The way to any heart is treaded by all things food. Such is the cheer food brings to life that we eat not to live but rather live to eat! When it comes to Indian food, the emotions tend to run even higher. And why not? With such a variety of foods that make up Indian cuisine, we have sometime to chomp on for every reason and season. Flavours are made up, dishes are fused, tastes are experimented with- all in the name of that religion we call food. Indian food ends up being extremely popular, in the country and all over the world as well. And with such variety, we wouldn’t anyway settle for anything less! Here are 15 most popular Indian food in the world which makes people’s heart go desi-
Biryani spells emotions for many Indians. But even outside the country, this wholesome one pot meal is as much a wonder as it is here. Delightful, slow cooked concoction of rice and usually chicken or mutton, flavored with the most exotic spices, a plate of biryani is all the comfort you need to forget all about the day’s worries. Perhaps what makes Biryani such a favorite of people across the world is its distinctive aroma and fulfilling essence, even when it is mild on the palate with only oodles of the signature Indian spiciness. Accompanied by a bowl of very soothing raita and biryani is the perfect weekend dinner to feast on, even for foreigners.
Indian foods are generally grandiose and overloaded with richness. But the palak paneer is one such veggie delight on the menu that has its own distinctive taste and is as flavorsome. Paneer is an exclusively Indian food that can be interpreted in as many ways as you like it. But what puts palak paneer in a league of its own is its very discernible flavour. The goodness of fresh green spinach complements perfectly the richness of the milky paneer cubes lending your meal a uniqueness that is as healthy as tasty. No wonder, lesser condiments and mild spices make palak paneer one of the most popular Indian food in the world.
Contrary to popular belief, Samosa is not a very Indian food. Dough pockets stuffed with basically veggie fillings, samosas are deep fried and crisp savoury snacks that are relished with some chutney and/ or tea. Indians swear by these piping hot fried snacks as something very indigenous and the most loved street food as well. But the samosa is of varied origins and is enjoyed in different regions of the world with slight variations. Nevertheless, humble yet crave worthy, samosas are one of our most favorite snack that makes the perfect cup of masala chai.
Another humble feature on the list of most popular Indian food in the world has to be alu- matar. There isn’t anything fancy about this dish, yet it has everyone’s fancy. Potatoes are relished all over the country and anything featuring those rotund deliciousness is a star. Naturally, potatoes with peas and anything or nothing else is the most Indian food you will ever encounter. Relatively mild on the spices yet deliciously flavoursome is what makes this simple dish appeal to non Indians as well.
Now this is one ‘dish’ so native to the country that it even takes its name from the Hindi word for licking! As a concept, chaat is anything so delicious that you lick your plate off. The perfect munching fare, or one that will rev up any romantic rainy evening, chaats can be as inventive as ambiguous. You have alu chaat, papdi chaat, masala chaat, bhel puri, dahi puri, sev puri, and even kachori or samosa chaat, there’s no end to digging into a plate of such flavorful burst.
Fried dough crumbled into pieces and topped off with yogurt, sauces,chutneys and powdered spices like dried mango powder, cumin, rock salt, coriander, dried ginger, salt, black pepper, and red pepper, garnished with fresh chopped coriander and onions all comes together to deliver the addictive flavor riot that chaat is. Chaats are simple yet versatile in their no way. Their spicy, tangy, sweet taste makes them an instant hit with anyone the very first time they have a bite.
There is no dearth of options to explore when it comes to Indian non- vegetarian food. Butter chicken is the ultimate indulgence for those who can’t do away their meat cravings. As the name suggests, butter chicken is a very rich gravy of chicken that is prepared with oodles and oodles of butter stewed into a rich curry. The creamy texture and appetising red color makes it irresistibly enticing and even otherwise spice loathing foreigners swear by this heavenly serving to relish with naans or rice.
Rasgulla is an iconic Indian sweetmeat but given its extreme sweetness might not be the most popular Indian food in the world. Foreigners like their food mild, whether it be with the spices or the sugar. Nevertheless, one bite of these spongy, syrupy balls is good enough for them- unlike anything they have ever tasted before.
A distinctive nutty feel and sweetness in moderation makes Kaju Katli one of the most loved Indian sweets in the world yet. The silver foil coating gives it also a very heritage feel while the richness of cashews and less sugar makes it healthy as well. No doubt folks outside of the country are more likely to have more than just one bite of it!
Like all good things that comes in packages, Indian foods also mostly come in duos. And choley- bhaturey is one such iconic pair that has held the world’s fancy since long. Deep fried puffy sheets of kneaded dough, all crispy and flaky, done up with chickpea curry made the Indian way with spices and stuff sums up a delicious breakfast that however is not the healthiest of fares around.
Another rich Indian meat curry, Rogan Josh is a very traditional Indian dish. Red lamb, as the name translates to, derives its fiery red appeal from the choicest of Kashmiri dry red chillies. Rogan Josh is like what most rich Indian curries are- creamy and spicy yet still makes it to the list of most popular Indian food in the world.
Indians swear by their cup of tea every single day of their lives. Naturally with such obsession for the cuppa, even chai has come to be interpreted variedly. But perhaps the most Indianised version of this refreshing brew is the masala chai. Just another hint at how much the Indians love their masalas to make even their everyday drink a spice haven! Masala tea however is loved also by tea enthusiasts the world over because of its greater refreshing properties. A cup of the milkiest sugary tea, infused with enriching flavours of ginger, cardamom, pepper, cloves and/ or saunf, masala chai is even better than your caffeine fix any day!
You can’t ever name a more iconic Indian duo than Rajma Chawal. That’s about how much this staple is vital to the Indian menu. Rajma is also an essentially indigenous Indian legume that is interpreted in as Indian a style as possible. Rajma is the standout star of this comfort meal, with only spices added to enhance the nuttiness of the dried beans. Pair it with a bowl of hot steamed rice and you really don’t need anything else to have the complete meal. Add to this just a dollop of butter to satiate the Indian cravings. Foreigners however would do more than well even without any such rich creaminess.
Among the host of Indian delicacies to savour, one of the very innovative and indigenous picks is the golgappes. Fried suji puris stuffed with mashed potatoes and topped off with a dash of tangy imli water and chilly, golgappes evoke droolworthy cravings. What makes golgappes appealing as most popular Indian food in the world to even non Indians is their uniqueness. And you can also adjust the spice levels according to your liking which makes it all the more versatile. What’s more, for those with a weakness for sweets, there’s even the meethi puchkas to bite into!
Dosa is one Indian meal staple that is as healthy as it is tasty. Made with fermented rice batter spread evenly as a thin sheet, these crispy hot crusties go as well as breakfast, lunch or dinner. Lesser than the Indian standard of oil also makes these different tasting flatbreads an exciting option to try out. The plain dosas are also not spicy making it easier to dig into. But if you find yourself craving for some spice on a cold, sick morning, you also have spicy masala dosas to choose from.
Cliched yes, but tandoori chicken remains the all time favorite even for non- Indians. The very distinctive smoky flavour of the tandoor that emanates from the juicy pieces of the succulent meat is enough reason for everyone to be craving to the last bite. Indian pride does not get more assertive than this!