When travelling in India, eating like a local is definitely something you should embrace. Trying different curries is an obvious go to, but what if you’re not a fan? There seems to be an ongoing myth that all you will be eating in India is curry and this really isn’t the case! (So trust me when I say, you won’t starve). India is filled with other delicious delicacies that will certainly have you eating like the locals do. Here are 5 amazing foods I recommend trying!
Start your day with a Dosa
A staple dish of India, dosas are delicious! A fermented crepe made from a base of lentils and rice batter, it is usually a dish eaten for breakfast. Plain dosas are commonly accompanied by a side of coconut chutney and ghee (Indian butter). If this tickles your taste buds I would also recommend trying the Masala Dosa, which is filled with spiced potatoes. The ultimate street food, you are guaranteed to find this all over India. Personally, I would recommend ‘Kerala Cafe’ in Varanasi. A small cafe full of locals, you are sure to stand out like a sore thumb but the dosa is worth it!
Don’t use cutlery, use a Chapatti
A simple, yet very tasty flatbread made from wheat flour. Not particularly adventurous, but a typical contender in Indian cuisine and perfect for those cautious of trying new food. Traditionally eaten alongside dishes such as curry (a bit of an all-rounder) locals use the chapatti to scoop up the curry as it is uncommon to use cutlery. It goes perfectly with a cold beer in hand or as a late night snack, so don’t worry about pushing the boundaries with your chapatti.
Dry Vegetable Curry: Not your average consistency
Despite the name, this dish isn’t exactly your average curry. Although traditional in India, if you don’t like curry but want to try a similar alternative, this could be the one. Its prime ingredients are vegetables, curry leaves and turmeric. Mixed with multiple spices, it smells and tastes amazing. I found the consistency to be more paste like than a ‘saucy’ curry, which is an obvious given its name. Paired alongside a chapatti, you’ll feel as though you have cheated your dislike of curry for a fantastic alternative!
Overindulge with a Lassi
Lassis are a yoghurt-based drink that you will definitely over indulge in whilst in India. Traditionally, Indian lassis are salted with a few spices. However, if you have a sweet tooth, opt for the sweet lassi which is also common to have in the West. If passing through Varanasi, go in search of the famous ‘Blue Lassi Shop’ which is a 6 minute walk from the Manikarnika Ghat. Although the lassis take a while to prepare they are worth it! With endless toppings and ingredients to choose from, I recommend the pineapple and banana topped with almonds and turmeric, it costs 35 INR, approx. 0.5 USD.
Gujiya: Traditional Indian Sweet
With an endless array of amazing flavours, India offer some of the best sweet treats going! Dotted throughout bakeries and some food stalls, Indian sweets are the perfect dessert after your meal. Commonly made with coconut and condensed milk, they are full of fruit and spices. I would recommend Gujiya. Made especially during the Diwali festival season, it’s primarily made from coconut, milk and raisins and then wrapped in dough. Absolutely delicious and only cost 10 INR, (approx. 0.15 USD) – Bargain! I recommend visiting Ksheer Sagar sweet shop, located 0. 45km (approx 0.20 miles ) from the Harish Chandra Ghat, they sell a delicious Gujiya.
Tuck in to the local food without missing out
It really can be quite daunting trying food from different cultures, especially if you’re worried there is nothing you will like. Indian food is like no other, and offers so many different dishes alongside the ever famous curry. Try these recommendations and you genuinely will feel like curry was a thing of the past!
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