Foodies all around the world are familiar with the infamous platform that is TasteAtlas, an experiential online travel guide for traditional food around the globe. With a catalogue of over 10,000 options, TasteAtlascovers everything from new flavours and curations to forgotten ingredients and local flavours. As they do every year, TasteAtlas unveiled their 2022 list of the best in food and drink. For the unaware, every year TasteAtlas unveils a list of the best in food and drink, ranking the best cuisine, the best dish, wine and liquor among other categories.
The list is curated after receiving ratings from people all across the world. These people rate more than 15,000 dishes and drinks all throughout the year, which are then added to the site’s database; this is created by reviews and recommendations from gastronomy professionals and critics.
India was ranked fifth in the list of Best Cuisines in the World, gaining a score of 4.54. According to TasteAtlas, as many as 411 Indian dishes were submitted from which a handful of dishes, beverages as well as ingredients were featured in several categories. These included dishes like kheema, paneer tikka, shahi paneer, butter chicken, Hyderabadi biryani, rasgulla, kaju katli, masala chai and lassi among other favourites. However, the most talked about dishes includes the popular butter garlic naan, shahi panner and Hyderabadi biryani.
In the list of Top 5 breads butter garlic naan was placed first, and that comes as no surprise. Not just Indians, but foreigners too have claimed their love for the rich taste of the butter garlic naan that pairs well with pretty much any and every Indian gravy.
A traditional Indian flatbread, butter garlic naan is one of the most popular versions of naan. It is made with classic bread ingredients like flour, yeast, salt, sugar, and yoghurt rolled into a dough that is then baked in a hot tandoor oven. The naan is then taken out and brushed with butter or ghee, then topped with minced garlic giving it a rich aromatic flavour. While naan is fairly simple to make, it is also widely available in most restaurants across India.
Best Traditional Food
Aside from naan, a number of Indian dishes like shahi paneer and Hyderabadi biryani also made it onto TatsteAtlas’ list of the “Best traditional food in the world”.
Shahi paneer, which was ranked number 28, was the highest-rated Indian dish with Kake Da Hotel (New Delhi, India) being the best restaurant for it. Paneer by itself is one of the most highly rated ingredients in Indian cuisine and shahi paneer is one of the many favourites across Indian homes and restaurants. Originating from India’s Moghul cuisine, shahi paneer is traditionally prepared with paneer or cottage cheese, along with onions, cashew paste, and a spicy tomato-cream sauce. Rich, hearty, and somewhat nutritious, shahi paneer is then garnished with coriander leaves and served with naan or roti.
Standing at number 53 is everyone’s favourite Butter Chicken, occasionally referred to as murgh makhani. A staple dish at almost every Indian restaurant, butter chicken originated in Delhi. It is made with a combination of roasted meat, mixed spices, a cream, tomato and butter gravy, and garnished with more butter or cream for added flavour and richness. Like most Indian gravies, this too, is best accompanied by naan bread.
Korma is another staple in Indian cuisine that unlike shahi paneer and butter chicken has a much lighter gravy. Placed close behind butter chicken, korma was ranked at number 55. The dish is believed to have originated in the royal kitchen of Akbar during the mid-1500s as a fusion of Persian and Indian cuisine. A creamy meat stew, korma has a mild flavour. It is made with saffron, yoghurt, and spices such as coriander, ginger, cumin seeds, chillies, and turmeric. Interestingly, there are three main bases of korma: a North Indian korma with almonds, cashews and yoghurt, a Shahi korma (Kashmir) with cream, almonds, cashews, yoghurt, milk, and dried fruits, and a South Indian korma with coconut, coconut milk, almonds, cayenne peppers, and fennel seeds.
A royal favourite, Biryani is a dish that needs no introduction. And TastAtlas’s ranking of Hyderabadi Biryani at number 79 is a tad bewildering. Hyderabadi Biryani is one of the many distinct versions of the dish with a fairly simple list of ingredients including basmati rice, mutton or chicken meat, lemon, yoghurt, onions, and saffron. The process involved in the Hyderabadi version is quite unique where the rice is cooked together with the raw meat and spices, unlike other methods where the meat and rice are cooked separately and then layered together.
In addition to these, a number of other Indian bites were also featured on TasteAtlas’ different lists. Indian beverages such as masala chai, sweet lassi, filter coffee and thandai were voted among the best-rated beverages while desserts and snacks like kaju katli, rasgulla, samosa, pain puri, and dabeli also received a spot. Aside from meals and courses, some Indian ingredients like garam masala, chutney, ghee, Kashmiri chillies, amchur, chaat masala and Himalayan black salt were also featured on TatsteAtlas.