Rice is eaten in all parts of our country and there are some dishes that suit palates all across the nation. From biryani to fried rice, we take you on a journey to explore the best five rice dishes India has to offer
Who doesn’t like rice?
Well I just love them!
A staple food crop in many parts of the world, rice takes up many forms as it journeys through countries and continents. India is the second largest producer of rice after China. From east to west and north to south, we have a variety of rice dishes that are absolutely lip-smacking.
Here are our top five picks.
Food fit for kings and gods? We cannot agree more. Having Mughal roots, Biryani is prepared using Basmati rice along with vegetables and/or any kind of meat. The most popular varieties are chicken, mutton and egg. Cooked over a long period of time, it is made with spices, dry fruits, cream and yoghurt. Try the mouth-watering Hyderabadi Dum biryani or the Malabar fish biryani to dive into a world of intoxicating flavors and fragrances.
Made with dal (lentils), khichdi is the ultimate ghar ka khana! Served with ghee, papad, raita or pickles, it varies according to the region it is being cooked in. For Bengalis, it is a rich gourmet delicacy, served with fish, eggplant, mashed potatoes or omelets. A lighter variety is served to babies and patients as it is easy to digest. Gujarat serves its khichdi with kadhi and Surati undhia/vangan na ravaiya. Bihar, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh all have their own versions of this delectable dish.
No we are not talking about the festival! Pongal is a popular rice dish of Tamil cuisine and comes in both sweet and savory varieties. A common breakfast food down south, it is made with moong dal and rice. Cumin seeds, ginger, black pepper, curry leaves, cashew nuts provide the flavor while the rice and dal are kept mushy. Served with sambhar and coconut chutney, it is a heavenly delight. The sweet variety uses jaggery along with rice and coconut.
Our very own pulao is actually pilaf that is cooked all across the globe. Cooked in seasoned broth, along with various spices, it may contain vegetables and/or meat. Popular in the northern parts of India, it is served with raita and pickles. Kashmiri pulao, peas pulao, Zafrani pulao – take your pick! Unlike biryani where rice is cooked separately, for pulao, rice is cooked along with the spices and the vegetables. Water or broth is then added to it and cooked in a covered pot/pan.
A plate of beautifully prepared fried rice can never go wrong. Prepared usually with leftover rice, this dish is easier to cook than the rest of the rice dishes here. There shouldn’t be any moisture in the rice that is stir-fried along with either vegetables or chicken/beef/pork or fish/shrimp. Eggs taste brilliant in fried rice and in India, it is usually made in soy sauce, garlic, pepper and spices. Onions, carrots, beans, peas, corn, mushrooms all taste great in fried rice so be generous with the veggies!
From simple dal chawal and steamed rice to rich biryanis and pulaos, Indians know how to enjoy their rice dishes. And the best way to eat them? Chuck the spoons, forks and the chopsticks! You know what we mean?!