It is a mixed rice dish which can include any kind of meat, eggs or vegetables. It is a flavorful blend of spices, saffron, rice, meat and vegetables. Every place in India is known for its unique type of Biryani. Even though it was originally brought to India from Persia by the Mughals, Biryani is now synonymous with Indian cuisine due to its extensive consumption and evolution by the Indians.
Vegetarian savory snacks in India do not come any better than dhoklas, made from rice and chickpeas. The fermented rice batter is mixed with chickpeas and steamed, and is then served garnished with mustard seeds and coriander. Among the plethora of vegetarian dishes from Gujarat, dhokla is arguably the forerunner.
Rice is a staple of south Indian cuisine owing to its usage in most of the dishes, including the finger-licking masala dosa. While dosa is a generic south Indian dish, masala dosa has specific origins in coastal Karnataka. The preparation of the rice crèpe is relatively simple; rice and lentils are soaked in water for five to six hours, to prepare the batter, and then it is cooked on a skillet. The types of filling in masala dosa varies, but is usually a potato and onion curry, dipped in chutney.
Streets in Maharashtra are incomplete without the presence of vada pav sellers, such is its sway over the local gastronomy. Vada pav is a vegetarian fusion of potato patty, chilli and other spices sandwiched in a bread roll known as pav. What began as a simple and cost-effective snack has gone on to garner widespread popularity in India.
Alu Gobi is a dry dish made with potatoes (aloo), cauliflower (gobi) and Indian spices. It is yellowish in color, due to the use of turmeric, and occasionally contains kalonji and curry leaves. Other common ingredients include garlic, ginger, onion, coriander stalks, tomato, peas, and cumin. It all adds up to one of the most popular dishes ordered in Indian restaurants.
Samosas are a fried or baked pastry with savoury filling, such as spiced potatoes, onions, peas, lentils and sometimes ground lamb, ground beef or ground chicken. They were introduced to India during the Muslim Delhi Sultanate when cooks from the Middle East and Central Asia migrated to work in the kitchens of the Sultan and the nobility. Indian samosas are usually vegetarian, and often accompanied by a mint sauce or chutney. Samosas are a common street food and many tourists or Indians eat them as a midday snack.
Chaat has to be the most popular North-Indian snack. Vendors literally crowd the streets selling all kinds of delicious variations of chaat in this part of the country. Chaat parties are also popular and a nice alternative to a sit-down dinner. Papdi chaat is a great introduction to this dish and a lot of fun to make. The first step is to make the papdi (or papri) dough, and then form it into thin circles and deep-fry. These wafers are then topped with potatoes and chickpeas and drizzled with a tangy, spicy, and sweet sauce.