Food Tripping!

The Indian palette has been peppered and modified by religion, occupation and intrusion over time of 5000 years, prompting the decent variety of flavours and territorial cooking styles found in advanced India. Through the ages, India saw explorers who visited it, carrying with them new cooking strategies and items such as tea, flavours, colourful products of the soil. Adjusting with the popular foods of India which turned out to be more changed and energetic, it gave the Indian cooks an innovative inventiveness to utilise them as skillfully as a craftsman utilises the shades of his palette. You should take a culinary visit to this vivacious land.

Within India

West Bengal

Bengali cuisine, Kolkata

Best time to visit: October-March

If you’re craving to have a perfect blend of sweet and spicy flavours, head towards the streets of Kolkata where each of these will be distinctive and vibrant. What you must know is that traditional Bengali cuisine served in Kolkata, like many other cuisines in India, has, over the centuries, absorbed the ingredients, flavours, and styles of many influences in the subcontinent – a result of India’s vast trade links with the rest of the world. Assimilating and modifying itself, the cuisine of Kolkata today has come to inherit a legacy of food that is all at once distinct, vibrant, rich and subtle in flavour. The simplest of meals are elevated to extraordinary culinary levels through the subtle harmony and integration of both its remarkably underplayed ingredients and the unusual seasoning, making for an exquisite food experience. Enjoy a typical Bengali meal which goes not only from bitter to sweet but also from delicate, subtle flavours to stronger ones, allowing you to go through an entire range of tastes. Begin your meal with a dollop of steamed rice served with ghee, salt, wedges of fragrant green lime, and green chillies. Vegetables, mainly the bitter ones, come first; followed by dal (lentils), perhaps accompanied by either boiled vegetables or fries or fritters of fish and vegetables. Next up is any vegetable dish like dalna or ghanto or chachchari, followed by a lightly spiced fish jhol (gravy) and then other spicier fish dishes. Mangsho (meat-mutton or lamb or chicken) always follows fish. Followed by delightfully tart sweet-sour chutneys that are also palate cleansers, preparing you for dessert. Chutney is served with paapad (poppadoms). Dessert to finish could be mishti-doi (sweet curds) or payesh or dry sweets accompanied by fruits such as mango. The charming city of Kolkata (fittingly called ‘the City of Joy’) prides itself on the authenticity of its street food. Change here happens but, at a leisurely, gentle pace. Kolkata brims with the history of a bygone era, its unforgettable colonial legacy, and the tastes of forgotten communities, who, centuries on, preserve their unique identities and cherish their food. Kolkatans are down to earth people, and the food is a wonderful equaliser because just about every socio-economic class eats on the streets.

Punjab

Punjabi cuisine, Amritsar

Best time to visit: November and March

The logic of life for the vast majority of the Punjabi people group is to eat, drink and be joyful. They are to a great degree enamoured with eating and liberal utilisation of desi ghee, butter and cream that make the recipes delectable. In the arrangement of Punjabi sustenance, onion, ginger and garlic are likewise widely used to improve the essence of the nourishment. Conventional Punjabi thali involves fluctuated sorts of breads; some are heated in the oven, for example, roasted roti, lachha paratha, naan and kulcha, while others are dry prepared on tava such as chapatti and jowar (sorghum) ki roti, makkey (corn) ki roti. There is another assortment of roti called rumali roti, or, in other words, measure when contrasted with the ordinary one and is likewise effortlessly absorbable. Additionally, there are breads that are shallowly seared, for example, parantha and pan-fried, for example, puri and bhatoora. The core of Punjab, Amritsar isn't simply home to the well-known Golden Temple but at the same time is a sanctuary for foodies. From the consecrated langar (network dinner at the Golden Temple) to the dhabas in each alcove and corner of the city, the nourishment in Amritsar is as vivacious as its kin. The nourishment in this city isn't only enjoyment for non-veggie lovers yet in addition for the ones who lean toward vegan. The mouth-watering Amritsari Kulchas, Pindi Chole (chick-peas), maa-ki-dal, Amritsari kulchey, keema, pinnis (a sweet made of ground urad dal, smashed dry products of the soil flour), lassi (a refreshing beverage made utilising curd) are few of the numerous treats that one can enjoy in this city.

Maharashtra

Parsi cuisine, Mumbai

Best time to visit: November to February

Mumbai’s grand old Irani cafes have long been treasured symbols of the city’s incredibly eclectic cuisine and cosmopolitan, welcoming culture. Irani cafes were first opened in the 19th century by the Parsis – who had moved to India from Iran and settled here. Most cafes are family-run businesses and are famous for an affordable Parsi fare. Parsi cuisine is in many ways the soul of Mumbai and has catered to the working class population of Mumbai. For any true Mumbaikar, there is intense nostalgia for these unmistakably Mumbai social spaces – visiting their favourite Irani café, spending hours in the homely comfort of high ceilings, huge glass mirrors on the walls, bentwood chairs, and marble table-tops, savouring the famed Mawa cake, bun maska and Irani chai, mutton samosas, Kheema Pavs, akoori, berry pulao, vegetable puff – that bring back a multitude of memories. Over the past 1300 years, Parsi cuisine has grown into a unique and much loved west coast Indian cuisine that has retained the rich flavours and techniques of the foods of ancient Persia. It has evolved and separated itself from Persian cuisine to create a distinct identity for itself, adapting local ingredients and spices to traditional recipes to invent fabulous new dishes. Today, the peace-loving Parsis are crazy about good food and spend hours cooking up feasts. Modern Parsi food is a delicious blend of western influences, a Gujarati love for sweet and sour combinations, and the Persian genius for combining meat with dried fruits such as apricots. Which is why eating a traditional Parsi meal is like biting into a slice of history on your plate. But what distinguishes Parsi food from regular Indian food? For one, the sweet-sour nature of the cuisine, thanks to the liberal use of vinegar and sugar/jaggery.

Tamil Nadu

Chettinad cuisine, Chennai

Best time to visit: November to February

Chettinad region of Tamil Nadu is an area dominated by the Chettiar community with the majority as bankers, merchants and traders. Influenced by the nature of the region, which is a dry, arid and hot the Chettinad cuisine is essentially spicy, and meals consist of cooked lentils, Avial, drumstick sambar and ghee for flavouring rice. From feather-light, stringy Appams, Idlis, Idiyappams, Adais and Dosais to a variety of seafood such as fried fish, curry fish, crabs, lobsters and fresh prawns, Chettinad food is vibrant, vivid and vivacious by all means. The Chettinad food bristles with a distinct aroma of freshly ground spices including cumin, fenugreek, fennel, clove, bay leaf, turmeric and tamarind. Meats, seafood, vegetables, grains and fermented rice are used regularly. An unusual feature is the use of sun-dried vegetables and even meats, a technique which is known to enhance the nutritional value. The Chettinad cuisine is also famous for pickles and Payasam which is a famous dessert of liquid consistency that is flavoured with nuts on a base of milk.

Jammu & Kashmir

Kashmiri cuisine, Jammu

Best time to visit: October - March

The cuisine of Kashmir is truly unique and has no comparison. Rich in taste and exotic in flavour and fabulous aroma the Kashmiri food is alluring, that leaves people yearning for more. Kashmiri thali (platter) is preferred mainly for its non-vegetarian dishes. However, there are some real mouth-watering vegetarian dishes too, which are relished by all. The famous ‘Wazwan’ encompassing many dishes in one platter; also includes dishes prepared using dry fruits, especially in the preparation of curries. Kashmiri rice is also quite aromatic and light, and thus the Kashmiri rice pulao is well liked by people.

Rajasthan

Rajasthani cuisine, Jaipur

Best time to visit: October to March

The food of Rajasthan is essentially for a veggie lover and offers a spectacular assortment of mouth-watering dishes. The spice content is very high in contrast with other Indian cooking styles, yet the sustenance is completely luscious. Rajasthanis utilise ghee for cooking the greater part of the dishes. Rajasthani sustenance is outstanding for its zesty curries and delectable desserts. Dried lentils and beans acquired from local plants like sangria are utilised broadly in the planning of Rajasthani dishes. Gram flour is the significant fixing taking the shape of a few indulgences, for example, Pakodi and Gatte ki sabzi. Powdered lentils are generously utilised in the readiness of Papad. Rajasthanis are very attached to chutneys, which are readied utilising distinctive flavours, for example, coriander, turmeric, garlic and mint. Out of the considerable number of Rajasthani dishes, Dal Bati Churma is maybe the best known. For the individuals who are in a post for assortment, Rajasthan has a great deal to offer. As you travel starting with one part in the state then onto the next, you will locate that each area has something special, which reflects in its nourishment too. There is a mainstream sweet of every district, for example, Mawa Kachori of Jodhpur, Rasgullas of Bikaner, Ghevar of Jaipur, Malpuas of Pushkar, and so on.

Go International

Nepal

Nepalese cuisine, Kathmandu

Best time to visit: October and November

No destination is complete unless you try its local cuisine, flavours and varieties. Kathmandu is no different. The place offers a variety of local cuisines that are a must-try and make it even more worthwhile to travel here. The street food in Kathmandu is all about a burst of flavours. The food of this fantastic destination is quite under-estimated, but the offerings are immense. The food here is not just limited to momos and thukpas, and there are a string of varieties that would surprise your gut. The cuisine of Kathmandu is an amalgamation of flavours, traditions and gastronomic history. If you dive deep into a Nepalese household, you will discover dishes for every occasion. The most popular local dish which needs no introduction is the momos. Apart from the streets, this staple food of the country is a common affair in every household of Kathmandu. The spicy red chilli chutney which is served alongside elevates the flavour to another level. There are a lot of other sumptuous delicacies such as Sel roti, a traditional homemade, sweet, ring-shaped rice bread, Bara with Egg, light and spongy black lentil patties with an egg on top & a side of tomato chutney, Pani Roti, which translates to water bread and much more. Sekuwa is Nepali-style barbecue which is another popular street dish. While the favourite choice of meat is buff, you will still find unconventional hawkers serving luscious pork too. These charred proteins are smoked over burning coal and are served in bite-sized chunks along with the ubiquitous tomato pickle and red-chilli sauce.

While we have complied these recommendations for you, there is still a lot more on the IndiGo destinations palette that can be explored and are worth trying. This is just a teaser for you, get in touch with us and we promise to help you taste the best wherever you plan to fly. Happy exploring!

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