If you’ve ever eaten Indian food, you’ll know just how many different tastes, textures and flavors are a part of the cuisine. In fact, research has shown that the inclusion of such varying flavors is exactly what makes Indian food so delicious. However, considering that most people think of Indian food as curried meats, veggies and rice, they’re often surprised to find out about the underground delicacies which make up the fabric of Indian cuisine.
From Red Ant Chutney to Roasted Buffalo Spleen, we’ll be shining light on five of India’s strangest, yet wildly popular, dishes. At Tamba Lounge, we believe in preserving the authenticity of great Indian food while also adding an innovative twist to our recipes. Come give our lunch and dinner menus a try, and read on for an interesting look into the strangest foods in India!
5 Indian Foods You Might (or Might Not) Want to Try
Chapura – Red Ant Chutney
While you might think of chutneys traditionally as fruit, Chapura is a chutney made out of red ants and their eggs. Found mainly in the Chattisgarh region, this red ant delicacy is prized for its medicinal qualities, as well as its high protein content. The ants are dried, crushed with a pestle and mortar and then mixed with chili, ginger and salt for a tangy, spicy flavor.
Lamb Brain Curry
Brains are eaten in many cultures across the world and are known to be a dense source of nutrients. Lamb brains are no exception to this rule and are a favorite, along with goat, among Indian curry dishes. Usually the brains are fried, similar to an egg scramble, along with curry spices and can be served with rice, naan or lentils or eaten directly as a hearty breakfast dish.
Pickled Bamboo Shoots
Luckily, not all Indian delicacies are quite so stomach-churning for our more conservative eaters. Pickled bamboo shoots are used as condiments and sides in Indian dishes and are slightly bitter at first with a sweet aftertaste. Bamboo is full of food fiber and high in potassium as well, making them a great alternative to fresh vegetables.
Roasted Buffalo Spleen
Once again, we’re reminded that Indian food relies less on traditional meats as we think of them and more on the nutrient-dense organ meats such as brain, liver and spleen. In fact, most cultures incorporate offal into their dishes in a nose-to-tail fashion. Buffalo spleen is usually grilled or roasted in mild spices and has taste similar to liver. You can find it mostly as a street snack and it’s a favorite among travelers.
Polu – Silk Worm Pupas
Silkworm larvae is a common snack in upper Assam and often served as a crunchy appetizer with drinks. They are usually steamed or boiled and then lightly seasoned. High in protein, this dish is similar to ant chutney in its nutrient content.
Ready for Some Indian Food?
While you may not have an appetite for the foods we listed above, we’re certain our menu at Tamba Lounge will satisfy any palate, even the more curious ones! For questions about our menu, or for reservations, call us today at 702-798-7889.