Why the hashtag of 100 Foods? We now have more than 100 resorts across the country and we wanted to celebrate it with you. So, starting from today, we will go on a culinary tour around India to explore 100 foods of India. Why 100?
Because North Indians know their palettes and will never settle for less sugar or spice, their cuisines are an absolute delight. From the fiery grilled tandoori chicken to the oh so sweet gulab jamuns and jalebis, North India has no dearth of delectable cuisines. If you are a big foodie (just like me), there are some foods of India you will want to have again and again. Why specifically these foods? Because they are not only famous but the taste of these foods will leave a lingering flavour in your mouth.
Feeling hungry? I am! So shall we dig in (pun intended) some delectable cuisines of North India?
Sarso Da Saag with Makki ki Roti
Let’s kick off the list of the must-try foods with the quintessential North Indian cuisine – Sarso ka Saag with Makke ki Roti. A staple in Punjabi households, especially during the winters, this dish is loaded with the goodness of spinach coupled with the crisp makki ki roti (a variation of the flatbread made with corn flour).
With onion rings topped with lime juice and some desi pickle, this cuisine is sure to entice you for more and more. You will know what we are talking about once you have it.
Tandoori Chicken/ Tikka
Round clay ovens or popularly known as Tandoors in North India have an interesting theory behind their inception. There is a lot of work involved in ensuring that they are perfect enough to bake the naan (sumptuous Indian flatbreads) properly.
Not only naan, but there are some other interesting or should we say, heavenly dishes that are churned out from a tandoor. Start from the tandoori chicken/tikka. The juicy and perfectly cooked tandoori chicken are served all over North India, especially at the many dhabas on the highways. Loaded with protein and of course some tantalizing flavours, tandoori chicken is best eaten with rumali roti or naan. Always opt for the tandoori chicken that is fresh out of the tandoor because the modern day grills cannot provide that perfect mix of flavours to this ‘finger-licking’ and mouth-watering North Indian dish.
The food that somehow every person brought up in India adores more than their life, rajma chawal, when cooked perfectly is something that you won’t be able to resist. Punjabis love it and North Indians cannot live without it, especially people living away from home. This Indian cuisine is a concoction of perfectly cooked rice with rajma (red kidney beans) in a thick gravy. The usual mix of spices adds to the flavours of this food. Try this and who knows, maybe, it will become your comfort food as well.
Butter Chicken Masala
One of my friends simply said, ‘Butter Chicken makes me happy’. This was in response to the question of what makes her happy. Yes, this fine amalgamation of spices and tender chicken cooked over a couple of hours is a reason for the happiness of many people.
That should be reason enough, why you should definitely try it once in your life (if you haven’t already).
Those large bhatures with the sumptuous, spicy chole chhole served almost in every part of North India had to make our list. A delight when eaten with pickles and raw onion rings, they may be loaded with calories, but who cares when it is soooo yum.
Parathe (from Delhi’s Parathe vali Gali)
A place or rather a narrow alley in the archaic bylanes of Chandni Chowk, Parathe Vali Gali is easily the best place to gorge on some scrumptious parathas, loaded with butter and interesting fillings. Order a tall glass of lassi with it and you are good to go.
Daulat ki Chaat
You were expecting some concoction of spices, lentils and veggies, right? But Daulat ki Chaat is a dessert. And it literally melts in your mouth. A little heads up, it is only available in winters.
Biryani is both synonymous with Hyderabad and Lucknow. While the version of the South is less spicy, the Awadhi Biryani has all the makings of a royal dish. Just the aroma of this enticing cuisine is enough to take you into the era of the Mughals who popularized the cuisine in the first place.
The tenderly cooked chicken with all the right spices make make it a dish that is worth dying for. I have friends that swear on chicken biryani, especially the Awadhi Biryani.
Rogan Gosh / Laal Maans
Made with spicy red chillies, this Kashmiri dish is something every non-vegetarian should try. Beware of the spice quotient of the dish. Have it with some naan or pulao (rice cooked with vegetables) to enjoy it completely.
Another Kashmiri food, Sheermal is a variation of Indian flatbread although a little sweeter. You can have it with rogan gosh or laal maans if you want to balance out the spiciness of the latter.
Kebabs are appetisers for North Indians. If you have ever dined at an Indian restaurant serving North Indian food, you will know. These small flattened balls of minced meat will fill you up, but only partially. Do try Tunda Kebab, a delicacy famous in Lucknow. The meat is so finely chopped and minced that it dissolves in your mouth while the flavour registers on your tongue forever.
Dal Makhani is that quintessential concoction of lentils with the right spices that can be had anytime during the day. Either with rice or naan or just as a side dish, dal makhani has become one of the most loved variation of dal all over North India and other parts as well.
If you always thought that fish and cuisines made from this abundant seafood is only found in coastal cities, we have a surprise for you. Amritsari fish, found in Amritsar (duh!) is cooked in a batter of corn flour and fried until golden brown. Think fish pakora and you have Amritsari fish.
Imagine cheesecake without the crispy crust? That combined with a lot of flavours packed with malai and ras (sweet juice) makes up rasmalai. Easily available in every North Indian sweet shop, have them after gorging on any of the foods of North India.
Gajar ka Halwa
Calories should not be the concern when relishing on Gajar ka Halwa. When it comes to Gajar ka Halwa, they might not come under healthy foods (because of the excessive sugar, you know) but they are certainly worth every calorie.
Syrupy Sugary Sweet Delights!! Almost similar to the famous dessert served at every fair of the States- funnel cakes, Jalebis are any day more sweeter and delightful. That crispy outer layer with the moist and syrupy internal layers make this a famous dessert of the Indian palette almost everywhere in the country, albeit in different colours and thickness. Try having it with some malai if you don’t like your desserts too sweet.
Cooked on certain auspicious occasions and sometimes just for a night when one wants to satisfy their craving for something sweet, kheer is a simple yet delicious dessert and of course, must-try.
I will have just one gulab jamun, said no gulab jamun lover, ever! These sugary little balls of heaven are just the right amount of moist and tastes best when had hot. An insider tip, try gulab jamun with some ice cold vanilla ice cream.
Which cuisine will you try next? My pick is Jalebi. But after I have had my favourite Awadhi Biryani. So, signing off (*as I order my biryani*) with the cuisines of North India. Do come back tomorrow as we set out to explore the must-have cuisines of South India. Yes, we will go beyong dosas and idlis! Happy eating till then.