Indian cuisine is very different from the rest of its culinary counterparts around the world with regards, to taste, presentation and cooking methods. Indian food is made up of a blend of several cultures and has been around for many decades. Indian food is influenced by many civilizations which have each contributed their share of uniqueness.
Indian food is generally known for its spiciness. Spices and chilies are used generously in North, South, East and West Indian food. One amazing fact is that every spice or chili used in cooking has some nutritional value or medicinal properties! Indian food is rustic, classic and traditional yet popular.
Kashmir is the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent. Kashmir reflects strong Central Asian influences and most of the Indian dishes are prepared around the mains, which is rice. This is because rice is found in abundance in Kashmir. Rice is a very filling yet affordable ingredient! A green leafy vegetable called Hak is also commonly prepared, cooked and consumed.
Other states in India such as Punjab have staples such as chapatis. These chapatis are made up of wheat, rice and beans which are high in carbohydrates. Breads such as naans are also often consumed and baked. Breads and rice are often found and paired with Indian dishes such as curries as the former provides a means to soak up the sauce and soup.
The dessert cuisine in the western part of India is famous for their unique taste and varieties of food. States such as Rajasthan and Gujarat are famous for their Indian desserts. Dals (pickles) and achar (preserved vegetables) are used in dishes as there is a lack of fresh vegetable produce in the area.
Maharashtra is a state found in West India and the food has a mixture of both northern and southern cooking styles. Rice and wheat are common staples. Fishes such as Pomfret and Bombay prawns are commonly used in cooking as there are a wide variety of fishes found along the coastline of Mumbai.
Bengalis and assamese styles of cooking are noticeable in East Indian cuisine. Locals in Bengalis consume a staple dish which is made up of rice and fish. Locals of the Bengalis states, like the frequent consumption of fishes and thus they created specialties too! A delicacy called “Hilsa” is done by wrapping a banana leaf over a fish and cooking it. The flavors of the banana leaf are imparted into the fish. Bamboo shoots are also commonly used in Bengalis cooking. Locals also consume various sweets such as Cham-Cham which is made using milk.
States in South India use fishes, spices and coconuts in their cooking as most of them are coastal kitchens. Tamarind is commonly used to impart a hint of sourness into the dishes and it is what distinguishes Indian food from other types of cuisine
Kerala is a southern state of India and locals cook lamb stew and appams. Sweet coconut milk is also often used in making curries and desserts. Locals love puttu which is glutinous rice powder steamed like a pudding.