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National Food of India: Top 20 Dishes

Welcome to a flavorful tour through the National Food of India. Have you ever pondered over the significance of national dishes in revealing the historical fabric of a nation? What tales do these culinary delights hold, echoing the footsteps of generations past? Join us as we study the rich textile of India’s gastronomic heritage, exploring the stories behind its national and historical foods.

As we start this exploration, we’ll uncover the secrets behind India’s most iconic dishes, discovering how they have evolved over centuries and become interlocked into the cultural fabric of the nation. From the ancient flavors of Khichdi to the royal feasts of Biryani, each dish carries a legacy of tradition, innovation, and flexibility.

So, let’s start this culinary quest together, uncovering the flavors, stories, and traditions that have shaped India’s culinary landscape.

1. Top 5 National Foods of India

1. khichdi

photo by spurekar

Let’s enjoy the eternal glamour of khichdi! Championed by the Indian government in 2017 as the symbolic ‘Brand India’ dish, this comforting blend of rice, lentils, and spices is a culinary masterpiece. With every spoonful, enjoy the warmth of tradition and the rich textile of flavors. Khichdi isn’t just a dish; it’s a travel back to cherished memories and shared moments. Join the ranks of its devotees and experience the culinary hug that is khichdi; a true taste of home.

2. Butter Chicken

photo by Ravi Talwar

A luxurious, velvety gravy embracing tender, tandoor-roasted chicken; it’s a heavenly union! Enter the beloved butter chicken, a dish you’ll find gracing menus at every resort across India. Loved by folks of all ages with equal fervor, it’s not just a local sensation but a global ambassador of Indian flavors, making a strong case for becoming India’s national dish.

What’s truly fascinating is that every eatery puts its own twist on it, adding to the delicious diversity. With its skyrocketing fame, butter chicken seems like the perfect pick for India’s national culinary treasure.

3. Chhole Bhature

photo by Hari mahendara

In India, almost every foodie has enjoyed the deliciousness of chhole bhature. Imagine tearing into that golden, deep-fried bhatura and scooping up a plentiful portion of spicy, flavorful chhole. Each bite blooms with a symphony of tastes! Now, here’s the exciting part: This dish is a serious volunteer for the title of India’s national food. And you can enjoy it anytime, day or night! Have it for breakfast, and you’ll kickstart your day with a bang. Or enjoy it for dinner, making it a leisurely delight to end your day on a high note.

4. Vada pav

Vada pav, once just a budget-friendly snack, has now become a superstar in India’s food scene. It’s like the rockstar of street food, making a solid argument to be India’s national dish. Packed with flavors and found almost everywhere in the country, it’s the go-to grub for folks on the move. Plus, it’s a one hand wonder perfect for munching while you’re on the go. Every region puts its own spin on it, so the taste adventure never ends!

5. Idli and Meduvada

photo by Photo by Shreyak Singh

In the race for India’s national food, idli and meduvada are the top competitors, almost neck and neck. And guess what? You can spot them in every Club Mahindra resort across India!. The idli, oh-so-fluffy and light, feels like biting into a cloud, while the meduvada is a crispy, fried delight.

You’ve got options here; go for the idli, dive into the meduvada, or why not both? It’s the ultimate best-of-both-worlds scenario! Plus, let’s not forget, the idli won’t make a dent in your wallet; it’s a budget-friendly snack for any time of the day. So, isn’t that another point in favor of crowning it as India’s national food?

2. Traditional 8 Dishes To Eat

6. Pakora

Crispy, golden nuggets of joy made from veggies or meat, dipped in chickpea flour and deep-fried until perfection. It’s the go to snack when the monsoon hits India, a crunchy celebration of rain and flavor found on every street corner.

7. Chapati

photo by Kake

Let’s start a culinary quest with Chapati, an ancient flatbread born from the marriage of finely ground whole wheat flour, water, and salt. Cooked to perfection on a tava, or flat skillet, this eternal creation derives its name from the Hindi word “chapat,” evoking the rhythmic slap of palms shaping dough.

8. Pani Puri

photo by Sruthi612

Here we explore the lively world of Pani Puri, an interactive delight of Indian street food culture. Originating from Bihar, this crispy, hollow puri invites you to initiate a flavor trip. With a gentle poke, fill it with a medley of spicy water, tangy chutney, and savory fillings. Then, savor the explosion of flavors and textures with each delightful bite.

9. Dal Tadka

photo by RekhaY07

From the heart of Northern India comes this aromatic lentil dish, cracking with flavors of garlic, ginger, and spices. Pair it with fluffy jeera rice and warm roti for a comforting meal that hugs your taste buds.

10. Masala Dosa

photo by alasam

Crispy, golden-brown dosas stuffed with spicy potatoes and onions; a South Indian classic that’s both breakfast and snack royalty. With its tangy tamarind broth, it’s a flavor explosion waiting to happen.

11. Sambar

photo by Samphotography

Engage in a bowl of this tangy, tamarind-based broth filled with lentils and veggies. Originating from Tamil Nadu, it’s the ultimate comfort food served with steamed rice or fluffy flatbreads.

12. Rogan Josh

photo by jvree

Transport yourself to the flavors of Kashmir with this rich lamb stew, melted to perfection in a fragrant gravy of yogurt, garlic, and aromatic spices. Its fiery red hue and melt in your mouth meat make it a true culinary gem.

13. Biryani

photo by Gagandeep Sapra

A royal feast fit for kings, this fragrant rice dish with tender meat, aromatic spices, and a dash of yogurt is a culinary masterpiece dating back to the Mughal Empire. Inspired by love and history, it’s a dish that tells a story with every flavorful bite.

See Also Indian Culture

3. Spices: The Heart of Indian Cooking

photo by ArtHouse Studio

Indian cuisine is a dynamic pattern interconnected with a collection of spices, each carefully selected to bring out the best in every dish. At the heart of this culinary tradition lies the art of masala, where a harmonious blend of spices transforms simple ingredients into extraordinary meals.

From the earthy warmth of turmeric to the aromatic richness of cumin and the floral notes of green cardamom, each spice plays a vital role in creating the distinctive flavors and aromas that define Indian cooking.

Among the vast range of spices used in Indian cuisine, garam masala stands out as an ideal seasoning, infusing dishes with its complex blend of pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, and other aromatic spices. Its versatility makes it basic in countless recipes, from classic curries to delicious Chana Masala.

In Indian culture, spices are not just ingredients but essential elements that inspire food with significance beyond taste. They serve as a link to centuries-old culinary traditions, passed down through generations and cherished for their ability to nourish both body and soul.

4. Indian Family Dining

photo by Yan Krukau

In Indian culture, family mealtimes are treasured traditions, filled with nostalgia and unity. Rooted in the past yet evolving with the present, these gatherings hold a special place in their memories, echoing with laughter and shared stories. From the humble beginnings of communal cooking to the modern shift towards equality, each meal is a celebration of togetherness and authenticity.

Traditional dining customs reflect a rich textile of regional flavors and eco-conscious practices, from the coastal beauty of banana leaves to the rustic charm of Sal leaves. Yet, among this diversity, one eternal practice endures: the art of eating with one’s hands, a sensory travel that connects them to both the food and each other. In these moments, bonds are forged, memories are made, and the essence of family goes beyond time and space, nourishing both body and soul.

5. Top 7 Street Food

14. Momos

photo by Delhifoodwalks

A beloved street food reigning over Delhi’s busy streets, momos offer a tempting blend of Tibetan tradition and North Indian flair. From the iconic Dolma Aunty’s Momos to the lively Momos Point, these steamed or fried dumplings come in a mix of flavors, from classic mutton to innovative paneer and tandoori variations. Each bite promises a burst of hot, savory goodness that keeps you craving for more.

15. Aloo Tikki

photo by Soniya Goyal

A universal delight found in every nook and cranny of India, Aloo Tikki is a must-have for any street food fans. Whether served with tangy tamarind chutney or a refreshing mint dip, these crispy mashed potato patties are a sensory delight. The interrelation of spices, garnishes, and textures creates a symphony of flavors that leaves an indelible mark on every palate.

16. Litti Choka

photo by TASTY SINGH

Litti Choka is a rustic delicacy that represents the soul of regional cuisine. Resembling Rajasthan’s baati but with a distinctive taste, these grilled dough balls stuffed with spiced gram flour are paired with a hearty mix of potato, brinjal, and tomato choka. A wholesome meal suitable for any time of the day, Litti Choka is an evident to the culinary richness of India’s heartland.

17. Akki Roti

photo by Anand Narayan

Straight from the streets of Bangalore comes Akki Roti, a wholesome and spicy treat that tempts taste buds with its unique flavors. Crafted from rice flour and filled with finely chopped vegetables, this South Indian flatbread is served alongside coconut chutney, offering a harmonious blend of textures and tastes that symbolizes the region’s culinary diversity.

18. Kachori

photo by Dheerajk88

Jaipur’s pride and joy, Kachori, dazzles foodies with its irresistible allure and variety. From the indulgent sweetness of Mawa Kachori to the savory delights of payaz and dal kachori, each variant promises a culinary adventure. Whether enjoyed by locals or savored by tourists, the crispy exterior and flavorful fillings of Kachori make it a quintessential street food experience in the Pink City.

19. Egg Burji Pav

photo by Saveurs Secretes

Egg Burji Pav like a flavor explosion in thier mouth! This popular Indian street food is basically scrambled eggs with a spicy twist. They whip it up with some basic Indian spices, and they’ve got themselves a delicious meal that’s super easy to make. Give your usual eggs a break and engage in this flavorful adventure!”

20. Dabeli

Originating from Gujarat’s busy streets and spreading its spicy charm across India, Dabeli is a beloved street food sensation. Boiled potatoes seasoned with special Dabeli spices are sandwiched between soft pav, creating a symphony of flavors and textures that excite the taste buds. Whether enjoyed in Mumbai, Pune, or beyond, Dabeli’s spicy-sweet allure is sure to leave a lasting impression on food fans everywhere.

6. Farm-to-Table Movement

The farm-to-table movement is revolutionizing urban India’s culinary scene, promoting freshness, sustainability, and community empowerment. By sourcing seasonal produce directly from local farms, restaurants not only seduce taste buds but also enhance nutritional value.

This movement reduces the carbon footprint while supporting local farmers and developing economic growth. As diners start this flavorful tour, they celebrate the heart of freshness, sustainability, and community connection, making each meal a wholesome and socially responsible experience.

See Also Traditional Indian Clothing

7. Dining Etiquette

photo by Sistak


1. They Wash And Dry Their Hands Before & After: Before and after each meal, it’s essential to wash and dry their hands thoroughly, especially if they’re going to eat with their fingers, as it’s the traditional way of enjoying Indian cuisine.

2. Food Is Served In One Go: Unlike many Western dining customs, Indian meals are typically served all at once, comprising various dishes like chutneys, veggies, dals, etc. This allows them to experience a variety of flavors simultaneously.

3. They Always Use Their Right Hand: When eating with their hands, always use their right hand. Using the left hand is considered unclean and offensive in Indian culture.

4. They Share Their Dish With The Other: Sharing food is a common practice in Indian dining etiquette. However, they ensure share directly from the serving dish or bowl and they avoid taking food directly from someone else’s plate.

5. Remain Seated Until The Eldest Person At The Table Finishes Their Food: They show respect by remaining seated until the eldest person at the table finishes their meal. This demonstrates courtesy and consideration for others at the table.


1. They Don’t Use their Left Hand: They avoid using their left hand for eating as it is considered unclean and offensive in Indian culture. They reserve their left hand for passing dishes, serving food, or drinking water.

2. They Don’t Share Food Directly From Thier Plate: They refrain from sharing food directly from their plate with others. Instead, they pass dishes from the common serving dish to offer food to others.

3. They Don’t Leave Anything On Their Plate: Leaving food on their plate is frowned upon in Indian culture, so they avoid wasting food by taking only what they can finish.

4. They Don’t Get Up Until Everyone Finishes Eating: They wait until everyone, especially the eldest member of the family, finishes their meal before getting up from the table. This shows respect and consideration for others’ dining experience.

8. Global Influence and Popularity

photo by Alberta Studios

Indian cuisine’s global appeal lies in its diverse flavors, rich heritage, and culinary refinement. With a symphony of tastes ranging from fiery spices to delicate sweetness, each dish reflects generations of culinary expertise.

Rooted in tradition, Indian food offers a rich textile of regional specialties, catering to various dietary preferences. Its adaptability has led to fusion cuisines worldwide, blending Indian flavors with other culinary traditions.

From the iconic chicken tikka masala to the beloved butter chicken, Indian cuisine continues to charm taste buds worldwide, making it a cherished global phenomenon.

Key Takings About National Food of India

1. Top 5 National Foods: From the comforting cherish of khichdi to the global experience of butter chicken, each dish represents a unique facet of India’s culinary identity.

2. Traditional 8 Dishes To Eat: we explore crispy joy of pakoras, the comforting warmth of dal tadka, and the aromatic richness of biryani, among others, showing the diversity and depth of Indian cuisine.

3. Spices: The Heart of Indian Cooking: Explore the lively palette of spices that elevate Indian dishes, from turmeric’s earthy warmth to garam masala’s aromatic complexity, infusing each meal with depth and flavor.

4. Indian Family Dining: Celebrate the cherished tradition of family meals, where nostalgia, unity, and authenticity converge, echoing with laughter and shared stories across generations.

5. Street Food: Start a culinary adventure through India’s busy streets, where regional specialties and cultural influences interlink, offering a tempting range of flavors and textures.

6. Farm-to-Table Movement: Experience the rise of sustainability and community empowerment in urban India’s culinary scene, where freshness meets social responsibility through direct sourcing from local farms.

7. Dining Etiquette: Guide the details of Indian dining customs, from respecting the tradition of ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ to enjoying every bite with grace and appreciation, honoring both host and guest.

8. Global Influence and Popularity: Discover how Indian cuisine charms taste buds worldwide, blending tradition with innovation to become a beloved global phenomenon, from chicken tikka masala to butter chicken.