If you’re traveling through the vibrant country of India and are wondering where you can go to try the traditional dishes then you’ve come to the right place! India is a diverse, culture-rich country with many delicious, traditional food to taste.
Different spices and herbs can be used to add to the taste of the traditional recipes so Indian food can vary slightly from place to place. We’ve put together a list of some popular, must-try, traditional Indian dishes and the best places to try them while you’re exploring the country.
Best Traditional Indian Food To Try Before Leaving This Glorious Country
Biryani is a traditional dish that varies in flavor, how it’s cooked, and ingredient combinations depending on the region.
Biryani is a very famous and popular Indian dish and makes for mouth watering meal. While the dish’s exact point of origin can’t be determined, there are certain places and regions in India it’s more associated with.
The various types of biryani include pukki, Hyderabadi, South Indian and more.
Best places to try Biryani in India
Lalla Biryani is a restaurant located in Chaupatiyan Chowk, Lucknow. Biryani in Lucknow is known as “pukki biryani” where the meat and rice is cooked separately and then layered onto one another to create the dish. Lalla’s biryani is made with care and precision to ensure you’re getting a perfect meal.
Hotel Shadab, in Hyderabad, is an old and popular hotel which serves traditional Hyderabadi biryani. This is the perfect place to go if you’re looking for an authentic meal to share with your family or friends.
Hyderabadi biryani is made with raw meat which is marinated in spices for hours before it’s added to the meal. Rice is then added with spicy yogurt over the meat in the preheated handi (a wide cooking vessel).
Only then is the meal slow cooked and sealed with dough.
Samosas are great as a snack or a starter course. A samosa is a small pocket of fried or baked dough which is filled different savory ingredients, such as potatoes, onions or peas seasoned with spices.
While they are usually a vegetarian dish, there are variants where meat is included. This delicious little snack is very popular and can usually be found at your local grocery store.
Best places to try Samosas in India
Manohar Dhaba in New Delhi serves an interesting variant of the traditional samosa, which you should definitely try. This small food joint serves the Japani Samosa, which involves 60 layers of crispy pastry filled with spiced potato.
Guru Kripa in Mumbai makes heaps of samosas every single day as people are always flocking to get some. If you’re in Mumbai you should definitely check out this eatery and their popular Chana Dal Samosas.
Tewari Sweets, located in Kolkata, serves deliciously spiced samosas wrapped in pastry that has been fired with ghee (clarified butter).
Idli are a sort of savory rice cake. The soft cake is a popular breakfast dish throughout the country and is a very healthy, low calorie meal.
Idli are made by steaming a combination of rice and fermented black lentils.
Idli can be paired with almost anything to make a meal that you will enjoy as they don’t have much flavor on their own. Different chutneys are usually paired with the dish.
Best places to try Idli in India
Murugan Idli Shop, in Chennai, serves amazingly soft and fully idli with spiced podi and four types of chutneys to taste it with.
Ramassery Idli, in Palakkad, uses the traditional Ramassery recipe for making idli, which is different to the general style in the rest of the country.
There are only a few places that know how to make this variation of idli, where each individual idli is made in its own container, which are then stacked together and steamed.
Tandoori chicken is a roast chicken dish, which is marinated in spiced yoghurt in a circular clay oven called a tandoor. It’s an extremely popular dish which can be found on pretty much every Indian restaurant’s menu.
It’s usually served with rice and naan bread to make a tasty, main meal.
Tandoori chicken is usually bright red or orange in colour due the use of chili powder, cayenne pepper, paprika or turmeric. The tandoori chicken is also used in many curry recipes as a base.
Best places to try Tandoori Chicken in India
Moti Mahal, in Delhi, is well known for its delicious tandoori chicken. It’s the perfect place to have a nice, authentic Indian dinner with your family or friends.
Chulha Chauki Da Dhaba is a restaurant in Bengaluru (Bangalore), which serves amazing North Indian cuisine along with their delicious and juicy tandoori chicken.
Pakora is a popular fried snack where one or two ingredients are dipped in a batter and then deep fried into a crispy state.
They are usually made with potatoes, onions, spinach or paneer (a type of cheese). Pakoras are generally served as a snack or appetizer with different condiments, such as chutney or raita.
Best places to try Pakora in India
Khandani Pakode Wala is a fast food joint in Delhi that serves some truly scrumptious pakoras that you can enjoy sharing as an appetizer.
They have 15 different varieties of the snack so there’s plenty of delicious options to choose from.
Imli is a very casual, comfortable restaurant in Bengaluru that is great to go relax and enjoy some snack at.
They serve plates of several assorted varieties of pakoras so you can enjoy the different tastes in the crunchy fritters.