The foods of India encompass a variety of regional cuisines making use of local spices, herbs, vegetables and dry fruits. The most famous ingredients of North Indian foods are Ginger, cumin seeds, cardamom, cinnamon, garam masala, tamarind and nutmeg. Indian religious habits, especially Hindu beliefs and culture—have shaped the development of these cuisines. Vegetarianism is common in Indian society. Although, Islamic influence due to years of Mughal and Sultanate rule as well as Persian interactions have influenced North Indian and Deccan cuisine significantly. The North Indian part of Indian cuisine is usually spicy in states like Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh. With spices like Cumin, Dry red chillies, turmeric, Chilli powder, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Cloves, Garam Masala, these states are the hub of the spiciest foods. North Indians are very fond of tomatoes, onions and potatoes, butter, ghee and nuts. Here are some North Indian Spicy foods that people absolutely love and you must try them when you visit North India.
10. Dum Aloo
The “Dum” in Dum Aloo refers to the cooking style. “Dum” is a specific method of cooking that incorporates a sealed clay pot. Foods in this mughlai style are cooked low and slow over a flame. Part of the Kashmiri cuisine, it is one the spiciest dishes. Half boiled potatoes deep fried and then cooked in a tomato and onion gravy with red chilli powder and the spiciest spices. It goes best with wheat or all purpose flour chapattis and is famous not only in Kashmir but entire North India because of being a favorite. It is cooked in a way that it retains its moisture on a low flame till it is delicious for your taste buds. The best Dum aloo are traditionally cooked in Kashmir.
9. Dal Makhani
Also known as “Maa ki Dal’ in Punjab, it is a dish with rich butter, cream and spices, Dal Makhani is one of the most famous North Indian Dishes. A dish made of boiled whole black lentil, kidney beans and red lentil; it becomes a vegetarian dish savored by all. Dal Makhani was introduced by Punjabi Migrants during the Indo-Pakistan partition and now is one of the most loved foods. It tastes best hot with naan. It is said that If a restaurant has Dal Makhani on the menu, it is usually the best judge of the chef’s capabilities.
Biryani is a dish made of plain rice and a thick layer of sauce. A wide range of whole spices are used to make a biryani. It is one of the most famous dishes of Uttar Pradesh because of the Mughal Empire that was very fond of biryani. A biryani can be vegetarian or a non vegetarian, however the traditional biryani served in Uttar Pradesh is a biryani served with meat. It is also very famous in Old Delhi where Karims serve them best. It has a lot of varieties now that include mutton, chicken, shrimp, egg, lentils biryani.
It is made out of the best kidney beans that usually grow in Kashmir and is usually served with Rice. Being high in nutrition, it is also a wholesome dish loved by everyone, alike. It consists of Indian spices and thick gravy with tomatoes and tamarind paste. Red kidney beans with its typical thick gravy in the middle of a plate full of steamed rice tempts people of North India every day, however, Sundays are a special days for Rajma and rice. Rajma are served with steamed plain rice or rice with fried cumin seeds. The most interesting thing about Rajma and rice is that it can be eaten at any time of the day. They are so loved by North Indians that they can also be eaten for breakfast. The most famous Rajma chawal in North India are served in Connaught place, Delhi.
6. Reshmi kabab
A traditional Mughlai dish which consists of marinated chunks of chicken, or meat barbeque. They are ritualistically prepared on iron sticks in a tandoor. Marinated with hung curd mixed with spices and served with spicy mint or coriander leaves chutney, it is a dear favorite of the people of North India, especially Uttar Pradesh. Kebabs were originally invented due to shortage of appropriate cooking methods and got their unique roasted taste. They were so loved that they were served in the Delhi Sultanate and were enjoyed by the kings and by the commoners equally. They are marinated for long and then braised. They are especially found in Uttar Pradesh and Old Delhi.
A samosa is a snack which usually has an all purpose flour shell deep fried with a filling of spicy mashed potatoes, green chillies, peas, onion, or sometimes even a filling of crushed lentils. It is usually served with mint, coriander or tamarind chutney. One of the most savored foods of North India which goes as cheap as Rs. 5 per piece, and also equally famous. Be it London or America, You can easily find a samosa. In some parts of India, the filling of a samosa varies, with chicken or mutton as a filling. The most interesting version of samosa is the chocolate samosas that are served in many bakeries including some of London. The best samosa in India is served by Samosa Junction in Punjab.
4. Pav Bhaji
Originally from Maharashtra, Pav Bhaji is very famous in the northern parts of India. The bhaji is made out of boiled vegetables like potatoes, tomatoes, peas, carrots, and almost every vegetable available. The vegetables are cooked with all the spices and served with butter on top. The pav are a kind of bread served hot with butter. Onion rings in lemon are served with Pav bhaji and being very spicy and tangy, it is e most famous one of the most famous foods of north India. It can be eaten as a snack or as a meal in itself and can be found in London, America, Singapore and Hong Kong as well.
3. Butter chicken
Originated from Delhi, it is a dish made of grilled or roasted chicken that is cooked in a tomato puree with spices and lots of butter to make it extremely rich in texture. It is an extremely famous dish with Punjabi people of not only Delhi or Punjab but also of London. It would not be wrong to say that dishes like these unite Indians, no matter where they are. Moti Mahal restaurant in Delhi claims to have invented it. It’s possible they were trying to make it sound new and unique as well as separating it from what was available in other restaurants. The ‘butter’ in the gravy used to be actually butter. Not the salted off-the-shelf variety, but fresh white butter made out of the thick cream that rises to the top of buffalo milk after boiling and cooling. This butter, added to the onion-tomato based gravy late in the process, made the gravy smooth and creamy
2. Pani Puri
The original place of the origin of this food is controversial, however it is extremely popular amongst North Indians. With fried sphere hollow balls of wheat or Semolina, it is to be eaten with a filling of boiled mashed potatoes that are usually salted and spiced with spiced water made of tamarind, mint or coriander leaves. Famous for its spiciness, it is loved by everyone. In almost every north Indian state, you can find roadside stalls selling Pani Puri or Gol Gappe as their other name. They are flavored and spiced water filled mini-balloons that burst as soon as they go in the mouth.
1. Chole Bhature
One of the favorites of a typically Punjabi and Delhi breakfast, they are served with onion rings, pickles, lassi and a dash of lemon. Boiled chickpeas cooked in gravy of spices and tomatoes. It is served with fried flat bread made of all purpose wheat. The chickpeas are spicy and bhature are also sometimes filled with mashed potatoes or cottage cheese. The places in Delhi that serve chole bhature best are Paharganj, and Old Delhi. It is a very heavy/high calorie breakfast popular among North Indians served as a meal or as a snack. Again, because being a favorite North Indians can have them at any time of the day. The chole are often topped with boiled potato covered with spices and are a treat to the tongue.