Top 7 Indian Delicacies That Include Fermentation Process
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Fermentation, a process that leverages the transformative power of microorganisms, has been an integral part of Indian culinary heritage for centuries. This age-old practice involves the microbial conversion of carbohydrates into alcohol, organic acids, or gases, resulting in enhanced flavours, improved digestibility, and the preservation of perishable ingredients.

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The transformative power of fermentation has been harnessed across cultures, and in the context of Indian cuisine, it stands as a testament to the ingenious ways in which communities have elevated ordinary ingredients into culinary marvels. Here are seven Indian dishes prepared by utilising the process of fermentation.


Khorisa Maas, a unique Indian delicacy hailing from Assam, exemplifies the art of fermentation in culinary traditions. This dish showcases bamboo shoots undergoing a meticulous fermentation process, resulting in a distinct, tangy flavour. The transformative power of fermentation not only preserves the bamboo shoots but also imparts a depth of taste that elevates Assamese cuisine.

Khorisa serves as a testament to the culinary prowess of utilising fermentation, unlocking nuanced flavours that captivate the senses and celebrating the rich diversity of Indian gastronomy. Known for its bitter taste, this fish curry is a popular choice in local Assamese homes and pairs wonderfully with steamed rice.


Handia, a traditional Indian beverage, is a rice beer and a testament to the culinary alchemy of fermentation. Originating from tribal areas in the north and north-east regions of India, this unique concoction is crafted through a meticulous fermentation process using rice, millet, and an indigenous herb called 'Ranu.'


As time works its transformative magic, Handia evolves into a mildly alcoholic drink with a distinctively tangy flavour. This fermented elixir has roots in ancient India, mentioned in texts like the Vedas, and its preparation involves the use of ranu tablets mixed with boiled rice, left to ferment in earthen pots. Originally reserved for special occasions, Handia has become a commercialised beverage, reflecting its economic importance in daily life.


Pickle, a quintessential part of Indian cuisine, transcends its condiment status to become a culinary delight shaped by the alchemy of fermentation. This ancient preservation method imparts a unique tanginess and depth of flavour, transforming humble ingredients like mangoes, lemons, or chillies into tantalising accompaniments.

The art of pickling, deeply rooted in tradition, not only enhances taste but also offers a burst of probiotics, promoting gut health. With regional variations reflecting India's diverse culinary tapestry, pickles stand as a testament to the nation's rich gastronomic heritage. The term "Indian pickle" encompasses a wide range of pickled foods, showcasing the creativity and diversity of Indian flavours.

Sel Roti

Sel Roti, a delightful dish from Nepal and India, showcases the art of fermentation. Crafted from rice flour batter, the dough ferments overnight, yielding a unique texture and subtle tang. Upon deep-frying, these ring-shaped delights develop a crisp exterior while maintaining a soft, chewy inside. The flavours balance the earthy richness of fermented rice with a touch of sweetness. Often enjoyed with yoghurt or a side of spicy pickles, Sel Roti stands as a testament to the diverse and flavourful world of Indian cuisine.


Crafted from a batter of fermented rice and urad dal, idlis are renowned for their light, spongy texture. This process not only imparts a distinctive tanginess but also enhances digestibility. Idlis offer a subtle, versatile flavour profile, making them a perfect canvas for accompaniments like coconut chutney, tangy sambar, or spicy tomato-based sauces. With its wholesome appeal and diverse pairing possibilities, idli remains a beloved, globally appreciated Indian delight.

Curd Rice

Curd rice, also known as yoghurt rice, is a popular Indian dish originating from south and western regions of India like Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Maharashtra. This cooling and comforting dish involves combining steamed white rice with probiotic yoghurt. Seasoned with green chillies, ginger, curry leaves, and a tempering of black gram, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and asafoetida, it offers a delightful balance of flavours. Variations abound, incorporating ingredients like grated carrots, pomegranate seeds, raisins, and more. Traditionally eaten at the end of meals, curd rice aids digestion and is a staple on everyday and special occasions, symbolising the diversity of Indian cuisine.

Panta Bhat

Panta bhat, a traditional Bengali dish, exemplifies the art of fermentation in Indian cuisine. Made from soaked, fermented rice immersed in water, it undergoes a transformative process that imparts a unique sourness. This delightful dish bursts with flavours, incorporating green chillies, mustard oil, and an assortment of spices. Accompanied by pickles, fried fish, and green mangoes, Panta Bhat is a symphony of textures and tastes, celebrating the rich heritage of fermented delights in the diverse tapestry of Indian gastronomy.