Cuisines of India

Cuisines of India have always attracted people from all over the world. India the land of spices has always had a reputation of producing the best cuisines in the world. Tourists coming to the country strongly vouch for this fact once they return their native places, as the taste of the food refuses to go.

Cuisines of India have a different flavour to it, which is almost a characteristic feature of the food. Sitting anywhere in the world one can easily distinguish between an Indian dish and any other dish. The aroma, the flavour and of course the colour of the food almost give way the secret. Indian cuisines are always heavy on spices and a good amount of herbs usage.

Indian cuisines can be roughly divided into vegetarian and non-vegetarian. A large part of the Indian populace strictly abides and stands by vegetarian fare whereas a good part of the rest of the population has non�vegetarian food as part of their daily meals. Meat dishes would include chicken, lamb, mutton, fish and other types.

Food has the inherent quality of unifying all under the same roof. Every ritual in India has a definite place for food and delicacies. Indian cuisine can be split onto four broad divisions: North Indian, South Indian, West Indian and East Indian.

North Indian Cuisine

North Indian cuisine is almost the haven for delectable foods. The fare includes extremely spicy food with chapattis, parathas, variety of dals, vegetables with yogurt, paneer, and pickles forming the main items on the menu. The deserts of north India are also popular with the common favourites being sweets made out of paneer, milk and ghee. Lassi and Nimbu Pani are some of the popular drinks of the northern part of India. Tandoori chicken is also a favourite with all Indians, irrespective of the regions of India they may belong to. The north Indian cuisines follow some of the main schools of cooking like Punjabi, Kashmiri and Lucknavi.

East Indian Cuisine

The eastern part of India - West Bengal, Odisha and Assam follow three different types of cuisines. Fish and Rice are immensely popular and are often considered the main staple diet of these states. Bengalis are reputed for their taste in food and fantastic culinary skills. The cooking is mostly done with the medium of mustard oil instead of a generous dose of ghee. The dishes are usually high on spices and �panchfuran� - a combination of five main spices of cumin seeds, fenugreek, mustard, nigella and fennel. The region is famous for the famous �mishti doi� or sweet curd and �roshogolla�, a very popular type of sweet. Both vegetarian and non vegetarian foods from this part of India are tasty and delicious.

West Indian Cuisine

West Indian cuisine follows the Konkani, Goan, Maharashtrian and Parsi schools of cooking. Gujarati fare predominantly consists of vegetarian fare with some typical dishes like khandvi and kadhi rice. A Thali preparation consists of some of the most important dishes like rice, roti, papad, daal and sabzi. Most of the dishes though high on spices are sweet and sour. A dhokla is also a huge favourite of the Indians spread out all over the world. Maharashtrian food consists of fish, coconuts and peanuts. Goan fare includes a lot of dishes that go high on prawns, lobsters, fishes and crabs more than meat. They are cooked in really spicy medium like hot garlic sauce and or red sauce. Parsis use a lot of meat and rice in their food.

South Indian Cuisine

The south Indian cuisines, also quite popular all over India, primarily consists of dhosa, idly sambhar dal and rasam. Hyderabad offers some of the best known biriyanis. The chutneys of the south are also popular and are made out of tomato, rice, tamarind, peanuts and other ingredients. The cooking medium is coconut oil. Coffee is more preferred in south than tea. Most importantly the south Indian cuisine is served on a banana leaf and often the size of the leaf decides and reveals the financial status of the family serving the food. Payasam is also a famous dessert dish. Vadas are popular and make ideal snacks during teatime or snacks.

Indian cuisine has also been affected by many cultural influences. Every cuisine of India has something really new, unique and distinctive to offer.

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