Indian food is a beautiful blend of our culture, customs, and diversity that is part of the country. When you think about the Indian food, you think about the rich flavors, the mouth-watering and eye-watering spices, the delightful sweetness of our mithais, and the fine aromas. But there are unusual foods in India that people eat which will leave you surprised because these bizarre dishes are far from the regular types of Indian cuisine which people have grown to love. Some of these dishes might even give Bear Grylls a run for his moneyBelow is the list of ‘unusual’ foods of India, not your innocent everyday classics, but a bucket list of the fearless foodie! Bizarre, weird, exotic – decide for yourself!
Weird Foods in India
1. Frog Legs
This French delicacy has been pleasing the Indian palate for long. There is nothing more exotic than battered and fried frog legs you will find in many parts of India. In Sikkim, a northern province of India the Lepchas community swears by their medicinal quality to cure various stomach ailments. The Indian bullfrog is famously known as the ‘jumping chicken’ and also a monsoon delicacy in Goa. Although this strange food in India is recognized as a threatened species by the government of India yet you may find some restaurants serving it.
2. Eri Polu
Love that new silk saree you bought? Well, thank the silkworms! But that’s not all that they can give you. Here in Assam, silkworm pupae are a much-loved delicacy. The Eri silkworm is used after it has spun its cocoon. This one of the strangest foods in India is usually served with Khorisa, a dish prepared from fermented bamboo shoots.
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This unique dish in India comes from the Garhwal region in Uttarakhand. This popular dish is made with goat’s intestines, liver, stomach, and blood. With few spices, all the ingredients are curried and coupled. While I’m a bit conservative about what’s put on my plate, those who’ve tasted blood (pun intended) find it quite appetizing.
4. Phan Pyut
If you are vegetarians you probably didn’t expect any vegetarian dishes here. Well, (un)fortunately, there is one! For the majority of the Indians, potatoes are part of the staple diet. Except that the potatoes are rotten. Ask them why and they’ll tell you how delicious it is. This one probably tops the list of unusual foods in India which people actually eat as the main ingredient itself is rotten! But people have no qualms about it eating it raw or cooking it like any other vegetable and they enjoy eating it.
In the Indian language (Hindi or Urdu), Paya means feet. It is a type of curry made with the hoof or trotters of animals like goat, lamb, buffalo, or cow. These strange foods from India have relatively lesser meat but the fats and tissues are known to offer a unique flavor. Usually kept overnight, traditionally, it was slow-cooked over coal for hours.
This dish is a favorite amongst members of Meghalaya’s Garo tribe. This delicacy is made from dried fish, vegetables (if you want any), and distilled ashes. Yes, the same one you get from burning something. It apparently tastes delicious. The only problem is the smell – it smells rotten. Talk about bizarre food in India!!
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7. Siri or Mudiya (Goat Head)
Siri or some people called it Mudiya which means the head of any goat. It is a very popular and strangest food in India mostly eaten in north India. It is a very traditional dish too. First, the whole head of a goat roast on a traditional ‘Chulha’ (stove) makes it easy to remove skin and hairs after cutting them into pieces to cook. The taste of this dish is very petrichor.
8. Sorpotel (Chouricos)
If you haven’t had enough of pigs yet, here is another Goan delicacy that you can try out. Like many of the delicacies in Goa, this dish has Portuguese written all over it. Sorpotel is made with pork offal. In simpler words, this weird food of India is made of a pig’s internal organs and entrails that would otherwise be treated as waste.
This dish is a popular dish with the Jaintia tribe of the North East, predominantly Meghalaya. This weird dish in India consists of rice being cooked with the blood and entrails of either pigs or chicken. Cooked with blood and intestines, it is like your regular Pulav.
10. Doh Khlieh
Another one from Meghalaya makes it to the list. If you’ve ever tasted pork and onion salad, this dish is very similar to that. But there is a catch here, it’s the garnishing that it comes with. This most unusual food in India is garnished with steamed pig brain; yes you read that right. We don’t know what will if that doesn’t qualify for a list of weird foods in India. Pig Brain, would you like to have?
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11. Dog Meat
All you dog lovers can stay away from this one of the strangest foods of India! Though unheard of in the rest of the country, Nagaland has delicacies that include dogs, spiders, pork, beef, crabs, and even elephants. Dog meat is prepared in different ways and is a favorite amongst the tribal communities of Nagaland, Mizoram, and Manipur.
Some spices, red ants, and their eggs; how does that sound to you? Maybe it repels you, or maybe it makes you curious. But the tribes in Chhattisgarh swear by the pungent and spicy chutney of the red ants. They even use red ants for garnishing. Let’s all go try out some ants in your list of bizarre foods in India
13. Baby Shark Curry
This one was a complete surprise to me which is why it had to be on the menu of the most bizzare foods in India. If you’re in Goa, you’ll find that this is a star dish of Goan cuisine. Like any other fish just think of it, really. It is very well-loved by the locals since it’s very difficult to catch, this is one curry that won’t come for cheap. Who is afraid of sharks, anymore?
14. Snail stew and Steamed Hornets – Kohima (Nagaland)
Let the ‘fearless’ in you come to surface when you are about to eat a meal in Nagaland. One of the most famous delicious and unusual foods to eat in India is snail stews and steamed hornet larvae, sold majorly on the streets and it’s believed to be yummy!
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A popular Assamese dish that consists of a grated bamboo shoot is fermented in raw or pickled form. It is believed to have been borrowed from the culinary habits of China, where fermenting and pickling different vegetables is common practice. It is a widely used ethnic food ingredient in Assam and gives the cuisine of this region a distinct flavor. Eaten mainly with fish, Khorisa is a widely enjoyed unusual dish in India among the natives of the North-Eastern state.
16. Bhang Thandai
Be very careful of the drinks offered to you during Holi. Bhang Thandai, a popular drink, is a type of milkshake made by adding nuts, dry fruits, sugar, and a generous amount of fresh marijuana to chilled milk. Bhang is known for its psychotropic effects. Many Bollywood songs are wrapped around this magic-drug-laced-drink like the famous ‘Jai Jai shiv Shankar’, ‘Khai ke pan Banaras wala’ and ‘Rang barse bheege chunar wali’.
17. Hilsa Eggs in Bengal
Hilsa or Ilisha is a species of fish found in the state of West Bengal and also a popular unusual food amongst the people of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. Hilsa Eggs dish, one of the bizarre dishes in India is made with turmeric and mustard oil.
18. Buffalo Spleen in Pune
Tilli is basically buffalo’s spleen marinated in spiced and char-grilled, this weirdest food in India has a high nutritional value of iron, protein, and is low in fat. Quite popular in Pune, tilli is an aromatic and tasteful street snack.
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19. Rat Meat
Bihar restaurants serve rat meat as a delicacy as a roasted rat or rat curry on the menu. Bihar is known to have one of the backward states in India but culturally rich. Rat meat is known as ‘Patal Bageri’ by the community called the Musharars in Bihar and Jharkhand.
20. Black Rice
Black Rice is a popular food preparation in Manipur also known as Magic Rice, Forbidden Rice, and Purple Rice, and is full of health benefits. This unusual rice is black in color when harvested but turns purple when cooked mostly found only in India and China. Black Rice is also commonly found in the cuisine of Kerala and the hills of North Bengal mostly enjoyed with coconut milk. It is also famous by the names of the forbidden rice and purple rice in the region and generated from the Heirloom plants. This unique food in India has a distinct feature of changing colors.
So far we have discussed the unusual foods in India, which contains the proper information regarding all the famous strange foods in India. I hope you might have loved reading this article and if you love to know more about India then kindly head to our other articles as well which will help you to get knowledge about.