Indian cuisine consists of a myriad of regional and traditional cuisines that are native to different states and cities in the subcontinent. Due to diversity in soil, climate, and vegetation in different parts of India, and the diverse cooking techniques used here, the cuisines in India also vary considerably. Many food creations have also been inspired by civilizations in the past, and cultural and religious factors too have added their influence.
Although there is a diversity in the kinds of foods in the Indian cuisine, one common factor in most Indian foods is the use of fresh and locally available produce, hand pound spices, flavourful oils and herbs, nuts, fresh dairy (milk, ghee, cream, and yogurt) and fruits. Indian cuisine is known for its spicy dishes, but it also has many palatable dishes that aren’t too spicy, and a wide variety of sweets (desserts) most of which use pure ghee (made out of cow milk) as a base ingredient, adding a rich taste to them.
The most commonly used spices and aromatics in Indian foods are red chillies, turmeric, cumin, coriander seeds, black mustard, cardamom, ginger, garlic, pepper, cinnamon, cloves and bay leaf. Different kinds of ingredients and even different oils are used for cooking in different regions, making dishes available anywhere in the country unique to that place. A special variety of Indian cheese called “Cottage Cheese” is very popular, especially in Northern India and used in many different foods – both savoury and sweet!
These are some of the most popular cuisines in India, but there are a plethora of cuisines and variations under each, which are hard to get in one single list! Each city has its special delicacies like – Vada Pav and Pav Bhaji in Mumbai, Chaat and Parathas in Delhi, Dosa and Sambar in Chennai and Bengaluru, Haleem and Biryani in Hyderabad…and the list goes on!
No number of photographs, articles or guides can do justice to the food experience in India – one can only experience it for themselves and feel the burst of flavours in their mouths, when tasting these flavourful dishes.