India is known for its diversity. Be it cultural, social, or political, this diverse character of our great nation is reflected in all realms of our lives. Hence, it is not astonishing that in food styles and customs too, there lies immense variation in all the four directions of the country. We are well aware of Chole Bhature of the North, Dosas of the South, Thukpa and Momos of the East and Dhoklas of the West, but what about the other dishes which are delicious too but are over shadowed by the unmatched popularity of the common Indian dishes. Therefore, we present to you Top 20 such dishes which may not cover endless list splendid Indian cuisine but will surely give you a glimpse of it.
1 Benami Kheer
Our elders often find a way of mysteriously feeding us what we refuse to eat. Be it hidden broccolis or tomatoes, we are force fed these and sometimes we don’t even come to know about it. A similar trend was prevalent even during the Mughal Period in India. A delectable dessert, Benami Kheer, was gaining momentum. Only a few know that it was made up of garlic! Yes, Kheer- a dessert- made of garlic. Would you eat it? (Tasty toh hai waise)
2 Awan Bangwi
Awan Bangwi looks like edible piping bags. It is a humble preparation of rice cooked with ginger that is stuffed in a lairu leaf; later boiled, it releases aromatic waves of ginger throughout the packed rice.
Patishapatas, look like moist Dosas stuffed with a coconut mixture. A yummy Bengali sweet, in reality it is prepared by cooking a mixture of refined flour and milk in a little amount of oil. Afterwards, it is filled with coconut and jaggery. Just the look of it makes one’s mouth water!
Who doesn’t like the heavenly calzone pockets offered by Domino’s! Well, for those who do relish it, Sidu is a better, healthy alternative. A popular snack of Himachal Pradesh, Sidu is essentially a bread stuffed with walnuts (which are good for the brain). Served along with coriander or chili chutney, Sidu is a must try dish.
Leave it on us to use every resource possible! Popular in the lush green state of Punjab, Bhey is a sabzi or sabji made from the stem of our national flower. It is also known as Kamal Kakdi. Forget Bhindi, let’s try Bhey instead!
6 Gojjavalakki or Huli Avalakki
Most of us enjoy a steaming plate of Poha for breakfast. This dish is exactly that, except with a Mangalorean touch to it. In addition to this, it is also a tad bit spicier and consists a generous amount of pulses, jaggery and ground nuts.
7 Choor Choor Naan
Be it Tandoori Roti, Butter Naan, Rumali Roti or a Kulcha, we have tried it all, so then why to leave the inviting Choor Choor Naan? It is another version of the customary Naan except that its flavor is elevated by a stuffing consisting of potatoes, ajwain (carom), aamchoor (dry mango powder) and onions. It is a Paratha, Naan and Kulcha all in one!
A scrumptious snack ranging from the Western Front of India, Patrode are prepared from colocasia leaves (Aaluki leaves) which are filled with a spicy mix of rice and jaggery, thus rendering it the Khatta-Meetha effect. Patrode can be cooked by either steaming or frying them, as per one’s choice.
If you are left with some Dosa or Idli batter, do give this dish a shot. Just add chopped onions, curry leaves and chili, make it into small balls and then steam it away! They are refreshing in taste and go well with any chutney you prefer.
10 Onion Ka Halwa
Many of us cringe at the thought of consuming onions. How about frying them, adding milk and sugar and eating the vegetable as a Halwa? This is exactly how an ordinary onion halwa is made. If you can, do try it and let us know how it tastes!
Gunda is a berry commonly found in Gujarat. As a result, the locals concoct a tangy sabji or sabzi using the berry; it consists of red chilies, raw mangoes and methi. The looks of this dish are enough to make anyone try it!
Chapra is a chutney liked especially by the tribals of Chhattisgarh. It is made from red ants, eggs and is spicy in nature. A few of us may find this unappealing, however, do keep in mind that even foreigners (Angrez, you know!) make dishes comprising ants. Being different doesn’t necessarily mean it must be unpleasant.
An authentic Maharashtrian and Konkani specialty, Mangide look like white tacos to me! They are made from bread that is stuffed mainly with freshly grated coconut and cardamom powder. Try out this flavorsome sweet for this Diwali!
14 Bhang Pakore
As if Bhaang alone wasn’t enough to make us slightly drunk, Bhang Pakore are there to make us go all the way! Bhang is an eatable preparation of cannabis, whereas bhang pakoras are deep fried leaves of cannabis coated with Besan. Surprisingly, it is consumed readily in some parts of the country during Shivratri and Holi.
Who isn’t a fan of sweet cookies? (…maybe Diabetic people). Achappam is a traditional snack of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, which is basically an Indian styled cookie whose basic flavor revolves around Mr. Coconut. You may even gift your loved ones this homemade sweetness in dainty little packets.
Another dish from Chhattisgarh, Bidiya are said to be little doses of instant energy. They are prepared with flour of rice, onto which a white sugary mix is sprinkled once they are cooked.
Gushtaba is a must-try dish of Jammu and Kashmir for every meat lover. They are small balls made from fat and minced lamb meat that are cooked to perfection in a yoghurt gravy. These meat balls will make you go for a second round for sure!
18 Black Rice
Also known as Forbidden Rice or Magic Rice, this variation of the common rice is exceedingly eaten in Manipur, Northern Bengal and parts of Kerala. According to health experts, black rice is extremely beneficial. It is not only good for the heart but also prevents diabetes, obesity and is a natural detoxifier. If I may add, it looks unusually pleasant too!
19 Golichina Mamsam
Telangana is said to have food that is highly spicy. Golichina Mamsam is a curry with mutton as its key ingredient, blended with a fiery mix of the local spices, this curry goes well with rice to balance out the spice. However, you may also eat it with parathas or dosas too.
Our dear Gujarati folks can be credited to bless us with amazing tea-time snacks. A lesser known delicacy is the Handvo, which though looks similar to a Dhokla, varies greatly in its taste. It is made by fermenting numerous pulses that are later sautéed in oil. It tastes best with a zesty chutney, do try it once!