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Indian Food – A Comprehensive guide


Indian Food includes an extensive variety of foods. All these foods are local to India and have been found in India. There is a considerable measure of differing qualities in India as far as atmosphere, soil sorts, occupations, and these foods additionally fluctuate due to such elements. Indian food is also influenced by the herbs, flavors, vegetables, and organic products that are available based on the location of the place. This location impacts the climatic changes. The growth and evolution of Indian food have not finished because India keeps on interfacing with different social orders even today. For example, North Indian food is influenced by the Mughal rule.

India is a tropical country that greatly influences the herbs and spices used for the creation of Indian delicacies. Dissemination of Indian food information through various online resources has given rise to a myth that Indian food is very spicy and cannot be consumed anywhere outside India. However, as time passed this myth has been shattered by well-known Michelin star chefs all around the country with their versions of Indian dishes.  

Many historical incidents like exchange relations, foreign invasions & colonialism assumed an exceptionally tremendous part in presenting a specific Indian food. For example, Potato was brought to India by the Portuguese people. These Portuguese people likewise brought breadfruit and chilies to India. Indian cuisine is dependable in spreading exchange relations between India and Europe. The exchange of spices between India and Europe reinforced the relations between both these parties. The spices that began from India were exchanged all over Europe & Asia.

Just as India is an eclectic and diverse country, so is its food. India supports a massive population with many linguistic and cultural nuances, and you can see this variety in the many different foods that make up Indian cuisine. And while there are many distinctions between regional tastes in India, there is a commonality; spices. Most Indian food dishes feature a unique and interesting spice blend that delivers a rich flavor and aroma.

Food for Indian people is a very serious matter. Preparing delicious meals is elevated to an art, and family recipes are passed from generation to generation. Like in many parts of the world, meal times serve as an opportunity for the family to get together and bond. An Indian dinner would include several courses from basic rice and bread to entrées like dishes that may include meat and vegetables, and finally dessert. One of the most impressive aspects of the Indian food dishes is that it caters to every diet including vegetarians, vegans, and meat lovers.

A normal Indian food menu consists of vegetables, legumes, grains, fruits, honey, dairy products, meat, eggs, and also fish. Indian Vegetarian dishes became extremely popular in various segments of the Indian population because of Hinduism and Jainism. Indian food has a lot of spices included in its food and these spices include cumin, cardamom, turmeric, coriander, ginger, and also garlic. The most popular spice used by Indians is Garam masala. It is a combination of different types of whole spices which gives it a unique flavor. 

Some religious beliefs guide meal choices for the people. There is a sizable Buddhist population that would be strictly meat-free, and Hindus avoid beef as cows are considered holy. There is also a large contingent of Islamic Indians who would not eat pork. As such, the food you would eat throughout the country will vary significantly depending on the region you are visiting.

Another interesting aspect of Indian cuisine is that there is a lot of external influence. The style of food and the spices that are used can be traced to Persian and Arab roots in some areas and European (specifically British and Portuguese) in other regions. For example, Mughal-style food with rich, thick sauces and dry fruit and nuts is linked to Persian occupation. On the other hand, Vindaloo and Xacuti, world-famous Indian food dishes, have associations with Portuguese colonialism.

In India, every state has its own particular culture and unique food. The assorted climatic conditions in every region likewise contribute to the variety of Indian food. The different culinary arrangements are typically characterized by lots of vegetables, pulses, and spices. Vegetarianism is pervasive in numerous regions. British, Mughal, and Portuguese standards in the nation have impacted the sense of taste and food of numerous places.

It must be understood that Indian cuisine usually differs depending on the region in which you are living. North Indian food is a whole lot different than South Indian food. North Indian people mostly eat wheat or atta and South Indians prefer rice. The sweets also differ a lot. Lunch, breakfast, and Indian dinner menu are different and they differ based on the region mostly. Moreover, North Indians have a more spicy Indian food menu than South Indians. However, the food that the Indians eat is not limited to their region. Indians are very flexible in terms of what they eat. In recent years, Indian cuisine has increased in terms of popularity. It is beyond doubt that Indian cuisine is now appreciated all over the world due to its beautiful flavors and exceptional taste. 

The variety of Indian food is reflected in the distinctive regional cultures and the ingredients and spices differ. North India is plentiful in pulses and vegetables, so the North Indian food menu consists of a variety of rotis, parathas and dals, and curd. Pickles and chutney are likewise extremely famous around there. Mughal inspiration is exceptionally discernible in many non-vegetarian dishes, especially in Kashmir.

East Indian food consumes a lot of rice and rice-based dishes and curries. Being near or alongside different water bodies, fish constitutes a major portion of eastern Indian cuisine. spices, for example, cumin, coriander, and mustard are used in abundance.

South Indian dishes are greatly famous all over India and globally too. Rice, coconut, tamarind, curd, curry leaves, and mustard seeds highlight conspicuously in the cuisine from this region. Dosa, idli, sambhar, curd rice, lemon rice are a portion of the well-known dishes.

Food habits in Western India are varied within that area. Goa serves up delicious joys that reflect the overwhelming impact of extended Portuguese rule in that area. The West Indian food menu is based on seaside catches and is spicy. Rotis and pickle or jam make up the standard eating regimen of the general people there, because of an absence of green vegetation in that arid region.

To sum up, in the most basic terms, there are four regions of Indian food. North Indian food is famous for thick, moderately spicy curries featuring dried fruits, and nuts. Dairy is commonly used and dishes are savory and sweet. Alternatively, South Indian food is very hot and there are many rice-based dishes. Dry and curried vegetables are paired with meat dishes, and chutney and poppadoms are common in this area. East Indian food dishes are perhaps the simplest. From ingredients to preparation, the focus is on flavourful simplicity; steaming and frying are common cooking techniques, and fish dishes are also popular along the coast. Moving inland, pork becomes a more favored ingredient; and East Indian sweets are the best in the country. Finally, West Indian food is incredibly diverse when it comes to different styles of cooking Indian food. From spicy Indian vegetarian dishes to meat-based curries, there are a rich variety of flavors and ingredients that make up this region’s food.

Indian food preparation is best left to expert chefs because of its rich, complex flavors. Cooking Indian food seems like it would be incredibly difficult, or at least difficult to cook well. Although an amateur cook will find it challenging to cook a delicious Indian meal on his first try, this is true for most of the cuisines in the world. For instance, Italian delicacies take hours to perfect but generally, no one complains about the difficulties they face. So, if you are interested in whipping up some Indian food delights, start by familiarizing yourself with the ingredients and the basic cooking techniques, and you’ll find that cooking Indian food is as easy (or complicated) as any other type of food to prepare.

Indian food is relatively unique compared to the rest of the world in taste as well as in cooking strategies. It mirrors an impeccable mix of different societies and ages. Much the same as Indian culture, its delicious food has additionally been impacted by different civilizations, which have contributed their offer in its general improvement and the present structure.

Indian food is better known for its spiciness. All through India, spices are utilized liberally as a part of the food. In any case, one must not forget that every spice utilized as a part of Indian dishes conveys some of the other nutritious and medicinal properties. The tempting fragrance, alluring spices, and rich taste of the cooking are difficult to resist utterly unforgettable.

Other than these, a variety of Indian food can likewise be seen in the different snacks and desserts that the general people of this country love to eat. Moreover, breakfast is the most important meal of the day and Indians seem to know that very well. The Indian breakfast menu consists of food that helps in eating mindfully by making sure the food contains all essential nutrients. Some of the most common foods in the Indian breakfast menu are paranthas, upmas, theplas, poha, kachoris, etc. 

Milk and milk-based items are utilized generally as a part of pastry dishes here. A variety of nuts, molasses, coconut, flour are some of the main ingredients of Indian sweet dishes. Social impacts can be found in these items as well.

All Indian food dishes are delicious, however, when people are asked what they think is the best Indian food dish, the most common answer is ‘Chicken Tikka Masala.’ This has always been a point of botheration. Now, Chicken Tikka Masala is very delicious! In fact, if anyone has to pick one of the best Indian food dishes to introduce to a non-convert, it would probably be ‘Chicken Tikka Masala.’ But there is so much more to best Indian food.

The more randomly people are questioned, the more it is found out that people also like different Indian dishes, they simply felt intimidated by the names & did not understand them.  The irony here is that most of the Indian food names are quite simple. The Indian dishes are usually named after the main components or where they come from or from where they belong. But the fact is, if anyone did not understand the language, they’d be confused too.

Comparison between Traditional Indian Food and British Indian Food :

One can’t think about India without thinking about their diverse food variety, generally known as the Indian Cuisine. The traditional Indian Cuisine follows the most varied cooking styles that there are in the world. Each of the different regions of India has unique traditions and distinctive food choices. The normal ingredients used for cooking as a part of these areas also vary besides their cooking strategies and mediums.

It takes years for an Indian cook to ace a wide range of dishes that together make up the Indian food. Other than the endless tidbits, there are vegetable dishes, meat dishes and then, of course, there are many snacks and sweets which make up the tasty and rich Indian food.

Traditional Indian food can’t be cooked without the right and extensive use of various spices. From cardamom, chilies, fenugreek seeds, coriander, cloves to cinnamon, nutmeg, and saffron, Indian Cuisine has it all. There are various ways these spices can be used and these different ways draw out the different tastes in each of the different meals. It is difficult to figure out how and how much every spice must be utilized as a part of a dish.

The traditional Indian cuisine is altogether different from the English food that is a part of British history. However, truly their long relationship in the past has prompted one another’s impact on both the foods. Presently Indian food is genuinely common in Britain. But are the British Indian food and traditional Indian food the same? The basic response to this question is No.

There are multiple differences between the Indian food cooked in Britain and the traditional Indian food. A few of them are mentioned below: 

• First of all, the English cooking is bland compared to the traditional spicy Indian dishes. Therefore when Indian Cuisine became famous in Britain it needed to revise itself to be accepted by the Britons. The Indian food found in Britain is not as hot as back home.

• Most of the Indian people are vegetarians which is the reason meat is rejected from the majority of the dishes. There is no such limitation in Britain and hence a large number of the Indian curries which are becoming popular in Britain include chicken and other meat.

• Some of the dishes, like Chicken Tikka Masala, are entirely new Indian dishes that were born in Britain. Because the BBQ Chicken Tikka is a well-known yet spicy Indian food, the Britons rolled out a few changes to it and added a bit of sauce to it to eliminate its spice.

Things You Didn’t Know About Indian Food  :

Generally when you get Indian food information they will spout adjectives like hot, spicy, rich, fatty, and curry. In any case, attempting to describe Indian food in only a couple of words is an incredibly daunting task. The nation is home to a vast array of local cooking styles, and the food developed over thousands of years based on internal and external impacts. The individuals who are enthusiastic about cooking Indian food would contend that preparing the food includes a complex mixture of spices and ingredients that make it something of an art. 

There is always a fight brewing on the word ‘authentic Indian food’ on the horizon of two sides of fighting for supremacy of genuineness of what is the real authentic Indian food, So what is authentic Indian cuisine really? How do you know by testing the genuinely original from a string of me-toos? How do you claim to be the real and original Indian Food? For instance, have you explored & searched in vain for authentic Andhra Kodi fry? Frowning in frustration because most of the information out there of this authentic Indian food claimed by some people who didn’t even mention small things like the smattering of fried peanuts like your Mom put in it? Everyone punches their mom’s phone number to ask her where on Earth you can find the authentic Indian food recipe, only to have her say, “she learned it from your Granny”.

Let’s address a percentage of the many misconceptions about cooking with these 5 things you didn’t think about Indian food.

Not all Indian food is spicy. Most Indian dishes incorporate a variety of spices, however, this is not what makes specific dishes spicy. Numerous formulas call for chilies or other “hot” spices, however, these can quite often be excluded as a matter of taste. Additionally, a few dishes have an extremely basic spice profile, and some require only one or two spices.

Indian food is healthy. While it’s true that many curry dishes might be somewhat heavy in fat content, Indian food is truly what you make of it. Like you wouldn’t anticipate that all Japanese dishes will include rice, you shouldn’t anticipate that all Indian dishes will feature fat. Many recipes can be expanded according to oil or fat content, and there are an extensive variety of dishes that don’t require oil by any means. Indian cuisine is also full of vegetables and healthy spices cooked so they have a rich and fulfilling flavor. Turmeric, ginger, garlic, and green chilies are commonly used in Indian food recipes and they’re all known for their positive health benefits.

Indian food can be very easy to cook. A few recipes require some time and effort to completely create flavors, yet this is valid for pretty much any cooking in the world. Probably the most popular Indian dishes are quick and easy. Tandoor chicken, mutter paneer, bhindi ki sabji are only a few examples of recipes that are easy to prepare.

There is no such thing as “curry”. For inexperienced dinners, curry seems to be the main ingredient in Indian food, yet this couldn’t possibly be further from the truth. First of all, “curry” is generally an accumulation of spices known as garam masala. The fundamental ingredients in this Indian masala are comparable however the last recipe can even vary between families.

Indian food has diverse provincial attributes. Whether you’re discussing north/south/east/west or different areas in India, the cuisine varies significantly. Internationally people like North Indian food extensively. Meats and vegetables cooked in a tandoor are normal and cream is regularly utilized as a part of marinades. By and by, Indian cuisine is incredibly diverse, so you can appreciate attempting new and interesting varieties from everywhere throughout the country.

Traditional Indian Food

The traditional Indian Food has been widely appreciated for its fabulous use of herbs & spices. Indian food is known for its large assortment of dishes. The cooking style varies from region to region & is largely divided into South Indian and North Indian Cuisine. India is quite famous for its diverse multi cuisine available in a large number of restaurants & hotel resorts, which is reminiscent of unity in diversity. The staple food in most of the parts in India includes wheat, rice & pulses with chana(Bengal Gram) being the most important one. In this generation Indian palette has undergone a lot of change. In the last ten years, as a result of globalisation, a lot of Indians have travelled to different parts of the world & vice versa there has been a large influx of people of different nationalities in India. This has resulted into Indianisation of various international cuisines. Nowadays, in metro cities anyone can find specialised food joints of international cuisines. Read on to know more about the Indian traditional food.

Bengali Food

Bengali Food is appreciated for its fabulous use of panch phoron, this term used to refer to the five essential spices, such as mustard, fenugreek seed, cumin seed, aniseed & black cumin seed. The main thing and specialty of Bengali Food lies in the perfect blend of sweet & spicy flavors. 

Gujarati Food

The Traditional Gujarati Food is primarily vegetarian & has a high nutritional value. The traditional and typical Gujarati thali consists of various kinds of lip smacking dishes. Gujarati food has so much to offer & every gujarati dish has an absolutely different cooking style. 

Kashmiri Food

The Traditional Kashmiri Food that we have today in the restaurants has developed gradually over the years. Highly influenced by the cultural food of the Kashmiri pondits, it has taken some of the best features of the cooking style adopted in Central Asia, Persia & Afghanistan.

Mughlai Cuisine

Mughlai Food is one of the most popular foods, whose origin can be traced back to the times from Mughal Empire. Mughlai Food consists of the different dishes that were prepared in the royal kitchens of the royal Mughal Emperors. Indian cuisine is predominantly influenced by the cooking style which was  practiced during the Mughal era. 

Punjabi Food

The Punjabi Cuisine has a lot of variety of mouth-watering vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian dishes. The spices content ranges from minimal to pleasant & to high. Punjabi food is usually cooked by people of all communities. In Punjab, home cooking differs from the restaurant cooking style of punjabi food.

Rajasthani Food

The Rajasthani Cuisine is mainly vegetarian & it offers a fabulous different variety of mouthwatering dishes. The spices content is high compared to other Indian cuisines, but the Rajasthani food is absolutely scrumptious. Rajasthani’s use a lot of ghee for cooking most of the dishes. Rajasthani food is well known for its spicy curries & delicious sweets. 

South Indian Cuisine

The South Indian Cuisine is known for its light & low calorie appetizing dishes. The Traditional South Indian Food is primarily rice based. The South Indian cuisine is famous for its wonderful mixing of rice & lentils to prepare yummy lip smacking dosas, idlis, vadas & uttapas.

Indian Food items

India is more diverse not only in terms of having multiple religions and people with multiple linguistics but also in terms of the variety of delicious Indian food items that all Indians enjoy. No matter where an Indian is, there is that one Indian food recipe that will remind him of his home. The following list names a few of the most defining Indian food recipes from each of the 29 states in India: 

1.Maharashtra : “Misal Pav” , ‘Vada Pav’

2.Punjab – ‘Makki Di Roti’ , ‘Sarson Da Saag’

3.West Bengal – ‘Luchi alur dom’, ‘Kosha Mangsho’

4.Gujarat – ‘Thepla’, ‘Dhokla’

5.Kashmir – ‘Rogan Josh’, ‘Kashmiri Pulao’ 

6.Tamil nadu – ‘Pongal’, ‘Idiyappam’

7.Assam – ‘Papaya Khar’, ‘Spicy fish curry’

8.Bihar – ‘Litti Chowkha’

9.Himachal Pradesh – ‘Dham’

10.Andhra Pradesh –  ‘Pootha Rekulu’

11. Telangana – ‘Biryani’

12. Goa – ‘Fish Curry’

13. Uttarakhand – ‘Kafuli’

14. Tripura – ‘Chakhwi’

15. Manipur – ‘Kangshoi’

16. Meghalaya – ‘Jadoh’

17. Kerala – ‘Appam’

18. Madhya Pradesh – ‘Bhutte Ka Kees’

19. Rajasthan – ‘Dal Baati Churma’

20. Haryana – ‘Bajre Ki Khichdi’

21. Arunachal Pradesh – ‘Thukpa’

22. Sikkim – ‘Momos’ 

23. Karnataka – ‘Bisi Bele Bath’

24. Nagaland – ‘Pork with Bamboo Shoots’

25. Mizoram – ‘Misa Mash Poora’

26. Odisha – ‘Chenna Poda’

27. Chhattisgarh – ‘Chila’

28. Jharkhand – ‘Rugda’

29. Uttar Pradesh – ‘Kabab’

So, which one do you want to try out first?

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