If you enjoy eating Indian food, you’re probably familiar with a variety of Indian dishes – from infamous curries such as Vindaloo and Rogan Josh, to popular side sides such as naan, roti and daal. But the cuisine of India is so diverse that it’s likely there are hundreds of dishes you’ve never even heard of. Here are just a few to whet your appetite!
This curry uses baby sharks as its base, and can be found in the coastal state of Goa – in fact, you’ll find it on the menus of most Goan shack restaurants. That’s not because it’s cheap, however; fishermen spend a long time hunting for the sharks, which puts the price of the meat up.
But once prepared in a rich, spicy sauce, Goans will tell you that it’s worth every Rupee.
Although it might look like any other sweet treat, the surprising thing about this dessert is that it is flavoured with garlic! The garlic is thinly sliced and boiled three times to take away its oleophilic properties, before being cooked with milk, cardamom, semolina and a pinch of saffron. It is usually garnished with almonds or pistachios and enjoyed at room temperature.
Otherwise known as Magic Rice, Purple Rice or Forbidden Rice, Black Rice is found only in China and India and is a unique black colour that turns a deep purple once cooked. This type of rice is usually served sticky with coconut milk as breakfast or dessert, and is most commonly found in Kerala and the hills of North Bengal.
You’ll never guess the secret ingredient in this pungent, sour chutney: red ant eggs! This fiery addition gives the chutney its distinctive spicy flavour – the ants are dried and mixed with spices and sweeteners to make a unique chutney you won’t find anywhere else on earth.
This dish consists of fermented grated bamboo – in raw or pickle form – is a popular delicacy in the north eastern state of Assam. Believed to have evolved from Chinese cooking habits, where pickling and fermenting are commonplace, it is now widely available in the cuisine of Assam and is most commonly enjoyed with fish.
Mahni is a sweet and sour delicacy that originates from Himachal Pradesh, a northern Indian state nestled in the Himalayas. Made from black gram (black lentils), jaggery, dry mango powder and a blend of aromatic spices, it has special place of Himachali’s hearts as it’s served on special occasions or when distinguished guests come to visit.
To experience the sheer variety and complexity of Indian cuisine in the UK, head to London’s best fine-dining Indian restaurants. While you may not be able to find red ants or baby sharks on their menus, their regional chefs prepare a range of exciting and authentic dishes that are unlike anything you will usually find in your typical high street curry house. Whether for lunch, dinner or just cocktails and a few snacks to share, go and discover something new today.