India, a sub-continent with over a population of 1.3 billion is a democratic country. It takes 2nd place in the most populated country. Indian culture is considered as one of the oldest and has a strong history of tolerance. There are a total of 29 states where people following more than 10 religions live in harmony and peace. Due to its multi-cultural nature, India has a large number of varieties when it comes to food. Indian food is famous across the globe and it is easy to find Indian cuisine in any city.
As the state changes every few hundred kilometers food style and taste also change. Across India each region has its own food history. Indian food is famous due to huge varieties rather than a specific dish or meal type. For Instance, Italy is known for lasagna whereas India has Biryani from South, Samosa from East, Vada Pav from West and Butter chicken from the North. These dishes are just tip of the iceberg, so control your taste buds as we will be exploring more and more tasty dishes.
Let’s check out the top 10 food cities in India.
Formerly named as Bombay, it is one of the most populated cities with over 18.5 million. It is the hub for the 2nd largest entertainment industry in the world, “Bollywood”. Mumbai is also the financial capital of India. Due to various business and career reasons, people across India migrate here to follow their dreams. More people, more opportunity for the food industry. Mumbai is quiet poplar across India and across the Globe for its delicious food. As Mumbai is considered to be the busiest city in India, the street food culture is quite common. The city is filled with thousands of street food vendors catering to multi-million inhabitants. The most popular dish is Vada Pav and the starting price for this dish is 15 rupee, making it the most affordable food for busy people of Mumbai. Other popular food includes panipuri, bhelpuri, Dahi Puri, sandwiches, and ragda pattice. Vegetarian food is common to find but it is very easy to find non-vegetarian dishes. The best way to enjoy the local food culture is to attend food festivals. One such event was organized in the New Mumbai known as Navi Mumbai for 2 days in March 2019. The event included all the food stalls, making it a non-cooking weekend for Mumbai.
Delhi is the capital city of India which has a similar population as Mumbai. It is a famous tourist destination due to its ancient history and monuments. If any random person on Delhi’s street is asked about two famous things in the city, the most probable answer is rich history and the delicious food. Delhi’s food is a combination of Mughlai, Punjabi, and mouthwatering street food. The famous dish is Chole Bhature which can be found across the city. The other popular dishes are Poori aloo, Aloo chat, Kebab, Pakode, Pav bhaji, and Kachori. Both Vegetarians and non- vegetarians could find tasty mouthwatering food easily. All the street dishes are very affordable. Apart from the street food, there are a large number of restaurants which serves authentic local food. One of the most famous dishes is “Butter Chicken” belonging to Delhi and could be found in almost all non-vegetarian restaurants. A dish named “Nihari” is very common for non-veg breakfast. The ideal way to explore Delhi food culture is attending any food festival. There are many food events which will be organized in the last quarter each year. The famous events are NASVI food festival, Asian Hawkers Market, Great Indian food festival and The Palate Fest.
Lucknow is the capital city of Uttar Pradesh with a population of over 3 million. It is also known as the city of Nawabs and has many historical places. Most of the locals are non-vegetarians, but the food culture enables vegetarians to enjoy the famous vegetarian dishes everywhere. The most common street food includes Kebab, Basket Chaat, Veg kebab Parantha, Malai Makkhan, poori-kachori, faluda and sheermal. The mouthwatering list is quite long and continues to add delicious dishes from the restaurants. Most of the serves different types of dishes which include the famous dishes like Galauti Kebab, Boti Kabab, Tunday Kebab, Rogan Josh, Lucknowi Biryani, Lucknowi Paya Ki Nihari, and much more. The famous deserts are Kulfi, Nimish, Shahi Tukda, Malai paan and Lucknowi paan.
Earlier known as Calcutta in the past, Kolkata is the capital of West Bengal with a population of over 5 million. It is also known as Mother House due to the headquarters of Mother Teresa Missionaries. Kolkata is famous for delicious food and is the heaven for spicy food lover and for the people with a sweet tooth. The local food has many varieties in veg and non-veg dishes. Seafood dishes are quite famous in the region and very spicy and it is quite common to find sweet dishes in every restaurant. The most famous and must try dishes are Alu Posto, Alur Torkari, Fish Kabiraji, Ghonto, Singhara, Kosha Mangsho, Shukto, and Telebhaja. Kolkata is also famous for its mouth-watering sweet dishes which include Roshogullas, Sandesh, Chom Chom, and Mishti Doi.
Hyderabad is the capital of the Southern State, Telangana. Its inhabitants are over 7 million. Also known as the City of Nawabs, Hyderabadi’s enjoys multi-culture harmony and is the hub for Technology Centers. The street food is a mix of South Indian and other state of India. The famous street food includes Pani Puri, Dahi Puri, Samosa chat, Fish fry, Chicken 65, Kebab and Kulcha. For vegetarians, the most common breakfast is Idly, Vada, and Dosa. And non-veg lovers enjoy the mouth-watering Chicken and Mutton Nihari. However, the street food is not much preferable in this city due to a wide variety of affordable restaurants. The most famous dish is Biryani which is globally recognized to be the best Biryani. The authentic Biryani is a Mutton Biryani but due to cultural and religious reasons, it is served in Chicken, Fish, and Veg. In the holy month of Ramadan, the most famous dish “Haleem” is served almost in all popular restaurants. Sweet dishes such as Khalakhan, Qubani, Kaddu Ki kheer, and Gajar ka Halwa are everyone’s favorite.
The Pink City, Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan with a population of over 3 million. It is a city of forts and palaces. It is quiet famous for piquant food and the menu could be confusing due to the long list of items. The street food includes Golgappa, Kachori, Katti roll, Pav Bhaji, Omelette, and Chicken Tikka. A typical restaurant will commonly serve the regional famous Dal Bathi, Pyaz Ki Kachori, Ker Sangri, and Gatte Ki Sabzi. Rajasthani’s are sweet lovers and the local sweet dishes are quite famous. The famous sweet dishes are Mawa Kachori, Gajak, Kulfi Faluda, and Lassi. If all these dishes were to be found under one shelter, then ‘Masala Chowk’ could be the ideal destination in Jaipur. With an entry fee of 10 rupees, visitors can explore the wide range of veg, non-veg and sweet dishes.
Goa has 1.8 million residents. It is famous for tourist all over the World and especially from Russia. Apart from mesmerizing beaches, it is famous for mouth-watering dishes cooked in coconut oil. It is quite common to find seafood almost in all restaurants. A combination of standard fish curry with rice is the predominant food of the locals. Due to the history of Portugal occupation, Goan food has a high influence of Portuguese food culture. Dissimilar to other parts of India, the local food is not very spicy. The street food is for all type of people. The popular street food includes Omelet, Chat, Cutlet Pao, Prawns Rissois, and Frankies. The street food usually ranges from 20 rupees to 100 rupees. The standard and most preferred food by locals are Fish or Prawns with rice, Fish Recheado, Pork Vindaloo, Rava fried fish, and Goan Nevri. Goan’s are also sweet lovers and they enjoy the sweet and delicious flavors of Goan cookies also known as Bolinhas and Bebinca.
Amritsar is a city in Punjab with a closed border to Pakistan. This beautiful city has over a million inhabitants. Punjabi’s are the most food lovers in India and do not compromise in taste. If you love pure ghee and butter, then Amritsar has a lot to offer. The day usually starts with a sip of tea and end with a heavy meal. The most common street food includes Guru ka Langar, Amritsar Kulcha, Sarson da Saag and Makke Ki Roti, Keema Kulcha, Kebab, Paya and bheja fry. The list mouthwatering but it doesn’t end here. The other famous food includes Kulcha, Chole Puri, Mah Ki Dal, Fish Tikka, Ghee roast chicken, and mutton chap. Either it is street food, fine dine-in restaurant or a home, meal is not completed until a glass of healthy and delicious Lassi is served. The most common places to find the best food are near Golden Temple, Lawrence road, Cooper road, Chowk Passian, Majitha Road, and Jalebi chowk.
Chennai, Tamil Nadu’s capital accommodates a population of over 7 million inhabitants. The local city people prefer more spicy food comparing to the states in India. The street food is quite a routine for the people residing there. The most common street food includes Idly, Vada, Masala Dosa, Murruku Sandwich, and Atho. The street food is affordable and ranges from 10 rupees to 150 rupees. The other famous dishes are Bhajji, Puttu, Sundal, Idiyappam, Kuzhi Paniyaram, and Kothu Parotta. The standard dishes range from 100 rupees to 700 rupees. The famous sweets are Mysore Pak, Badam Halwa, Rava Laadu, Badhusha, and Soan paapdi.
Chandigarh is the capital city of Punjab and Haryana with over a population of 1 million people. This city has major food influence from Punjab. Similar to Punjabi’s, Chandigarh locals are also foodies. Hanging out for street food is very common among families and friends. The most common and loved street food includes Golgappa, Dahi Bhalla, Chole Bhature, Pav bhaji, Tikki, Bhel puri, Paratha, and Amritsari Kulcha. The other food items are similar to that available in Amristar. The sweet includes Jalebi, Lassi, Gulab Jamun, and Besan ke Laddu.