Indian cuisine truly is a blend of the culture and diversity of the people here. But if you venture to some of the unexplored regions of India, you’ll be surprised to see people relishing unusual food. If you think India is the land of spices and traditional food, you’re probably mistaken. Apart from the mouthwatering samosas, parathas, and mithais in the country, you’ll be baffled by the wild world of bizarre dishes here.
If you’re a fearless foodie, you’ll definitely enjoy the different unusual food items served in India. After all, you won’t know unless you try, right? We have compiled a list of some of the unusual foods in India that you must try. Let’s just dive right in!
You’ve probably been bitten by a red ant sometime in your life that has left you squirming in pain. What if we told you that the chutney made with red ants as the major ingredient is one of the famous delicacies of many people? Yes, you read that right! If you go towards the eastern states of India, you’ll find many people relishing the red ants chutney.
One such place is the Bastar region in Chhattisgarh. The ants and eggs are first dried and crushed before grinding them with mortar or pestle. To spice up the flavor, tomatoes, coriander, garlic, ginger chilli, salt, and a little sugar is added to the mixture. This orange paste is then cooked with oil along with onions. If you love spicy food, this is a must-try as the formic acid of the ants along with other seasonings makes it really hot and spicy.
Also Read: Raipur, Chattisgarh Travel Guide
Fan of seafood? There’s no better place than Goa for a tasty and delicious seafood meal. A very popular dish that has gained a lot of attention from locals and tourists is baby shark curry. You might probably recognize it by its traditional Goan name ‘Mori Mutton’ or ‘Moryechi Xacuti’. Again, all spicy eaters will definitely love this dish as it’s made with green masala and a lot of spices.
The baby shark is first marinated in turmeric powder, red chilli powder, and salt. Onion, garlic, grated coconut, and oil are used to prepare the gravy. To give you that spicy flavor, a masala paste made of coriander leaves, ginger, garlic, and water is added to the gravy along with the marinated shark pieces. You can enjoy this tasty baby shark curry with roti, chapati, or sliced bread.
Also Read: Exploring Goa - The Goa Travel Guide
When it comes to food in Lucknow, you might probably remember the mouth-watering kebabs and kulcha served at all local restaurants. But, there’s another dish that is gaining a lot of popularity in all the street stalls and restaurants in Lucknow. That’s none other than bheja fry! Yes, we’re actually talking about fried brains here. Weird isn’t it? Don’t go by the name though, bheja fry is not only tasty but has come out to be a healthy food.
Bheja fry is made using lamb brain which is first soaked in water and then cleaned. The masala is made using oil, cloves, cinnamon, turmeric powder, ginger garlic paste, red chillies, and coriander. Then the brain is chopped into small pieces and added to the masala along with curry leaves and salt. It takes around 5 minutes to cook this in a frying pan. The best thing about this dish is that it just melts in your mouth and you get a taste of all the flavors of the masala.
Also Read: Experiencing Food In Lucknow
This technically isn’t among the unusual foods in India as it’s a French delicacy. It has a special place in the menus of all local restaurants in Sikkim. The battered frog legs have been considered to have medicinal qualities especially by the Lepchas community in Sikkim. They are known to treat problems like stomach ailments and dysentery.
The frog legs are first marinated with lime juice, garlic, pepper, vinegar and salt, and then coated in flour. Then they’re deep-fried until they turn golden brown and served with vegetables or sauce. An interesting thing is that many people find its taste similar to chicken. Don’t believe it? Maybe it’s time for you to try it and find out for yourself.
Also read: Sikkim Travel Guide
Eri Polu is one of the most loved delicacies among Assamese. This colorful delicacy is served with bamboo shoots and easily melts in the mouth. Surprisingly the stars of this dish are silkworms! After the silkworm has spun its cocoon, it is used for making Eri Polu.
The silkworms are first boiled in water and then heated on a frying pan. To add flavor to the dish, some of the key ingredients used are chopped onions and chillies. After the silkworms turn brownish, they’re ready and served with fermented bamboo shoots along with lots of herbs and spices.
One of the most popular fish species found in Bengal are Hilsa or Ilisha fishes. It is relished in Bengal, Odisha, and Andhra Pradesh. These fish are known for their unique flavor and texture and are considered the tastiest fish among the Bengalis. The best thing about this dish is that it can be made in several different ways and you’ll still get to taste the amazing flavor of this fish.
One of the key ingredients of hilsa eggs is turmeric. The key ingredients for hilsa fish curry are mustard paste, yoghurt, green chillies, and mustard oil. You can relish this delicacy with steamed rice or paratha. Monsoon time is the best season to enjoy hilsa eggs in Bengal.
Jadoh is a very popular dish in the northeastern states of India, particularly Meghalaya. The dish gets its name from the Khasi community of the state. Jadoh means rice with meat in the Khasi language. It looks like pulao but can be considered as a more ‘adventurous’ version of it. Wondering why? Well, this dish has chicken or pork intestines along with the meat!
Jadoh is made using chicken or pork meat with rice. Along with meat, there are several key ingredients like spices, chopped vegetables, eggs, and fried fish that add to the beauty of this dish. Don’t get surprised if you find any animal blood entrails in your serving as that’s considered to be enhancing the taste of the dish! You can try Jadoh during the Khasi festivals in Meghalaya.
These unusual foods in India surely may come out as bizarre and weird to many of you. But you’ll find that these foods represent the culture of the places they come from. So if you’re bored of eating classic Indian food, it’s time you try out these unusual foods in India to find out why they come out as delicacies for many people.
What Weird Food Is Eaten In India?
Some of the weird foods eaten in India are Red Ant Chutney, Baby Shark Curry, Bheja Fry, Frog Legs, Eri Polu, Hilsa Eggs, and Jadoh.
Which Food Is Eaten All Over India?
Vada pav, which is a potato dumpling in a small bun, is a famous street food eaten all over India.
What Is The National Drink Of India?
Tea can be considered the national drink of India. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a place that does NOT sell tea!
What Is India’s National Dish?
India doesn’t have a specific national dish. You’ll find a diverse culture in India. Even when it comes to food, each state here has its own speciality.
What Is The Most Famous Indian Dish?
Some of the most famous Indian dishes are vada pav, samosa pav, masala dosa, chaat, tandoori meat, etc.
What Food Is Not Acceptable In India?
Most Hindus are vegetarians and may not have any meat at all. But those that do indulge in meats may not eat beef as the cow is viewed as a sacred animal to the Hindus.
Is Indian Food Spicy?
While Indian food does utilize a number of spices, mostly whole, it's not the aromatic spices that bring heat to the food as they bring flavor. It is the chilies that contribute to the heat and can be added or omitted as per preference.
Why Do Indians Eat With Their Hands?
Traditionally for Indians, eating with hands promotes mindful eating. There is also some evidence that while eating food with your hands, the brain signals the stomach which in turn aids with digestion.