North Indian Cuisine
North Indian cuisine includes the cuisines of Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Uttaranchal, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Chattisgarh, and Jharkhand.
Northern Indian cuisine is characterized by the use of its traditional spices, frequent use of dairy products, tandoor oven, tawa griddle, and wheat-based foods. The most commonly used dairy products are yogurt, milk, ghee, and paneer (soft cheese like tofu). Tandoor ovens are used for baking bread items such as naan, and tawa is used for roti (such as flat, round, and wheat crêpe).
For a typical homemade meal, you will find a bowl of yogurt next to freshly made roti and a vegetarian item like saag (curry made with spinach and other vegetables) along with a serving of meat.
North Indian curries usually have thick, sweet, and rich gravies. Consumption of dried fruits and nuts is also very common in their daily diet. Dairy products such as milk, cream, cottage cheese, ghee, and yogurt play an important role in cooking delicious and mouth-watering food. Vegetable oils such as sunflower and canola are used in cooking. Mustard oil is rarely used that too only in some regions. Ghee is often reserved for special event cooking.
Due to the availability of local fruits and vegetables at all times of the year, this region produces a large number of vegetarian dishes. This region of the country has had a strong influence from central Asia both in terms of culture and diet. Mughlai and Kashmiri’s cooking styles are not just widespread but also popular.
In North Indian cuisine Indian bread is more popular than rice. The northern region is home to tandoori roti and naan (bread made from tandoor clay oven), stuffed parathas (hot Indian bread with various types of vegetable and non-vegetable stuffings), and kulchas. Rice is only popular when it is made into rich delicious biryanis and pulaos (pilafs).
Let us now see 5 of the best dishes which form a major part of north Indian cuisine.
Based on the Moghul cuisine, shahi paneer is a royal cottage cheese curry prepared with a whole lot of onions, almond paste, and a rich, spicy tomato-cream sauce. The dish is often accompanied by Indian bread such as naan, roti, or puri.
Rogan josh is a very famous aromatic and succulent Indian lamb curry which was originally believed to be of Persian origin. However, in recent times, it is very closely associated with the Kashmir region. The stew is characterized by tender meat and a thick red sauce which is red and fiery from the abundant Kashmiri pepper added to the dish.
Indian Chicken Tikka
Indian tikka is a meat-based dish, especially chicken, cut into small pieces, and spiced with dahi (yogurt) and traditional Indian spices such as turmeric, cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper, pepper & garlic. The meat is roasted over coals in a tandoor which is a traditional cylindrical clay oven used especially in the northern parts of India.
Aromatic, royal, and fragrant, the main ingredients of biryani are thin rice (basmati), spices, a chicken/mutton base, eggs, or vegetables, as well as many other ingredients to choose from such as dried fruit, nuts, and yogurt. Loved by all, biriyani is one of the most popular foods in India.
The most popular snack in India which is loved by all, especially in north India, Dahi Bhalla can also be served cold as a starter during festivals like Diwali or Navratri. Try your hand at making these delicious bhallas stuffed with sweet yogurt, sour chutneys, and tangy masala.