Over the last few decades the regional cuisines of India have become hugely popular around the world, with a large number of iconic dishes becoming firm favourites in other countries. Here we present a selection of India’s best loved offerings!
In India Chaat is a hugely popular type of snack food, served from road side food stalls/carts. Traditionally chaat are made from a mixture of spices, chickpeas, pieces of potato and crispy fried bread. They are served with various garnishes, including yogurt, coriander, tamarind sauce and chilli.
Gajar Ka Halwa
This Punjabi desert is sweet and sticky and uses grated carrot as a base. The carrot is mixed with sugar, milk and water as well as raisins and nuts which have been softened in ghee (a form of clarified butter used in South Asian cookery). It can also be flavoured with cardamom.
The poppadom is perhaps one of India’s most iconic food exports. The cracker-like flatbreads are commonly made from lentil or chickpea flour. The flour is mixed with water and oil to make basic dough which is then shaped in circles and fried until crispy. Poppadoms are often served with chutneys at the beginning of an Indian meal, but can also be served as an accompaniment to a main dish.
This condiment is enjoyed in Bangladesh and Pakistan as well as India. The cooling yogurt mixed with seasonings like mint, coriander and cumin, makes a wonderful accompaniment to spicy curries or a tasty dip to go with poppadoms.
In India the flat, robust naan bread is often served with an assortment of dishes and used by diners as a means of scooping food off their plate. In some parts of India giant Karack naans are sometimes served during communal meals. There are several kinds of naan bread, including peshawari (which is flavoured with almonds and raisins) and keema (which is stuffed with minced, spiced meat).
The name tandoori chicken derives from the oven used to cook it (a tandoor). To make the dish chicken is marinated in yogurt, spices and lemon juice and then cooked at a very high heat. Traditional tandoor ovens are fired by wood and charcoal, giving the chicken a char-grilled, smoky flavour.