Indian food is known for its richness and is amongst the tastiest and most varied cuisines in the world. The flavor and aroma of Indian food is conspicuous by its presence and you can find an Indian restaurant in almost any part of the world.
Indian cuisines are divided into four based on the four geographic regions and each of them have distinct characteristics. The four Indian cuisines are South, North, West and East Indian cuisines. In this article we will take a brief gander on each of these cuisines.
Lets begin with north Indian cuisines. North India is known to have extreme climates and has abundant supply of vegetables and fruits. The food and culture in North India has been partially influenced by Central Asia. Nuts and dried food are used a lot and there is always a generous sprinkling of cream, yoghurt and ghee in the sweet North Indian dishes. The region is rich in vegetable and consequently there are plenty of vegetarian dishes in North India. Rice is not consumed in this region as much as it is in other parts of India. Bread, naans, rothis, parathas and kulchas are more prevalent. Coriander, red chillies, garam masala and turmeric are the widely used spices here. Some of the popular North Indian cuisines are Punjabi Chole, Tandoori Chicken, Lassi Patial and Dal Makhani.
Southern India has a hot and humid climate and with many of the regions being coastal, there is plenty of rainfall during monsoons. This coupled with a fertile soil helps in producing abundant fruits and vegetables. Rice is the staple food in this region with bread and rothis being supplementary. Rasam and Sambhar are the two most popular soups that are mixed in rice and they form the integral part of any meal in South India. The South Indian recipes in some southern regions like Andhra Pradesh tends to be very pungent and spicy. Chillies, curry leaves, mustard and tamarind are the preferred spices. Some examples of the common south Indian snacks include dosa, vada, idli and payasam. Dosa is the Indian version of a thin pancake and is made from rice and black lentils. It is rich in carbohydrates and proteins and is generally eaten for breakfast. Idli is the thicker version of Indian pancake made from a batter of rice and fermented black lentils. Both idli and dosa are served with soups like sambhar and chutney.
The East Indian Cuisines are somewhat influenced by the Chinese and Mongolians. East India is known for its sweet dishes and the number of dessert recipes in this region is huge. People here like to steam and fry their food and the staple food is rice. Milk and yoghurt are used in abundance while the spices used are similar to that used in South India. Sandesh, Momos and Thukpa are popular vegeterian dishes in this region.
West India has a dry and hot weather and the variety of vegetables is limited, but that does not limit the varieties of cuisines, which are plenty. Rajasthani dishes are spicy while Gujurat is renowned for its delicious sweet dishes. Staple food in this region depends on the cuisines and both rice and bread/rothis are consumed equally well.
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