Indian Cuisine

Indian food, wow. That’s really wonderful. Everybody loves Indian food. Whether its bhalle-papri or samosas or bread-pakoras, everbody loves them. The Indian food is very famous worldwide especially north Indian and/or Punjabi food. Common North Indian food includes roti, naan, kulcha, tandoori chicken, palak paneer and channa masala to name a few. Likewise, common South Indian food consists dosa, idli, vada and sambar. When you eat these unique Indian foods, you will forget the western foods like hamburgers and fries etc. A good amount of curry powder is being used in specific items when you eat the North Indian food whereas in South India, the spices are not strong as compared to North Indian food. India offers a variety of cuisines and mainly a blend of subtle herbs and spices is considerably used. Majority of Indian cooking uses a lot of vegetables.

[caption id="attachment_635" align="alignleft" width="392" caption="Pan-cake (dosa) made from of Semolina. Its very popular in South India."]Rava Dosa[/caption]

The mystical Indian cuisine is famous throughout the world with its sophisticated use of spices and herbs. Indian cuisine is strongly influenced by the spread of vegetarianism and long-standing within sections of India's majority Hindu and Jain communities. Indians love food and the food differs depending on the community, region and state. The Indian cuisine is delightfully unique with a wide variety of foods, spices and cooking techniques, each with different tastes.

The diversity in Indian food is reflected by the influence of each religion, region, caste from time to time.

Vedic Hindus provided a series of recipes for vegetarian cuisine India. Later, Christians, British, Portuguese, Buddhists, Muslims from Turkey, Persia and Arabia, and others had their influence when they came to India. During the rule of Ashoka, one of the greatest rulers of India, Vegetarianism came to prominence.

Rice, whole wheat flour (atta), and varieties of pulses like Chana (Bengal gram), Toor (pigeon pea or red gram), urad (black gram) and mung (Green gram)form the core of the Indian food. The Vegetable oil used in the kitchens of India is also of different varieties. In northern India, groundnut oil is traditionally more popular for frying, while in eastern India, mustard oil is most commonly used. In southern India, coconut oil is common. In recent years, sunflower oil and soybean oil have gained vast acceptance across India. Hydrogenated vegetable oil, known as VANASPATI ghee, is also a popular means of cooking.

Spices are the most important part of the Indian food. Chilli pepper, black mustard seed (rai), cumin (jeera), turmeric, fenugreek, ginger, coriander, asafoetida (hing) and Garam masala are some of the important spices, to name a few. Common leaves used are tejpata (malabathrum), bay leaf, coriander leaf, mint leaf and curry leaves. Cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, saffron, and rose petal essences are some spices usually used in sweet dishes.

The Indian ‘roti’ (chappati) or ‘paratha’ (flat breads) are usually cooked with the use of a ‘tawa’ or a griddle while baking breads such as ‘naan’, and ‘kulcha’ are usually accomplished in a large and cylindrical coal-fired oven called the ‘tandoor’. Puri and bhatoora(Other type of breads), which are cooked by deep frying in oil, are also very popular. Most of North Indian food, like anywhere else in India, is vegetarian. Fish and seafood are very popular in the coastal states of Orissa and West Bengal.

Dairy products like milk, paneer, ghee, and yogurt are commonly used and consumed in much greater quantities in northern India as compared to South India.

A variety of lentils, vegetables, and roti (wheat based bread) constitute the staple food of most of North India. The preparation of these varieties can vary from place to place. Some of the most popular Northern Indian dishes include: Buknu, Gujiya, chaat, daal ki kachauri, jalebi, imarti, several types of pickles (known as achar), murabba, sharbat, pana, aam papad, and Poha.

The most snack popular all over India and belonging to North Indian cuisine is the ‘samosa’. The filling includes a boiled, fried, and mashed potato, although a variety of fillings make it a most delicious and a hot favourite all over India.

Sweets (mithai) are very popular all over India which includes gulab jamun, peda, milk cake, balusahi, bal mithai, singori, kulfi, falooda, khurchan, petha, rewdi, gajak, ras malai, gulukand, and several varieties of laddu, barfi and halwa. You can get these from any street vendor in North India. ‘Kheer’ are equivalents of the rice pudding and ‘Kulfi’ is an Indian ice cream made in conical moulds and frozen.

The meat dishes in India originated with the advent of Muslims in the Country. Pakistan and Bangladesh were once a part of North and East India before to the partition. As a result, there is enough similarities in the cuisines of these countries with the northern and eastern Indian cuisine.

So, if you have not tasted any Indian dishes so far, you have definitely missed a major part of the experience called India. As there is a cultural diversity in different states and cities of India, there is also a lot of distinction between the tastes of people as well. Foods in India are known to be a delight, it is simply something not to be missed.

The best thing about the foods of India is that within the same country, one can get to eat different varieties of delicacies. The north Indian food is concentrated on spices that are used in it. The staple food in the north is wheat where at the same time, in the southern India, more concentration is on rice which is the staple food. Western and eastern parts of the country too have their own tastes which are widely different from each other.

In addition to the foods, there are a lot of varieties of beverages available in India. Tea is drunk as a beverage in India and it is boiled in milk with water and served with sugar. Filtered coffee is a favorite among South Indians and is a very sweet, milky version of coffee.

Ginger is believed to have originated in India and was introduced to China over 3000 years ago. In India, a knob of fresh ginger added to tea is believed to relieve sore throats and head colds, not to mention it’s aphrodisiacal properties! Turmeric is splendid against skin diseases and neem leaves are used to guard against small pox.

So many varieties in the foods in India, different tastes, and preparations can excite anybody to start enjoying them. A foreigner can discover the many differences in the foods of various regions only after coming to India. The variation in Indian food from region to region can be quite astonishing.

And its no wonder why this fascinating Indian food is making waves around the world.