Recently, a friend of mine told me his fiancé is not a fan of eating Indian food when they go out because she is not “a fan of curry.” Cue: jaw drop. To say that Indian food is all curry would be the same as saying all Mexican food is tacos, and all American food is burgers, and all French food is escargot — okay, maybe the last one is a stretch.
Nonetheless, to say that Indian food is all curry is terribly unfair. Thus, after recovering from my initial shock from my friend’s story, I took the time to go over the many different types of Indian cuisine, hoping that my friend’s fiancé would give Indian food another chance, and what better way to entice them to dine desi than to provide them with a list of India’s many culinary delights.
Savory spices, rice, usually meat and sometimes potatoes too. What’s not to love?
India’s answer to lentil soup. Eat this with rice or bread or just on its own.
3. Tandoori Chicken
I know everybody has seen the “red chicken.” The better question is, have you ever tasted this magical chicken?
Think of these as India’s empanadas. Samosas are fried pockets of wonderfulness that are stuffed with your choice of meats or veggies.
This South Indian delicacy is kind of like a savory pancake. Mmm good.
6. Seekh Kabab
Replace your mundane baked chicken with this spicy protein, good to eat with rice or naan.
Fried fritters of tastiness, from spinach to potatoes to chicken, you can make a pakora with just about anything.
8. Saag Paneer
Directly translated as “spinach cheese,” this wonderful dish is a creamy blend of spinach with cubes of Indian cheese.
The other Indian bread, not to be confused with its slightly fluffier cousin naan, parathas are a bit flakier, a bit greasier and a bit tastier than the Indian bread you are more accustomed to seeing in Indian restaurants. Oh, and to make parathas even better, you can stuff them with just about anything! Eat them plain, with some yogurt and chutney, or wrap them around a seekh kabab — the options are endlessly delicious.
10. Chicken 65
They say 65 spices are needed to create these spicy little Indian chicken nuggets….and let’s be real, these guys are delicious regardless of whether that’s true or not.
Indian kidney beans, served with a rice, perhaps one of India’s best comfort foods.
Think of this as an oversized Indian crepe. Filled most commonly with potatoes or paneer, dosas are just another example of South India’s many culinary treats.
13. Bhaigan Bharta
Think Indian baba ghanoush. YUM.
14. Chole Bhature
Giant pieces of fried bread (this is the bhature part) served with spicy chickpeas (chole).
15. Vada Pav
A staple Bombay street food, vada pav is basically a potato patty slider. Carbs inside of carbs, what’s not to love?
16. Gobi Manchurian
Spicy, fried cauliflower. Need I say more? Just don’t ask me where the “manchurian” comes from because I’m still trying to figure that one out.