Indian food is one of the most versatile and rich styles of cuisine that you can enjoy. If you have never had it before, then it can be intimidating to order. If you’re wondering what kind of Indian food you should try, it can be helpful to understand the different offerings from each region. Also, be adventurous when trying Indian food because you can’t go wrong with any dish.
Indian food is a celebration of spices and aromatics. Depending on where you go, every dish is made from scratch. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, you may struggle with other types of cuisine with limited options, but Indian food has a variety of vegetarian/vegan dishes to choose from. Your biggest decision will be narrowing down your options!
Kinds of Indian Food Based on Regions
Indian food is known for its unique blend of spices and flavors. Each dish is typically served with either rice or bread to complete the meal. And curries are a staple across the country. Though, specialty Indian dishes differ from region to region. Before beginning your Indian food journey, here are some fundamental food differences between regions.
Northern Indian Cuisine
Northern Indian cuisine is probably what you are most familiar with. Its cuisine is characterized by its use of dairy products such as butter and cream. Northern Indian curries have a thicker texture and are accompanied by bread. The popular and celebrated naan bread originated in Northern India and is traditionally cooked in a clay oven called a tandoor. Popular vegetables used in northern Indian cuisine include potatoes, cauliflower, eggplant, okra, and tomatoes.
The North Indian states are home to a wide variety of dishes, from spicy curries to decadent desserts. Some popular dishes in this region include tandoori chicken, butter chicken, and samosas. For unique flavors, these dishes are typically made with generous amounts of spices such as cumin, cardamom, coriander, turmeric, garam masala, ginger, and chili powder.
Southern Indian Cuisine
In contrast to North India’s rich curries and creamy gravies, South Indian cuisine relies heavily on rice-based dishes. Such dishes are often served with flavorful chutneys made from fresh coconut or tomato.
Spices commonly used in South Indian cooking include tamarind paste, sesame seeds, black peppercorns, ginger root, chilies, coconut oil, and cardamom pods. In contrast to North India’s use of spices and chilies for flavor, South India tends to emphasize fresh herbs like curry leaves, coriander leaves, coconut milk, and other mild ingredients such as lentils and vegetables.
Popular dishes here include:
- Dosa is a type of savory pancake.
- Sambar, a vegetable stew.
- Idli steamed savory cakes made from rice flour.
- Various types of chutneys.
Eastern Indian Cuisine
East Indian cuisine shares many similarities with both North and South India, but some unique flavors are found only in this region. The most popular dishes in East India are momos, dumplings filled with vegetables or meat, fish curry made with mustard seeds or poppy seeds paste, and more! Common spices used in East Indian cooking include cumin seed powder, jeera powder, fenugreek leaves, red chili powder, roasted cumin seed powder, bay leaves, turmeric, haldi, and coriander.
West Indian Cuisine
West Indian cuisine has similarities to Northern Indian food. Many of their dishes are vegetarian based on the diets of most of the population. Their dishes rely heavily on lentils and legumes. However, some places, such as Mumbai, are known for their famous and delicious meat dishes.
West India is also known for its street food, such as vada pav, a type of potato burger, and its sweet treats like jalebi, deep-fried dough dipped in sugar syrup. This region also features an array of seafood dishes due to its proximity to the coast. Spices commonly used in West India include cloves, cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, star anise, caraway seeds, etc.
Hungry? Try Different Kinds of Indian Dishes!
Indian cuisine is one of the most diverse and delicious in the world. With so many different flavors and ingredients, it can take time to decide where to begin. Whether you’re a fan of spicy curries or milder dishes, there’s something special for your taste buds, and some dishes may even surprise you. Here are some popular starting points when trying Indian cuisine.
Samosas are an iconic Indian snack that is often served as starters or appetizers before meals. Samosas are deep-fried triangular pastries filled with various fillings: spiced potatoes, peas, onions, and other vegetables. Usually, they’re served with chutney or dipping sauces for added flavor.
The Curry makes a delicious vegan Punjabi samosa served with a saunth chutney. The flaky pastry is filled with spiced potato and fried with tamarind and date chutney. It’s the perfect combination of sweet and spicy. The crispy texture and flavor will entice you back for seconds. Care to order some vegan Punjabi samosas? Begin your online order.
A masala dosa originated in South Indian cuisine and grew in popularity quickly. It is a dosa, or thin crepe, made out of fermented rice and lentil batter. It’s crispy and savory.
The Curry’s vegan version includes onions, garlic, and red and green chilies, giving it an extra kick of flavor. To elevate the experience, we serve it with sambar and chutneys.
If you’re feeling adventurous, we can make it spicy, which includes gunpowder paste.
Rice is imperative when eating Indian cuisine. Try saffron rice next time you order. Saffron rice has a unique flavor and many health benefits, including increased energy levels and improved digestion. It’s also the best side dish for your new favorite Indian dishes.
The Curry’s saffron rice is made with basmati rice flavored with saffron petals, milk, and butter. This combination creates a savory and aromatic flavor profile that can please any palate. The basmati rice is cooked to perfection and is both fluffy and light.
If you want to expand your rice dish, try biryani. Biryani is a traditional Indian rice dish made with a complex blend of ingredients. It consists of fluffy basmati rice, which is infused with fragrant spices and layered with herbs.
The Curry biryani stands out from other dishes due to its unique blend of ingredients. Basmati rice is used as the base of the dish, and it is cooked with various spices such as cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and bay leaves. Adding herbs such as mint and coriander adds an extra dimension of flavor to the dish. We offer Chicken, Goat, Shrimp, and Veggie Biryani.
Indian curry is a dish that is enjoyed by food lovers all around the world. Originating in India, this flavorful, aromatic delight is the perfect blend of spices and ingredients to tantalize your taste buds. There are many different kinds of curries, so this is something to narrow down. Curries are such a staple dish that you must try one.
Start with what’s popular when discovering Indian food like The Curry’s version of Aloo Gobil. It’s a classic North Indian dish made with potatoes and cauliflower in a flavorful tomato-based sauce. The spice can be adjusted to suit your taste.
Or try The Curry’s Sarson Ki Saag and add paneer for extra deliciousness. This is a comforting dish and a crowd-pleaser.
Classic Butter Chicken
One of India’s best-known dishes, butter chicken is a creamy tomato-based curry with chunks of tandoori-style chicken cooked in a rich buttery gravy. The gravy is made with a blend of spices like garam masala and turmeric, as well as cream and butter. The dish is usually served with naan or rice.
Don’t let your entrees be lonely. Make sure you pair it with naan. Naan bread is a delicious, flavorful flatbread. It is made from unleavened dough and cooked in a tandoor oven, which gives it its signature smoky flavor.
And for dessert, try gulab. Gulab is an Indian dessert made of deep-fried dough balls that have been soaked in sugar syrup that has been flavored with cardamom, rosewater, and saffron. These dough balls are typically made using flour, milk, yogurt, and ghee. Honestly, it’s worth it to order from The Curry just to try our take on Rabadi Jamun.
The Curry, Begin Exploring Great Indian Food
Indian cuisine offers so many exquisite, flavorful dishes. While this is a partial list of must-try dishes, this is simply a starting point. Honestly, you can’t go wrong with any dish. Be adventurous and experiment. You’ll be pleased and learn more about Indian cuisine.
The Curry Modern Indian Restaurant in Huntsville, Alabama is making bold and fresh dishes and provides high-quality meals to every customer. Let us cook for you. Call 256-517-8017, come into our buffet, or order online!