserts, providing a wholesome and diverse dining experience.
- Price: Varied, with options ranging from budget-friendly to more elaborate thali experiences.
- Best Places: Found in traditional Indian restaurants across the country, with notable thali destinations including Kake Da Hotel in Delhi or Shree Thaker Bhojanalay in Mumbai.
17. Rogan Josh
A flavorful lamb meal called rogan josh features yogurt, caramelized onions, and a variety of spices. Pieces of lamb or mutton are cooked in a gravy flavored with garlic, ginger, and aromatic spices (cloves, bay leaves, cardamom, and cinnamon), and it is typically served with steaming rice.
- Ingredients: A flavorful Kashmiri curry made with tender meat, typically lamb or goat, cooked in a rich blend of aromatic spices, yogurt, and sometimes tomatoes.
- Price: Generally a moderately priced dish, appreciated for its aromatic and robust flavors.
- Best Places: Enjoyed in Indian restaurants worldwide, with notable renditions found at Dum Pukht in Delhi or Shalimar in Srinagar.
India is the ideal place to discover numerous well-known Indian delicacies, whether you’re craving tandoori chicken or want to sample dal for the first time. It can be a little scary for people who are unfamiliar with Indian cuisine to try it at restaurants or buffets. It can be thrilling and fun to try new and diverse foods from India, rather than intimidating, if you have some understanding of the historical and cultural backdrop of Indian cuisine and know how to translate some Indian food names near me.
Indian cuisine is full of an enticing variety of colors, textures, and aromatic spices to discover, ranging from unusual breads and deep-fried street dishes to rich curries and cooling beverages. Keep these top 17 Popular traditional dishes in India safe and prepared for a future vacation or foray into Indian cuisine.