Where to find India’s most Instagrammable food
When it comes to capturing the delights of India, it’s dreamy mountain vistas and palm-fringed beaches are made for the camera lens. However, it’s the country’s many culinary delights from colourful curries to decadent desserts that are sure to garner attention when posted to your Instagram grid.
We’ve collaborated with online travel brand Meraki Travel to bring you their pick of the country’s most Instagrammable food and where to find it. Get ready to up your ‘gram game on your luxury Indian adventure.
Thali in Tamil Nadu
No trip to India is complete without trying a thali. Based on the idea that a balance of flavours should be offered on a single plate, this photo-worthy feast involves a selection of deliciously sweetened, salted and spicy dishes served on a platter.
A Thali typically has either rice or roti as the central dish, surrounded by small bowls of dal (pulse soup), veg curries, dahi (curd), and various other delicacies. Small helpings of yoghurt or chutney may also be served, plus a dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth.
For a vegetarian thali, packed with a mouth-watering medley of flavours, colours and textures, head to Tamil Nadu in southern India – just remember to take a photo before you tuck in!
Gulab Jamun in New Delhi
Originating in northern India, these maroon-coloured balls are typically served during special occasions and are made mainly from milk solids (or Khoya). Once the milk solids have been kneaded into a dough, they’re deep fried, coated in a sugary syrup and seasoned with green cardamom, saffron or rose water.
A delicate sprinkling of dried fruit and nuts adds the finishing touch resulting in a selection of melt-in-your-mouth balls with seductively smooth surfaces, worth ditching any diet for.
Be sure to visit the glass-walled threesixty international restaurant at The Oberoi Delhi where chefs have given the recipe a modern twist by adding fruity flavours served in a swanky glass and accompanied by generous helpings of fresh cream or ice cream. No filter required.
Pav Bhaji in Mumbai
Where better to photograph the UK’s most Instagrammed food than in its place of origin? Originally a quick snack for mill workers in Mumbai, Pav Bhaji; a hearty vegetable curry, is now the city’s most sought-after street food. Characterised by its vivid red/orange colour, Pav Bhaji is topped with a handful of fresh herbs and vegetables with a sumptuously soft roll on the side.
The best place to discover an authentic Pav Bhaji is by soaking up Mumbai’s distinctive culture through a fun-filled food walk. Tuck into traditional dishes made from locally-sourced ingredients and sample family recipes passed down through generations.
While it may not have the artistic flair or beautiful arrangement of some of the more elegant Indian fare, it’s guaranteed to rack up some serious ‘likes’ purely for making your mouth water.
Idli sambar in Kerala
A favoured breakfast across the whole of India, idli is a savoury cake made from rice and lentils. With its symmetrical shape, snow-white hue and pillowy texture, this is India’s equivalent to the perfectly poached egg – and it’s far too tempting to share a shot of these beauties with your food-obsessed followers.
However, while they might look great, idli’s tend to be slightly bland in taste, which is why they’re often served with sambar – a lentil-based vegetable stew popular in south India. Sambar is a foodie photographer’s dream, with the vivid green okra and moringa plants offset by bright bursts of radish, carrot, pumpkin, eggplant and tomatoes.
Head to The Killians in Cochin Kerala where you can join in the cooking classes to learn the secrets of cooking authentic Idli sambar whilst sampling various tasty dishes from around the world.
Kulfi in New Delhi
Come summer, chances are, you’ll probably see a fair few ice creams crop up on your feed. From perfectly whipped cones to sickly-sweet sundaes, these good-looking desserts were designed to be photographed before being eaten.
India’s answer to these popular frozen treats is kulfi. A traditional Indian sweet, it looks and tastes similar to ice cream but is slightly thicker and creamier in texture. Kulfi comes in a variety of traditional and exotic flavours such as rose, cream (malai) and pistachio, as well as millennial-focused variations such as strawberry, avocado and peanut.
The cone-shaped dessert can be served ice-lolly style, or if you’re dining in a restaurant, it’ll likely come upright on a plate, drizzled with a sweet sauce and topped with crushed peanuts or fruit. It’s almost too good to eat. For a private dining experience and fairytale backdrop from which to sample your Kulfi, head to the Taj Jai Mahal Palace and dine like Indian royalty.
So there you have it – some of India’s most photogenic food. From street food tours to fine-dining, you’re bound to find something to suit your tastes, and whether you’re a pro with the camera or not, these dishes are guaranteed to be an Instagram hit!