Top 20 Most Popular Dishes Throughout India

I am sure that every Indian will have an opinion about which foods this list should contain, but this is my website and my list (although I welcome any and all feedback!). Here is my page of typical Indian meals.

Caveat: this list does not include basic dishes (rice, raita, chutneys, and bread) that can be found at most Indian tables. Ready?

The Top 20 Indian Dishes

  • Aloo Curry: Potato dish with peas (matar), cauliflower (gobi), or other vegetables
  • Baingan Bharta: (Punjab) Grilled and minced eggplant simmered with tomatoes and spices
  • Bengali Shrimp Curry(maacher jhol): (West Bengal) A stew with fish, mustard oil, and spices
  • Biryani: A layered dish of rice and meat and/or vegetables. Many regions of India have their own version of this dish; the most popular biryani comes from Hyderabad
  • Butter Chicken(murgh makhani): (Delhi) Marinated and cooked chicken, simmered in a mildly spiced tomato gravy 
  • Chaat: (Mumbai) Street food snacks, at once savory, crunchy, sweet, sour, and salty
  • Easy Curry: Every Indian cook has their own curry recipe (the BEST); veg or non-veg
  • Chickpea Curry: (kadala): A flavorful chickpea curry (masala)
  • Coconut Fish Curry: (South India, Kerala) A lovely mild coconut gravy with local seafood
  • Dosas: (South India) Flatbread, stuffed as in masala dosa, or unstuffed
  • Gosht: A meat curry, ingredients depending on the region, but most often goat and lamb
  • Idli: (South India) A fermented and steamed rice cake (with other grains, and lentils) often eaten for breakfast, but good any time of the day as a snack
  • Kebabs: (Lucknow) Ground or cubed meat (lamb, goat, beef, or vegetables) on skewers, grilled, roasted, or sautéed
  • Korma: Meat, poultry, or vegetables simmered in yogurt, or cream, with spices
  • Pakora: Fried vegetable fritters are eaten as a snack or appetizer
  • Palak Paneer: Fresh cheese in a sauce of spinach (palak), or other greens (saag), peas (matar), or in a curry (masala)
  • Pork Vindaloo: (Goa) A stew with vinegar and chilies. It can also be made with chicken or lamb
  • Rogan Josh: (Kashmir) Braised lamb or goat in a spiced gravy
  • Samosas: Stuffed, fried dumplings usually filled with potatoes and peas (sometimes with ground lamb), eaten as a snack or appetizer
  • Tandoori Chicken: (Punjab) Marinated chicken cooked in tandoor oven