Taste of India – Indian States & Their Special Dishes

Indian food is as varied as its culture and people. In each of the states, people change their staple food, its flavors, and cooking techniques. Fooding habits depend on climatic conditions and the availability of products.

Indian food depends on its religions, customs, and traditions, E.g Rajasthan is an area mostly covered by deserts, vegetables do not grow and thus most of the food is based on dried berries and yogurt-based gravies. Similarly in West Bengal, the land is apt for the cultivation of rice, and the plate is full of fish and rice, vegetable dishes, and curries.

Indian food has an impression of being spicy and hot, but this is far from true. India has a glorious tradition of healthy food. People in India have always respected food and this can be seen in our culture. Food is placed next to God and that is the reason why food forms the main part of ceremonies and religious celebrations.

It is so easy to distinguish the food items for each state but very difficult to choose one from the list. I am trying to accumulate it as per my favorites.

Arunachal Pradesh – APONG

The staple food of Arunachal Pradesh is rice, along with fish, meat, and leaf vegetables. Apong made from fermented rice or millet is a popular beverage in Arunachal Pradesh and is consumed as a refreshing drink.

Chef Ankit APONG

Assam – TENGA

Assamese cuisine is a mixture of different indigenous styles, with considerable regional variation and some external influences. A traditional meal in Assam begins with a Khar, a class of dishes named after the main ingredient and ends with a Tenga- a light fish curry.

Chef Ankit TENGA


The food of Andhra Pradesh is known for its heavy use of spices, and the use of tamarind. Rice is the staple food eaten with lentil preparations. In Andhra, leafy greens or vegetables such as bottle-gourd, gongura and eggplant are used abundantly.


The cuisine is known for flavors with an abundant use of fish, meat, vegetables, lentils, and rice. West Bengal is known for the origin of dessert. Sandesh and misti doi are popular dishes made of sweets.

Bihar- Champaran Meat

Bihari cuisine may include litti chokha, Champaran meat, Dalpuri,Malpua, Balushahi, khaja, Silao, and thekua are famous for their production. Champaran meat -is a popular dish made of mutton with whole spices in a clay pot over an open fire.


Chhattisgarhi cuisine varies as per special occasions and festivals like Thethari and Khurmi, fara, gulgule bhajiya, chausela, chila, aaersa are prepared in regional festivals. Many Chhattisgarhi people drink liquor brewed from the mahua flower. Gulgule Bhajiya is a sweet pakodas made of wheat flour and jaggery, often cooked for festivals and special occasions.


Delhi is the capital of India and thus the people from different states come here. Thus their food habits consist of different Indian cuisines modified in unique ways. This is apparent in the different types of street food available. Kababs, kachori, chaat, Indian sweets, kulfi, and even Western food items like sandwiches and patties, are prepared in a style unique to Delhi and are quite popular. But my favourite is Delhi’s chole-kulche from roadside street vendors.


Goan cuisine is mostly seafood and meat-based. The staple foods are rice and fish. The area has a tropical climate, which means the spices and flavors are intense. The use of kokum is a distinct feature of the region’s cuisine. Seafood, coconut milk, rice, and local spices are the main ingredients of Goan cuisine. Out of many Dodol is a Goan dish, and it is made up of coconut milk and coconut jaggery. It has sweet flavors of a creamy taste of milk.

Gujarat- DHOKLA

Gujarati cuisine is primarily vegetarian. Gujarati snacks are very much famous around the world, such as farsan, fafda, khaman, thepla but the Dhokla and Gujarati curry resemble the Gujarati cuisine. Dhokla is made with a fermented batter derived from legumes like Chickpea, Pigeon pea, and Urad and rice, and can be eaten for breakfast, as the main course, as a side dish, or as a snack.


Farming and cattle being common in Haryana, dairy products are a common component of its cuisine. Specific regional dishes include kadhi, pakora, besan masala roti, bajra aloo roti, churma, singri ki sabzi,bajra khichdi, bajra ki roti, and rabdi.

Bajra roti is a gluten-free flatbread made from millet flour or bajra flour, low-Fat, and Vegan. Commonly eaten with lentils or any Indian vegetable-based curry dish. They are heaty and good to have during winters or cold climates.

Jammu and Kashmir- ROGAN JOSH

The beautiful valley of Jammu and Kashmir reflects a rich influence of Persian, Central Asian, and Afghan food in its cuisine. In Kashmiri cuisine, spices like cardamom, cinnamon, fennel, and cloves are used, making the food delectable and aromatic. The highlight of Kashmiri cuisine is Wazwan, a collection of unlimited veg and non-veg dishes. Wazwan is considered a mandate in every celebration, be it weddings or any other significant events.

Some of the important dishes in Jammu and Kashmir are Tabakhmaaz, Shab Deg, Dum Olav/Dum Aloo, Aab Gosh, Goshtaba, Lyader Tschaman, Runwagan Tschaman, Riste, Nader ti Gaad, Herath, Novroze, Yakhni, and the widely acclaimed Rogan Josh.

Rogan josh consists of pieces of lamb or mutton braised with a gravy flavored with garlic, ginger, and aromatic spices and in some versions incorporating onions or yogurt.


Jharkhand – DHUSKA

Staple foods in Jharkhand are rice, dal, and vegetables. Famous dishes include chirka roti, pittha, malpua, dhuska, and arsa roti. Local alcoholic drinks include handia, a rice beer, and mahua daru, made from flowers of the mahua tree.

Dhuska Recipe by Chef Ankit

Karnataka – BISI BELE BATH

The cuisine of Karnataka has similarities with its three neighboring South Indian states, as well as the states of Maharashtra and Goa to its north. It is very common for the food to be served on a banana leaf, especially during festivals and functions.Typical dishes include bisi bele bath, jolada, ragi rotti, akki rotti, khara bath, kesari bhath, sajjige, neer dosa, benne dose, ragi mudde, and uppittu.

Kerala – AVIAL

An everyday Kerala meal in most households consists of rice with fish curry prepared with coconut oil. As Kerala has a large number of inland water bodies. Coconuts grow in abundance in Kerala, so grated coconut and coconut milk are commonly used for thickening and flavoring. Various cuisines have blended with indigenous dishes, while foreign ones have been adapted to local tastes. Kerala has a number of payasam varieties including Paalpayasam, Vermicelli Payasam, Pradhaman, Ada Pradhaman, Chakka Pradhaman, Parippu Payasam, and more.

A thick vegetable stew popular in South and Central India called avial is believed to have originated in southern Kerala. Avail is a combination of vegetables seasoned with coconut oil and curry leaves. Avial is considered an essential part of the Main meal.

Ladakh- NUN CHA

Ladakhi food has much in common with Tibetan food, the most prominent foods being thukpa and tsampa, known in Ladakhi as ngampel. Tea is very famous and essential, traditionally made with strong green tea, butter, and salt. It is mixed in a large churn and known as gurgur cha or Nun cha.

Madhya Pradesh – DAL BAFLA

The street food of Indore is well known, with shops that have been active for generations. Chatori Gali in old Bhopal is very famous for traditional Muslim nonvegetarian fares such as paya soup, bun kabab, and nalli-nihari. A common meal Dal Bafla in the region and can be easily found in Indore and other nearby regions, consisting of a steamed and grilled wheat cake dunked in rich ghee, which is eaten with dal and ladoos.

Maharashtra – SHRIKHAND

Maharashtrian cuisine is a balance of many different flavors and tastes. It includes a range of dishes from mild to very spicy tastes. Popular dishes include puran poli, ukadiche modak, batata vada, Vada- Pav, and Shrikhand.

Manipur – EROMBA

Manipuri cuisine is represented by the cuisine of the Meitei people who form the majority population in the central plain. Meitei food is simple, tasty, organic, and healthy. Rice with local seasonal vegetables and fish form the main diet. Most of the dishes are cooked like vegetable stew, flavored with either fermented fish called ngari, or dried and smoked fish. The most popular Manipuri dish is eromba, a preparation of boiled and mashed vegetables, often including carrots, potatoes, or beans, mixed with chili and roasted fermented fish.

Meghalaya – BAI

Rice is the staple food of Mizoram, while Mizos love to add non-vegetarian ingredients to every dish. Fish, chicken, pork, and beef are popular meats among Mizos. Dishes are served on fresh banana leaves. Most of the dishes are cooked in mustard oil. A popular dish is bai, made from boiling vegetables – spinach, eggplant, beans, and other leafy vegetables with bekang.


Odisha shares its borders with both North Indian and South Indian states. Therefore food of Odisha is majorly influenced by the food of North India, Bengal, and Assam. Rice is the staple food of Odisha with mustard oil used as a cooking medium in many households. Odia cuisine is less oily and spicy but a burst of flavors. Besides several delicious foods, my favorite is Arisha Pitha. Arisa Pitha is a tasty pancake prepared with rice, especially on the occasion of Manabasa Lakshmi Puja in the month of Margashir.


Punjabi Cuisine is one of the most popular Indian cuisines. It offers an unlimited variety of delectable and exotic vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes that are prepared with varied traditional culinary styles, particularly the clay oven tandoori style. The appetizing tandoori items are mouth-watering and finger licking dishes having rich, spicy and buttery flavour. Butter chicken, Dal Makhani,Amritsari macchi, Amritsari kulche, lassi itself denotes Punjabi food. But my vote goes to Sarson ka saag with makki ki roti.

Rajasthan- GHEVAR

Cooking in Rajasthan has been strongly dependent on the availability of ingredients. It was influenced by both the war-like lifestyles of its inhabitants and the availability of ingredients. Food is generally cooked in milk or ghee, making it quite rich. Dal Bati, ker sangri ,Laal Maas, ghevar, gatte ki sabzi, Bajre ki roti, ,laapsi, kadhi , bikaneri bhujia are some famous dishes of Rajasthan.

Tamil Nadu – PONGAL

Tamil Nadu is blessed with the most mouth-watering and flavorsome regional cuisines. Each regional cuisine has unique cooking methods and spices. There are some dishes that have made their special place in the hearts of the people and have traveled far and wide to capture many more hearts. The traditional way of eating involves being seated on the floor, having the food served on a plantain leaf, and using the right hand to eat. After the meal, the discarded plantain leaf becomes food for cattle.A typical Tamil vegetarian meal is heavily dependent on rice, vegetables, and lentil preparations such as rasam and sambar, but there are variations Puliyodarai,paruppu Payasam,Mutton Kola Urundai , Chicken Chettinad, Pongal and filter kaapi gives a unique identity.


Telangana food is traditionally spicy. Tamarind, sesame seeds, red chilies, asafoetida are abundantly used in vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. Hyderabad, the capital of Telangana is widely in demand for its Biryanis and Osmania biscuits.Kacche gosht ki biryani, Bagara Baingan, Haleem, Double ka meetha, Tamarind rice are the famous dishes of Telangana.

Uttar Pradesh – SHEERMAL

Traditionally, Uttar Pradesh cuisine refers to the Awadhi Cuisine.- Kundan Kaliya , Shami Kabab, Kakori Kabab, Gulnaar Kebabs, Nehari Khaas, Nargisi Kofta , Zamin Doz , Murg Mussallam, Lucknowi Biryani, Zarda, Petha from Agra, Peda from Mathura, Gazak and Rewri from Meerut are a few world-famous dishes of Uttar Pradesh. Sheermal, roomali rotis, and warqi parathas are also a few famous loaves of bread from this cuisine.

Uttarakhand – GAHAT KI DAL

Uttrakhandi food is known for its healthy and seasonal ingredients to suit the high-energy necessities of the cold, mountainous region. Garhwali cuisine and Kumaoni cuisine, are the food styles of its main regions.The dishes are simple and locally grown ingredients and vegetables are used without being dominated by complex spices. Some of the most famous dishes of Uttarakhand are Kafuli,Bhang Ki Chutney, Garhwal Fannah,Phaanu,Baadi,Aloo ke Gutke, Gahat ki dal, Kandalee Ka Saag,Chainsoo, Kumaoni Raita,Dubuk,Jhangora Ki Kheer,Singori are famous dishes from Uttrakhand.

Picture courtesy : Google