India is a wonderland for foodies, and countless delicious local treats are still waiting to be discovered by the rest of our vast country. We bring you ten lip-smacking local Indian dishes that are native to a particular region of India but good enough for you to travel to taste them.
Poha Jalebi (Indore, Madhya Pradesh)
We have all had our share of Poha and Jalebi as individual entities and putting them together in a single sentence doesn’t usually ring a bell, unless you happen to live in Indore, of course. It is a household name there and is normally eaten as a meal for breakfast. Poha (flattened rice) is cooked with onions and served with Jalebi, which is a combination most people wouldn’t have heard of. If you’re planning to visit Madhya Pradesh anytime in the future, you have a new box to tick!
To relish this rare treat, visit Indore whenever you can. Do check out OYOs in Indore for your stay.
Dabeli, also known as Kutchi Dabeli is a snack that is widely adored across the state of Gujarat. It gets its name from the place it originated in – Kutch, which is the largest supplier of Dabeli masala. Boiled potatoes are mashed and then mixed with Dabeli masala and then put between pav/burger buns. It is often garnished with sev and pieces of pomegranate and also the chutney it is served with. What makes Dabeli stand out from the innumerable snacks made with bread is indeed the Dabeli masala which includes red chillies, black pepper, dried coconut, cinnamon, coriander et cetera.
Since this food item originated in Kutch, Gujarat, do visit the region if you want to taste the original Dabeli. Do check out OYOs in Ahmedabad and Rajkot, the two major cities located close to the Kutch region.
Kabiraji (West Bengal)
Kabiraji, also known as Bengali Fish fillets is a rather versatile recipe as the fish can be easily replaced with chicken. Fish fillets are coated with spices and a layer of beaten eggs, bread crumbs and besan, and then deep fried in oil. The dish is usually eaten as a snack and is served with chutney. The fish fillets can be replaced with chicken breasts as per one’s choice.
Kolkata is home to perhaps the best fish fillets in the world. In case you are planning a food tour in this city, do check out the OYOs in Kolkata.
Kappayum Meenum (Kerala)
If there’s one thing a non-vegetarian person in Kerala loves the most, it has to be Kappayum Meenum. One of my friends from Kerala insisted it is the best thing she has ever put in her mouth. Kappayum Meenum is basically made with tapioca and coconut. The tapioca is cut and boiled; the coconut is ground into a paste and added to the tapioca along with other spices. Kappayum Meenum is usually served with fish curry.
Ghevar is a dessert that is a household name in Rajasthan and many other northern states in India. It is mostly associated with Teej but can be pretty much eaten any time one wants to. That’s the funny thing about food. A batter of pouring consistency is made with all purpose flour which is then deep fried in ghee after which it is put to rest in sugar syrup for a while. It can be savoured after it has turned cold.
Panjiri, like Ghevar, is a dessert that is well known to the people of North India, especially Punjab. It is mostly served to pregnant women, as it has all the vital nourishment she needs, however, is delicious enough to make anyone’s mouth water. Essentially made with ghee, gond (edible gum crystals), makhana, sugar and whole wheat flour, almonds, semolina, cardamom et cetera are also used for a wonderful aroma.
Suji Manda (Odisha)
The best thing festivals bring, apart from gifts, is food. Loads of it. Suji Manda Pitha is one of those desserts that pop up in every festival and occasion, given that you live in Odisha. It is made with Suji (semolina) and shredded coconut. After cooking the semolina in water with sugar and ghee, little balls are made out of the cooked semolina with shredded coconut stuffed inside. The balls are then deep fried in oil. If you ever visit Odisha, make sure you get your hands on one of those. You’ll certainly want more.
Before you bite into the great Suji Manda in Odisha, do ensure you have booked an OYO for yourself in Bhubaneshwar.
Sundal (Tamil Nadu)
Sundal is an integral part of Navratri in Tamil Nadu. Apparently, nine varieties of Sundal are made on each of the nine nights of Navratri. Sundal, or Chana Sundal can be prepared using green peas, kala chana, rajma et cetera. The peas are soaked overnight. The next day, they are pressure cooked and then mixed with fried curry leaves, urad dal, red chillies and hing. It can be eaten as a quick snack, anytime.
To try Sundal, visit Chennai this season. You can book OYOs in Chennai here.
Yakhni (Jammu and Kashmir)
Yakhni is a mutton broth cooked with yoghurt and saffron. It is believed to have its origin in the Mughal Empire and was only brought to Kashmir after they invaded India. To make Yakhni, boneless mutton is cooked in a delicious mix of spices such as bay leaves, cinnamon, cumin seeds, and asafoetida and yoghurt is eventually added to the boiling water, along with saffron. Normally eaten with rice or served with pulao, this dish can be easily one of the best dishes the Mughals gave us. Any local will vouch for its delicious taste.
Bombay Duck Fish (Konkan Coast, Maharashtra)
You may ascribe to any of the multiple versions of the origin of the name (Bombay Daak or mail) but it is a delicacy that most fish-eating folk of the western coast will swear by. The fish is often dried before storing, and made into pickles with the addition of a lot of vinegar. The dried version is the staple accompaniment to a desi hooch. Fresh off the beach, cleaned but not deboned, it makes the freshest of breakfasts when had with pav or rice rotis. If ambrosia were to have an aquatic name, it would be Bombay Duck.
Visit Mumbai to experience this unique dish. Book your OYO in Mumbai here.
Looks mouth-watering, doesn’t it? Great new food is just another perk of travelling to new places.
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