India is gearing up to celebrate its 75th Independence Day. It was on this day, in August 1947, that India was declared a free state. India’s first prime minister Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru announced the end of British colonial rule in his rousing speech, and people were left teary-eyed all across the country. The British ruled over India for over 200 years. It took countless rebellions and innocent lives for the freedom that we enjoy today. 

This is the day to celebrate this freedom, celebrate India and its diversity. With over 28 states and 8 Union territories, India is the seventh-largest country globally and houses many ethnicities. Different cultures also mean other food habits. But, from August 1947 to 2021, what hasn’t changed is India’s penchant for food. Here are 28 signature delicacies from 28 states of India that you must try over this memorable weekend.

1. Himachal Pradesh: Siddu is a Himachali steamed bun. The savoury bun is stuffed with a scrummy filling of onion, hing, urad dal, green chillies and ground spices. The Himachali breakfast can be served with any chutney. 

2. Uttarakhand: Chainsoo is a rustic Pahadi recipe made using ground black lentil, garlic, ginger and lots of coriander. The piquant dish can be paired with any bread. 

3. Punjab: Punjab’s culinary landscape can be as fascinating as overwhelming given its diversity. Amritsari Kulcha is a famous bread that is leavened. Stuffed with spicy potato mixture, this kulcha is made in Tandoor and served with a chickpea curry, pickle and sabzi. 

4. Haryana: People of Haryana love to use their seasonal produce in their preparations; Kachri Ki Sabzi is a fine example. A simple curry made with ‘Kachri’, a cucumber-like vegetable with a brownish hue. Kachri ki Sabzi can be paired with rice or roti. 

5.  Maharashtra: You see it across all the streets of Mumbai, and how dare we not include it in our list. Pav Bhaji has buttery, pillowy bread called pav and bhaji,  which is a mixed veg dish made by smashing all vegetables together in a fine paste. Let the drooling begin.

6. Uttar Pradesh: Galouti Kebab is a melt-in-your-mouth minced mutton patty with origins in erstwhile Awadh. A toothless Nawab and his decadent demands supposedly inspired the royal cooks to create this wonderful dish.

7. Rajasthan: Laal Maas, a mutton curry that will make you break into tears. Flavoured with fiery hot Mathania chillies, Laal Maas is a Rajputana dish not meant for the faint-hearted. 

8. Madhya Pradesh: Dal Bafla is akin to the Dal Baati of Rajasthan. Dal Bafla is a two-part dish: the comforting, spicy Dal paired with Bafla, a baked dough ball. The whole dish can be spruced up with chopped onions and chillies.

9. Bihar: Litti Chokha is quite possibly one of the most popular Bihari dishes of all time. Chokha is a simple, dry mixed veg dish that could either be made of potatoes, tomatoes or brinjal. At the same time, Litti is a stuffed dough ball that is smoked. 

10. West Bengal: Kosha Mangsho is a very thick, vibrant mutton curry from Bengal. Flavoured with Bengali 5-spice mix or Panch Phoron, this mutton or chicken curry is spicy, but the humble potato helps balance out all flavours. It is best served with rice or luchi ( a maida-based cousin of Puri).

11. Assam: Aloo Pitaka is delicious comfort food Assam made with mashed potatoes, mustard oil and green chillies. This mild, savoury dish can be paired with rice. We can have it as is too. 

12. Gujarat: Khandvi is a bite-sized roll-up made with a thin, almost translucent batter of besan. These roll-ups are also flavoured with a tadka of mustard seeds and coconut shavings. 

5. Delhi: Butter chicken, a dish invented in Delhi, has now turned into a global phenomenon. Here, chicken is bathed in a luscious, tomato and cream-based gravy. Every Delhiite will tell you that it is best paired with Naan, the buttery the better. 

 

14. Odisha: Odisha is renowned for its rich culinary delights since time immemorial. Odiya special delicacy Poda Pitha is a slow-cooked pitha or a cake-like dish made with fermented rice, lentil, coconut and jaggery; it is allowed to burn a little for a charred taste. It is also one of the offerings to Lord Jagganath of the famous Jagganath Temple, Puri.

15. Karnataka: If there were to be a battle of dosas, Mysore Masala Dosa would perhaps reign supreme in our list. It is a crispy, crepe-like dish stuffed with a greasy mix of spicy potatoes, onions, chillies and occasionally, paneer.

16. Kerala: Puttu-Kadala Curry is a breakfast staple that spells comfort. Puttu is a steamed rice dish, served in shape of a tumbler, and kadala curry is made with small black chickpeas and lots of rustic spices. 

17. Tamil Nadu: Chicken Chettinad, a scrumptious chicken dish hailing from the Chettinad region of Tamil Nadu. This is an eclectic chicken curry cooked with special Chettinad Masala made with a bunch of whole and ground spices and chillies. 

18. Andhra Pradesh: Andhra Pradesh’s popular breakfast item Punugulu, are small, bite-sized cakes made with rice batter. Punugulu is fried; hence it has a crunchy exterior but super spongy interior. It can be paired with chutney or sambhar.

19. Telangana: The Hyderabadi Dum Biryani is arguable one of the most popular Indian dishes of all time, and it belongs to the city of, you guessed it, Hyderabad. In the ' dum ' method, marinated chicken and rice are layered with spices and cooked in a sealed pot. This biryani is served with raita or Mirchi ka salan.

20. Goa: Did you know Goa was never a British colony, it was, in fact, a Portuguese colony, and their profound influence can be seen in their cuisine. Vindaloo is a deep-red colour spicy curry dish with lots of garlic. The preferred choice of meat is often pork.

21. Jharkhand: Dhuska is a savoury, deep-fried, bread-like dish with powdered rice, chana dal and potatoes. It is served with the side of spicy chutney.

22. Chhattisgarh: Muthiya is derived from the word ‘Mutthi’, which means a fist or the gripping action of the hand. Muthiya is a steamed or boiled snack made using a mixture of rice flour, sesame seeds, mustard seeds, garlic, coriander leaves. The tight dough, made using your ‘mutthi’, is divided into small sections, which is steamed or boiled.

23. Manipur: Chamthong, a hearty vegetable stew made with boiling seasonal vegetables mixed with onions, ginger and garlic. It has a delectable tanginess to it, which is oh-so-irresistible. 

24. Mizoram: Koat Pitha, a famous deep-fried fritter made with rice flour, jaggery and bananas, will satiate both your sweet and greasy cravings. 

25. Meghalaya: Jadoh, the famous street food of the Khasi community, is essentially a wholesome meal with red rice and cooked meat. Pork, chicken or mutton are cooked with rice and a whole lot of rustic spices. 

26. Sikkim: The origin of Momos is often contested. Some say it hails from Tibet, while some call it Nepalese; what we do know is that Sikkim Momos are genuinely one-of-a-kind. Be it the size of the dumpling, the juicy filling or the spicy chutney it is served with. 

27. Tripura: Muya Awandru is a delectable gravy dish made with bamboo shoots, rice water, chilli paste and fish. The dish can be of semi-dry consistency too. It is often enjoyed with the side of mushy rice.

28. Nagaland: You may think Naga cuisine is all about choice meaty delicacies, and you are partially correct too, but Akibiye is a fine specimen of Naga’s super-rich vegetarian fare. In this dish, colocasia leaves (or arbi leaves) are bamboo shoots are cooked in a thick, stew-like preparation. It goes best with rice.