Can you describe a typical Indian dish? I used to think that I could, but I’ve come to the conclusion that Indian cuisine is as varied as everything else in the country. India offer foodies the chance to try something different every day. I am spoiled for choice.
Talk to someone from Tamil Nadu and they’ll be quick to tell you all about the famed masala dosa and why it is India’s national dish. But strike up a conversation the next second with someone from Kolkata and the talk will quickly turn from dosas to fish, and the bony, but beautiful Hilsa that Bengali’s enjoy so much.
The desert dwellers of Rajasthan won’t entertain a meaty conversation. They want pure vegetarian and they want it hot and spicy. Punjabi’s, on the other hand, will cluck and boast about their butter chicken to anyone that will listen.
India’s Tibetan’s community will want to get in on the act too. They’ll tell you that Tibetans have made more than a mark in India’s cuisine with the magical mo-mo.
I could go on and on and on. For folk like me India’s menu is never going to be boring. There’s so much to choice the only challenge is learning about all the different types of cuisine and finding out where to eat them in Delhi.
Fear not dear reader, today’s post will give you a helping hand.
I’m going to shine my food torch on some places where you can tuck into India’s regional delicacies and start your food journey of discovery. Happy eating. I know you are going to enjoy it.
Head to the food plaza at Dilli Haat INA
Dilli-Haat INA, an open air bazaar managed by Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation, may seem like an unlikely place to start a food tour of Indian states, but bear with me.
At the back left and the far right of the complex there’s food stalls run by state kitchens from right across in India. I’m not going to list them all because this post would never end. The good folk at Zomato has a page dedicated to Dilli-haat that lists the stalls one by one.
Where is it: Dilli Haat, INA, Aurbindo Marg, New Delhi. For a Google map click here. Nearest Tube is INA on the yellow line which is a 2 minute walk away.
An entry fee of 20 INR is charged per person. More information on the Dilli Haat can be found at this link.
Brilliant State Bhawans
Delhi is India’s capital and that means government officials from all over the land come to city to conduct business. To house and cater for the many thousands of non-Delhi based administrators, each State has its own Bhavan.
Not only that, many of these Bhavan’s have their own canteens serving up food that comforts home sick civil servants. The good news, for me and you, is that they are also open to the public.
Here’s a link giving a complete list of State Bhavan’s and Union Territories. So, my question to you, which state are you going to travel too next?
My favourite so far is Pot Belly, at the Bihar Niwas, Chanakyapuri, because of one dish. The wonderful Litti Chokha. These super spicy balls of delight were a total taste sensation.
Hit the street
Delhi is a melting pot drawing in millions of people from all across India who arrive craving the taste of home. So, no surprise then that masses of restaurants, streets side dhabas and travelling food vendors have sprung up to cater for the masses.
My advice. Think about the state food that you want to try and ask someone to make a recommendation. Then go. As simple as that.
In the weeks and months ahead I’ll be blogging about the places I find that might tickle your taste buds, so stop by again soon and see what I’ve found.