Answer by Raakhee Venugopal:
In contrast to many of the answers here, I’ll take the liberty of mentioning a few absolutely unforgettable dishes I have had the pleasure of having during my travels in states outside my own in India. Each state in India has a cuisine of it’s own and being an avid traveler and a foodie rolled into one, I have no qualms in experimenting big time 😀
In no particular order of preference…
Andhra Pradesh/Telengana – Fruit biscuits from Karachi Bakery, Hyderabad
Karachi Bakery is famous for their delicious biscuits and when we visited Hyderabad, we were told NOT to miss a visit to the Karachi Bakery in Banjara Hills, Hyderabad. Needless to say, we weren’t disappointed in the least. The place is like heaven for a bakery lover like me! 😀 Their trademark fruit biscuits are made in the house and are arguably the most popular gift choice for everyone. An absolute delight!
Here’s their website –
Tamil Nadu – Venn Pongal from Saravana Bhavan, Chennai
Pongal is one of the most popular breakfast items of Tamil Nadu. We had reached Chennai early in the morning and Saravana Bhavan was the nearest open restaurant near to where we’d booked to stay. We were one of the first customers that day. I still remember the way they brought in a plate of venn pongal. It lookedlike a steaming hot mound of rice with a spoon of ghee poured over it just before serving. The aroma of fresh ghee on warm rice is simply magical. Venn pongal is basically prepared with rice, lentils and other condiments, and had with sambar and chutney.
Here’s the recipe –
Karnataka – Tomato Churmuri Chaat from street vendor in Commercial Street, Bangalore
Ever had an explosion of flavors in your mouth? Sweet, sour, spicy all rolled into one plateful of extreme delight! This street food basically consists of tomato slices topped with other raw vegetables, green chilly paste, puffed rice and a whole lot of spices. Try it out sometime when you visit Bangalore next time…or try it out at home –.
P.S.: Make sure you have a bottle or two of water nearby 😛
Goa – Bebinca from a friend’s place
This is a delicious dessert made with coconut and flour spread out over 16 or more layers. There are several bakeries that make these but the home-made ones are the best! It’s not too sweet and not too bland either. But it’s definitely addictive. You’ve been warned! *wink* Here’s the recipe –
Maharashtra – Vegetable Grill Sandwich and masala tea from street vendor, Mumbai
Although a lot of people swear by pakodas and tea as to being THE best thing to be had on a rainy day, my vote goes for Mumbai’s trademark Veg. Grill Sandwich and masala tea. The sandwiches are loaded with tomato, boiled potato, cucumber, onion and beetroot. They are lathered with sinful amounts of butter and then grilled. It has to be accompanied by tomato ketchup and mint chutney! *drool* And then you have the humble masala tea – a heady concoction of tea and Indian spices.
Here are the recipes –,
Gujarat – Khaman Dhokla from a friend’s place in Ahmedabad
When I had this for the first time when we visited Ahmedabad, I was like “What is this? Idli cubes with turmeric and mustard?” 😛 Don’t make the mistake of wondering that aloud there, though. Gujjus are very fond of their dhoklas and won’t take any slight to their favorite snack lightly. Despite the visual and gustatory similarities, dhoklas are prepared with chick pea flour, yogurt and coconut. They make great snacks and are a must try when you visit Gujarat. Here’s the recipe –
Rajasthan – Malai Lassi from “The Lassiwala” Kishanlal Govind Narayan Agarwal at Panch Batti Chowk, MI Road, Jaipur
Okay so am not a big fan of lassi as such.
When we visited Jaipur, our driver insisted that we try out Jaipur’s famous lassi from the Lassiwala at MI Road. I was the only reluctant one but I was intrigued when the car stopped at this place…
The driver told us stories and stories about how famous the lassi was and blah and blah. What caught my interest was they way it was being served. They were using disposable Eco-friendly earthen glasses called kulhads.
I took a wary sip and that’s all I remember. This was nothing like what I had tasted before. This stuff was creamy, chilled, sweet and absolutely fantastic! Is this what love feels like? I asked myself 😀 LOL Try it once, guys. You’re going to be a forever-fan!
Punjab – Kada prasad from Golden Temple, Amritsar
There are many places where you can get kada prasad, but the one they give as an offering at the Golden Temple in Amritsar beats them all hands down.
Kada Prasad is basically a wheat pudding and is prepared pretty much like this –>But you’re not going to get the same taste as the stuff they give at the Golden Temple. That has the additional taste of unadulterated devotion in it ^_^ Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!
Delhi – Jalebi from Chandni Chowk, Old Delhi
The name says it all! The jalebis they serve here are legendary and taste nothing like the commercial ones available elsewhere. These are served warm, sugary and thick, and served with a generous dollop ofas a topping! Deliciousness until the last bite, I’d say!
Uttar Pradesh – Petha from Agra railway station
This was traditionally prepared in the kitchens of the Mughal rulers and is thankfully available in plenty on the roadsides of Agra today. No visit to Agra is complete without a visit to see the Taj Mahal and without buying some petha. Agra petha is prepared from ash gourd or winter melon, and sugar. A definite must-not-be-missed sweet from the land of the royal Mughals. Here’s the recipe –
That’s all for now! 😀 Here’s hoping this list grows and grows and grows!