India is a diverse country, and among its 28 states, every state has its own unique cooking style, taste, and richness. It would be really unfair to adjudge any one particular state to have the best food in India.
The cultural heritage of each state has its own food culture and each food stands with its own taste. Here we are collecting some authentic best food from every state.
1. Andhra Pradesh:
Andhra Pradesh food comprises of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. The prime food is rice as it is also called “Rice bowl of India“, the meal is served on a banana leaf. One of the main ingredients is tamarind along with curry leaves, tomatoes, and mustard seeds.
Some of the famous dishes of Andhra Pradesh are Idly, Dosa and sambar, Pesarattu, Upma, curd rice, and various curries. In the coastal area, seafood is common, where fish and prawns are cooked with sesame and coconut oil. Their curry is a blend of Mughlai Cuisine, any curry served with rice and a lot of pickles.
One of the famous food of Andhra Pradesh is Pulihora which is tamarind rice and is a traditional south Indian dish and a mouth-watering delicacy.
2. Arunachal Pradesh:
The majority of people in Arunachal Pradesh are non-vegetarian and their cuisines vary from tribe to tribe. The staple food for Arunachal Pradesh is rice with various other side dishes of fish, meat and green vegetable are eaten.
They love fermented, smoked, steamed and boiled food with minimum use of spices, fried food is not very popular. They cook food using vegetables, herbs and fermented bamboo shoots in almost every dish.
Apong or rice beer is made from fermented rice or millet and is a very popular beverage in Arunachal Pradesh. The most popular dish of Arunachal Pradesh is Thukpa, a soup recipe that is made with noodles, veggies, and meat.
Assam food has a distinct flavor due to the use of choicest herbs, fresh fruits and vegetables and due to their way of cooking usually in earthenware. Rice is their staple food along with fish curry, lentils, vegetables, duck meat, chicken, pigeon meat and pork. They always prefer to use little spices in food.
Khaar is the main dish of Assamese cuisine, made from raw papaya, taro, vegetables, pulses, fish or any other main ingredient. Khar is basically an alkaline extract from the ashes of burnt dried banana peels and filtered with water. The residue collected in Khar. Khar is used to make different types of dishes like fish curry, meat curry, papaya curry & different types of vegetable dishes, etc.
Bihar land has fertile soil due to the mighty river Ganga flowing. Wheat and rice are found in plenty and Buddhism has brought non-violence to Bihar so the majority of people are vegetarians.
Rice and wheat are consumed equally, and more importance is given to seasonal food as they are found in abundance. Some of the popular Bihari dishes are Bihari Kebab, Litti-Chokha, Bihari Boti, Bihari Chicken Masala, Sattu Paratha, Chokha, and fish curry.
Litti Chokha is the most popular Bihari cuisine, Litti is small balls of wheat which are baked over coals and dipped in ghee, while Chokha is a curry made by mashing boiled vegetables and adding spices and onion to it.
Chhattisgarh is the central state of India so you will get a combination of both north and south Indian flavors. Wheat, jowar, and maize constitute the staple diet of the Chhattisgarh, rice is also eaten in abundance as it is also called as “Rice Bowl of India”. Among lentils, Arhar Dal is most widely used.
Some of the popular dishes of Chhattisgarh are Muthiya, Cheela, angakar roti, chousela roti, Bore Baasi, and Iddhar.
One popular dish from the state is Cheela, which is a flat chapati like dish which is prepared with the rice batter, and eaten with tomato and green chutney in the region.
Goa is a popular tourist destination in India. Goan food is very much similar to Portuguese food and is mostly seafood based, coconut-based food.
As we know Goa is along the coastal belt hence fish and chicken-based dishes are prominently used. Seafood lovers may find a delectable spread of prawns, mussels, crabs, lobsters, mackerel, tuna, and salmon.
Fish Curry, is a very popular dish of Goa prepared with marinating fish and cooking it with several spices and tamarind puree. A taste you will definitely relish.
Gujarat has an extensive coastline with a lot of seafood available but most of Gujaratis are vegetarian due to the influence of Jainism.
The main popular Gujarati food is dhokla, fafda, khakra, khandvi, muthiya. A Gujarati thali will include roti, rice, dal or kadhi, sabzi, and homemade pickle. Mohanthal is also a popular Gujarati sweet.
The most popular Gujarati food is spongy dhoklas which are loved as snacks all over India. Dhokla is made of chickpea flour (besan) which is steamed and is eaten with chutney or sauce.
Haryanvi people are simple and humble, and the region is well known for its agriculture treasure. Their cuisines are also simple with a lot of milk, curd, and Ghee as they pet cows and buffaloes at homes.
Most of the people living in Haryana are Hindus and their food is vegetarian. It is called the land of Rotis with some popular delicacies like Rajma chawal, Kadhi, Aloo Tikki, Dahi Bhalle, Kheer.
Bajre Ki Khichdi is one of the special dishes of the state. It is very healthy as it has iron health and is very easy to digest, it is something you will relish.
9. Himachal Pradesh:
Himachal Pradesh is a hilly terrain so fresh vegetables are hard to find. People usually are non-vegetarian and use meat, lentils, rice, and pulses in their food.
Some of the favorite dishes of Himachal Pradesh are Manee, Mandra or “Madra”, “Palda”, “Redu” Patode, Chouck, Bhagjery and chutney of til (sesame seeds).
Madra is the most popular Himachali curry which is a yogurt-based gravy. Channa Madra made of chickpea and yogurt, slowly cooked with a lot of spices.
10. Jammu and Kashmir:
The climate and customs play an important part in Jammu & Kashmir cuisines, Kashmiris despite being Brahmin are meat-eaters. The staple food of Jammu & Kashmir is rice with muttons and turnips, chicken and spinach, fish and lotus root.
Some of the main dishes of Jammu & Kashmir are Shab Deg, Dum Aloo, Aab Gosht, Goshtaba, Lyodur Tschaman, Mujh Gaad, and Matschgand.
Rogan Josh of Jammu & Kashmir is very popular, it is a lamb based dish cooked in a gravy seasoned with liberal amounts of Kashmiri chilies, ginger, asafoetida, and bay leaves and a must try a dish you will definitely relish.
Jharkhand has a lot of greenery and a lot of green vegetables are readily available. The cook in various ways like curried, fried, roasted and boiled.
The staple food of Jharkhand is rice with dal and vegetables, they use very mild spices in food. Rugda and Putoo is a type of edible mushroom that is grown extensively in Jharkhand and is a very popular food in the region.
Karnataka has both vegetarian and non-vegetarian cuisines with spicy curries and seafood specialties.
Kannadiga Oota (Kannadiga meal) includes the following dishes in the order specified and is served on a banana leaf: Uppu (salt), Kosambari, Pickle, Palya, Gojju, Raita, Payasa (Kheer), Thovve, Chitranna, Anna (rice), and Tuppa (ghee).
Dosa is the first thing that pops up whenever you talk of Karnataka cuisines. There are a variety of ways of serving Dosa Masala dosa have potato filling and are enjoyed with Sambhar and coconut chutney.
Kerala is surrounded by sea it is a very popular tourist attraction, here you can find a variety of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes with a lot of seafood.
Kerala is also known as “Land of Spices” which they use in their culinary skills Chillies, curry leaves, coconut, mustard seeds, turmeric, tamarind, and asafoetida are very frequently used.
You will find a lot of coconuts in the dishes. Some of the popular dishes are idli, dosa, appam, idiyappam, puttu, and pathiri, here you will find various varieties of sambar and rasam. Sadya is a traditional vegetarian feast of Kerala usually served on a banana leaf.
The most popular breakfast dish of Kerala is Puttu and Kadala Curry which is steamed rice flour made with cylinders and we add grated coconut in between as fillings.
14. Madhya Pradesh:
Madhya Pradesh is the heart of India and has a lot of mouthwatering delicacies to offer. Whether you are a vegetarian or a non-vegetarian you will find food for all.
Some of the popular food of Madhya Pradesh are Poha, Bhutte Ka Kees, Daal Bafla, Seekh Kebabs, Palak Puri, Bhopali Gosht Korma, Chakki Ki Shaak, kusli, lavang lata, jalebi and Malpua.
Poha is a very popular dish of Madhya Pradesh it is a very light and healthy dish, it is made of flattened rice, curry leaves, peanuts, and lemon.
Maharashtra food or Marathi cuisine is considered more austere than others because they use mild spices in dishes. Wheat, rice, jowar, bajri, vegetables, lentils, and fruit are dietary staples.
Maharashtrian dishes are not just tempting but lip-smacking & super delicious their food is exquisite. Some of the most popular dishes are misal, pohe, upma, sheera, sabudana khichadi, thalipeeth, Batata Vada, Pudachi Wadi, Kaju Kothimbir Vadi, Pav Bhaji, Puran Poli and Aamti.
Misal Pav is a popular dish that can be had any time of the day, the spicy and tangy lentil curry which is made with either sprouted matki or moth beans /mixed beans and served with Pav bread.
Manipur is one of the seven sisters is rich in the beauty of tea gardens. Their food is very healthy, with very little oil and is spicy but it is chili pepper than masalas.
They love to eat a lot of greens which they grow in their own vegetable gardens. Some of their popular dishes are Chamthong or Kangshoi, Morok metpa, kang-ngou, nganam, paaknam, maroi napaakpi, laphu tharo, awa phadigom, ngari,nga-thongba (fish curry), ooti, pakoura thongba, chagem pomba, keli chana, alu kangmet.
Singju Chamthong or Kangshoi is a popular dish of Manipur which is a vegetable stew cooked with cloves, garlic, onion, salt, and dried fish and eaten with rice.
The cuisines of north-east states of India are deeply rooted in their traditions and culture. Meghalaya is home to Mongoloid tribes, they have their own unique cuisines which is different from the other seven sister states. Their staple food is rice with vegetable curries, meat, and fish.
The main dish of Meghalaya is Jodoh, Nakham Bitchi, Dohkhlieh, Pumaloi, Momos, Ki Kpu, Tung-rymbai, and pickled bamboo shoots.
Jadoh is a popular Meghalaya dish, it is rice, pork-based dish sometime it is cooked with chicken or fish and is known for its aromatic taste.
Mizo people are rice eaters and they love to add non-vegetarian ingredients in every dish, however, they consume a fair share of vegetables in their meals too. Fish, chicken, pork, and beef are popular meats among Mizos.
Popular cuisines of Mizo people are Bai, Koat Pitha, Vawksa Rep, Bamboo Shoot Fry, Panch Phoran Tarka, Misa Mach Poora, Mizo Vawksa, and Chhum Han.
Misa Mach Poora is cooked with shrimps, onions, coriander, peppercorns and lime juice and will give a bold and zesty flavor.
The basic food of Naga people is rice with boiled vegetables, fish or meat(either dry or pork with bamboo shoots). Their meat and fish are smoked, dried or fermented. Their food is a lot spicy with a lot of chilies.
The most popular food of Naga people is Dried Pork, Smoked Pork Stew, Nagaland Pork with Dry Bamboo Shoots, Bamboo Steamed Fish, Roasted Intestines, Beans Mix, Bitter Melon, Chicken Glutinous Rice Soup, Kongshia Lon – Eel Chili Sauce, Crab Chili Sauce, and boiled vegetables.
Pork with Bamboo Shoots s the most popular Nagaland dish in which bamboo shoots are cooked with pork.
Odisha is the land of Lord Jagannath and their food is greatly influenced by the Jagannath Temple. Rice is their staple food and they use plantains, jackfruit, and papaya in their cuisines.
They use very little or no oil in cooking, mustard oil is usually used in cooking which makes it very healthy. You can find all sorts of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes.
Their typical meal consists of Dali (Dal), Dalma (slow-cooked vegetables with lentils), Macha Tarkari (Fish Curry) or Mansa Tarkari (Mutton curry), Bhaja (vegetables fried with light seasoning), along with Bharta and saaga.
Their Cheena Podo is a very popular dish made from fresh cottage cheese, sugar, and nuts.
Punjabi cuisines are not only popular in India but in the UK, Canada too. Agriculture and farming is their main occupation and locally grown food forms the main ingredients of dishes.
The most popular food of Punjab are Chana masala, Chole kulche, Aloo Paratha, Panner Paratha, Gobi Paratha, Paratha with Curd, Halwa poori, Bhatoora, Falooda, Makhni doodh, Amritsari Lassi, Masala chai, Tea, Amritsari Kulchas, Dahi vada, Dahi, Khoa, Paya, Aloo Paratha with Butter.
They are meat lovers too Butter Chicken, Bhuna Gosht, Tandoori Chicken and Amritsari Macchi are equally delightful.
Punjab Sarson Ka Saag Aur Makki Ki Roti is very popular all over, where Palak, bathua and sarso saag combination makes a wholesome saag which is eaten with Makki ki roti and lot of butter along with a big glass of Lassi.
Rajasthan is colorful not only in tourism but also in mouth-watering cuisines. The scarcity of water and fresh green vegetables have affected the food cooked in Rajasthan. Their food can last for several days and can be consumed without heating.
Famous Rajasthani food are Bajre ki roti, Lashun ki chutney , Mawa Kachori, Alwar ka mawa, Malpauas, gheriya, Mohan Thaal, Laal Maas, Mirchi Bada, Mohan Maas, Kalakand, Pyaaz Ki Kachori, Gatte and Kadhi.
Dal Baati Churma is famous all over India and consists of crunchy batis dipped in ghee along with spicy daal and sweet churma.
Sikkim food is influenced by neighboring countries Nepal, Tibet, and Bhutan. Rice is their food staple and they are meat lovers.
Their main dishes are Sinki Soup, Sael Roti, Momos, Gundruk Soup, Paneer Cheese, Thukpa, Tibetan Bread, Yak Cheese, Chaang and Chhurpi-Ningro Curry.
The most popular dish of Sikkim is Momos which is a dumpling stuffed with vegetables in case of veg momos while fish, chicken, mutton for non-veg momos.
24. Tamil Nadu:
Tamil people are very hospitable and love feeding others, there are a lot of Tamil Brahmins, so their food is mainly vegetarian. but they have non-vegetarian dishes as well.
The main ingredients in making food are rice, gram and curry leaves. The main dishes are Poriyal, Varuval, Pachadi, Idli, Payasam, Sambar, Thokku, Vadai, Kuzambu, Uttapam, and Vada.
The most popular food is Idli Sambhar, prepared by steaming the ground mixture of soaked rice and white lentils and is eaten with sambhar which is a type of south Indian Dal with a lot of vegetables and is sour in taste.
Telugu cuisine is tangy, hot and spicy in taste, here millet-based bread is the staple food, while rice is also predominant.
The main food of Telangana are Sarva Pindi, Malidalu, Sakinalu, Garijalu, Pachi Pulusu, Golichina Mamsam, Hyderabadi Biryani, Chegodilu, Polelu and Qubani ka Meetha.
The most famous is Chicken Biryani which is a rich combination of aromatic herbs and spices to give it a succulent taste.
Tripuris are mostly nonvegetarians and you will find varieties of meat used here. The main food includes rice, fish, chicken, mutton, and pork.
Some of the popular dishes of Tripuris are Mui Borok, Kasoi Bwtwi, Panch Phoron Tarkaari, Gudok, Wahan Mosdeng, Mosdeng Serma, Bhangui and Chauk, and Chuwarak.
The most popular is Kasoi Bwtwi which is made of beans and Berma. Fermented fish is used to make it with other green vegetables making it a healthy dish.
27. Uttar Pradesh:
Uttar Pradesh is famous for its Nawabi food their cooking technique is influenced by the Mughals. The most famous dish of Lucknow is ‘tunda kebabs’ and ‘kakori kebabs’.
Wheat is the staple food of the state, their popular bread is tandoori naan, tandoori roti, kulcha, taftan, sheermal, Rumali Roti, Paratha, millet (millet flour flatbread), and lachha paratha.
Some of Uttar Pradesh popular food are Baati chokha, Arhar Ki Dal, Bhindi ka Salan, Aloo Rasedaar, Allahabad ki Tehri, Bedmi, Baingan ki Lonje, Keema Dum, Petha and many more.
Tunday Kabab is the most popular dish of Lucknow the dish made out of minced meat.
Uttarakhand is mostly hilly terrain where Kumaon and Garhwal offer their own unique cuisine, both regions are different but their method of cooking is the same.
You can also see the varying eating habits with the changing seasons, in winter Mathir and Til Laddus or Madua Rotis are eaten while in summers Dubkas with Chholia Rotis are preferred.
Some of the most popular food of Uttarakhand are Bhang Ki Chutney, Kafuli, Garhwal ka Fannah, Phaanu, Baadi, Kandalee Ka Saag, Chainsoo, Kumaoni Raita, Dubuk, Gulgula and Jhangora Ki Kheer.
Kafuli or Kapaa is the main popular dish served which is made os Spinach, lai, and fenugreek leaf. The vegetable is cooked in an iron kadhai and best served with rice, it is both healthy and delicious.
29. West Bengal:
Bengali’s main emphasis is on fish and rice. Since countless rivers flow in the state so you can find fish everywhere in the market, there is more than forty types of fish served in Bengal.
Some of their popular food are Aloo Potol Posto, Ilish Macher Jhol, Shukto, Sandesh, Mutton Biryani, Aam Pora Shorbot, Tangra Macher Jhol, Alur Dom, Luchi, Chholar Dal, Lau Ghonto, Mochar Ghonto, Mishti Doi and rasgulla.
Doi maach is one of the simplest fish yogurt curry and an authentic Bengali dish. Its name Doi is Yogurt and Maach is fish is best eaten with rice.