10 Best Traditional Must-Try Foods to Eat in India

2. Samosas (Deep-Fried Potato/Veggie Dumpling)

top 10 indian dishes samosas

Samosas are a very popular traditional Indian Dish. Probably because samosas are a tasty, fried, or baked pastry with savory fillings.

Spiced potatoes, onions, peas, and lentils fill traditional samosas. But sometimes, they are made with ground lamb, ground beef or ground chicken.

Good news for all of you Indian food lovers and solely plant-based eaters. Indian samosas are usually vegan! That means the pastry is free of eggs and dairy products.

Samosas are often accompanied by a sweet mint sauce or chutney (scroll down for Chef Marie’s sweet and savory chutney recipes!). These puffy treats are common street food. You can find tourists and Indian natives alike eating them as a midday snack or a side to the main dish.

3. Aloo Gobi (Potato and Cauliflower)

Indian Cauliflower Potatoe Delight

Aloo Gobi is a dry, vegan Indian dish, made with potatoes (aloo), cauliflower (gobi), and Indian spices. It has a warm, yellow-orange color, because it uses a staple in Indian dishes: turmeric.

Aloo Gobi occasionally contains kalonji and curry leaves as well. Other common ingredients include garlic, ginger, onion, coriander stalks, tomato, peas, and cumin. Throw it all together to roast in the oven and you’ve got one of the most popular dishes ordered in Indian restaurants.

4. Naan (Flatbread)

garlic naam

If you’ve never experienced good naan bread, your life has been much less delicious than it could be.

Naan is a leavened, oven-baked flatbread. You normally serve Naan with all meals.

This bread is the perfect combination of chewy and crispy, buttery and garlicky. It’s exactly what every Indian dish needs to complement the otherwise bright and intense flavors.

There are many different types of naan breads depending on what you’re in the mood for.

  • Butter and garlic naan bread are the classics.
  • Paneer naan is a delicious Indian cheese type.
  • Chili naan is great for those spice fiends.
  • And of course, there’s always the classic, no-fuss, plain naan.

However you eat it, naan acts as almost a spoon to soup up sauce or dipped into chutneys. An Indian meal isn’t complete without naan at its side.

5. Matar Paneer (Peas and Cooked Cottage Cheese)

Matar Paneer (Peas and Cooked Cottage Cheese)

Here’s another for the “Indian vegetarian dishes” category!

Matar paneer comes from regions of northern India. It’s made up of a yummy tomato sauce over paneer (farmer’s cheese) and peas, and spiced with garam masala.

Like many Indian dishes, matar paneer is best when paired with a cooling side dish, like cream or bread.

Depending on the region, it’s likely to be served with rice, naan, paratha, poori, or roti.

Enjoy dipping your bread (or Naan) into the tomato gravy after you eat up the cheese and veggies.

Whether you choose naan, yogurt, aloo, or cream, to pair with this dish, your taste buds will thank you!

6. Rogan Josh (Curried Meat)

curried meat || Indian dshes

Rogan josh is a staple of Kashmiri (region in northern India) cuisine. It’s one of the main dishes of a Wazwan: a Kashmiri multi-course meal.

Rogan Josh consists of braised lamb chunks cooked with gravy. Generally, Indian chefs make this gravy from browned onions, yogurt, garlic, ginger, and aromatic spices.

Known for its brilliant red color, a classic rogan josh uses liberal amounts of dried Kashmiri chilies.

Make sure to de-seed these babies before you use them unless you’re a glutton for punishment. Though they are less hot when de-seeded, Kashmiri chilies tend to be milder than cayenne chilies. You will find cayenne chilies in many other Indian dishes.

Most of the spiciness from a rogan josh comes from the fragrance of the dish rather than the heat. It’s a yummy treat that is mild enough for Western palates, but intense enough for spice-lovers. If you love lamb, this dish is a must-try.

7. Tandoori Chicken (Chicken Marinated In Yogurt and Spices)

Tandoori chicken is a popular North Indian dish consisting of roasted chicken prepared with yogurt and spices. The name comes from the type of cylindrical clay oven, a tandoor, in which the dish is traditionally prepared.

The chicken is marinated in yogurt and seasoned with the spice mixture tandoori masala. Indian chefs traditionally use cayenne pepper, red chili powder, or Kashmiri red chili powder to give it a fiery red hue. This dish goes so well with steaming basmati rice and crispy naan.

8. Chana Aloo Curry (Chickpea Potato Curry)

A sultry blend of ginger, tomato, curry, and garlic marinate potatoes, chickpeas, and onions. These veggies and spices blend together to create the magical, Chana Aloo Curry. Though more traditional recipes may be spiced with chilli or cayenne pepper, Chef Marie’s special twist includes fresh jalapenos.

9. Shu’Bah’ (Tomato Soup)

tomatoe soup || Indian Dishes

Shu’Bah’, sometimes referred to as “Shorba”, is a light, Indian-spiced tomato soup. This is an Indian vegetarian dish made by simmering tomatoes, onions, spices, and ghee (clarified butter). The ginger, turmeric, cardamom, and cinnamon spices give it the classic Indian symphony of flavor.

When ‘Shu’Bah’ is done right, it has a medium-thick consistency and is garnished with fresh herbs (cilantro is perfect). If you’re really a fan of garlic, a nice touch would be garnishing the dish with roasted garlic.

10. Chutney (Fruit Sauce)

chutney || Eating clean in costa rica

As mentioned above, chutney (or “chatni”) is a sauce that is a flavorful sweet pair to savory samosas. It’s a relish made of various types of fruits, herbs, and spices, and it originated in India over 2,000 years ago. Heads up again, vegans, this is one for you.

Make this chutney with brown sugar, turmeric, red wine vinegar. Add a smattering of other lip-smacking goodies such as mango chutney is a tangy treat in a world of Indian spiciness.

Though usually fruity, savory chutneys are also a thing. Both mango and onion chutney recipe was specially crafted by Chef Marie to be the perfect side pairing for any Indian food meal.

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