1/. Andhra Pradesh:
Let’s start with the state known for it’s fiery dishes with the use of red chilies in pickles, curries and so on. Though the food culture has been highly influenced by the Mughals, the majority of the population remains vegetarians excluding the coastal regions. Some of the well renowned dishes are Pulihora, Pesarattu, Gutti Vankaya Koora, Gongura Pickle Ambadi, Chapa Pulusu, Gongura Mutton, Andhra Chicken Pulao, Bobbatlu (Puran Poli), Purnam Burelu, Chekkalu (Rice cracker) and many more.
2/. Arunachal Pradesh:
The north-eastern stretch of India is well renowned for the use of fermented food while cooking. Other than the use of fermented beans and bamboo shoot, they prepare rice beer widely known as Apang, which is a must try. The use of bamboo shoot in preparing dishes is also very popular. The use of lettuce is widely popular and also the food is prepared using fewer spices, making it much healthier. Rice is a staple food among the Arunachal people and is prepared in various different ways. Thukpa too is widely prevalent among the Monpa tribe.
Assamese food certainly has a Southeast Asian influence as you may observe with the use of less oil. They, however, use a large number of herbs and spices. The staple food here is rice (as in the most of India) and is mostly consumed with ‘dal’ (lentils), with ‘masor jul’ (fish curry), with ‘mangso’ (meat curry) or ‘xaak’ and ‘bhaji’ (herbs and vegetables). Khar too is one of the well-rejoiced dishes among the Assamese and can be prepared in various ways. Another interesting dish is ‘Pitha‘; a paper-thin pancake stuffed with sweet coconut paste or sweet black sesame seed paste prepared during the celebration of Bihu.
A state where it is rare to find a vegetarian is also well known for it’s a large number of sweet dishes. As Bihar shares the border with West Bengal and also some cultural history, you might find some similarities in their dishes. It has also been influenced by the North Indian cuisine. To talk about some of the famous dishes, Bihar offers Litti Chokha, Malpua, Dal Pitha, Kheer Makhana, Thekua/Khajuria, Laktho, Parwal ki Mithai and many more mouth watering sweet dishes. Other than these, some of the scrumptious non-vegetarian delights are taash kabab, mutton biryani, chicken tandoori and so on.
Though Chattisgarh was recognized as a state very recently, it has done a tremendous job to shape up its culture and traditional practices. It might have adopted some of the practices from the surrounding states, but it did make it a point to create its own cultural statement. So as we talk about Chattisgarh, the significance of the sweets and snacks cannot be neglected. Some of the famous delicacies are Jalebis, Tikhur Barfi, Minjhra Bedi, Kusli, Lavang Lata, Cashew Barfi, Jalebi, Khurma, Lentil Pudding, Sabudana ki Khichadi and Shikanji.
The location of this small state of India serves rice and fish as a staple food and without the latter, the dish is considered incomplete. You can also see Portuguese influence in their food habits to a certain extent. It was the Portuguese who brought in potatoes, tomatoes, pineapples, guavas, and cashews from Brazil to Goa. Thus, some of the Goan dishes worth mentioning are Goan Fish Curry, prawn curry, Fish Recheado, Bebinca, Pork Vindaloo, Rava Fried Fish, Chicken Xacuti, Chicken Cafreal, Pork Sorpotel, Goan Nevri and many more.
Gujarati cuisine is considered to be a veggie lovers delight. The hot and dry coastal climate has made the use of sugar, lemon, and tomatoes, very prominent in this region giving a sweet and sour tinge of flavor. Some of the well renowned dishes are Khandvi, Gujarati Samosa, Gujarati Uundhyu, Aam Shrikhand with Mango Salad, Gujarati Kadhi, Dhokla, Bardoli ki Khichdi, Methi ka Thepla, Dal Dhokli, Handvo and many more.
A predominantly vegetarian state, Haryana is known so as a majority of the population are farmers and the state is rich in vegetables. They are well renowned for healthy eating and drinking habits. Wheat is prevalent all through the state and most of the houses prefer roti (chapatis) over rice. There is also an abundance of milk products and its use in the cuisine can be found relatively high. Some of the most famous Haryana cuisines are Kachri Ki Sabzi, Sangri Ki Sabzi, Hara Dhania Cholia, Methi Gajjar, Kadhi Pakora, Mixed Dal, Khichri, Bathua Raita, Tamatar Chutney, Besan Masala Roti-Makhan, Bajra Aloo, Roti-Makhan, Bhura Roti-Ghee, Mithe Chawal, Kheer, Churma and Malpuas.
9/. Himachal Pradesh:
Besides all the international cuisines served at Himachal Pradesh, to keep up with the tourists, the traditional food of Himachal Pradesh is worth a try. As much as they love vegetarian food, mon-vegetarian dishes are widely preferred. Generally the cuisines are dominated by red meat and wheat bread. Some of the scrumptious dishes are Madra, LuchiPoti, Sidu, Dham, Aktori and so on.
10/. Jammu and Kashmir:
An ultimate delight for the non-veg lovers, one can see the influence of the Kashmiri pandits, Muslims, and the Mughals. Use of spices like cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves, along with a lot of mustard oil are very prevalent in the Kashmiri cuisine. The use of curd and Kashmiri red chilies cannot be ignored. Also, the use of fragrance of spices like saffron and saunf differentiates it from the other cuisine. Some of the delicacies worth trying are Mutton Rogan Josh, Yogurt Lamb Curry, Paneer Chaman, Kashmiri Saag, Khatte Baingan, Dum Aloo, Kashmiri Style Mutton Ribs, Haak, Nadroo Yakhni and so on.
Like in most parts of the nation, in Jharkhand Rice, Roti, Daal, Tarkari, and sweets, serve as a main component of the meal. It is well-known for the vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian delicacies. The traditional Jharkhand food, however, cannot be found in any restaurants. One can devour such delicious exotic dishes mostly on a visit to a tribal village. Some of the famous dishes are Litti & Chokha, meat salan, spicy chicken,Tilkut, Thekua and many more.
12/. Karnataka :
Considered as one of the oldest prevailing cuisines, the state of Karnataka has had a strong influence on the neighboring states and visa-verse. The recipe of north Karnataka primarily include Jolada roti, Thaliipeet, Rotti or Bhakri, Indian thin flatbread often made from jowar flour – millets (jowar ki roti), bajra flour (bajre ki roti) or wheat flour etc, whereas the Southern Karnataka has ragi and rice as the staple food. Some of the interesting cuisines are Bisi bele bhath, Chitranna (Lemon Rice), Puliyogare, Khara Pongal, Akki Rotti, Raw Banana Palya, Bitter Gourd Gojju, Mysore Rasam, Kosambari, Mysore Pak and many more.
Not only does this state provide an amazing tourism destination but it is also a hub for the exotic cuisines where the use of coconut oil, mustard seeds, and crispy curry leaves can be found. The cuisine here reflects the cultural presence as the Hindus are mostly vegetarian and use of coconuts is prevalent, whereas the Syrian Christians are more fond of fish and meat. Some of the popular dishes are Chemmeen Pollichathu,Kallummekkaya fry Fish Mappas, Meen Murringakka Curry, Cheera Thoran, Kozhikode Biryani, Kerala Fish Curry, Pomfret Moilee, Chicken Stew with Appams, Erissery, Karimeen Pollichathu and so on.
14/. Madhya Pradesh:
Like in any other state of India, the food habits differ from one place to another. On one side, Bhopal has a strong Mughal influence and prefer more of non-vegetarian, whereas, in Gwalior, people would rather prefer milk dishes over the other. Few of the vegetarian specialties of Madhya Pradesh are Bhutte ki Kees, Chakki ki shaak, mawa-bati, khoprapak, shrikhand, and malpua. Rogan Josh, Korma, Seekh Kebab, Achari Gosht and Shami kebab are famous among the non-vegetarian delicacies.
Though contemplated as more austere compared to the rest of nation, Maharashtrian food has always found a way to the people’s heart. Be it the vada pav or pav bhaji dwelling in the streets of Maharashtra to Ladu, Anarse, and Karanjya, prepared mostly during Diwali, the wide variety of cuisines is indeed worth a try. However meat is not so popular all through the state. Some of the other famous dishes are Kaju Kothimbir Vadi, Pudachi Wadi, Batata Vada, Zunka Bhakri, Pav Bhaji, Bharleli Vangi, Pooran Poli, Misal Pav, Kolhapuri Vegetables, Aamti and many more.
As mentioned before, the whole of North-East India is widely known for their use of herbs and Manipur is no less. A culture of maintaining a kitchen garden to grow their most favored herbs is in practice. Fish serves as one of the most important parts of the Manipuri meal and Ngri is a widely preferred fish and the taste may vary from the rest of the nation. Some of the famous dishes are nga-thongba (fish curry), eromba, ooti , chagem pomba, and Chamthong or kangshoi.
Meghalaya serves one of a unique traditional cuisine, different from the Seven Sisters as well. The hot and spicy dishes are mostly non-vegetarian in nature. The use of bamboo shoot is widely prevalent. Besides, the local pork delicacies cooked Khasi-style, the local brew made from rice, adds zing to all the local celebrations. Some of the well-known cuisines are adoh, Ki Kpu, Tung-rymbai, Jadoh, pickled bamboo shoots, khapa, minil, sakkin gata are prevalent.
The traditional, exotic and pure indigenous nature is reflected in the Mizoram cuisine, from its customary way of serving to the preparation of the delicacies. With a slight influence from the Chinese and the North Indian delicacies, they offer a unique taste and a large number of people are predominantly non-vegetarian. Like in any other state of India, rice remains the primary food. Some of the dishes well known are Paanch Phoron Torkari, Chhum Han, Koat Pitha, Misa Mach Poora, Bai, Vawksa Rep, Arsa Buhchiar and many more. Like the other North-Eastern States, the use of bamboo shoot, mustard oil, and spinach is prevalent.
Most extensively known for one of the most successful music festival “Hornbill”, Nagaland doesn’t fail to surprise its visitors with the food habits as well. An ancestral whiff can be found in the cuisines served in Nagaland. Like the other North-East Indian states, the Naga people are fond of meat over vegetables and a lot of cuisines involve boiled and smoked style and also the use of bamboo shoot and dried and fermented beans are prevalent. The Naga chilly or the bhut jolokia is one of the spiciest chilies in the world. So some of the mouthwatering delicacies are Cabbage Palak Galho, Nkhonathoi Ganh, Rongmei Naga Style, Tathu, Naga Khouvie and also some of the famous drinks such as Zutho, Ruhi, and Dzutse.
Unlike most of the Indian states, the food habit in Orissa is known for the use of less oil and is also comparatively less spicy. The coastal location has served fish as one of the integral parts of the Orissa cuisine. A typical main course consists of rice or chapatti, along with dal, bhaji, bharta (mixed vegetable curry), ambila/sakara (sweet and sour preparation) and dessert. However, the lunch may include Crab Kalia, Maccha Ghanta, Bhendi Bhaja, vegetables, and pickles. Some of the well renowned sweet dishes would be Chhena poda Pitha, Enduri Pitha and Chittau Pitha.
The terrain of the place has a great impact on the food habit of the people residing in that area. One of the age-old lifestyle prevalent from the Harappan civilization, the food habit in Punjab is highly influenced by agriculture and farming. The Punjabi cuisine is thus rich in nature with a lot of dairy products. Some of the famous dishes worth trying are Sarson da Saag and Makki di Roti, Sweet Lassi, tandoori chicken, Chole, Paratha/Aloo Paratha, Halwa poori, Bhatoora, Falooda, Makhni doodh and many more.
Rajasthani cuisine would not disappoint you. Like its culture, the food habits has also been majorly affected by the location of the state. Due to the scarcity of water and lack of green vegetation, they are mostly known for snacks, which can be preserved. They also use a lot of milk and its products, to reduce the use of water, thus making it a vegetarian food lover’s delight. The way of preparing meat is also slightly different from the rest of the nation. Some of the prominent dishes are Macchhilli Jaisamandi, Rajasthani Laal Maas, Banjari Gosht, Gatte ki Sabzi, Aamras ki Kadhi, Safed Maas, Bhuna Kukda, Kairi Curry with Khoba Roti, Ghewar, Rajasthani Mirchi Vada and many more.
Sikkim is one such state dominated by the Nepalese population and other noteworthy communities are the Bhuttias and the Lepchas. Hence, Nepalese cuisine is a lot more prevalent among the local people. A lot of the cuisines have reached out to the other parts of the nation and is made for a commercial purpose with a slight divergent recipe. Momos and Thukpa/ Gya-Thuk is very popular and can be found in most of the restaurants (serving Chinese) even outside Sikkim. Other interesting dishes are Kinema curry, Vatamas ko achar, Gundruk & Sinki, Chhurpi, Chhurpi ko achar, Mesu, Tama curry, Khalo dal, Sidra ko achar, Selroti and so on.
24/. Tamil Nadu:
Besides Gujarat, Tamil Nadu is yet another delight for the vegetarian people. Coconut, tamarind, asafeotida are a must for most vegetarian dishes. It is during the celebration of Makar Sankranti, Pongal is prepared. The main essence of the food products may lie in the use of vegetables, various spices, dairy products and also tamarind. The traditional way of eating also involves food being served in a banana leaf. Some of the well known dishes are Ragi Idli & Dosa, Ven Pongal, Onion Uthappam, Takkali Sadam, Idiyappam, uthappam, Paal paniyaram, Meen Kozhambu, Melagu (rice) Pongal, Chicken Chettinad, Palkatti Chettinadu and many more.
Talking about the hot and spicy mouthwatering dishes, Telangana is yet another state that won’t disappoint you as per the abundance of the fiery red chilies. There are the certain amount of similarities among the Andhra and Telangana cuisine and also this newly born state of India has also adapted some of the cuisines from its neighbors. Some of the most celebrated dishes are koora, Bachali Kura, Pachi Pulusu, Pappu charu, Ooru Kodi Pulusu and Golichina Mamsam.
When almost all of North-East India can be a non-vegetarian lovers delight, then how can the state of Tripura be an exception? The traditional Tripuri cuisine is known as Mui Borok and is prepared using dry fermented fishes without oil (also famous as Berma). The staple food here is rice, fish and vegetables and they have a unique way of preparing meat with vegetables. Some of the popular dishes of Tripura include Chakhwi, different assortments of Mwkhwi, Champrai, Gudok, Khalok, Utmai and Chuak.
27/. Uttar Pradesh:
With a huge influence of the Mughal’s, Uttar Pradesh is a hub for the most delicious Nawabi food. It might be very different from the Mughal cuisine used in Delhi as the Nawabs of Oudh were great gourmets and encouraged their master chefs to create new culinary styles. The main cuisine practiced in this state is Awadhi, which has its similarities to that of the delicacies of Kashmir and Punjab. Tunda kebabs and kakori kebabs are well renowned for their mouthwatering flavors. Some of the cuisines which won’t disappoint you are Bharwan Chicken Pasanda, Mutton Kofta, Arhar ki Dal, Bhindi ka Salan, Aloo Rasedaar, Bedmi, Allahabad ki Tehri, Baingan ki Lonje and Keema Dum.
A state known for its lush green meadow has a kaleidoscopic culture which can be largely reflected through the cuisines customary in the region. The primary food includes vegetables though the use of meat is also prevalent and milk and milk-based products are rare. The use of pure ghee for cooking purpose is very popular and chutneys made from sesame seeds, hemp seeds, and other local ingredients help perk up meals. Some of the mouthwatering dishes are Garhwal ka Fannaa, Chainsoo, Kafuli, Phaanu, Thechwani, Baadi, Ras, Bhatt ki Churdkani, Badii, Arsa, Gulgula, Black and White Roti, Mandua ki Roti, Kulath ki Dal, Swala, Urad Bhuda, Palau, Kandalee ka saag and Jhangora ki kheer.
29/. West Bengal:
A land known as Maach Bhaat (Fish and Rice) is indeed the best place to endeavor some of the local cuisine made with various different varieties of fishes. Rohu, pabda and koi stand out as some of the most favored fish dishes other than which a much-loved local delicacy in Bengal is an oily fish known as ‘Hilsa’ or ‘Ilish’. Other than their love for fish, Bengalis are also known for having a sweet tooth; offering us a wide variety of sweet dishes. Some of the famous must try dishes in West Bengal are Bhetki macher paturi, Ilish (Hilsha) macher jhol, Chor Chori, Sandesh, Baigun Bhajja, Doi Maach, Bengali Lamb Curry, Chingri Malai Curry, Bhapaa Aloo.