If traveling to India is one of your dreams, we invite you to start the trip with a gastronomic tour through its most popular recipes.
But of course there is nothing like trying the typical food of a country “in situ”, so if you decide to make that trip that you always dreamed of, in addition to the tour of the recipes, we will tell you a little about how you have to apply for a visa for the India and some useful travel recommendations.
Our trip to India through its flavors will take us to review famous dishes such as chicken curry (although in its more western version) to lesser-known delicacies such as Pani Puri. Ready to take your taste buds on a journey?
We are going to undertake this gastronomic journey through India (and do not miss the practical travel tips that we leave you at the end). Check out more only at Petpooja.
Appetizer recipes, the snack of Indian food
Samosas, Indian dumplings
Samosas are a kind of triangular-shaped dumplings that are prepared with a very thin dough similar to filo pastry. It is usually stuffed with vegetables seasoned with a mixture of spices such as curry, turmeric and ginger among others, and there are also meat varieties . They are fried, and they are super crispy. The usual thing is to accompany them with a sauce such as a chutney, yogurt sauce, a spicy sauce, etc.
Pakoras are a kind of fried vegetable pancakes coated with chickpea flour. They are usually accompanied with some sauce or chutney, and are a great appetizer or starter. We can vary the vegetables if we prefer to make them with what we have at home.
Ingredients: 150 g of chickpea flour; 1 zucchini; 1 onion; 1 red bell pepper; 1 handful of spinach leaves; a little fresh coriander; 1 potato; 1/2 tablespoon (about 5 g) Royal-type chemical yeast; 2 tablespoons of garam masala; oil for frying
Peel the potatoes and grate it. Wash and cut the onion, pepper and courgette into fine julienne strips. Wash and drain the spinach and cilantro well and chop them. In a bowl, mix the flour with the garam masala and the yeast. Add the water until you get a dough, add all the vegetables and mix. Heat a pan with plenty of oil and add a spoonful of the mixture and fry on both sides until golden brown. Remove on absorbent paper and serve.
Pani Puri, small stuffed bites
Pani puri is a very popular street snack in India, Nepal and Pakistan. It consists of a crispy fried crepe or “puri” filled with spicy potato and soaked in a watery sauce, or “pani” with which the inside of the dough is filled.
Ingredients for the dough (puris): ¼ cup of common flour; 3/4 cup semolina; 1/2 cup of water; salt and oil
For the filling (pani): 1 cup of mint leaves; 3 tbsp. of tamarind paste; 3 tbsp. of lemon juice; 1 tbsp. red chili powder; 1 pinch of salt; 2 cups of water; Ginger and sugar to taste
To make the puris, mix the flour, semolina, water and salt until you get a firm dough that does not stick to your hands. Cover with a damp cloth and let rest for 20 minutes. Divide the dough into several medium balls. So that the dough does not dry out, keep the dough covered with a damp cloth while we make the balls.
In a pan, heat the oil and fry the dough balls. When the balls are inflated and golden brown, remove them with a slotted spoon on a plate lined with kitchen paper so that they lose excess oil. Let it cold down.
To make the filling, mix the tamarind paste with the water, the lemon juice, the chili powder, the salt, the ginger and the sugar. Blend the mint leaves and add to the mixture.
Just before eating, we open a hole at the top, they are filled with meat, vegetables or potatoes, and they are passed through the water that we had made before.
Raita sauce is a sauce made with natural yogurt, and generally, green chili, cilantro, and cucumber. The onion raita or raita salad that we propose is a very common accompaniment in India, and is mainly used to accompany biryani , whose recipe we have seen before.
Cut the purple onion with a mandolin so that the julienne is fine, salt it a little and mix it with natural yogurt, coriander, a little pepper and if you like chopped green chili.
Indian recipes with chicken and meat
Chicken is one of the fundamental ingredients of Indian food, and its cuisine has produced dishes known throughout the world .
Another recipe for marinated chicken with spices, in this case a chicken marinated in yogurt with different spices , which is then roasted in an oven called a tandoor , from which its name comes. Of course, in our case we will roast this tandoori chicken in our home oven.
There is no doubt that it is the most popular dish in Indian cuisine, but as we mentioned at the beginning, the version of chicken curry that we eat here under this name is not exactly the same as the one we would eat in India. In any case, it is a delicious recipe and very easy to prepare, which can be part of the usual family menu.
Pollo Tikka Masala
It is not really clear if this recipe is really of Indian or British origin, because as you surely know there are several dishes in British cuisine that have a clear influence from the colonial era. Chicken Tikka Masala is a chicken curry, because another curiosity is that, although we call the yellow powdered spice curry, in reality curry is any spicy stew of Asian cuisine, and it is a Western name.
But going back to Chicken Tikka Masala, it is a chicken that is marinated in a mixture of spices and yogurt and once marinated it is cooked with onion, coconut milk and tomato. Absolutely delicious, do not stop trying it.
Another chicken curry , similar to the previous ones but with a slightly different touch given by the ground almonds.
Ingredients: 2 chicken breasts; 150 g plain Greek yogurt; 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger; 1 clove garlic; 1 handful of chopped coriander; 1 tablespoon of turmeric; 1 tablespoon of garam masala; 3 tablespoons olive oil; 1 cayenne; 1 cinnamon stick; 1 large onion; 1 tablespoon of ground cumin; 5 cardamom seeds; 5 nails; 100 g of coconut milk; 2 bay leaves; 50 g of ground almonds; Salt.
The Seekh kebab is a skewer of minced and highly spiced lamb meat, typical of the cuisine of India and Pakistan . The minced lamb meat is mixed with onion, garlic, coriander, ginger, garam masala, lemon juice, yoghurt and salt, made into a paste and left to rest for a while in the fridge. Then the skewers are assembled, making a kind of tight sausage with the meat, and they are grilled. They are always served with some sauce or chutney.
Indian rice recipes
Basmati rice is essential as an accompaniment to many Indian dishes, and here we show you how to make it so that it turns out perfect.
The kedgeree is a dish based on rice and fish, seasoned with spices such as curry and turmeric, typical of Anglo-Indian cuisine. Here is our version:
Another very famous rice from Indian cuisine (but also from other countries such as Turkey or Iran) is pilaf, polow, pilaw or pilau rice, depending on the country where you eat it. It is a rice with vegetables and spices that can be eaten alone or as an accompaniment to meats.
Biryani is a rice dish made with a mixture of spices, yogurt, and in our case, chicken.
Ingredients: 1 kg of chopped chicken; 300 g basmati rice, washed and drained; 3 tablespoons of clarified butter (ghee); 2 thinly sliced onions; 3 garlic cloves; a 2 cm piece of fresh ginger, minced; 2 chopped tomatoes; 1/2 lemon sliced; a bunch of chopped coriander; 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin; 1/2 teaspoon of curry; 15 g plain Greek yogurt; 1 tablespoon of spices for biryani; 2 cinnamon sticks; 2-3 star anises; 5 nails; 1 teaspoon of black peppercorns; a few strands of saffron; 2 bay leaves; Salt
Heat the ghee in a large saucepan over low heat and fry the cinnamon, cloves, anise, pepper and bay leaf until its fragrance is noticeable. Add the onion, ginger, tomato, garlic and a little salt, sauté for 5 minutes. Add the powdered spices, stir and cook for 2 minutes. Add the chicken and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add the yogurt, cook for 2 more minutes, remove from the heat and add the chopped coriander.
Apart we boil the rice but only 5 minutes, drain. In a large saucepan, alternate a layer of rice with a layer of chicken, beginning and ending with rice. Cover and cook over low heat for 5 minutes, or until the rice is cooked.
Indian food with legumes and vegetables
Chana Masala, the Indian Chickpea Curry
The main ingredient of the chana masala is the chickpea , always stewed with a mixture of spices that give it that characteristic flavor.
Ingredients: 400 g of cooked chickpeas; 2 cloves of garlic; 2 cm of fresh ginger; a chilli pepper; The juice of half a lemon; 2 tablespoons of oil; 1 onion; 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds; 1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds; 1 teaspoon of turmeric; 1 teaspoon of garam masala; 200 g of whole peeled tomatoes; a handful of fresh coriander.
In a mortar, crush the garlic with the ginger, the chilli pepper, a splash of lemon juice and half a teaspoon of salt. In a frying pan, heat the oil and sauté the cumin seeds over low heat for a few seconds. Add the chopped onion and fry. Add the mashed, ground coriander seeds, turmeric and garam masala, mix and cook for a few seconds. Add the tomato and break them up with a fork, add the chickpeas, coriander, about 100 ml of water and let cook over low heat, with the pot covered, for about 30 minutes. Add the lemon juice and serve.
Dal Makhani Lentil Soup
Dal Indian lentil soup is one of the typical recipes of this country. Although there are different recipes, the best known is Dal Makhani , which is made with black lentils.
Ingredients: 1 cup of black lentils (you can use another type of lentil); 1 tsp salt
For the sauce: 4 tbsp. of butter; 1 chopped onion; 1 tsp ginger paste; 1 tsp. garlic paste; ½ tsp Garam Masala; 2 tomatoes; ½ tsp chili powder or hot paprika;; ½ tsp sugar; Salt; 2 cups of water; ¼ cup of yogurt; fresh coriander
We put the lentils to soak for at least 8 hours. Drain the water and put them in an express pot with 4 cups of water and a teaspoon of salt. Let cook over medium heat for 30 minutes from when steam begins to come out. After the time we open the lid and with a potato press we crush a large part of the lentils.
Crush the two tomatoes until a paste remains and reserve. In a frying pan, fry a chopped onion with 3 tablespoons of butter. When it is transparent, add half a teaspoon of garam masala, stir well and add the garlic and ginger pastes. After a minute we add the tomato paste that we had reserved. Let it cook for 5-10 minutes and add the chili or paprika powder, salt and sugar. Stir and add the lentils with 2 cups of water. Let it boil for half an hour over medium heat. After half an hour, add a tablespoon of butter and yogurt, and stir. Let cook 5 more minutes and serve with some coriander leaves and a little ghee on top.
Palak Paneer, spinach with Indian paneer cheese
Palak paneer is an Indian cuisine dish consisting of spinach and Paneer cheese with a curry sauce.
Ingredients : 100 g of paneer cheese; 500 g of fresh spinach; 100 g of onion; 200 g of tomato; 10 g of turmeric; 10 g of red paprika; 5 g cumin powder; 5 g of coriander powder; 20 g of garlic-ginger paste; vegetable broth; 1 bay leaf; black cardamom; green cardamom
In a frying pan, fry the chopped onion and the garlic-ginger paste for 5 minutes until the onion begins to soften. After the time, add the chopped tomato and cook for 5 more minutes. Add the red paprika, turmeric, cumin powder, coriander powder, black cardamom, green cardamom, a bay leaf and the vegetable broth. Let them cook over medium heat for a few minutes. Remove from the pan and reserve.
Sauté the paneer cheese so that it browns slightly. Next, we put a saucepan on the fire with water and when it starts to boil we add the spinach and then we move to a bowl with cold water with ice. We crush the spinach with the blender until we obtain a green cream.
In another pan, mix the sofrito with the spinach cream and stir until a uniform mixture is obtained. Finally, we add the paneer and serve hot
Indian Bread Recipes
Naan bread is a flat and soft bread without an oven, which is prepared in the pan.
Ingredients: 180 g of loose flour (all purpose); 90 g of strong flour; 5 g of dry baker’s yeast; 1 teaspoon salt; 1 teaspoon of sugar; 40 g of melted butter (plus another for brushing); 70 g plain Greek yogurt; 140 ml of warm water; chopped fresh coriander.
In a bowl mix the flours, salt, sugar and yeast. Add the yogurt, the warm water and 2/3 parts of the butter. Knead until you get a smooth dough. Form a ball, put in a bowl, cover with a cloth and let rest until doubled in size. Knead a little to deflate the dough, separate into 8 parts, form balls, brush with the rest of the butter, cover and let rise for 30 minutes.
Heat a griddle or ungreased iron pan. We stretch the balls of dough with our hands, as if it were a pizza and cook them one at a time, when bubbles begin to form we turn them over, turn them over and cook for 1 more minute. As we remove, brush with melted butter and sprinkle with coriander.
Papadum or Papadam
Papadum or papadam is another type of flatbread , this time thin and crusty, and made from pulse flour. The traditional recipe is to dry it in the sun and then fry it, although an easier alternative is to bake it first and then fry it.
Ingredients: 4 cups of lentil or chickpea flour; 1/4 cup of water; 1 teaspoon of black pepper; Salt; sunflower oil for frying
We mix all the ingredients until we obtain a dough that does not stick, similar to empanadilla wafers. Stretch the dough with the rolling pin until it is as thin as possible, cut disks and place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper. We dry the wafers in the oven at about 70°C for about 40 minutes, they have to be stiff. Just before eating them, fry them until crisp and golden and serve immediately.
traditional indian desserts
Gulam jamun is one of the most traditional desserts, fritters with cardamom that are coated in syrup and served with a layer of pistachio on top.
Mango chutney is a sweet and spicy sauce that is used to accompany many dishes. Similar to jams, it is a fundamental ingredient in many Indian dishes.
The mango lassi is a traditional Indian smoothie that is made with mango and yogurt, and you have to try it because it is more than delicious.
- 1 cup of mango chopped and peeled
- 250g plain Greek yogurt
- ½ cup of milk
- 4 teaspoons of sugar or sweetener to taste
- A few drops of lemon juice
- 1 pinch ground cardamom
- 1 g ground saffron (optional)
- 4 ice cubes or crushed ice
Kheer, Indian rice pudding
Kheer is Indian rice pudding, and how could it be otherwise, unlike our traditional rice pudding recipe, spices are added to kheer that transport us to India.
Ingredients: 1 l of milk; 100 g of basmati rice; 100 g of sugar; 3 teaspoons of almond powder; 3 teaspoons of grated coconut; 1 teaspoon of cardamom powder; a few strands of saffron; pistachios; Brown sugar
how to make indian kheer
We put the saffron threads to soak in a little water and reserve. Wash the rice and drain. Put a saucepan with the milk and bring to a boil. Add the rice and let it boil again, stirring from time to time so that it does not stick to us. We keep it cooking for about 40 minutes, until we see that the rice is soft and creamy. Add the ground almonds, sugar, cream, saffron and cardamom, letting it boil for a few more minutes. The texture has to be creamy, but not too thick, so if necessary we can add some milk. We put it in the containers that we are going to serve and let it cool. At the time of serving, sprinkle with ground pistachios and a little brown sugar. We can also put other types of nuts instead of pistachios, such as laminated almonds for example.
7 practical tips if you travel to India
How to get a visa for India
The first step to travel to India is to get a visa. You can’t enter the country without it, so it’s essential, but luckily applying for a visa for India is very simple because everything can be done online, you don’t have to go to the consulate or anything like that. Once the procedure is done, a document in pdf format arrives by email, which is all that is needed.
The type of visa for India depends on the reason for the trip: for tourists there is the “eTourist visa”, for those traveling for business the “eBusiness visa” and those who travel for medical reasons have to request the “eMedical visa”. In all three cases it is an electronic visa, also called e-Visa India , which, as we have said, is obtained in a simple way by filling out an online form.
What clothes to wear to India according to the time of year
Wear comfortable clothes, cotton or linen. At night in some places it can get cooler, so don’t forget to pack a sweater and socks in your suitcase. The climate is tropical, humid in the coastal regions and dry in the interior. The temperature generally does not drop below 18°C. The rainy season runs from May to November.
Food in street stalls
Be careful with street stalls, hygienic conditions are usually not the best. Therefore, avoid raw foods, fruit always well washed and peeled, and bottled water. As for the most typical recipes, do not forget to try some or all of the dishes that we have suggested. India is an explosion of flavors and its local gastronomy is worth trying.
places of worship
Most of the population is Hindu (79%), followed by 14% Muslim. In places of worship, as is also the case for other religions, entry is not allowed with skirts or shorts, open shirts or bare shoulders.
It is not compulsory, but a good part of the income of the waiters depends on it, so it is a good habit. It is advisable to leave 10% of the total account.
No vaccination is compulsory, but preventive treatments against cholera and malaria are recommended. In Spain there are 77 International Vaccination Centers where, in addition to administering vaccines, advice on travel medicine is provided. Keep in mind that some vaccines may require several applications distributed over time, so it is convenient to find out in advance.
The local currency is the rupee. It is advisable to travel with dollars, and bear in mind that outside the big cities the use of credit cards is not common.
With these tips and your visa for India prepared, you are ready to take this gastronomic tour that we propose to you through this wonderful Asian country.