India on a plate

India on a plate

A festive dessert: The shufta from Kashmir.

So we decided to go in search of snacks and sweets that would take us beyond payasam, rasmalai, samosa and dal bati churma, and also plan menus that would appeal to a Sindhi, Bohri, Anglo-Indian or Khasi. The curry and chutney culture had to be decoded, and we found out why the curry usually gets thinner, darker and tangier as we head south. The cuisine of the Seven Sisters, or the North-Eastern states, is unexplored territory and we tried to understand some aspects of these no-spices, all-flavour foods. And we also learnt how urban India eats.

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Next time, we intend to find out more about the egg halwa some Biharis patronize, or the bhutte ki kiss (a corn dish) that is a staple snack in Indore, Madhya Pradesh. Meanwhile, enjoy the discoveries we made on this culinary journey. PS: Don’t miss out the 12 videos ( and that will help you cook these delicacies.

Also Read | What we eat

We profiled the dietary habits of four urban households, largely representative of their economic class, to see if there were any telling differencesArati Rao

Community kitchens

We identified a few communities—Sindhi, Bunt, Bene Israeli, Anglo-Indian, Bohri, Khasi, Coorgi, Kayastha—and asked authors, chefs, consultants and food aficionados to tell us what makes these cuisines unique, how they came about, and what the must-use ingredients are

Everyone’s invited

Just go through our collection of snacks and sweets from various states and dazzle your guests with your new-found culinary expertise

Serving secrets

Chefs and food consultants tell us how to serve Indian food right

On a curry trail

It might be uniform in its international avatar, but in India it’s a different colour wherever you go


Two recent books hark back to the authors’ family kitchens, attempting to keep alive two little documented cuisines

A ‘no masala’ culture

Guided by a single spice note, food from the North-East is healthy and easy to prepare

Design on the menu

Lamps, tables, bead partitions— unique decor ideas spotted at restaurants that you can adapt for your home

Sindhi cuisine | The movable feast

Sindhi food is distinct in flavour and ingredients from its more well-known north Indian counterparts

Seema Chowdhry, Issue editor