3 places for a foodie’s dream trip to India

For those longing for exotic and tasty dishes, India offers a wide range of culinary experiences to thrill even the most discerning foodie palate. A huge and diverse country, the cuisine differs depending on the local culture, seasonal availability of the fresh produce used, geographical location and the economics of the particular area. To get the taste buds going, the following is a selection of some of the best places to visit to enjoy tasty dishes, either in the best restaurant in town, or as street food, during a culinary jaunt in India.

Ahmedabad, Gujarat

An absolute paradise for food lovers, Ahmedabad offers a selection of Gujarati cuisine, quite unlike food on offer in other areas of India. The dishes are mouthwatering, with a slight sweet flavor in almost all delicacies on offer. While Ahmedabad mainly offers vegetarian dishes, there is a normally a tasty range of dishes on offer in the restaurants for those who prefer a little meat with their meal.

Food in Ahmedabad, Gujarati

Typical plates on offer include roti and papad (types of flatbread), a range of vegetables, rice and chaas (buttermilk). Many dishes include a varying combination of stir-fried vegetables and spices, some leaning more to the spicy side, and others more to the sweet. When it comes to street food, Ahmedabad offers an amazing range, highlights of which include a wide variety of ice cream to be enjoyed while strolling after dinner, tasty samosas (a fried or baked triangular shaped pastry with a savoury filling) and delicious dalwada (tasty and healthy balls of food fried with a crispy coating), served with sliced onions and green chili peppers.

Amritsar, Punjab

The Punjab region itself offers a diverse and delicious range of cuisine options and in Amritsar thespecialities include multi-layered paratha (flatbread) as well as a popular lentil and bean sprout curry. There is a wide use of dairy products in the various dishes on offer as well as a tasty masala of garlic, onion and ginger.

Food in Amritsar, Punjab

Amritsar is also well known for culinary delights such as bhatura channa (a type of sandwich containing curried chick peas), tandoori kulchas (a type of naan bread), samosas, seekh kabab (spicy minced meat grilled on skewers), tandoori chicken and mutton tikka (skewers of meat, marinated in spices and yogurt and baked in a clay oven).

Calcutta

Calcutta offers a range of what is termed “fusion cuisines.” Dating back from when the Hakka Chinese from Canton (present-day Guangzhou) escaped to India during political instability in their region, this fusion has created some amazingly tasty meals. Some of the more popular meals include Chicken Manchurian, Szechwan fried rice and Chicken lollipop, while tasty starters include Manchow and Sweetcorn soup. The most well-liked desserts on offer are honey-fried noodles with ice cream and date pancakes.

Food in Calcutta

Leaning more to the Indian side of Calcutta’s cuisine, popular dishes include machher jhol (a fish curry served with rice) as well as several delicious seafood dishes. Desserts include rasgulla (ball-shaped dumplings of cottage cheese and semolina dough cooked in a sugary syrup), sandesh (created by tossing Indian cheese, lightly sprinkled with sugar, over a low heat) along with a sweet yogurt, called mishti dohi.

Street food on offer includes delicious beguni (battered and fried slices of eggplant), phuchka (a crêpe served with tamarind sauce) and kati roll (flatbread containing meat, vegetables or egg stuffing).

These are just three locations in this vast country worth exploring on a foodie trip. There are, of course, many more delicious places to visit throughout the country. Don’t be put off by the fear of Delhi belly, India is packed with culinary delight.

James Jayasundera is Founder and Managing Director of Ampersand Travel.

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Comments (11)

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  1. India has diversified culture which essentially reflected in our cuisine. Every place feature its own special dishes but glad you picked some of the best. Thanks for sharing this information.

  2. Hammad Tariq says:

    Nice article James, very nicely covered three types of Indian cuisine. The Gujrati ones are mostly based on vegetables, the Amritsar is in Punjab and this province is more affiliated with meaty food and Calcutta is obviously in Bengal, famous for it’s fish and rice based food. These all three cuisines are miles a part from each other in taste and ingredients but you still get to taste them by visiting just one country!

    About Delhi Belly, many tourists believe it’s due to unhygienic food, it’s not that. It’s here from centuries and basically you just need to get used to the local environment and water. Once your stomach starts accepting India, you will be free to try any type of food.

  3. Mona says:

    To complete the five I would add Cochin for the awesome food. appam with mutton stew and fish curry (meencurry), banana and tapioca chips, masala prawns with toddy and sadya or thali serving various curries. This list is endless.
    Next is chennai for amazing Idli, dosa, medu wada, sambar, rice and rasam. And the famous spicy chettinad chicken. And much more…

  4. Nice post. But, you can add some more places where you get the most delicious foods. Kerala is rich in natural diversities with excellent food flavors and tourist spots.

  5. Myoki says:

    Great post, especially with all the food selection in Calcutta! :) For those who want to experience the fantastic Bengali food here, you must visit Kewpies, 6 Ballygunge Place or Bhojohori Manna! Happy eating :) And hope this helps!

  6. Leah Moody says:

    You missed about mentioning Kerala. It’s one of the place where we get a wonderful meal called “sadhya”. It consists of a lot of side dishes like aviyal, pachadi etc.along with payasam.

  7. Daisy says:

    That’s a great post but I do feel that you can add a lot like I am from Pondicherry and sea food there is amazing. You must try out those too..

    But you are absolutely right that Amritari cuisine is amazing. I visit Golden Temple in 2005 and the food in Amritsar was like you just can’t stop your hands…

  8. Anu says:

    Excellent post! Of course the only pain is that its impossible to do justice to the diversity of cuisines of India in one post! But there’s enough here to whet my appetite :)

  9. Sunny says:

    Really Amritsar, Punjab is the best foodie place.Amritsari Kulcha is one dish which should be on the must-try list of anyone visiting Amritsar.

  10. Absss says:

    Its really yummy post.Will you please add more places in India to get delicious food.Thank you for the posts.

  11. Justin Foley says:

    You missed out Kerala! The porotta and beef and the traditional dishes of Alapuzha and Calicut are to die for. Add a few more places to your list as well.

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