India, a country with over 1.2 billion people has an incredibly diverse culture and cuisine. India is home to hundreds of different languages and customs which have been shaped by the region it inhabits as well as its history.
The diversity in Indian food is also a result of this rich cultural heritage that brings together influences from other countries such as China, England, France, Greece and Italy.
What are the popular Indian foods? India is home to some of the most popular foods in the world. From Curry, Dosa, Samosa, Chana masala to Biryani rice, there are hundreds of dishes that make up this cuisine.
The cuisine of India is just as colorful and varied as its population, so it’s no surprise that there are some popular dishes among Indians everywhere.
Some of these foods may be new to you, but they’re all worth trying! Here are 15 of the most popular Indian foods you need to try!
Biryani is a rice dish that originated in the Indian subcontinent. The word “biryan” means “fried before cooking”. It’s typically made with spices, rice (usually basmati), meat or vegetables, and nuts. Biryani has origins in Persia where it was served by nomadic tribes who traveled from place to place.
The dish is now popular across South Asia but it still remains the most popular dish of Pakistan and India. There are many varieties of biryani, depending on region or household recipe, including chicken biryani, mutton biryani, etc.
Biryani can be eaten as a main meal or as an appetizer called korma which is often served at weddings and other celebrations. The dish is commonly prepared using basmati rice, ghee, onions, yogurt and either saffron or kewra (pandanus) to give it an aroma.
Dosas (also known as dosai and dossa) are crispy, savory crêpes that originated in the Indian subcontinent.
Dosa is a thin pancake made from fermented batter. It can be created with various ingredients such as rice, black gram and urad dal (black lentils).
Dosas are usually around 2 mm thick and can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner. They’re often stuffed with savory filling such as potatoes or vegetables and served with chutney, sambar and other sauces. Dosas can also be made sweet by adding sugar, fruits or chocolate.
Samosas are savory pastries that originate from the Indian subcontinent. The name “samosa” is derived from the Urdu word “sambusak”.
Samosas are triangle shaped and made from dough that’s either fried or baked. They’re traditionally stuffed with spiced potatoes; however, they may also be stuffed with other vegetables such as cauliflower and peas.
Some variations of samosa use ground meat instead of potatoes to create a more savory pastry. Samosas are often served with chutney, tamarind sauce or onion rings. They can also be eaten as a snack or appetizer.
Tandoori chicken is a popular dish that’s made using chicken that’s been marinated in a yogurt and spice mixture. The chicken is then cooked in a tandoori oven, which is a cylindrical clay oven.
Tandoori chicken is usually red in color due to the spices used in the marinade. The dish is popular in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh and can be found at most Indian restaurants.
The spices that are used to marinate tandoori chicken help preserve the meat and give it a distinctive flavor. The dish is also very good for you as it contains low levels of fat, which can clog arteries.
Chaat is a type of savory Indian fast food that’s typically made from puffed rice, chickpeas, potato and yogurt. The word “chaat” means “to lick”.
Chaat is believed to have originated in Uttar Pradesh, India. It’s a popular street food that’s eaten all over India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Chaat is also very popular among the Indian diaspora around the world.
The dish varies depending on where it’s prepared but common ingredients include chutney, coriander, samosa, onion, lemon juice and chaat masala. It may also be served with sliced fruit, such as apples and pineapples. Chaat is a healthy snack that’s high in protein, vitamins and minerals.
Chana masala is a popular dish made from chickpeas that’s found in the Indian subcontinent. The dish is also known as chole masala, channay, chholay or kabuli channa.
The ingredients used to make chana masala vary regionally, but the dish typically contains chickpeas, tomatoes, onions and a variety of spices. The dish is often served with naan bread or bhature. Chana masala is a healthy and nutritious dish that’s high in fiber and protein.
Rogan josh is a popular mutton dish that’s found in the Indian subcontinent. The name “rogan josh” means “red lamb”.
The dish is made from lamb meat that’s been cooked in a gravy of tomatoes, onions and spices. The gravy is typically a bright red color, hence the name of the dish. Rogan josh is traditionally served with rice, naan bread or chapati.
Papadums are thin, crispy discs made from black gram or lentils that are found in the Indian subcontinent. The word “papad” means “merchandise”, as the discs were often traded to local merchants as a form of currency during India’s Buddhist period.
Papadums are typically served as an appetizer or snack. They’re often eaten with chutney, yoghurt or pickles. Papadums can also be used to scoop up curries and sauces.
Kathi roll is a popular Indian street food that’s made from a wrap of flatbread filled with spiced chicken or lamb. The dish is named after the kathi, which is a type of sharp, curved knife used to slice the rolls.
Kathi rolls are typically served with onion rings, chutney and a green chili sauce. They can be eaten as a snack or a light meal. The dish is popular in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Sambar is a popular South Indian dish that’s made from lentils, vegetables and spices. The dish is typically served with rice, idli or dosa.
The ingredients used to make sambar vary depending on the region but typically include lentils, tamarind paste, vegetables and a variety of spices. Sambar is a healthy and nutritious dish that’s high in protein, fiber and vitamins.
Jalebi is a popular Indian sweet that’s made from flour and yogurt. The dish is often served with chai tea or falooda.
The main ingredients of jalebi are maida, sugar and food coloring. It’s deep fried in oil until it becomes crisp. A syrup is then prepared from sugar that’s cooled and added to the jalebi. Jalebi is a popular dessert that’s typically eaten as a snack or at festivals such as Diwali.
Chapati is a popular Indian flatbread that’s made from wheat flour. The dish is typically cooked on a tava, which is a type of griddle.
Chapati is a healthy and nutritious dish that’s low in fat and calories. It’s typically eaten as an accompaniment to a main meal or curry. It can also be eaten as a snack, rolled up with vegetables and sauces inside.
Kofta is a popular Indian dish that’s made from minced meat, such as lamb, beef or chicken. The dish is usually cooked in a gravy of tomatoes, onions and spices.
The koftas can be either fried or cooked in the gravy. They’re often served with rice, naan bread or chapati. Kofta is a healthy and nutritious dish that’s high in protein and fiber.
Kulfi (Indian Ice Cream)
Kulfi is a popular Indian dessert that’s made from reduced milk, sugar and nuts. It’s flavored with cardamom and saffron or rose extract.
Kulfi is usually sold by street vendors throughout India and Pakistan. The dish was originally prepared by the Mughals in the 16th century for the Mughal emperors. It’s usually eaten as a dessert or snack after dinner.
Curry is a hot and spicy dish that’s popular in the Indian subcontinent. The term “curry” refers to both the sauce and the dish that it’s served with, such as chicken or lamb curry. In India, people often refer to curry dishes as “kari” which means stewed vegetables or meat cooked in spices.
Curry originated from India but has become popular throughout Southeast Asia due to trade routes.
Curry is typically made from a blend of different spices including turmeric, garlic, ginger and red chili peppers which are blended together with a liquid such as coconut milk or yoghurt for a thick sauce called masala.
The type of meat used in curry varies across countries but usually includes beef, goat, lamb or chicken although seafood is also used in some parts of India.
These are just some of the popular Indian foods that you’ll find throughout the country. There are many other dishes that can be added to this list, such as tandoori chicken, biryani and pakoras.
So, if you’re ever in India, be sure to try some of these delicious dishes. You won’t be disappointed. Thanks for reading!