75th Independence Day: Visit India with these 21 lip-smacking food guides and recipes despite being away from home

75th Independence Day: Visit India with these 21 lip-smacking food guides and recipes despite being away from home

As the whole of India celebrates on August 15, make it special (and tasty) with food

Celebrate Indian Independence Day today by indulging in some tasty food Image Credit: Shutterstock

Independence Day is here! But what’s a celebration without good food? Since travelling to India seems like a tough decision to make, Food by Gulf News decided to bring India to you, so that you don’t miss out on the cuisines and signature dishes from different states.

We'll cover dishes from North, South, East and West, so you'll have quite a number of options to choose from this Independence day.

1. Guide to making the creamiest butter chicken

There isn't an Indian restaurant without Butter Chicken on the menu. This creamy and tasty dish is lathered with butter, spices and has a tomato base. Not only will it give you a glimpse into royal Indian dining with just one bite, but it makes for the perfect meal on your day off. Pair it with an equally buttery naan or roti (flatbread), and you'll be good to go.

Guide to butter chicken
Hot butter chicken all ready to be scooped up with hot naan Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

2. Guide to making Palak Paneer at home

Another all-time favourite for every Indian diner is paneer or what is known as cottage cheese. While there are several variations to how it's made, palak paneer or cottage cheese cooked in puréed spinach tastes best when paired with naan or roti (flatbreads) and takes only 10 minutes to make!

Guide to making palak paneer
Palak paneer or spinach with cottage cheese cooked in Indian spices Image Credit: Stefan Lindeque/Gulf News

3. How to make Dal at home

A staple to every Indian household, the love for dal is a different story for everyone. This simple-yet-sophisticated recipe brings in a different gastronomical experience altogether when eaten with steamed rice or roti (flatbread). A blend of spices, dal does amp up an entire meal!

Humble masoor dal
My go to lentil dish - masoor dal or red lentil curry Image Credit: Supplied

4. Guide to making Vada pav

The vada pav is a popular Indian street food snack that has stolen the hearts of many in the past few decades. Popular in Maharashta, the spiced potato fritter or vada is sandwiched between a pav and is accompanied with a sweet chutney, coriander chutney and even a fried green chilli pepper.

Step-by-step guide to making Mumbai-style vada pav
Step-by-step guide to making Mumbai-style vada pav Image Credit: Anas Thacharpadikkal/Gulf News

5. Mutton Biryani

When in India, a hearty biryani meal cannot be missed out on. Each state has a different recipe, but it's the love for biryani which has continued to remain a constant in the country. Cooked in layers, this rice dish is the centre of every festive dining table, which means Independence Day calls for a plate of biryani and raita (yoghurt-based salad) to go with.

Mutton Biryani
Mutton Biryani Image Credit: Shutterstock

6. Hari macchi or coriander fish

Staple to the state of Karnataka, this seafood dish is a superstar at every dining table. Marinated with yoghurt, coriander, lemon and a few chillis, this main course gravy dish is tangy and spicy at the same time. What's more? It's best served with steamed rice and rotis (flatbreads).

Hari Machhi (Coriander Fish)
Hari Machhi (Coriander Fish) Image Credit: Shutterstock

7. Make classic Parsi dish, Dhansakh, at home

A vegetarian delight, this classic Parsi dish is a medley of vegetables like pumpkin, aubergine and tomatoes, which takes less than an hour to make. Dal and spices are also added to the dish and is best eaten with rice. You can also tweak the recipe by adding meat and you'll have a whole new dish to look forward to.

Dhansakh Image Credit: Shutterstock

5. Guide to making samosas at home

Another popular street food snack, samosas are made with mashed potatoes, peas and a few spices. Pair it with tamarind chutney and coriander chutney, and a glass of chai... this dish gives you an idea of what 4pm usually looks like in India.

This is the ideal colour your samosa crust should reach, before you strain it out of the oil and drain the excess with a tissue paper.
Make samosas at home this Independence Day! Image Credit: Anas Thacharpadikkal/Gulf News

6. How to make Gajar ka Halwa at home

No Independence Day is complete without dessert. With its base ingredient being grated carrots, this gajar ka halwa recipe takes on five steps and calls for the perfect end to a celebration.

Image used for illustrative purposes only Image Credit: Shutterstock

7. Guide to making Schezwan Paneer and Almond Kabab

In the mood for a crunchy snack? Try out the schezwan paneer and almond kabab! This fried fitter is every vegetarian's go-to dish especially when it's a holiday. Not only is it tasty, but makes for the perfect tea-time snack when served with ketchup and coriander mint chutney.

Schezwan Paneer and Almond Kabab
Schezwan Paneer and Almond Kabab Image Credit: Stefan Lindeque/Gulf News

8. Recipe for Bengali Mishti Doi

Not only is this dessert tasty, but it is straight out of the Editor's cookbook! A true delight to every sweet-tooth out there, this fermented, caramelised, yoghurt-based dessert recipe is quite easy to make. All you need... are a few ingredients and a microwave.

Mishti Doi
A healthful dessert from the heart of Bengal, India Image Credit: Anupa Kurian-Murshed

9. Guide to making Kerala-style beef cutlet

A popular tea-time snack in Kerala, this beef cutlet makes for the perfect dish if you've got guests coming over quickly. This easy-to-make recipe will be sure to result in some tasty treats, and tastes best when paired with ketchup and sliced onions, drizzled with lemon juice and green chillies.

Beef Cutlet Image Credit: Supplied/Sobha Varghese

10. Alu Tehari or Potato Biryani

Every vegetarian's favourite, the Alu Tehari is a popular dish from Awadhi cuisine. Made with rice, potatoes and a few spices, this dish takes less than an hour to cook and is quite easy-to-make, especially when you're short of time.

Alu Tahari
Alu Tehari

11. Make Konkan Murgh at home

A recipe from coastal India, this gravy is a joyride of flavours, especially due to its use of a variety of spices and herbs. What's more? The coconut milk in the gravy enhances the dish to a whole new level. While one would assume this dish takes a lot of time to prepare, it actually only takes 30 to 35 minutes!

Konkan Murgh
Konkan Murgh Image Credit: Shutterstock

12. Kashmiri lamb ribs or Tabak maaz

Ah, Kashmiri food is absolute bliss, especially when it comes to their non-vegetarian delicacies. The tabak maaz though, is slow-cooked in yoghurt and spices and is only served during special occasions. Which is reason enough to make it this Independence Day. 

Tabaz maaz
Image Credit: GN Archives

13. How to make your own chaat at home

The great Indian leveller, as they call it. This is a must-try dish at every street-food stall, especially because it brings a different kind of joy altogether. The crisp, spherical, deep-fried dough is filled with a potato and legume mix and garnished with spices. This is then dipped into a diluted version of the sweet and coriander chutney (natively known as theeka and meetha pani). There are other variations of chaat, some of those which include being served with yoghurt, vegetables and sev (a deep-fried crispy snack made with gram flour and spices).

Sev puri, Indian chaat in the UAE
Pani puri and other chaat dishes Image Credit: Shutterstock

14. Bengali Fulkopi diye Katla Macher Jhol or catla/rohu fish curry with seasonal cauliflower

Popular to the state of West Bengal, this fish-based dish takes only 25 minutes to prepare! Apart from the fish, vegetables are added to enhance the flavour along with a few spices. This dish tastes best with steamed rice or rotis (flatbread).

Katla macher jhol
This fish and cauliflower curry is a winter speciality in West Bengal Image Credit: Supplied/Bong Eats

15. Sweet potato halwa

Ever had sweet potatoes for dessert? Well, this pudding recipe gives it a whole new taste and can be made during special occasions such as Independence Day. If you still don't know what to make for dessert and you've got 30 minutes to spare before your guests arrive, this is the recipe you need to try out!

Sweet Potato Halwa
Sweet Potato Halwa Image Credit: GN Archives

16. Mango Kulfi

Kulfi in India is an experience never to miss out on. Not only is it tasty, but legend has it that the emperors of the Mughal empire had quite a liking to it. Today, this sweet dessert has found its form in various flavours and makes it the ideal solution for those who want to beat the heat!

Mango Kulfi Image Credit: GN Archives

17. Desi Churros with Saffron

Churros take a desi twist with this dessert, which is made using coconut and served with a saffron, milk and cream blend sauce or what's natively known as rabri. These dessert delights are an absolute must-try this Independence day!

Desi Churros with Saffron Rabri
Desi Churros with Saffron Rabri Image Credit: GN Archives

18. Mysore Pak

When in India, Mysore Pak is a go-to sweet dish. Every bakery would have a tray full of Mysore Pak and is every sweet-lovers absolute delight. Often served during special occasions, this dish is made using milk, ghee (clarified butter) and a few nuts.

Mysore Pak
From weddings to festivals, this rich and buttery fudge-like sweet is a must in South India Image Credit: Shutterstock

19. Kesari

Kesari is a semolina pudding which is made with ghee and topped off with raisins and cashew nuts. The saffron-coloured sweet takes 20 minutes or less to prepare and calls for a celebration every time it's placed on a table.

Kesari Image Credit: Shutterstock

20. Shrimp Ularthiyuthu or Kerala Shrimp Dry Roast

Another classic dish straight out of the Editor's recipe book, this Kerala Shrimp delicacy is a must-try especially because it tastes as good as it looks. A dry roast of sliced onions, ginger, garlic, a handful of spices and curry leaves, this dish is best served with steamed rice or flatbreads.

Kerala Shrimp Roast 2
Just about every Keralite (southern Indian state) would be familiar with some variation or other of this dish. Image Credit: Anupa Kurian-Murshed

21. Mutton Lucknowi biryani

If you're in the mood for biryani, the mutton lucknowi biryani is a must-try. Made with Basmati rice, this spiced rice with cooked meat is a true winner at every table!

Mutton Lucknowi biryani
Mutton Lucknowi biryani Image Credit: Courtesy of Biryani Junction

Trying out these recipes for Indian Independence Day? Tell us about it on food@gulfnews.com

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