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Food culture in India

Food culture

The food in India is different from any food in the world, not only in flavor and taste but also the cooking methods and experience. In the food you will also notice culture, traditions and religion incorporated. The food varies from area to area and is influenced by the people or civilization that makes it. Throughout India you will notice that spices are generously added everywhere.

North Indian food

In the northern part of India you will find many different types of dishes depending on the area. In Kashmir, the dishes are strongly influenced by Central Asian flavors and created around the main ingredient which is rice collected from the valley. Popular in areas of northern India is also the "Saag" which is a leaf-based dish (with spinach, mustard leaf, collard greens, basella and more).

Other areas such as Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh favor the chapati as a staple food. The chapati is an unleavened flatbread made from whole wheat flour on a "tava" (frying pan). Chapati can also be made from other ingredients such as rice, maida or besan. Other bread is also popular in the regions such as tandoori, rumali and naan.

East Indian food

In the eastern parts of India there are big influences from Bengali and Assamese flavors. One of the popular dishes in Bengali is rice cooked with fish, and fish overall is very popular in the dishes. A delicious way to cook the fish is by wrapping it in a pumpkin leaf and then cooking it, more known as "Hilsa". Bambo shoot is also a common but unusual ingredient used in Bengali dishes. Some sweets which are made in this area is "Roshgollas", "Sandesh" and "Cham-cham", all made by using milk.

South Indian food

South Indian dishes uses a variety of spices and is known for their coastal ingredients such as fish and coconuts. Especially in the area of Tamil Nadu, tamarind is used to add sourness to the dishes which is what makes the Tamil Nadu cuisine unique. In Kerala you will find the delicious lamb stew dish, malabar fried prawns, and traditional breakfast food idli, which is a savoury cake.

West Indian food

The West Indian dishes are famous for being a desert cuisine, using a lot of dal and achar in order to compensate for fresh vegetables, especially in Rajasthan and Gujarat. In states like Maharashtra there is a mix of north Indian food and south Indian food like rice and wheat. Further down in Mumbai you will find dishes with a lot of fish and sea food and popular dishes such as the Bombay Prawn and Pomfret. In Goa you will notice Portuguese influences in the food cooking and dishes such as the sweet and sour Vindaloo.

Other famous Indian dishes

  • Biryani
  • Momos
  • Idli
  • Gulab jaamun
  • Chole bhature
  • Nethili varuval
  • Kati roll
  • Rajma
  • Pani puri
  • Jalebi
  • Tandoori chicken
  • Banana chips
  • Baingan bharta
  • Dosa
  • Bhelpuri
  • Vada
  • Bhindi masala fry
  • Rogan josh
  • Dhokla
  • Kulfi
  • Samosa
  • Recheado masala fish
  • Papri chaat
  • Pakora
  • Gaajar halwa

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