India's tryst with food is well documented. A country which loves its cuisine as much as it loves Bollywood, Salman Khan and everything else, food forms an integral part of Indian culture and ethos.
From South India’s appam to the delectable luchi from Bengal or the hot and spicy vada pav from Maharashtra, there is no dearth of options to choose from when it comes to food in India. No celebration is complete without food and each region boasts of an iconic dish that is special to it. Indeed, if not anything else, India is united by food amidst its cultural and socio-political diversity.
On India’s 73rd Independence Day celebrations, here’s looking at 10 iconic dishes from across India you must try.
Karnataka's Bisi Bele Bath: The spicy, rice-based dish is a wholesome meal which is said to have had originated in the Mysore palace from where it spread across the entire state. The traditional preparation of this dish is quite elaborate and involves the use of spicy masala, toor dal, rice, ghee and vegetables.
Kerala's Appam with stem: The Appam is a type of a pancake that is made with fermented rice batter and coconut milk. In south-central Kerala, it is mostly served with kadala curry, mutton or vegetable stew or egg roast.
Tamil Nadu's Pongal: It is of two varieties, Sakkarai Pongal which is a sweet, and Venn Pongal, made from clarified butter. Usually pongal refers to the spicy variety, and is a common breakfast food in Tamil Nadu. It is usually served with Sambar and coconut Chutney.
Assam's Aloo Pitika: A signature characteristic of the Assamese cuisine, it is mashed potatoes that is garnished with raw onions, mustard oil, green chillies and sometimes boiled egg.
Arunachal Pradesh's Thukpa: It is essentially a soup which is made with noodles, meat and an assortment of vegetables. The dish consists of noodles, protein and or vegetables that are doused in a light broth.
West Bengal's Luchi and Kosha Mangsho: Puff breads made using maida that has been deep fried; luchi is a Bengali delicacy that can be paired with mutton curry. Papaya is used as a tenderiser in the mutton curry. It is considered to be a Bengali classic.
Jharkhand's Dhuska: A traditional recipe of Jharkhand, Dhuska is a fried dish prepared from the batter of channa dal, boiled rice. It can be paired with some vegetables and is served with ghugni, or a spicy chickpea gravy.
Rajasthan's Dal baati churma: Comprising of lentils, hard wheat rolls and accompanied with coarsely ground wheat crushed and cooked with ghee and sugar, and is a delicacy in Rajasthan and a must have during celebrations or festivals.
Maharashtra's Vada Pav: Spicy deep fried potato patties stuffed inside freshly baked bread and accompanied by deep fried chillies and an assortment of chutneys, India's very own desi burger with a batata vada is a mouth-watering delicacy.
Punjab's Amritsari Kulcha: A mildly leavened flatbread, Kulcha is made using maida and consists of several concentric layers. It usually has a filling of potato stuffed inside and is served with butter and sometimes with a side dish of spicy chickpea curry.