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Eat, pray, love: Vote for the best Indian foods!

Last updated on: August 25, 2010 14:38 IST

Eat, pray, love: Vote for the best Indian foods!

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With Julia Roberts' latest movie Eat, Pray, Love -- much of which has been filmed in India -- releasing on August 27, we take a look at the best places across the country to do just that!

Ancient religious sites of historic and spiritual importance, a view of the sprawling Himalayas, the varied aromatic spices and masalas of our diverse cuisines...

India.

Sure, we all complain about the poverty, the population, the pollution and the traffic, but when it comes down to it, the spiritual, cultural, gastronomic and scenic wealth of our country remains unsurpassed.

And while we tend to forget that, it sometimes takes an outside perspective to bring us back on track.

Like the portrayal of India in Julia Roberts' latest release, Eat, Pray, Love, which hit theatres in the US last Friday and the fact that the actress recently revealed she is a practising Hindu.

Audiences here can hardly wait for the movie to arrive, which it will on August 27.

In the meantime, we bring you a series on the best places across our nation to do the same -- eat, pray and love.

We start off with culinary delights today -- move onto the following pages to vote and let us know which specialty you think belongs right at the top!



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Eat...The Biryani of Hyderabad

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You get Biryani across the length and breadth of the country, but they don't make it like they do in Hyderabad!

Just imagine succulent, tender morsels of mutton in an aromatic, saffron-tinged dish of Basmati rice -- aah, one of the greatest culinary experiences of life!

And we have the Nizam of Hyderabad to thank for it -- it was in his kitchens that Mughlai and Telangana flavours came together for the first time to create this unmatched recipe.

Move on to the next slide and register your votes on the last page of the slideshow.


Photographs: Reuben NV
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The Vada Pavs of Mumbai

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If you're a street food junkie, there's nothing better than aamchi Mumbai's piping hot Vada Pavs, especially on a rainy day when you're soaked to the bone.

The slightly crisp shell, the smoking hot, spiced potato within, a soft bun fresh from the bakery and plenty of both spicy green chutney and lasun ki chutney. Yum!

Move on to the next slide and register your votes on the last page of the slideshow.


Photographs: Rajesh Kakera
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The Fish Curry in Cochin

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The coastal city will tantalise your tastebuds with its many deep sea offerings.

But a steaming dish of red, coconut-flavoured curry with the fresh catch of the day tantalisingly floating about is definitely the whopper! Heap some onto a generous helping of steamed rice and you'll discover one of the greatest culinary pleasures of life.

Move on to the next slide and register your votes on the last page of the slideshow.


Photographs: Rajesh Karkera
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Chole Bhature in Punjab

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All Indian highways have truckers' dhabas offering this and several other delicacies, but for the best taste of Chole Bhature, you have to head to Punjab, where the luscious deep-fried bhature are puffed up to gigantic proportions and the chickpea preparation has its own distinct taste.

The Sarson Ka Saag and Makke Ki Roti are also a must-have, although how you'll manage to tuck into all three is your problem!

Move on to the next slide and register your votes on the last page of the slideshow.


Photographs: Rajesh Karkera
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Farsan in Gujarat

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Dhokla, Khandvi, Ragda -- the list of farsan snacks that originate in Gujarat is endless. On the sweeter side than most Indian cuisine but deliciously flavoured, these preparations are a surefire hit.

And you have a lot to choose from -- there's a taste to please every palate, so one will definitely emerge a hot favourite.

Move on to the next slide and register your votes on the last page of the slideshow.


Photographs: Dominic Xavier
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Butter Chicken in Delhi

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Delhi is not only the capital of the country, it's also the capital of Mughlai cuisine.

Tandoori Chicken, Reshmi Tikkas and every other rich Indian dish under the sun is available here, but the king of them all is Murg Makhanwala or Butter Chicken -- chunks of boneless chicken floating in a heavily spiced tomato and butter gravy and it's best had with naan. Slurp!

Move on to the next slide and register your votes on the last page of the slideshow.


Photographs: Rediff Archives
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Kebabs in Lucknow

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Chalk up another victory for royal-blooded foodies, the Nawabs of Lucknow. It's thanks to their fondness for kebabs that this dish of minced goodness has found so much popularity.

A variety of meats from beef to chicken are used to prepare kababs. The mince is mixed with a host of other ingredients and herbs, kneaded into a sausage-like or round shape and then grilled on skewers or broiled.

And a paratha alongside doesn't hurt!

Move on to the next slide and register your votes on the last page of the slideshow.


Photographs: Uday Kuckian
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Momos in Dharamshala

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Originally a Tibetan preparation, Momos have found their way along with Tibetan migrants to several cities across North India. But it is in breathtaking Dharamshala that you can expect to be served up the best of these steamed dumplings, which contain a filling of meat and spices.

A hot plate of Momos, along with a tangy sauce and a view of the Himalayan foothills from Dharamshala is simply divine.

Move on to the next slide and register your votes on the last page of the slideshow.


Photographs: Uday Kuckian
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Rasgullas in Kolkata

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If Delhi is the capital of Mughlai cuisine, Kolkata is definitely the capital of Indian sweets -- Malai Chops, Gulab Jamuns, Mishti Doi, Sondesh -- the list is endless and so are the calories.

Everything will pale in comparison, however, to the succulent sweetness of a Rasgulla drowned in syrup -- the mere thought of it is enough to have you salivating!

Move on to the next slide and register your votes on the last page of the slideshow.


Photographs: Rediff Archives
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Breakfast and filter coffee in Chennai

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And here we come to the scrumptious foods of South India, the best of which you will likely sample in Chennai. Upmas, Idlis, Medhu Vadas, Masala Dosas -- we could go on and on. These snacky preparations are usually served up at breakfast, which would make the first meal of the day in this city the tastiest in all the land!

And the best part is that you get to wash them down with sweet, milky filter coffee that Chennai is famous for.

Move on to the next slide and register your votes.


Photographs: Rediff Archives
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Cast your vote!

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So which is the tastiest Indian specialty? Cast your vote below and let us know!



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