12 Unique Indian Cuisines You Need To Try & Where To Get Them

The thing about being as gluttonous as we are is, we got seriously lucky being born into a country like India that has a food culture vast and varied enough to accommodate our ravenous appetites. Combing through the gastronomic variations, it's baffling to even contemplate how 'Indian food' could ever vie for a definition. Suffice to say the country's culinary offerings are a dizzying feast spanning coasts, mountains and plateaus and whether it's seafood cooked in sumptuous curries from the Malvan coast that you crave or air-dried, smoked porks and other meats from the North-east that get your goat, there's no place in the world as well constructed to satiate your every desire. 
But while we (and most of the world) is well acquainted with the Moghlai tandoors and the Goan prawns, what of the myriad other indigenous cuisines that rarely receive a share in the spotlight? Well, that's what we're here for. We're fairly certain even thorough bred Indian culture folk wouldn't know much about some of the unique cuisines we've listed out today so scroll through and do your best to sample some of these whenever you get a chance. 
Happy reading, and happy drooling. 

I) Syrian Jewish Indian Cuisine (Origins: Kerala)

Overlooked
Staple Dishes

Great Place To Get It: You gotta go to the source if you want the real thing. Cochin’s Koder House is as close as it gets.

II) Chettinad Cuisine (Origins: Tamil Nadu)

Staple Dishes

Great Place To Get It: The Anjappar Hotels, Chennai and Bangalore is where it’s at if you’re looking for some real authenticity.

III) Naga Cuisine (Origins: Nagaland)

Staple Dishes? 
smoked pork stew
bamboo steamed fish

 Great Place To Get It: If not a real Naga household, Nagaland’s Kitchen in Delhi is close enough, we reckon.

IV) Kashmiri Cuisine (Origin: Kashmir)

Staple Dishes
Rogan Josh
matschgand
yakhni,

Great place to get it: Gulfam Kashmiri Wazwan and Ahad Sons Restaurant, Delhi, is where you need to head to.

V) Assamese Cuisine (Origin: Assam)

Assamese Pork Fry. Source: tripadvisor.com
Staple Dishes
Khar anja
Pitikas
Tenga
Hukoti

 Great place to get it: Got to give it to the capital for their food culture, Jakoi in Delhi is where you need to be if you want to try some.

VI) Kolhapuri Cuisine (Origins: Maharashtra)

Staple Dishes
Misal Pav
Vada pav
Tambada rassa

Great place to get it: Kolhapuri Katta in Pune is your closest option if it's real Kolhapuri fare you're craving & if you're willing to go the distance, you should head straight to Opal Restaurant in Kolhapur. 

VII) Khandeshi Cuisine (Origins: Maharashtra)

Staple Dishes
batata pohe
owar crepes
mugache dhirade
Khandeshi-style baingan bharata
Bhendake with kadhi

 Great place to get it: Khandeshi Jhatka, Pune is where you need to be to get a taste.

VIII) Khasi Cuisine (Origins: Meghalaya)

Ja,
Dah,
Jur
vegetarians, you might want to sit this one out, it’s all about the meat with this one.
Staple foods
Jadoh
Doh Nei long
dohkhleh

Great place to get it at: We're afraid you're going to have to find a Khasi household for this one! Time to make some new friends.

IX) Syrian Christian Cuisine (Origins: Kerala)

Staple dishes
kappa-meen vevichathu
Syrian beef fry
erachi olarthiathu
puttu,
meen molee

Great place to get it at: Strangely, the closest place for this one's in Ahmedabad, at Four Food.  

X) Mangalorean Cuisine (Origins: Managalore)

Staple dishes
Kori Rotti
Bangude Pulimunchi
Mangalorean Catholics
Mangalorean Pork Chilli Fry. Source: blueapocalypse.com
Staple dishes
pork sorpotel
Sanna-Dukra Maas
Rosachi kadi

XI) Bihari Cuisine

Staple dishes
Maner
Tilkut
Baingan-ka-Bharta
Makhahe Ki Kheer

Great place to get it at: Loosen your belt up a notch, its at Potbelly Rooftop Cafe, Delhi.

XII) Konkani Saraswat Cuisine (Origins: Goa, Konkan Belt)

Saraswat cuisine is another one of those lovely amalgamations the country's created - originally hailing from Goa, it's like the delightful offspring of Udupi and Malvani food culture. Traditionally, it's the Saraswat Brahmins from the Konkan we have to thank for this unique cuisine that's mostly pesco-vegetarian - good thing too, because missing out on the community's spin on seafood would be a real pity, replete with curries cooked with coconut, coconut oil, tamarind, and curry leaves. You can't help but notice that their cuisine is less spicy than their Goan Catholic counterparts though, with less Portuguese influence as well.

Staple dishes include Hooman ani Xit or fish curry and rice, hands-down the most popular dish in the region and Indian breads such as Puris, Chapatis and Parathas are pretty common fare here, as with most of the country. There's actually a couple of different sects amongst the Saraswat Brahmins, such as the Satvik Brahmins whose cuisine is very similar to that of the Jain community. Strictly vegetarian, they don't use vegetables plucked from underground, like onions, potatoes, and garlic. Vegetarian meals here are generally dishes like bhaji or shaak, made from different fruit and vegetables, hoomans or curries and misal, a delicious spicy usal topped with fried snacks.

Words: Aditi Dharmadhikari 

[That's all we've got for now but if you know of any incredible and overlooked cuisines that isn't heard enough of in the country, don't hold out on us. Let us know in the comments section below.] 

Related Stories

No stories found.
Homegrown
homegrown.co.in