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Indian Food

Indian food in Singapore is characterized by its complex use of spices, which is used to make its staple curries. Generally, Indian food is not as hot and spicy as thought by most people. It can even be thought of as delicate in flavoring. The best place to try Indian cuisine is in Little India. There are several northern and southern Indian eateries there. Indian food can also be found at hawker centers and food courts.

Northern & Southern Indian Cuisine

The main difference between northern and southern Indian cuisine is that northern food is less spicy and more subtly spiced than the southern counterpart. Cow's milk is also used as a base in the north instead of coconut milk as in the south. Southern Indian cuisine is also distinctive in its use of curry leaves and mustard seed. Coconut milk, yogurt, and oil are used rather than cream and ghee, which are used by the northerners. Southern dishes called Korma are generally mild, although anything prefixed by Masala is likely to be hot.

Fish Head Curry

The most famous Singapore Indian dish is the Fish Head Curry. However, it will be a surprise to note that Fish Head Curry is actually not Indian. It is something of a regional creation but it does reflect Indian cooking through its complex use of spices with delicate flavoring. One should never leave Singapore without trying it!

Indian Muslim Food

Indian Muslim food, especially from the south, is widely popular in Singapore. Savory stuffed unleavened bread called Murtabak is an example of Indian Muslim food. Another specialty is Briyani, which is rice cooked with seasoned chicken or mutton.

Indian Vegetarian

As most Hindus are vegetarians, Indian vegetarian cuisine is virtually an art form. An excellent variety of vegetables, savory snacks, lentils and breads have been created, as well as desserts and milk-based sweetmeats. Vegetarian meals, along with a few southern dishes, are often served on a banana leaf. They usually come with a range of vegetables, pickles, chutneys and bread.


One of the highlights of northern Indian cuisine is food that is baked in a tandoori or clay oven. Wheat based breads, such as Chapati and tandoori baked Naan also originated in the north.

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