Indian food is as inexplicably extraordinary and diverse as India! Not only is Indian food a symphony of rich flavours, unforgettable textures, numbing heat, melting sweetness and unpredictably, enjoyable bitterness, it is also one of the most loved cuisines in the world.
Home to diverse religions, languages and distinct cultures, India is the melting pot of skill, technique, ancient wisdom and hard work. With all the effort required to make an Indian meal, it is evident that Indian food is synonymous to showing that you love and care. And Indians, often like to express their love and care generously.
Indian Food: The Best Of Everything
Indian food is colourful, aromatic and impossible to miss! Your nose will surely bring you to the steps of heaven, should your eyes fail to do so first. Indian cuisine loves the spotlight, it will linger around you until you have been inescapably charmed. The selections can seem confusing at first, but you, like every enchanted traveller in India, will learn the art of spotting your favourite Indian dishes from afar.
You will then rightfully point a finger towards it, to ask for more. Even the language barrier won’t be able to get in the way of your self-granted food coma. If however, you’re unable to remember the best of Indian food. Here’s a list of the 5 most-loved Indian dishes and drinks that you simply can’t miss when in Mumbai, India:
Butter Chicken & Garlic Naan
Imagine a marriage of creamy butter and fresh bread. This is what soul mates are made of. Butter Chicken aka Murgh Makhani is a regal butter-based dish, that’s unapologetically fattening. Made with a rich, buttery cashew curry and infused with exotic spices, the butter chicken is a hero that needs no introduction.
The world loves the dish, and also its partner. Don’t mistake the Garlic Naan to be just an accompaniment, without the garlicky goodness of the tender naans, the piping hot Butter Chicken is incomplete.
Creamy, Cold Lassi
If you find yourself flaunting a frothy moustache in India, know that you’re a member of the ‘Lassi-Lover’ tribe! Nothing quite beats a creamy, cold glass of Lassi on a hot summer day. Sweetened or salted, flavoured or not, it is a great energizer.
Made by blending Dahi (yoghurt) with water, the Lassi is a great way to keep your stomach cool. It also makes for a heavy food supplement on the days you wish to have a light meal.
Dosa & Coconut Chutney
When you tear apart a piece from a crispy pancake and dive it into a mushy, coconutty side dish, you’ll know why the combination features in the list of the best of Indian food. Although originating from the South of India, this popular breakfast dish enjoys the love of all of India, and beyond.
At first glance, the modest Dosa appears to be similar to a thin crepe. It is made with a fermented batter of finely ground rice, black gram and a dash of salt. The Coconut Chutney is essentially made with ground coconut, mint and green chillies. It is then salted and tempered with mustard seeds, curry leaves and red chillies for extra flavour and crunch!
Lots of Chaat
If India would ever be asked to present a culinary orchestra, it would appear as a plate of Chaat. It is hard to miss Chaat when in Mumbai, as it looks similar to exotic potpourri. Chaat is a medley of tang, spice, crunch, softness served hot and cold.
In simple terms, Chaat is an explosion of creativity and innovation, accessible easily at street-side food carts. The essence of a Chaat experience is to take a leap of faith and experiment, regardless of how, or where it is made. Take it from a seasoned Chaat eater, when the cart looks too clean, the Chaat tastes a lot less amazing.
The absolute must-haves in Chaat are; Pani Puri, Aloo Tikki, Bhelpuri, Dahi Vada, Ragda Patties, Papri Chaat and the list is endless. The Chaat you will eat in Mumbai, is very different from what you can expect to find in Delhi or Bangalore.
Hyderabadi Mutton Biryani & Raita
If you were granted just one wish in the land of Indian Food, always ask your Genie for a perfectly sealed pot of Hyderabadi Mutton Biryani. There can never be second thoughts about this one.
A Hyderabadi Biryani is an aromatic and spicy amalgamation of long-grain rice, marinated meat or vegetables in spices. The way to heaven is four-fold. Cut into the toasty dough, allow the rising steam to swiftly warm your eyes, inhale the symphony of aroma and reward your tongue with the mildly wet, soft rice; infused with divine meaty juices.
The cold Raita, made with salted onions, green chillies and curd (yoghurt) makes the entire exercise unforgettable. Here’s the best part about ordering the Biryani, the process from cutting the dough to tasting your first bite will always seem exciting. No matter how many times you taste the dish. Every experience will seem like your first.
Indian Food = Love
Although Indian food can seem quite hard to cook, it is just as easy to fall in love with. You may have tasted Indian food in your part of the world, but that’s not remotely close to the experience you will have in its birthplace. In most Indian restaurants outside of India, the menu doesn’t do justice to the enormous distinction of Indian food. To indulge in the bliss that comes complimentary with authentic Indian food, you must journey to India.
Awake to the sound of hunger, spend time to gather un-googled tips from the locals, walk patiently towards hidden gems, and salivate as you glance at the sheer choices laid out for you. This is how Indian food makes tiring explorations seem worthwhile. After you have ordered, don’t hesitate to roll your sleeves and break a morsel of the goodness on your plate with your fingers. That’s how Indian food is meant to be relished!
Eat, Experience, And Return
Once you have experienced Indian food, you will find yourself wound in the magic that has embraced most of the world. Bask in the nostalgia, until those hunger pangs strike again. And also, if they don’t. After all, food tasting in India isn’t merely to eat when hungry, it is a discovery that will make you journey twice within the same destination.
To shed the holiday weight, walk along the vibrantly chaotic and ever-surprising streets of India. Spend time exploring these unforgettable things to do in Mumbai. Before you say your goodbyes, promise to return soon, to taste more from the treasure trove of Indian food.