The plethora of flavours of India are spread out far and wide, as anyone who has bothered to really delve into the regional food would tell you. It may not even be possible to quantify the number of regional dishes one can try in the various states, though we can come close to covering most of it if we make an effort.
There’s a good chance you’d need to travel to the respective states to really experience these ones, though it will all be worth it.
Misa Mach Poora, Mizoram
Misa Mach Poora is grilled/roasted shrimp done up in traditional Mizo style, and by that we mean inside a banana leaf and on a charcoal grill. The patient preparation is what gives it its signature flavour, and it can get pretty heavy on the spices. Note: A lot of the ingredients are only available locally or in certain supermarkets, so you’d need to make sure to get your hands on all of them in case you want to attempt cooking this on your own.
Chamani Qaliya, Kashmir
One of the not-so-famous Kashmiri dishes, Chamani Qaliya is a traditional dish made with paneer, though there’s so much more to it than that.
For one, it uses such a large variety of ingredients that you may have trouble even keeping track of them. These include turmeric, milk, green cardamom, dry ginger and many more. Its flavour, however, lies in the utensil it’s cooked in, which is a special kind of earthen pot.
Chak-Ha.o Kheer, Manipur
Chak-Hao Kheer is a special type of kheer from the state of Manipur, and you need to try it whenever you get the chance.
Made with black rice (which is increasingly making a comeback as a healthy alternative) and usually a dark purple in colour when cooked, Chak-Hao Kheer is a healthy dessert that is also pretty delicious. It’s also easy on the eye, which can be made even better if you garnish it.
Bhutte Ka Kees, Madhya Pradesh
Corn season varies according to where you are in India, which is why the dishes based around it are quite varied. Enter: Bhutte Ka Kees, a rather filling snack from Madhya Pradesh.
The best Bhutte Ka Kees can really only be tried on the streets of Indore. Made from grated corn and other sweet and sour ingredients, the dish looks more like halwa than anything else, though it’s anything but sweet - other than the natural sweetness of corn itself, which, along with the spices, gives it its tangy flavour.
Pandhi Curry, Karnataka
The south of India is a treasure trove of delicious food and breathtaking sights, and all the four states have their own culture to explore. Hailing from one of the most beautiful regions in Karnataka, Pandhi Curry is a Coorgi delicacy everyone needs to try at least once.
While the main ingredient is pork (with fat, as that’s essential to its flavour), the dish requires other regional ingredients to complete the flavour if you’re cooking at home. One of them is Kachampuli, a type of vinegar from Coorg. The dish is not very oily or with a lot of gravy – unlike curry dishes from many other places – though it can get very spicy if you have it somewhere in Karnataka.
Jadoh is a rice and meat-based delicacy we’d recommend to anyone looking for a taste of cuisine from Meghalaya.
While it may look like biryani or pulao to the untrained eye, it uses a different variety of rice as well as ingredients. It’s also not as oily as its north Indian counterparts. You may be able to conjure some variation of it at home if you try, but you’d really need to go to a small town in Meghalaya to have the real thing.
Kodi Vepudu, Andhra Pradesh
Many of us would expect food from the southern states to be spicy, though we really need to travel to Andhra Pradesh/Telangana for the real spices. Most Andhra food is heavy on the senses and justifiably so, seeing how delicious it is. Kodi Vepudu is a dry chicken dish that traces its roots to the region of Guntur, which can be credited for plenty of other spicy meat dishes from Andhra Pradesh. There’s a bunch of specific ingredients like coconut paste, roasted cashews, cinnamon sticks and others if you try to make this at home.
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