Best Food in India

A trip to India is an opportunity to discover a world of cuisine beyond tikka masala and onion bhajis. India should be thought of more as a continent than a country, each region offering a markedly different culture, and thus cuisine.

Following the compass points: to the west Amritsar, the spiritual centre of Sikhism, with its buttery parathas and sticky-sweet jalebis; and to the east the City of Joy, Kolkata, famous for its Bengali fish curries, lavish desserts, and mouth-watering kathi rolls.

To the north and south we heartily recommend a guided food tour in either Lucknow: the City of Nawabs, world capital of kebabs; or Hyderabad: City of Nizams, its dum biryanis arguably the finest on the Subcontinent.

South Indian cuisine, largely invisible on our takeaway menus, is an unknown quantity to many. As a general guide think less bread, meat, and sauce; more spice, rice, and fish. Keralan food is very much linked to the coast: lots of fresh seafood, and a notable influence from Arabic traders, particularly in northern Keralan ‘mopillah’ cuisine.

Across the Western Ghats, Tamil Nadu is renowned for its banana leaf meals: rasam, sambar, dhal, and fresh vegetables served on piles of rice.  Amongst this simple but hearty fare a couple of enclaves stand out: the richness of Chettinad chicken is not to be missed, while Pondicherry is unique in India for its café culture and tantalising French-Tamil fusion cuisine.