If you are looking for bizarre & unusual dishes, I must tell you that India is the right place because you will not get one but many dishes that will satiate a connoisseur in you. So get ready for a great culinary adventure not with basic but unique, weird, or exotic dishes that are distinctively Indian. Haha! Suit yourself, you are free to put them under your choice of header. Already drooling? Check out the list of unusual dishes of India that are beyond ordinary for the simple reason that these dishes are a blend of spices, aroma, and regional ingredients with a dash of culture, custom and diversity.
Some dishes will tantalize your palate while some will leave you wondering, who knows? Here’s a treat for all the food freaks. Enjoy!
1. Chaprah in Bastar
Can you imagine a spicy condiment made of ants that bite and sting? This unusual dish of India is an indispensable part of all grand feasts organized by the tribes of Bastar in Chhattisgarh. It is basically a pungent chutney made of red ants and their eggs which is relished whole-heartedly in Chhattisgarh because of its medicinal properties and flavors of course. You must have tried thousands of chutneys but there is no match to the explosive hotness of Chaprah. I dare you to try it!
2. Doh Khlieh of Meghalaya
For all the pork lovers, Doh Khlieh is a unique Indian dish straight from the Khasi kitchen that you must try. This typical Khasi pork dish qualifies as one of the excellent dishes straight from the Khasi kitchen. Pig brains are cooked delicately in a curry form that is accompanied with flatbread. However, it is also treated like a salad as it is topped with a couple of veggies like lettuce leaves, tomatoes, beans, etc. The rustic flavors of Meghalaya work wonders as an appetizing meal along with the unique flavor of pig brains. Do try if you don’t mind eating a pig!
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3. Patal Bageri of Bihar
Unleash an adventurous foodie in you by daring yourself to grab a bite of Patal Bageri. Primarily a rat dish by Musahars -the traditional rat-eating community of Bihar is quite a weird Indian food combination yet extremely popular in the state so much so that a pilot project was launched some years back to popularize rat meat. You can try it at any restaurant in Bihar as Patal Bageri is very much on the menu. A must-try delicacy served in variations like roasted rat and rat curry.
4. Bhang Pakora of Rajasthan
Piping hot pakoras with mint chutney are quite tempting, right? But I recommend you try this bizarre twist in pakoras which have been part of culinary preparations during religious celebrations for millennia. Relished particularly during Shivratri and Holi festivals, the cannabis leaves used in making these pakoras hold medicinal as well as intoxicating properties. This special Holi recipe from Rajasthan is used as a recreational drug that induces a sense of euphoria. So don’t miss getting tipsy over these pakoras!
5. Onion ka Halwa (Origin Unknown)
It’s hard to resist the aroma of Halwa. And how if you get an opportunity to gorge on a unique Onion halwa which is as tasty as your favorite version. Made by frying onions in ghee and packing its goodness with milk and sugar is unimaginable. At least for me, it was because I really couldn’t believe that such a weird Indian food combination exists. This bright colored halwa tastes heavenly. I bet you cannot guess this delicious halwa is indeed made with onions because the peculiar fragrance of onion vanishes with the slow cooking process.
6. Benami Kheer of Rajasthan
After halwa, I am here with Kheer. Yet another iconic dessert of Indian gastronomy hub, Rajasthan. There’s hardly anyone in the world who would refuse a bowl of Kheer but when the Kheer is made of garlic, I am sure many would raise their eyebrows in dismay. Yes, the magic ingredient of Benami Kheer is garlic. This unusual yet heavenly dessert of India is made of crushed garlic blended with milk and sugar. It is cooked on a low flame for hours together to get the right flavor and nutty crunch. Do try!
India has a rich past of many foreign establishments and they did leave behind everlasting impressions that can be seen in some exotic delicacies like Frog legs. Primarily served in various restaurants in Goa and Sikkim, the battered and fried frog legs are quite a treat for food adventurers. Apart from great taste, the dish is considered to hold great medicinal value. The Lepcha community in Sikkim consumes it to cure stomach ailments and diseases like dysentery. Now you know why our stomach croaks like frogs sometimes? Do give it a try if you hear the alarm!
8. Eri Polu of Assam
Can you imagine silkworms being the finest delicacy on your platter? Well, ask any Assamese you know. It's one of the exotic dishes of Assam that can instantly bring water to your mouth if tried once. Silkworm pupae are flavored with herbs and spices and served with Khorisa which is fermented bamboo shoots. One of the unique Indian dishes, Eri Polu is a much-loved delicacy in Assam. Eaten fried, roasted, and raw, the varieties of silkworm larvae and pupae are considered to be quite healthy and delectable. Next time when you travel to Assam, do try this regional delicacy without a fail.
9. Phan Pyut of Northeast
If you are a potato lover, this unusual dish of India should be on your wish list. Despite being a dish of rotten potatoes, this one is a staple diet for people in Northeast India. This much-loved dish is actually prepared with potatoes that are left for days in the soil until they rot. These rotten potatoes are then treated with spices and eaten as a delicacy. Yes, I know, apart from weird Indian food names, we have some bizarre recipes like Phan Pyut that compel connoisseurs to give it a try.
10. Jadoh of Meghalaya
One of the unique dishes from Khasi cuisine, Jadoh is very popular in northeastern regions like Meghalaya. Typically a rice dish akin to iconic Pulav, Jadoh makes to the list of unusual dishes of India for its bizarre ingredients that comprise blood and entrails of pigs or chicken. Now, it's not that easy for anybody to grab a bite of biryani that is cooked in blood. That is probably why it’s the weirdest dish that I heard of but can’t imagine trying. But yes, Jadoh is the most vouched dish for food freaks who don’t mind some thrill in food tasting sessions. After all, Jadoh is a famous rice dish with a distinct metallic taste. Who knows, you may end up picking a recipe to satiate your taste buds.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q 1. Which is the rarest food in India?
A 1. Jadoh of Meghalaya is one of the rarest foods in India.
Q 2. Which is the most unusual dish in India?
A 2. Frog legs are one of the most unusual dishes in India.
Q 3. What is so unique about onion halwa?
A 3. Onion Halwa is made by frying onions in ghee, with added milk, and sugar. This bright colored halwa tastes heavenly. The peculiar fragrance of onion vanishes with the slow cooking process.
Q 4. When are Bhang pakoras served?
A 4. Piping hot pakoras with mint chutney is prepared during religious celebrations for millennia. Relished particularly during Shivratri and Holi festivals, the cannabis leaves used in making these pakoras hold medicinal as well as intoxicating properties.
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