Popular Dishes from 29 Indian States

By Samarth Sarin

We all are aware (or not?) of the variety India has to offer with regards to food, culture and traditions. While it’s easy to associate ‘South Indian food’ to Idli-Dosa and North Indian food to ‘Naan and Dal Makhni’, there’s a lot more that needs to be discovered by our taste buds!

Here’s a quick listicle about popular Indian food from each of 29 Indian states. However, add to this your own favorites because when it comes to ‘famous Indian delicacies’, sky is the limit!

1. Punjab

North India is famous for its cuisines but the most famous from Punjab is Makki ki roti and Sarsoo ka saag. The other famous food items include rajma chawal, chhola Bhatura and many more. Apart from the famous vegetarian stuff Punjab is the home for tandoori items.

Makki ki roti and Sarsoo ka saag. Source: wikimedia.org

2. Gujarat

Gujarat is famous for its dishes like Khaman, Dhokla, thepla which are both healthy and delicious. Khaman is the favourite snack not only in Gujarat but in many states. There is a very large variation of food style in Gujarat from very sweet to very spicy at the same time.

Khaman. Source: wikimedia.org

3. Maharashtra

Maharashtra is a combination of many thus has a wide range of food items. But the ones who top the list are pav bhhaji and vada pao. The spicy bhaji with mouth-watering with butter pav makes you feel the air of the beaches in Maharashtra.

Pav Bhaji. Source: wikimedia.org

4. Rajasthan

This state prefers food which can be consumed for a very long time without heating and lasts for a long time. Bikaneri Bhujiya, Mirchi Bada, Pyaaz Kachori are the favourite food items for all Rajasthan people. Because of less water in the state, people mainly prefer food items cooked in milk and its products.

Fried snacks. Source: wikimedia.org

5. Karnataka

Karnataka is famous for its Bisi Bele Bath. It literally means hot-lentil-rice in Kannada. Its key ingredients are spices, toor dal, vegetables, nutmeg, asafoetida, curry leaves and tamarind.

Bisi Bele Bath. Source: wikimedia.org

6. Assam

Assam is famous for its tangy and hot fish curry known as Masor Tenga. This is a very sour dish and wide range of sour elements are used for this like lemon, tomatoes etc.

Masor Tenga. Source: wikimedia.org

7. Nagaland

This state gives us the delicious momos for which now every state craves and it has become the famous street food in every other state.

Momos. Source: wikimedia.org

8. Manipur

Manipur grows the hottest chilly in the world and this chilly is used to prepare erombas. This dish can be made with many vegetables as per preference. The non veg variety is made with fermented fish. Ngari, a type of fermented fish, is available only in Manipur!

Eromba. Source: wikimedia.org

 9. Meghalaya

Jadoh is a khaasi delicacy from Meghalaya. It is also known as Khaasi Pulao. It has lots of spices, chunky meat pieces and boiled eggs too!

Jadoh. Source: wikimedia.org

10. Madhya Pradesh

Pohe is the most common dish of Madhya Pradesh. It is not only famous in this state but is a very famous breakfast in many other states too. It is made with flattened rice mixed with some vegetables and spices.

Poha. Source: wikimedia.org

11. Bihar

Bihar is famous for its tempting litti chokha which is prepared in pure ghee. Litti is wheat balls stuffed with sattu powder and chokha is made with brinjals, green-chilies, etc.

Litti Chokha. Source: wikimedia.org

12. Chhattisgarh

Chapura or the ‘red ant chutney’ form the Bastar region is a unique delicacy from this Indian state. Ants are made into a paste along with spices. It is even believed to have medicinal properties!

Red Ant Chutney (Source: www.lonelyplanet.in)

13. Goa

Bebinca is a famous dessert from Goa which is served warm with cold ice cream. Traditional version has seven layers. The ingredients include plain flour, sugar, ghee (clarified butter), egg yolk, and coconut milk.

Bebinca. Source: wikimedia.org

14. Haryana

Bathua Raita is a popular add-on to meals in Haryana. It is made with grinded leaves of bathua (a leafy vegetable from the spinach family) and curd.

Bathua Raita. Source: wikimedia.org

15. Himachal Pradesh

Pachole is a season Himachali dish, specifically from Solan District. It is made with sweet corn and spices, mixed and mashed together. The it is steamed and relished best with ghee. 

Pachole. Source: wikimedia.org

16. Jammu and Kashmir

An aromatic lamb preparation with a Kashmiri origin, stewed with a host of ground spices to create a stunning dish, served with parathas. Paired with chicken shammi kebabs and raita.

Rogan Josh Source: wikimedia.org

17. Jharkhand

Meat Salan is a popular dish from this region. It is essentially a flavorsome lamb curry cooked with potatoes and spiced with Garam Masala.

Mutton Curry. Source: wikimedia.org

18. Uttar Pradesh

Pasanda is a famous Mughlai dish popular in Uttar Pradesh. It has its roots in Pakistani cuisine. Pasanda is made with fried lamb pieces cooked in a spicy gravy.

Pasanda Curry. Source: wikimedia.org

19. Mizoram

Sawhchiar is a delicacy which is made by boiling meat and rice together. This non veg dish is made from pork, fish or chicken.

Sawchiar. Source: miyzone.blogspot.in

20. Orissa

Chhena Poda is a dessert made with ricotta cheese desert. This also includes cashews, sugar, nuts and is baked for several hours. Some people even cut ‘Chhena Poda’ as their birthday cake.

Chhena Poda. Source: wikimedia.org

21. Sikkim

This state is famous for its phagshapa. This dish is made with pork fat and is cooked with radish, turnips and chillies. It has its roots in Nepal.


22. Tamil Nadu

Kadugu yerra is a famous dish from Tamil Nadu / Podicherry region. It is made with shrimps in mustard and coconut gravy.

Kadugu Yerra. Source: www.myspicykitchen.net

23. Arunachal Pradesh

Apong is famous traditional dish from Arunachal Pradesh. It is a traditional rice beer and takes about 3 months to process.

Rice Beer. Source: wikipedia.org

24. Tripura

Awan Bangwi is a Tripuri cake made from rice, cashews, raisins, ghee and a bit of ginger! It is then steamed.

Awan Bangwi. Source: www.tripura.org.in

25. Uttarkhand

This state is famous for its chocolate dessert called bal mithai which is made with khoya and sugar. It is coated with sugar balls.

Bal Mithai. Source: wikimedia.org

26. West Bengal

Bengal is famous for its fish (maach) and rice. It is cooked in mustard oil and that makes it distinct from the rest of the fish curries.

Bengali Fish Curry. Source: wikimedia.org

27. Kerala

The authentic keralean dish is Irachi Ishtu, or chicken / beef / lamb stew best enjoyed with appams.

Chicken Stew. Source: www.mareenasrecipecollections.com

28. & 29. Andhra Pradesh and Telangana

Andhra Pradesh is known for its tangy, hot and spicy taste. The cooking style is varied due to the large expansion of the state. These states are famous for its Biryani for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. Chicken curry acts as a treat for all non-vegetarians there.


This list, in no way, is exhaustive. It’s a very small sneak – peek into the variety and Indian cuisines have to offer. This is just the tip of the ice-berg!

You can try some of these dishes at Holachef.

About Samarth Sarin

Samarth loves football and plays it with his friends – on-ground and even on his laptop. He has a keen interest in Android and Web development. He loves to make people around him laugh with his sense of humor. In fact, he hates to see people sad or upset!


This post is part of Holachef’s Write Ho! program which is open to Holachef’s fans, critics, customers and their loved ones! To participate, write to [email protected]

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