The cuisine of India is very vast & it is basically characterized by its sophisticated & subtle use of spices & herbs grown across India.It is also considered to be one of the old diverse cuisines of the world. The Flavors of Indian food are appreciated all over the world. Indian cuisine varies from region to region depending on the diverse Indian subcontinent. Indian cuisine also evolved due to cultural interaction with neighboring countries like Persia, Greece and Mongolia.
The Vast Sub-continent of India offers a range of culinary delights as rich and diverse as its people and history. Indian cuisine can be divided into North Indian, South Indian, West Indian, East Indian and North East Indian. Northern North Indian cuisine is distinguished by the proportionally high use of dairy products like ghee, milk, paneer, and yoghurt. Gravies are typically dairy-based. Other ingredients like chilies, saffron, and nuts are also commonly used. Goat and lamb meats are favored ingredients of many northern Indian recipes.
North Indian cooking features the use of the “tawa” for making roti and paratha, and “tandoor” for making naan, and kulcha and also main courses like tandoori chicken.Puri and bhatoora, which are deep fried in oil, are also common. The samosa is a popular North Indian snack, and it is now commonly found in other parts of India, Central Asia and the Middle East also. A common variety is filled with boiled, fried, or mashed potato. Minced meat, cheese mushroom and chick pea are also used for filling.The staple food of most of North India is a variety of lentils, vegetables, and roti . Popular snacks, side-dishes and drinks include mirchi bada, buknu, bhujiya, chaat, kachori, jalebi, imarti, several types of pickles,murabba, sharbat, aam panna and aam papad. Popular sweets include gulab jamun, peda, petha, rewdi, gajak, bal mithai, singori, kulfi, falooda, khaja, ras malai, gulkand, and several types of laddu, barfi and halwa.Some common North Indian foods such as the various kebabs and most of the meat dishes originated with interaction with muslims. Southern South Indian cuisine is distinguished by a larger emphasis on rice as the staple grain, sambar and rasam ,a variety of pickles, and the liberal use of coconut ,coconut oil and curry leaves. The dosa, idli, vada, bonda and bajji are typical South Indian favorites, which are generally consumed as breakfast. Hyderabadi biryani, a popular type of biryani, reflects the diversity of south Indian cuisine. Each Andhra, Chettinad, Tamil, Hyderabadi, Mangalorean, and Kerala cuisines have different tastes and ways of cooking .
The use of tamarind to impart sourness distinguishes Tamil food.In Andhra food excessive amounts of chilies are used. Some popular dishes include the Biriyani, Ghee Rice with meat curry, sea-food which includes prawns, mussels, mackerel and paper thin Pathiris from Malabar area Western Western India has three major food groups such as Gujarati, Maharashtrian and Goan. Maharashtrian cuisine can be divided into two sections based on the geographical sections. The coastal regions depend more on rice, coconut, and fish. The hilly regions of the Western Ghats and Deccan plateau regions use groundnut instead of coconut and depend more on sorghum and millet as staples. Gujarati cuisine is predominantly vegetarian. Many Gujarati dishes have a hint of sweetness due to use of sugar or brown sugar. Goan cuisine is influenced by the Portuguese as Goa was colonized by Portugal. Saraswat cuisine forms an important part of coastal Konkani Indian cuisine. North Eastern The food of the North East is very different from food from other parts of India. This area’s cuisine is more influenced by its neighbors, namely Burma and the China. The use of Indian spices is very less. Yak is a popular meat in this part of India Eastern East Indian cuisine is famous for its sweets such as rasagolla, chumchum, sandesh, rasabali, chhena poda, chhena gaja, and kheeri. Many of the popular sweet dishes initially originated in the Bengal and Orissa regions. Apart from sweets, East India cuisine offers delights of posta (poppy seeds). Traditional Bengali cuisine is not very spicy, not too faint. Generally ingredients such as mustard seeds, cumin seeds, black cumin, green chillies and cumin paste are used in Bengali curries. Mustard paste, curd, nuts, poppy seed paste and cashew paste are preferably cooked in mustard oil. Curries are classified into bata (paste), bhaja (fries), chochchoree (less spicy vapourized curries) and jhol (thin spicy curries).These are eaten with plain boiled rice or spiced rice. Fish is commonly consumed in the eastern India, especially in Bengal.Like South India, rice is the staple grain in Eastern India too. A regular meal consists of many side dishes made of vegetables. The most popular vegetable dish of Bengal is Sukto. Deep fried, shallow fried and mashed vegetables are also very popular. The popular vegetable dishes of Orissa are Dalma and Santula.
In India, food is most often eaten without cutlery, using instead the fingers of the right hand. Eating with your hands is considered important in Indian etiquette because a person eating with his hands knows the exact temperature of food before the morsel hits his mouth thus preventing blisters in mouth due to consumption of hot food Traditional serving styles vary from region to region in India. A universal aspect of presentation is the thali, a large plate with samplings of different regional dishes accompanied by raita, breads such as naan, puri, or roti, and rice. In South India, a cleaned banana leaf is often used as a hygenic and visually interesting alternative to plates.