Most Popular Indian Dishes

Indian cuisine encompasses a wide variety of regional cuisines native to India. Indian cuisine is very popular for being spicy and tasty. The cuisine differs across India’s diverse regions as a result of variation in local culture, economics, and geographical location. It is also heavily influenced by religious, traditional and cultural choices. Today, the Indian cuisine is still evolving, as a result of the nation’s cultural interactions with other societies. Here are some of the most popular Indian dishes.

Tandoori Chicken

Popular Indian Dishes

Tandoori chicken is chicken dish prepared by roasting chicken marinated in yogurt and spices in a cylindrical clay oven called a tandoor. Tandoori chicken was invented by the founder of the Moti Mahal Delux restaurant, Kundan Lal Gujral. This dish can be eaten as a starter or appetizer, and as the main course. It is also used as a base chicken in numerous cream-based curries such as butter chicken.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds chicken, cut into pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 1/4 cups plain yogurt
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon yellow food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon red food coloring
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges

Direction

  1. Remove skin from chicken pieces, and cut slits into them lengthwise. Place in a shallow dish. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with salt and lemon juice. Set aside 20 minutes.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine yogurt, onion, garlic, ginger, garam masala, and cayenne pepper. Mix until smooth. Stir in yellow and red food coloring. Spread yogurt mixture over chicken. Cover, and refrigerate for 6 to 24 hours (the longer the better).
  3. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat, and lightly oil grate.
  4. Cook chicken on grill until no longer pink and juices run clear. Garnish with cilantro and lemon wedges. (Recipe from http://allrecipes.com)

Kati Roll

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Kati roll is a traditional street-food dish originating from Kolkata, India. Normally Kati Rolls are made with marinated chicken or vegetables cooked on a skillet and then served with some green chutney wrapped in parathas.

Ingredients:

For the chicken marination:

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste (if you don’t find the paste easily, you can also add powder)
  • 1 tsp deli mirch (its kind of an Indian cayenne pepper, only not as hot and gives the marinade a nice red color. If you are not that crazy about the color just add cayenne pepper according to your taste)
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1/4 cup yogurt (full fat or low fat whichever you prefer)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp tandoori powder (optional)
  • Salt

For the wrap:

  • 5-6 whole wheat tortilla
  • 1/4 cup sliced onion
  • 1/4 cup sliced tomato
  • 1/4 cup green chutney
  • a little chat masala (optional)
  • 1 lime (optional)

Direction:

  1. First to marinate the chicken, mix all the ingredients together and pour them over the chicken. Give the chicken long little cuts for the marinade to penetrate and mix well. Let it marinate for at least a half hour and at most 24 hours.
  2. Preheat the oven up to 400° F.
  3. Place the marinated chicken on a baking sheet, spray a little bit of cooking spray and cook for 20-25 minutes or until clear juice runs out.
  4. When the chicken is cooked well, take it out from the oven and cover with an aluminum wrap for it to rest for about 5 mins. This makes the chicken juicier.
  5. Slice chicken, onion, and tomatoes.
  6. Now for the wrap, you can either use plain parathas or naan or whole wheat tortillas like I did. Heat them in a skillet.
  7. Smear a thin layer of green chutney and place chicken, sliced onion, tomato & a squirt of lime juice and a pinch of chat masala if you want.
  8. Make a tight wrap and cover with paper or aluminum wrap. (Recipe from http://www.indiansimmer.com)

Gulab Jamun

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Gulab Jamun is a traditional Indian dessert. It is a small ball of dried milk, slow cooked and boiled in a sugar syrup. This dish is made mainly from milk solids, traditionally from freshly curdled milk. It is often garnished with dried nuts like almonds to enhance flavor. Gulab Jamun is often eaten at festivals, birthdays or major celebrations such as marriages, the Muslim celebrations of Eid ul-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, and the Hindu festival of Diwali. There are various types of gulab jamun and every variety has a distinct taste and appearance.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dry milk powder
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter), melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 1 tablespoon chopped almonds (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped pistachio nuts (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon golden raisins (optional)
  • 1 pinch ground cardamom
  • 1-quart vegetable oil for deep frying
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 7 fluid ounces water
  • 1 teaspoon rose water
  • 1 pinch ground cardamom

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, stir together the milk powder, flour, baking powder, and cardamom. Stir in the almonds, pistachios and golden raisins. Mix in the melted ghee, then pour in the milk and continue to mix until well blended. Cover and let rest for 20 minutes.
  2. In a large skillet, stir together the sugar, water, rose water and a pinch of cardamom. Bring to a boil, and simmer for just a minute. Set aside.
  3. Fill a large heavy skillet halfway with oil. Heat over medium heat for at least 5 minutes. Knead the dough, and form into about 20 small balls. Reduce the heat of the oil to low, and fry the balls in one or two batches. After about 5 minutes, they will start to float, and expand to twice their original size, but the color will not change much. After the jamun float, increase the heat to medium and turn them frequently until lightly golden. Remove from the oil to paper towels using a slotted spoon, and allow to cool. Drain on paper towels and allow to cool slightly.
  4. Place the balls into the skillet with the syrup. Simmer over medium heat for about 5 minutes, squeezing them gently to soak up the syrup. Serve immediately, or chill. (Recipe from http://allrecipes.com)
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4 Of The Most Popular Curries

Among the various international dishes that have made a global impact on the world’s cooking scene, curry is among the most flavorful, versatile and widely loved dishes that have been adopted by many nations across the planet. In turn, other cuisines have influenced the direction of curry, both in its native land in the Indian subcontinent, ranging from the introduction of chile peppers from Mexico to the introduction of potatoes from the Andes. The flexibility of this dish is astounding, ranging from vegetarian to meat heavy and from a mild kick of spiciness to some of the hottest food known to humanity.

However, as a dish that has been developed across several cultures over the course of several centuries, there is a wide range of different curries intended to fit a number of regions and cultures, of which there is a dizzying variety on the Indian subcontinent. Many of these cultures have their own proscriptions against certain kinds of food, from the Pakistani Islamic taboo against pork to the vegetarian diets of the heavily Jain influenced Gujarat region. Other regions find themselves with a wider diversity, though it is something of a reality that most regions in India have found multiple kinds of meat curries to their tastes. A few types of curries do stand out among the wide range of curries available.

Chicken Curry

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A popular dish among those who wish to eat lighter, leaner meats without going into an entirely vegetarian dish, chicken curry is a favorite across the world. Though the chicken must be marinated overnight, most eateries serving curry tend to serve at least one chicken curry. Each eatery has its own recipes for chicken curry, oftentimes shaped by the region the cooks are from, be they Thailand, Kerala or Malaysia. One particular type of chicken curry is chicken makhani, or butter chicken. This dish was developed from traditional curries to suit the less spicy pallets of British government officials and military forces occupying India but has since gone on to become a staple of global cuisine.

Goat Curry

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Though it is an uncommon meat in Western cuisine, goat is a fairly popular meat elsewhere in the world, and among these cultures where the goat is popular are a number of the Indian subcontinent’s diverse cultures. It is very popular in the Nepal and Himalayan areas of the subcontinent, as well as the West Indies islands of the Caribbean, where Indian indentured servants introduced goat curry to high acclaim and the dish has simply become a part of the islands’ traditional cuisine. While many Western diners will find goat meat to be somewhat surprising, it is actually quite flavorful and goes very well with a good curry recipe.

Vegetarian Curry

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These are curries composed entirely of vegetables, again often originating in the heavily Jain influenced Gujarat region where most fortified food is built on a vegetarian ideal. Still, in the West, the rising popularity of vegetarianism has caused many eateries to create their own vegetable curries that come in a wide range of mixtures of vegetables. On something of a surprising note, many of these curries include cubed potatoes, a vegetable that is not native to the Indian subcontinent, but proved quite popular with the people of the region when it was introduced.

Pork Curry

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Coming in a wide variety of forms, pork curry is well known as the backbone of a Goan curry recipe called vindaloo. Though true vindaloo is exclusively pork meat, some Western cooks have adapted it to similar meats. Still, there is nothing quite like true pork vindaloo and barring ethical or religious taboos, it is certainly worth a try.

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You Don’t Have To Be In India To Enjoy Indian Cuisine – A Guide To Some Of The Best Indian Restaurants In South Africa!

Indian cuisine is popular all over the world and with good reason. Full of flavor, spice, aroma and goodness, Indian dishes have to be tried to be really appreciated.

From those of us who can’t get enough heat, to those who have a more tame and mild preference when it comes to food, Indian cuisine has a perfect dish to match any taste buds, no matter how fussy they may be!

Thankfully, we don’t have to travel all the way to India to enjoy authentic and traditional Indian food. Pretty much any city you travel to in the world will have an Indian restaurant in one form or another. South Africa is no exception to that rule.

So if you live in South Africa and are keen to tuck into a tasty Indian meal, or if you are planning to travel to South Africa and want to have a few great restaurants lined up before you go, the following restaurant guide is going to prove very useful. Of course, there are many Indian-style restaurants in South Africa, but we want to tell you about a few that may just be the best of the bunch.

Bukhara

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These guys tell us that they serve, ‘arguably the finest Indian cuisine on planet earth’ . Are they justified in their claim? You will just have to go and find out for yourself! To give you an idea, though, let us tell you a little about Bukhara.

Imagine everything that you know about the glitz and glam of Bollywood, then try to conjure up the exact opposite; that pretty much sums up Bukhara. From the elegant marble flooring to the classical and traditional atmosphere, these guys want you to step into the real and traditional Indian life.

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When most of us think about Indian food we picture that corner Indian takeaway shop, Bukhara, however, takes that perception to a whole new level. It’s all about ambiance, aroma and giving the taste buds a memorable culinary experience. If this sounds like your type of dining, then Bukhara will likely meet with your approval and more.

Thava Indian Restaurant

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Located in Johannesburg, this Indian dining experience has earned itself a Certificate Of Excellence award on TripAdvisor, and with good reason! Renowned for its cozy, welcoming and relaxed vibe, this a restaurant where you can chill out, feast on Indian goodness and linger over conversation with friends or family.

If you plan to head to this restaurant, booking in advance is always recommended, otherwise, you may find yourself waiting a little while. Once you do have a table and place your order, however, you can expect fast service from friendly and attentive staff.

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Korma, Rogan Josh, Marsala, whatever tickles your fancy in Indian cuisine, you will likely be able to order it here. One more recommendation; don’t forget to order plenty of naan bread, it may very well be the best you have ever tried!

Geet Indian Restaurant

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Geet‘ in the Indian language means melodious poem, and there is every chance that your stomach would agree with every pat of this meaning. The food served here will certainly have your taste buds singing with pleasure!

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The staff at this restaurant want to use their extensive menu, delicious cocktails and excellent knowledge of Indian cuisine,to take you on a very memorable journey of taste. A word of advice for a visit to this restaurant; don’t feel overwhelmed by the huge choice on the menu. The waiters are very knowledgeable and passionate about their food. Call one over and ask them to explain the menu and make recommendations, once you taste the food, you’ll be glad you did!

So there is no doubt that Indian food is popular the world over. If you live in South Africa or have a planned visit there, it’s more than possible for you to take a step into India, at least for one night! Be sure to check out some of the best Indian restaurants in South Africa online, then when you do arrive, you’ll know exactly where to make your reservation!

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Get Your Culinary Fix At 5 Of The Best Restaurants In Bombay / Mumbai

Modern day Mumbai is still as exciting a culinary destination as it was when it was called Bombay, however, the city is now home to some of the best restaurants in the world. Cuisine in the city is today inspired by the spices and tastes that make India one of the most intriguing destinations for the lover of fine food – and the good news is that it’s not just curried that make this such a great place to sit down and enjoy a meal.

So, in a city of around 21 million people what are the top 5 restaurants which will intrigue and amaze even the most travel weary of gourmands?

#1 Indigo.

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Indigo meals offering a great fusion of European and Asian flavors make this a favorite with well heeled travelers. Located in stylish south Mumbai the meals are complimented by and exceptional single malt and wine list. A place to see and be seen and enjoy incredible meals. Try the Lobster Risotto for a taste explosion.

#2 Koh.

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Thai taste and intercontinental style. With around 50% of the meals being meat free this is a place that will have vegetarians coming back again and again. Strictly organic ingredients flown in specially from Thailand lend a mystique to some fabulous dishes. The vegetarian Sriracha and Thai Green Curry should not be missed. The restaurant is a multi-award winner and the levels of service and delicious dishes are a testament to the inventiveness of the chef.

#3 San-Qi.

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Who says you can’t have the best of Asia under one roof? With a downstairs devoted to tandoori style cooking and upper levels with an authentic Thai and Japanese cuisine, there’s simply something for everyone. The wine list is incredible, featuring the best that both the old and new world has to offer. As a special treat there’s even a selection from the up and coming Nashik vineyards in India. Punjabi Paneer Tikka deserves special mention and even the salads are a joy. Located in the Four Seasons hotel this is the perfect setting for weekend brunch when free flow champagne makes the experience even more special.

#4 Ziya.

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East Indian cuisine is taken to new heights at this dining spot located in the Oberoi Hotel. You know that you’re in for a treat when you’re under the watchful eye of two star Michelin chef Vineet Bhati who turns what might have been a humdrum Indian cuisine experience into an extravaganza of fresh and spicy tastes. The dishes ooze elegance and creativity. Aspiring gourmands need to try the ginger tandoori lamb chops with saffron infused mash. Everything from side dishes to desserts shines at this restaurant which has been called one of the world’s best.

#5 The Table.

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A five-course truffle inspired menu? What could be better? This restaurant serves up elegance with a dash of exceptional style. Sophisticated pallets will love the tasting menu which allows you to explore the entire menu with smaller portions. Although pricey this is a place that those in the know about the best places to eat in Mumbai come to again and again. If you want continental food with flair this is the place that you need to be.

Without going beyond the scope of this list of five, no food guide to Mumbai would be complete without a mention of the street food to be found in this great culinary destination. There’s street food everywhere. Try Vada Pav or Pav Bhaji. Don’t ignore a great dish of Pani Puri. Wherever you go in Mumbai, be it to an award winning restaurant or simply on the street food is going to be one of the highlights of your trip to this endlessly fascinating city.

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The Five Best Thailand Elephant Camps

People travel to Thailand for a number of reasons. Some people want to walk along the beautiful beaches. Other people simply want to have the chance to experience a new and different culture. However, there is one thing that many Thailand tourists want a chance to see: elephants.

Luckily, it is very easy to see elephants when you are in Thailand. Although elephants aren’t a native to certain parts of Thailand, you can find them all over. There are elephant camps located all over the country. If you want to, you could go on an elephant trek with other tourists. All you need to do is find the right elephant camp.

Finding the best elephant camp isn’t always easy, especially if you have never been to a place like this before. You may not know which qualities to look for.

If you’re having a hard time finding the right camp, give one of these options a try. These five camps have all received rave reviews from travelers.

1. The Baan Chang Elephant Park

Do you want a chance to get up close and personal with some elephants? If you do, this is a park that you will want to go to. When you stop by this park, you won’t just have the opportunity to ride elephants. You will also be able to interact with them in other ways.

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When you select this elephant park, you will have the chance to feed elephants and pose for pictures with them. You will also be able to go out on treks with an expert guide. It’s easy to see why travelers have rated this camp so highly.

2. Thai Elephant Home

This elephant camp is smaller than some of the other camps located in the Chiang Mai area. With that said, this small camp still has a lot to offer visitors.

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In the past, dinosaurs roamed the lands that would later become Thailand. If you decide to go to this part, you will be able to go on a “Trail of the Dinosaur” tour. You’ll have the chance to travel the same paths that dinosaurs once walked.

3. Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort

If you’re really excited about seeing elephants, you may want to make them the centerpiece of your entire trip! If you stay at this beautiful resort, you’ll be able to wake up at an elephant camp every single day. The accommodations here are very nice, and the elephant treks are excellent.

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4. Taweechai Elephant Camp

Riding elephants across Thailand is exciting on its own, but what if you had the opportunity to ride them through the waters of Thailand? If you go to this elephant camp, you can.

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The elephants at this camp are treated with respect, and you can take them out on a number of exciting treks.

5. Thom’s Pai Elephant Camp

This beautifully maintained elephant camp is considered to be a sanctuary for the elephants that live there. The elephants are treated very well and have everything they need to be provided for them.

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This camp is also very affordable. If you are on a tight budget but are still interested in elephant rides, you may want to give this camp a closer look. When you ride elephants here, you will also receive a DVD of your ride. You’ll get memories that will last a lifetime.

If you’re interested in riding elephants in Thailand, you should know that you can’t go wrong with any of these elephant camps. If you opt to take your trip here, it is likely that you will have an excellent experience.

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