Tea & Thali: A Few Indian Foods to Try

Last updated on: Jun 7, 2020

(Last Updated On: June 7, 2020)

Indian cuisine is the spice of life! From the fragrant combinations of coriander and cumin found in its masalas and curries to the health-promoting aspects of its heavily plant-based diet, I love everything about Indian food. There are  just so many tasty things to eat in India (drink, too)!

A microcosm of India, its cuisine derives from a diversity of climates, soil conditions, and local delicacies, and it perfectly blends unique flavors, textures, and regional ingredients.

Related post: The Colors of India

Indian Foods to Try

North India offers most of the globally-popular Indian dishes, such as tandoori rotis, tikkas, and chaats, and it’s where I fell more in love with saffron and garam masala.

South Indian cuisine, which is spicier than North Indian cuisine, also has a lot to offer and is characterized by its thalis–various individual dishes served on one plate–and its wonderful curry, lentil, coconut, and rice-based dishes. While dining in establishments ranging from the local family restaurant to the opulent Oberoi Amarvilas,

I had the most delightful meals, including the best saffron rice, coconut curry, and murgh tikka on the planet. So, it doesn’t really matter where you eat, because good food is everywhere.

When it comes to tea, India is on par with China in terms of the popularity of tea. But in India, spices are added to the tea to provide a rich layering of contrasting flavors that differentiates Indian teas from Chinese teas. 

While I really love Chinese pu-erh and oolong teas, my favorite is Indian-made masala chai, which is a mixture of black tea, milk, and spices. It reminds me of a spiced hot cocoa and is so good!

Check out this simple masala tea recipe that you can make at home.

Masala Chai Tea Recipe

1” piece of chopped fresh ginger

¼ cup whole cloves

½ cup of black pepper

1 cinnamon stick

½ teaspoon of cardamom seeds or ground cardamom

2 bags of Mamri tea

Sweetener, such as honey or brown sugar, to taste

Add 2 bags of Mamri (or Assam) tea, fresh ginger, and spices to a small pot with 1 cup of water and bring to a boil.

Remove from heat and add 1 cup of whole milk and desired sweetener. Return to heat and bring to a boil.

After mixture starts to boil, turn off the heat and let it steep for 10 minutes.

Using a mesh strainer, pour the tea into cups.


Have you visited India before? Which Indian foods did you try?

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Taryn White
With 75+ countries and all 50 U.S. states crossed off her list, Taryn's wanderlust and wanderlist continue to grow! She loves historic places, off-the-beaten paths, and beautiful beaches. Follow her pursuits on Instagram and www.tripwishlist.com.

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