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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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).
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).
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
Trying out these recipes for Indian Independence Day? Tell us about it on email@example.com