As one of the world’s most diverse and culturally rich countries, India offers a culinary experience unlike any other. From spicy street food to aromatic curries, the cuisine of India is as colorful and diverse as the country itself.
But what is typical Indian food? With limitless options, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. Read on! Ahead, we’ll explore some of the most popular Indian dishes the locals typically savor for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Typical Indian Food for Breakfast
Dosa is the ultimate answer to the “What is typical Indian food?” question. This famous South Indian dish is made of fermented rice and urad dal batter. It is thin, crispy on the outside, and tender on the inside; the perfect light meal for breakfast.
Traditionally, it is served with coconut chutney and sambar, which is a lentil soup with vegetables and spices. It can be stuffed with different fillings like potato masala, paneer, vegetables, and cheese, to create a variety of flavors.
Aloo Paratha is a traditional Indian breakfast dish that originates from northern India. It is a type of flatbread stuffed with a mixture of Aloo chokha, which is mashed potatoes, onions, green chilies, salt, and mustard oil.
The paratha is typically cooked on a grill with ghee, a type of clarified butter, until golden brown and crispy outside. Aloo Paratha is often served with Indian pickles, curd, chutney, or butter.
Poha or Pohe is a popular and nutritious breakfast dish with many variants in each Indian state. Typically, it is made by flattening and then parboiling rice, which is then seasoned with a mix of spices such as turmeric, cumin, and mustard seeds and sautéed with chopped onions, green chilies, and curry leaves.
Peas, carrots, and peanuts are often added for extra flavor and nutrition. This gluten-free, vegan-friendly dish is usually garnished with coriander and lime juice.
Typical Indian Food for Lunch
Gujarati Kadhi is a flavorful and lighter version of the classic Punjabi Kadhi. To prepare it, a mixture of curd and gram flour is thinned into a liquid form by adding a few cups of water. Chopped green chilies, ginger, and asafoetida are fried in a pan over medium heat. The thinned curd mixture is then added to the pan and heated for a few minutes while continuously stirring.
Gujarati Kadhi is commonly served hot alongside Khichdi, naan, chapati, or rice, making it a versatile and satisfying lunch option.
Masala Bhindi is a popular Indian dish made with okra that is sliced and stir-fried with various spices, including garam masala. The dish is known for its unique texture, which is both crispy and tender.
This dish is simply sautéed in oil and then combined with sliced okra. Typically, it’s served hot and served as a sabzi with chapati or as a side dish with steamed rice and dal.
Shahi Egg Curry
Shahi Egg Curry is a popular Indian dish made with boiled eggs cooked in a rich and creamy tomato-based gravy with aromatic spices such as cumin, coriander, turmeric, and garam masala.
The dish is typically served with plain chapati, paratha, rice, biryani, or pulao. On top of that, pickles are often served along with it.
Typical Indian Food for Dinner
Aloo Gobi is a traditional Indian dish from the Northern region of India. It’s a vegetarian dish made with spiced potatoes and cauliflower, cooked with various spices, including turmeric, cumin, and coriander.
The dish is typically served with roti, plain paratha, butter naan, or with flavored rice, making it a filling and satisfying meal.
Dal Makhani is a famous Punjabi vegetarian dish that is a staple in North Indian cuisine. This luxurious and creamy lentil recipe is enriched with butter and has many regional variations across India and abroad.
It can be paired with naan, paratha, or cooked rice for a delicious and fulfilling meal. Whether you decide to prepare it for lunch or for guests at a dinner party, Dal Makhani is a must-try dish for all food enthusiasts.
Sambar is a spicy and tangy vegetable stew from South India made with tamarind broth, pigeon peas, and a blend of aromatic spices. It typically includes lentils, vegetables such as drumsticks, eggplant, or okra, and a unique spice mix called sambar powder.
Often, this dish is enjoyed with rice, idli, or vada and is a staple in South Indian cuisine.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does a typical Indian meal consist of?
Typical Indian cooking typically consists of rice, flatbread, lentils, salad, and pickles.
What is the best Indian dish for beginners?
One of the best Indian dishes for beginners is chicken tikka masala, which consists of roasted chicken chunks in a spiced sauce.
Is butter chicken a traditional Indian dish?
Yes, butter chicken is a traditional Indian food originating in New Delhi, also known as murgh makhani.
All in all, India is home to hearty meals. So, when people ask you, “What is typical Indian food?” you can answer it just fine. From light dosa for breakfast to creamy dal makhani with Indian spices for dinner, the nation’s culinary options are sure to satisfy any cravings.
If you’re interested in taking a tour to taste the culinary delights of India, don’t forget to try out the popular Indian drinks, too. Trust us; you’ll fall in love at the first bite!