India is a diverse country, a melting pot of cultures and traditions. India offers a rich versatility from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, and every Indian proudly believes in “Unity in Diversity.” All the 29 states offer something unique and different to the country. There are many varieties of food cuisines from every Indian state, which attracts people from all around the world. The dress culture of every state is also vivid and different, each showcasing unique cultures and traditions. So, let us take a look at the diverse Indian state’s food and dress traditions.
Indian States Food and Dress Traditions: A Quick Look
Jammu and Kashmir:
Jammu and Kashmir, with beautiful valleys, are famous for delicacies like Rogan Josh, Wazwan, Goshtaba, and Dhaniwal Korma. These are the must-try dishes if you ever visit the recently turned UT. Pheran is a popular dress worn by both men and women but styled differently as women wear it with salwar and churidar. Pathani suit is also a popular dress code among men.
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This Indian states food and dress are famous for dishes like Madra and Dham, which is a tasty mix of red kidney beans(Rajma), green lentils(moong dal), rice, and curd. It is often served along with daal or Boor ki Kari. Dressing simply, men wear dhoti-kurta or pajama-kurta with a headgear called Paghri, whereas women wear Ghagra, Lehenga-choli, Rahide, and Kurtis.
This Indian state’s signature food is a blend of the surrounding state, Rajasthani, and Haryanavi food. Kadhi pakoda, made from curd and a mixture of spices, and Bajre ki Khichdi, a porridge made from pearl millet cooked with sesame oil, are some of the iconic food of Haryana. Men usually dress in Dhotis and kurta paired with Juttis and Paghri. Women dress in blouses along with Ghagra, Daman, Angia, and Odni, which is a headcover.
This Indian state’s food and dress are famous for its Lucknawi street food filled with Kababs and other varieties of it. Kababs are slow-grilled balls of the choicest meat or vegetable, along with spices. Men and women both sport kurtas; men wear them with pajamas or a wrap-around similar to lungi. Women wear kurtas with salwar kameez or sarees.
This is a beautiful Indian state known for its view. The Indian state’s food and dress are popular for simplicity. People of Uttrakhand are famous for Kafuli, a thick gravy made out of spinach or other green leafy vegetables along with spices. Bal mithai is another famous sweet that residents of Uttrakhand relish. Similarly, like Haryanavi clothing, women wear Ghaghra choli or odhni, a headcover, along with a shirt or blouse. Men sport dhoti, a wrap-around with shirts.
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The people of this Indian state are famous for their spicy food, which brings tears to your eyes and steam through your ears. They are famous for Dal Bati Choorma, where dal(lentil curry) is served with sweet Choorma and baked atta(flour) Batis on cow dung cakes or coal. Men style kurtas along with dhoti, pajama, and Angarkha, and top it off with paggar or safa, a headgear like turbans. Women wear the traditional ghagra designed with Kanchli, a blouse.
Famous for the “Sarso ke khet,” mustard fields, this Indian state offers a variety of food. Still, the most famous are Makke ki roti and Sarso ka saag. This excellent combination of cornmeal bread and mustard green curry is what every Punjabi heart yearns for. Lassi is another famous drink made out of curd in Punjab. Men wear kurta along with Tehmat, pajama, or even a dhoti styled with different types of pagri or turban. Women wear a salwar kameez suit, a Patiala suit with Paranda, and a hair ornament with their traditional dress.
This Indian state is famous for its sweet tooth. They are famous for dishes like Thepla, Dhokla, Fafda, and Chivda. Dhokla is a snack prepared from rice and chickpea flour and served with chutney. Vegetarian food is the most preferred dish in Gujarat. Women wear Chania choli, salwar kameez, and sarees, whereas men prefer wearing dhotis, kurtas, or bandis and Kedia along with a turban.
The Indian state food and dress are famous for Mahua, Bafauri, and Chila. Chila is the Indian version of crepe made out of chickpea flour, which is often served with chutneys, stuffed with vegetables, or eaten simply. They have a vibrant clothing style as men wear cotton turbans styled with Halbas, Ghotuls, Murias, and Abhuj Marias with dhotis. Women wear silk and cotton sarees, which are either knee-length or full-length. They wear vibrant colors of red, yellow, which are dyed using wax.
This Indian state’s food and dress are famous for Baigan chop, Thekua, and Rugda, also known as Phutka. Rugda is prepared using different mushrooms and spices and served with a combination of rice or poori. Their traditional dress sounds similar to god! Yes, it is called Bhagwan, a one-piece clothing wrapped around in different styles. Men also wear dhotis, pajamas, kurta, and turban, while women wear sarees and blouses of contrasting colors.
The central part of India is influenced by states all around, but they have their specialty of poha-jalebi, flattened rice served along with sweet jalebi, and a variety of sev. Bhutte ka kees is also a famous dish that is made out of sweet corn and spices. Men wear kurtas styled with dhotis and a head turban called safa. Women stick to sarees and lehenga-choli as their dress gear.
Famous for its Apong, the local rice wine, Moong bean dosa, and Thupka, which is noodle soup served with vegetables and meat. The food here is cooked mostly in bamboo vessels. Women wear chemise with weaved sleeves styled with a slip called Mushaiks, paired with a skirt. They wear headgear made of yak hair, which is their specialty.
This Indian state food and dress is famous for its Assamese thali, masoor tenga, and papaya khar, which is made out of red rice, raw papaya, and pulses added with special Assamese spices. The highly popular dress, Muga, is made out of golden silk fiber, also called Mekhela chadar. Their winter apparel consists of paat and eri, which are used to make blankets and shawls. Men wear dhoti along with gamcha styled with this chadar.
Everyone knows Litti choka is the bomb of Bihari food. Litti is made similar to bati. It is baked wheat flour and gram flour balls along with some spices and served with choka, then baked and coarsely ground vegetable mix. Men adorn dhoti and kurta while women wear their unique tussar silk sarees.
The significant preference is for vegetarian food, which consists of Soibum Tromba and Kangshoi, prepared from seasonal vegetable stew, fried fish, and chopped vegetables. Men wear jackets styled with dhoti and white turban, whereas women adorn Innaphi and Phanek similar to a sarong.
Jadoh is the iconic food of Meghalaya, prepared with red hill rice and meat pieces. Their food is often uncomplicated, with very few spices. Their traditional cloth is called Jaisen, a single piece of clothing made from mulberry silk; this is styled as a saree or dhoti, according to the wearer. They wear jackets and turbans it according to their changing climate.
Misa mash poora, a mouth-watering seafood combination with fried and roasted shrimp, is a famous delicacy. Zu tea is another renowned thing if you visit this place. Men in Mizoram wear a single-piece cloth just like a saree, which is 7 feet long and 5 feet wide, often in red and white stripes, along with a thick coat for winter. The women wear Puan along with Puanchei, which comes in black and white stripes.
They love fermented bamboo shoots, Axome fermented soya beans, and fish. They specialize in cooking pork with bamboo shoots, which are flavored with lots of chilies and fresh herbs. Their traditional dress, Angami, consists of a sleeveless top called Vatchi paired with a slip called Neikhro paired with Pfemhou, a white skirt which women wear. Men adorn shawl, Ratapfe, and a lungi.
This state uses less oil and less spice compared to other Indian cuisines. Santula, chaat rai, a dish made with mushrooms and mustard, is quite popular among the residents. Chena Poda is another famous dish of this state. Made out of cheese or chenna, it is the favorite dessert of every resident. Women adorn Sambalpuri and Kataki saree. The men wear gamcha, dhoti, and kurta.
Momos are the star item on every menu of Sikkim cuisine. The momos are popular all over India just because of people from Sikkim, and we are grateful to them. These dumplings have meat or vegetable fillings that are steamed and served with chili sauce, served as an evening snack. Men and women have common clothing called Bakhu, which men wear with a belt and trousers, and women style it with a sleeve silk blouse called Honju.
This Indian state’s food and dress are famous for Mui Borok and Chakwi, a blend of bamboo shoots, jackfruit, and pork. Men traditionally wear gamcha called Rikotu gamcha and a shirt, kubai. Women wear a cloth draped to their knee called Rinai along with a small cloth called Risa.
They love fish, and the world knows it. Bhapa Ilish and Kosha mangsho are the two most famous dishes of this cuisine. Women love wearing sarees in the Bengali style, and the men adorn kurta with dhoti.
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Famous not only for its biriyani, but Andhra Pradesh also has another unique dish called Pootha Rekulu, which is made out of rice flour sheets, ghee, and lots of sugar. Women prefer wearing sarees, and men style in their usual dhoti and kurtas.
Bisi bele bath is unique to this state, which is a simple dish consisting of sambar rice mixed with tamarind and spices. Kara bath and Kesari bath are also famous food items every Kannadiga loves. Women like to wear Ilakal, Mysore silk sarees, and dhavani, whereas men prefer shorts and Panche, a dhoti.
The Indian state’s food and dress is known for its variety of biriyani, which draws people across the world to taste it. You can get so many types of biriyani with different meat and vegetables not only in the five-star hotel but also in the street markets; that’s how famous the biriyani is! Women and men adorn dresses similar to Andhra Pradesh, where women wear sarees, and men wear dhoti kurtas.
Vada pav and Missal pav, spiced cooked lentil curry served with pav, is the specialty of Maharashtra. Women adorn choli and their famous styled saree called Lugda and Nauwari saree. Men wear a traditional dhoti called Dhotar and Pheta as their dress.
This Indian state’s food and dress is known for its fish curry, known as Goan fish curry, which is prepared using coconut and other special flavors, which gives a tangy taste often served with rice. Jumbo prawns are another specialty of Goa. Women wear saree called Nav Vari; their 9-yard sarees have beads and precious stones on them and are called Pano Bhaju. Men wear the same dhoti and shirt. Portugal also influences their styles wears also.
Pongal, Rasam, and Masala dosa are a few of the most famous dishes of Tamil Nadu. Rasam is a spicy curry made with tomatoes, cumin, and pepper. This is mostly had as an appetizer or for sore throat remedies. Women wear Pattu Pavada, a silk skirt, and blouse or half saree, which is similar to Pattu Pavada but with a cloth as a drape. Men wear Mundu and shirts as their traditional dress.
Known among the Indian states for food and dress, Onam sadhya is a specialty of Kerala. Sadhya, a variety of vegetable dishes, and boiled rice are served during Onam. Idiappam and Palappam are other specialties among many such tasty dishes that you will experience in Kerala. Kerala women are known for their Set saree with a golden border, whereas men adorn lungi or mundu as their traditional dress.
These were a quick look at the food and dress of the Indian state. I hope it helped you!