Top 10 Indian traditional food dishes

With bold flavours and a wide variety of foods to sample, Indian cuisine is an unforgettable experience. Make sure you try these ten incredible dishes when you visit India.

Vada Pav

Mumbai, located in northeast India, is one of the best cities to visit for street food and traditional Indian food in general. Vada pav can be found at street stalls everywhere in Mumbai and the wider Maharashtra region. Vada pav is a vegan dish and is extremely popular in India. It consists of a spiced potato fritter, which they fry and serve in a white bread roll.

Butter chicken

Butter chicken is a rich, hearty delicacy traditionally known as murgh makhani. The dish originated in Delhi and is essentially a chicken curry with a creamy tomato and butter sauce. The chicken in the dish is marinated and then cooked in a tandoor, adding an extra delicious smokey flavour.

Masala Dosa

Masala dosa is a traditional south Indian food that has its roots in the eastern region of Karnataka. You’ll generally find it in the southern regions, but it is also popular in other parts. Although it looks like a flatbread, masala dosas are usually flour-free. These thin, soft wraps are made from ground-up rice and lentils and then fried.

Kosha Mangsho

Hailing from Bengal in northwest India, Kosha Mangsho is a delicious Indian traditional food that visitors won’t want to miss. This rich curry dish is typically made from goat mutton marinated in yoghurt. It also usually contains potatoes and whole spices like cloves, cinnamon, and black pepper. Kosha Mangsho can be served with Indian bread or with fluffy rice.


Biryani rice is flavoured with ghee butter and usually contains caramelised vegetables, like onions and chillis. The dish, including the meat, is slow-cooked, giving it an ultra-tender, flavoursome finish. You will often find biryani served with yoghurt or boiled eggs added in the final cooking stages.

Ngaa Atoiba Thonga

Seafood lovers in Manipur will want to try a scrumptious portion of Ngaa Atoiba Thonga. Ngaa Atoiba Thonga is a traditional Indian Christmas food from Manipur and eaten alongside chicken curry during the festivities. Ngaa Atoiba Thonga is a creamy fish curry cooked with potatoes and stewed pears. The fish is a river fish, like carp, and usually deep-fried.


Chole is a type of delicious chickpea curry from the Punjab region. It is a brilliant dish for vegans and vegetarians to enjoy during their Indian travels. The chickpeas make this dish really filling and mean it’s full of protein. The curry sauce is usually made from onions, tomatoes, and a gram masala of cumin, coriander, cinnamon, bay leaves, cardamom, pepper, and cloves.


One of the best treats you can buy for yourself in India is a creamy cup of lassi. It’s a yoghurt-based drink, similar to a milkshake, popular throughout the continent. Traditional lassi is salted; however, the sweet version is more popular in India – and for good reason. These smooth milky drinks are the perfect refresher when you’re out on a hot day or after a meal packed with spice.


If you’re looking for a tempting traditional Indian dessert, the north Indian sweet snack jalebi is an absolute must-try. Although this sweet treat originated in the north, it is also popular in southern regions, like Kerala, where they eat them for breakfast. Similar to churros, jalebis are syrupy curls of deep-fried dough or batter doused with sugar water. Jalebis have a crunchy, chewy texture and are the perfect afternoon pick-me-up.

Palak Paneer

Vegetarians will love this cheesy, healthy spinach curry. Made by spicing and reducing spinach in a sauce, they add paneer to give this meal a fresh, zesty taste. Paneer is a traditional Indian cheese made with buffalo or cow’s milk. Its spongy tangy taste is the perfect accompaniment to spinach sauce and a fragrant Indian naan.


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