5 Indian Food Staples You Need to Try At Least Once
An amalgamation of bold spices, rich notes, and spicy kick on India’s delectably diverse take on the country’s cuisine, there’s no doubt that a wide array of Indian dishes can truly excite your senses. Indian cuisine is a blend of several diverse influences, including the traditional cuisine of the Indian subcontinent, influences from Central Asia and the Middle East, and British colonial influences.
People know that Indian food is noted for its strong, aromatic and flavorful finish, including mustard and other oils, and its use and blending of mineral ingredients such as turmeric, coriander, red chilli, tamarind, and ginger in every robust bite. But other than the usual red curries, what else should you include in your gastronomic exploration of Indian cuisine?
Must-Try Food Indian Staples to Eat and Enjoy
1. Dal Makhani
One of India’s most popular dal recipes, Dal Makhani, is a creamy, rich and hearty lentil dish. Every bite offers a thick, spicy and savoury take on red lentils, tempered with butter until everything thickens and coats the lentils, resulting in a deliciously lavish texture.
Dal Makhani is typically served with naan or rice, but whatever you choose, you can be sure that the dish is as healthy as it is hearty.
2. Masala Dosa
Contrary to popular belief, Masala Dosa is actually more of an Indian savoury pancake, but with a twist. Unlike some savoury pancakes, a Masala Dosa is typically served with a spicy lentil filling, in this case, spiced with mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves, green chilli, and served with chutneys and sambar.
3. Butter Chicken
Butter chicken, another popular Indian recipe, is incredibly versatile, filled with spices and a delicious blend of tender chicken and a creamy, buttery sauce. The chicken is marinated in yogurt and a blend of garam masala and then cooked in a mix of butter, cream, tomato purée and ground cashew nuts.
A specialty of North India, the dish is named after its creamy and rich tastes and texture. Cooked in a spiced tomato sauce, the dish is typically served with naan.
You can never go wrong with an Indian samosa and, depending on where you are in the country; you’ll find variations of this Indian food favourite. Typically, samosas are filled with a potato and pea filling and then deep-fried to a crispy and delicious result.
Sometimes, samosas are also stuffed with paneer, onions and spices and are served as a starter. Whatever way you choose, you’re sure to enjoy a crispy take on the Indian classic.
5. Tandoori Chicken
One of the best-known Indian recipes, tandoori chicken, is a delicacy that highlights the best of the region’s cuisine. Aside from this flavorful dish’s exotic taste and texture, there’s nothing else quite like it.
Typically, tandoori chicken is marinated in yogurt, yogurt paste, and a blend of spices, including turmeric and red chilli, for a spicy and sour flavour. The chicken is often cooked in hot charcoal in a tandoor oven and allowed to cook until the juices are sealed in, and the chicken emerges tender, succulent, and flavorful.
The Bottom Line: India as a Food Lover’s Paradise
A culinary paradise, India is home to some of the most flavorful and exciting cuisines around the world, and no one should miss out on the opportunity to experience such a gastronomic adventure.
Whether you’re a foodie or a fan of Indian cuisine, you can be sure of finding a wide array of exotic dishes, each offering its own adventures, regardless of where in the country you happen to be.
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