List Of Indian States And Their Famous Food

Written by: Kaushik Jethva

Last Updated: July 18, 2023

plate with indian flag and cutlery
Plate with Indian Flag and Cutlery

India is a country rich in diversity, and this diversity is well mirrored in the gastronomy of its states. Each state offers a unique taste palette shaped by its history, geography, climate, and culture. To truly experience the vibrant tapestry of state-wise food in India, one must undertake a culinary journey that spans the length and breadth of this majestic country. This blog serves as your guide in this delicious exploration of Indian states and their famous food.

1 List of Indian states and their famous food

Punjab: The Heartwarming Delicacies

makki di roti and sarson ka saag
makki di roti and sarson ka saag

As a state that has fundamentally shaped the culinary ethos of North India, Punjab’s hearty and robust fare is a delight for every food lover. It’s famous for its ‘Makki di Roti’ and ‘Sarson ka Saag,’ a unique combination of cornbread and mustard greens. You can also enjoy the globally-loved ‘Butter Chicken’, a creamy and flavourful dish that is often served with ‘Naan,’ a soft bread cooked in tandoor.

Gujarat: A Medley of Flavors

group of gujarati snacks like jalebi fafda thepla khaman dhokla
Group of Gujarati snacks like jalebi-fafda, thepla, khaman dhokla

Known for its predominantly vegetarian cuisine, Gujarat offers an enchanting blend of sweet, salty, and spicy flavours. ‘Dhokla,’ a steamed and fermented snack made from rice and chickpeas, is a staple “food of states in India” list. Another “famous food of states” in Gujarat is ‘Thepla’, a type of bread, often enjoyed with pickles or yoghurt.

Rajasthan: The Desert Delights

daal baati churma
Daal Baati Churma

Despite the arid environment, Rajasthan boasts a rich and flavorful cuisine. ‘Dal Baati Churma’, a dish consisting of lentils and hard wheat rolls, beautifully exemplifies the use of local ingredients in Rajasthani cuisine. Another delicacy is ‘Laal Maas’, a mutton curry that’s as fiery as the state’s scorching summers.

West Bengal: Sweet and Savory Symphony

bengali rasgulla
Bengali Rasgulla

West Bengal, often dubbed as the sweet capital of India, offers a wide array of sweets like ‘Rasgulla’, ‘Sandesh’, and ‘Mishti Doi’. However, the state’s culinary repertoire is not limited to sweets. ‘Macher Jhol’, a spicy fish curry, and ‘Shukto’, a bitter-sweet medley of vegetables, are iconic dishes in Bengali cuisine.

Tamil Nadu: The Spice Coast

south indian food like masala dosa uttapam idly vada sambar appam
South Indian food like Masala Dosa, Uttapam, Idli/idly, Wada/vada, sambar, appam

South India’s culinary gem, Tamil Nadu, is famous for its ‘Sambar and Rice’, ‘Idli’, ‘Dosa’, and ‘Chettinad Chicken’. These dishes often served with a variety of chutneys and ‘Sambar’ (a lentil and vegetable stew), have won the hearts of food enthusiasts worldwide.

Maharashtra: Coastal Cravings

pav bhaji served on a tray by a street vendor on chowpatty beach
Pav Bhaji served on a tray by a street vendor on Chowpatty beach

Maharashtra’s culinary delights, like ‘Pav Bhaji’ and ‘Puran Poli’, exemplify the state’s rich cultural amalgamation. However, the real charm lies in its coastal cuisine, particularly ‘Malvani Fish Curry’, a dish made with a unique blend of spices and coconut.

Kerala: A Tropical Treat

prawn mango curry
Prawn mango curry

Kerala, known as God’s Own Country, also deserves praise for its heavenly food. ‘Sadya’, a vegetarian feast served on a banana leaf, offers a variety of dishes that highlight the state’s abundant produce and spices. Don’t forget the ‘Kerala Prawn Curry’, a “famous food of states” in India, made with juicy prawns simmered in a spicy coconut broth.

Assam: The Exotic East

assam laksa noodle in tangy fish gravy
Assam Laksa (Noddle in Tangy Fish Gravy)

Assam provides a distinct taste palette shaped by its unique geography and cultural influences. The ‘Assam Laksa’, a sour fish soup, and ‘Pitha’, a type of rice cake, are a testament to the state’s innovative use of rice in its cuisine. ‘Masor Tenga’, a tangy fish curry, adds a bold stroke of flavour to the “state-wise food in India” portrait.

Goa: The Spice of the Sea

goan fish curry
Goan Fish Curry

A coastal paradise, Goa’s cuisine is deeply influenced by its Portuguese past. The ‘Goan Fish Curry,’ or ‘Xitti Kodi,’ is a blend of local spices and coconut, creating a unique flavour profile. ‘Pork Vindaloo,’ another famous Goan dish, has Portuguese roots and packs quite a punch with its tangy and spicy notes.

Karnataka: Southern Flavours

ragi mudde
Ragi mudde

Karnataka’s food is a diverse palate offering from ‘Bisi Bele Bath,’ a spicy lentil rice, to ‘Ragi Mudde,’ a finger millet ball served with a spicy curry. One can also savour ‘Mysore Pak,’ a rich sweet dish made from generous amounts of ghee, sugar, and gram flour.

Uttar Pradesh: A Mughal Legacy

awadhi chicken biryani
Awadhi Chicken Biryani

In Uttar Pradesh, the influence of Mughal cooking is still prominent. ‘Awadhi Biryani,’ a fragrant and flavorful dish made with basmati rice and meat, is a standout. The city of Lucknow’s ‘Tunday Kebab’ is also a famous delicacy you can’t miss.

Andhra Pradesh: The Fiery Feast

pesarattu dosa
Pesarattu Dosa

Andhra Pradesh is well-known for its hot and spicy food. ‘Andhra Chicken Curry’ and ‘Pesarattu,’ a dosa made from green gram, are mouth-watering dishes from this state. ‘Gongura Pickle’, made from sorrel leaves, adds a tangy and spicy zest to the meal.

Madhya Pradesh: The Heartland Specials

bhutte ka kees
Bhutte ka Kees

Madhya Pradesh offers a mix of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. ‘Poha,’ flattened rice cooked with spices, is a popular breakfast dish, while ‘Bhutte ka Kees,’ a grated corn dish, showcases the state’s innovative use of locally grown produce.

Odisha: The Temple Delicacies

chhena poda
Chhena Poda

Odisha’s cuisine, often under-recognised, is a delightful blend of flavours. The ‘Dalma,’ a lentil and vegetable stew, and ‘Pakhala,’ fermented rice, are much loved. Odisha is also known for ‘Chhena Poda,’ a sweet dish made from burnt cheese that’s reminiscent of cheesecake.

Himachal Pradesh: The Mountain Feast

baked trout with vegetables
Baked Trout with Vegetables

In the northern hilly state of Himachal Pradesh, ‘Sidu,’ a yeast-fermented bread, and ‘Dham,’ a traditional festive meal cooked by Brahmin chefs, are the highlights. The ‘Trout Fish’ curry, farmed locally, is another must-try for non-vegetarians.

Bihar: The Ancient Tastes

litti chokha or bihari food
Litti Chokha or Bihari Food

Bihar’s cuisine includes both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. ‘Litti Chokha,’ balls of wheat and gram flour stuffed with a spicy filling and served with mashed potatoes and brinjal, is the state’s signature dish. ‘Sattu Paratha,’ a stuffed flatbread, and ‘Makhana Kheer,’ a dessert made from fox nuts, are other regional specialities.

Jammu and Kashmir: Aromatic Delights

indian lamb rogan josh
indian lamb rogan josh

The northernmost state of Jammu and Kashmir, often referred to as ‘Paradise on Earth’, is known for its flavorful and aromatic dishes. ‘ ,’ a slow-cooked lamb curry with intense flavours, and ‘Yakhni,’ a creamy mutton dish cooked in yoghurt, are among its famous dishes. ‘Kahwa,’ a traditional green tea with spices and almonds, is a perfect end to any Kashmiri meal.

Uttarakhand: Mountain Comfort Food

jhangora ki kheer
Jhangora Ki Kheer

Uttarakhand, nestled in the Himalayas, has a cuisine that is simple yet comforting. ‘Aloo Ke Gutke,’ a spicy dish made from boiled potatoes, and ‘Gahat Ki Dal,’ a horse gram lentil soup, are popular dishes. ‘Jhangora Ki Kheer,’ a dessert made from a local variety of millet, is a sweet delight unique to the state.

Chhattisgarh: The Rice Bowl of India

chana samosa
Chana Samosa

Chhattisgarh’s cuisine reflects its status as the ‘rice bowl of India.’ ‘Chana Samosa,’ a variant of the popular Indian snack with a filling of chickpeas, and ‘Bafauri,’ steamed chickpea flour balls, are healthy and tasty. ‘Muthiya,’ a rice roll steamed and then stir-fried, showcases the innovative use of rice in the state’s cuisine.

Nagaland: Northeastern Exotica

In Nagaland, you can experience the unique flavours of north eastern India. ‘Smoked Pork with Bamboo Shoot,’ a flavorful dish with a distinct smoky taste, is a must-try. ‘Naga Ghost Chilli Sauce,’ made from one of the world’s spiciest chillies, adds fiery heat to any meal.

Tripura: The Royal Repast

langcha or lemcha sweet dish
Langcha or Lemcha sweet dish

Tripura’s cuisine, a blend of indigenous flavours with Bengali influences, is a gastronomic delight. ‘Muya Awandru,’ a bamboo shoot with rice flour and berma (fermented fish), and ‘Gudok,’ a mixed vegetable dish cooked in bamboo shoots, offer a taste of the state’s rich tribal heritage.

Haryana: The Agrarian Spread

kheer
Kheer

Haryana’s cuisine is deeply connected to its agricultural roots. ‘Bajra Khichdi,’ a hearty dish made from pearl millet, is a staple in the state’s households. The state is also famous for its dairy products, with dishes like ‘Lassi,’ a yoghurt-based drink, and ‘Kheer,’ a milk-based sweet dish, featuring prominently in its cuisine.

Jharkhand: Tribal Tastes

thekua
Thekua

In Jharkhand, ‘Rugda,’ a type of mushroom, and ‘Pittha,’ a dumpling made from rice flour, are traditional tribal dishes. ‘Thekua,’ a sweet snack often made for festivals, is a well-known dessert in the state.

Manipur: The Seven-Course Meal

manipuri dish kamen asimba kangsoi
Manipuri dish Kamen Asimba Kangsoi

Manipur offers a seven-course meal known as ‘Chakhao Kheer,’ ‘Eromba,’ ‘Kangsoi,’ and ‘Paaknam,’ showcasing its culinary diversity. The state’s cuisine makes extensive use of locally available ingredients like bamboo shoots, fermented fish, and chillies.

Sikkim: The Himalayan Feast

sel roti ring shaped sweet bread
Sel roti, ring shaped sweet bread

Sikkim, a beautiful northeastern state nestled amidst the Himalayas, is known for its unique food. ‘Phagshapa,’ a dish of pork fat stewed with radishes and chilli, and ‘Gundruk,’ fermented leafy greens, are traditional dishes. ‘Sael Roti,’ a ring-shaped, deep-fried bread, is a favourite during festivals.

Meghalaya: The Abode of the Clouds Cuisine

jadoh with rice
Jadoh With Rice

Meghalaya’s cuisine is known for its unique flavours and ingredients. ‘Jadoh,’ a spicy rice and meat dish, and ‘Doh-Khleh,’ a pork salad, are popular local favourites. The ‘Pumaloi,’ a steamed rice cake, showcases the creative use of rice in Meghalayan cuisine.

Mizoram: A Burst of Flavors

stir fried smoked bamboo shoots
Stir fried smoked bamboo shoots

Mizo cuisine is all about simplicity and natural flavours. ‘Bai,’ a soup made from local greens, and ‘Vawksa Rep,’ smoked pork cooked with bamboo shoots, are iconic dishes. ‘Chhum Han,’ a simple and delicious bamboo shoot stew, also reflects the state’s culinary ethos.

Arunachal Pradesh: Flavors of the Dawn-Lit Mountains

momos with schezwan sauce
Momos with schezwan sauce

In Arunachal Pradesh, ‘Thukpa,’ a noodle soup, and ‘Momos,’ dumplings filled with meat or vegetables, are much loved. The state’s cuisine is marked by mild flavours with an emphasis on bamboo shoots, local leafy vegetables, and fermented products.

Lakshadweep: The Islander's Delight

fried tuna
Fried Tuna

Lakshadweep, India’s smallest union territory, is known for its seafood. ‘Fried Tuna,’ flavoured with bird’s eye chilli and coconut, is a favourite among locals. Coconut water and fresh fruit also form a significant part of the island’s diet.

Andaman and Nicobar Islands: Seafood Galore

coconut prawn curry
Coconut Prawn Curry

In the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, seafood is a staple. ‘Grilled Lobster’ and ‘Coconut Prawn Curry’ are popular dishes that bring out the fresh flavours of the sea. The tropical climate also leads to the abundant use of coconuts and bananas in local cuisine.

Puducherry: A French-Tamil Fusion

coq au vin
Coq au Vin

Puducherry’s cuisine is a fusion of Tamil and French flavours. ‘Coq au Vin,’ chicken cooked in wine, is a French classic that can be found here. ‘Kadugu Yerra,’ prawns in a tangy mustard sauce, is a traditional Tamil dish loved by locals and tourists alike.

Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu: A Blend of Influences

tasty spicy ubadiyu
Tasty Spicy Ubadiyu

The food of this union territory is influenced by Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Portugal. ‘Ubadiyu,’ a mixed vegetable and bean dish cooked underground, is a winter favourite. ‘Fish Curry,’ with its rich and tangy flavours, is another well-known dish in this region.

Chandigarh: A Fusion of Flavors

hara bhara kebab
Hara Bhara Kebab

As Chandigarh serves as the capital for both Punjab and Haryana, its cuisine is a delightful mix of these two states. Famous dishes include ‘Butter Chicken,’ a creamy and flavorful chicken dish, and ‘Hara Bhara Kebab,’ a vegetarian dish made from spinach, peas, and potatoes.

Ladakh: High Altitude Delicacies

selective focus of thukpa
Selective focus of Thukpa

Ladakh, with its rugged terrain and cold climate, offers hearty dishes like ‘Thukpa,’ a warm noodle soup, and ‘Skyu,’ a traditional Ladakhi pasta. ‘Chhang,’ a local barley beer, is also popular among locals and tourists.

Telangana: Deccan Delights

hyderabadi biryani
Hyderabadi Biryani

Telangana’s cuisine is marked by its rich and spicy flavours. Signature dishes include ‘Hyderabadi Biryani,’ a flavorful rice dish, and ‘Sakinalu,’ a traditional snack made during the festival season. ‘Qubani ka Meetha,’ a dessert made from dried apricots, is a sweet ending to any meal.

2 Wrapping Up

In conclusion, the “Indian states and their famous food” exemplify the incredible diversity and richness of Indian culture. Every state presents a unique flavour, a testament to the local resources, history, and culinary ingenuity. This journey through the “food of states in India” barely scratches the surface of the gastronomic wonders the country holds. The tantalising array of “famous food of states” in India invites everyone to explore and appreciate the intricacies of Indian cuisine, one state at a time.

These are but a few examples of the diverse and delicious food items India has to offer. A country where every state has a unique story to tell through its cuisine, India is indeed a gastronomical paradise. Each state, with its “famous food of states,” represents a different chapter in this vast book of culinary delights.

As we embark on a culinary journey through the “Indian states and their famous food,” we are filled with a sense of admiration and wonder at the rich tapestry of tastes and flavours that make up the “food of states in India.” There is much to discover and enjoy, and the journey is as delightful as the food itself.

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Kaushik Jethva
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Updated: July 18, 2023
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