From region to region, Indian cuisine is defined by simple food that carries a tasty punch. Religion, population, and geography all have a role in this issue, however opinions on how to cook anything vary greatly even among neighbours. In the north, heartier foods akin to those found in Pakistan can be found, while in the south, comparable flavour characteristics can be found throughout Southeast Asia.
Rich curries and thick sauces are served with flatbread and aromatic yoghurts in North Indian cuisine. Spice-forward meals made in clay ovens, such as tandoori chicken and chana masala, are featured. A typical combination is onion, tomato, and garlic.
New Delhi is the capital of India. Chaat or samosa, for example, are common street foods in New Delhi.
South Indian cuisine emphasises coconut milk-based taste profiles, as well as herbs such as lemongrass and curry leaves and native fruits. Rice, lentils, and stews, rather than breads, are more common, and sauces are thinner as a result.
Pazham pori (banana fritters) and sweet dumplings are common street foods in Kerala.
Jammu and Kashmir is located in northern India. Meat dishes like rogan josh, a yogurt-based lamb curry aromatic with chiles, are popular in Jammu and Kashmir, the country's northernmost state.
Gujarat is predominantly vegetarian, because to the huge concentration of Jainism—a religion founded on nonviolence and asceticism—which is surrounded by coastline with abundant seafood availability.
Mumbai (India's largest city, once known as Bombay) is famed for its market hawkers and the culture around street food, and it is located just over the water from Gujarat. From mounds of sour puffed rice bhelpuri to roaming chaiwalas serving milky black tea to sugar-soaked electrifying orange jalebi, the stalls have it all.
Is Indian Food Healthy?
Indian food is reasonably healthful and vegetable-forward, with plenty of vegetarian and even vegan options such okra bhajis, samosas, and dal, despite the country's sweet tooth.
Because Hindus revere cows and Muslims abstain from eating pork, proteins such as lamb, fish, and chicken are often preferred. Some vegetarian foods, such as saag paneer and naan, feature cheese and yoghurt.
What Are Some of the Most Popular Indian Side Dishes?
Sides are a crucial component of every dinner, and the Indian canon is rich with complementary flavours and presentations. They give the taste harmony, colour, and a sensation of freshness.
Papadum. A thin crisp prepared with black gramme flour is often served as a starter or side dish.
Raita. This basic condiment, made from yoghurt studded with grated vegetables and crushed spices, typically cumin, is served over Basmati rice to cool and mitigate the spiciness.
Chutneys. Chutneys, ranging from tamarind to mint, are a popular complement to appetisers such as masala dosa or samosa—many Indian families even blend their mint chutney with ketchup and serve it with samosa or dahi bread (which features a raita-esque yoghurt filling).
Achaar. As India's most popular pickle, achaar comes in a wide range of flavours. Achaar, which can be produced from either a fruit or a vegetable, is a mainstay of Indian cuisine that brightens up everything from rice to yoghurt to dal. A typical spicy mango achaar, with different degrees of heat and spice from state to state but a consistent sweet-sour flavour profile, is a popular dish.
Equipment for Traditional Indian Cooking
Cooking Indian food at home doesn't require any particular equipment—a sauce pot and a sauté pan would suffice—but having a well-stocked pantry is essential. Almost any speciality item (including achaars and even quick papadum) can be found online, while basic spices may be purchased at an Indian grocer.
However, if you want to go more technical, consider investing in:
Pan tawa. A flat grill pan, similar to a plancha, that is used to cook fresh breads such as rotis.
Tandoor ovens. are a type of Indian oven. In Northern India, traditional clay ovens were used to prepare a range of meals such as naan and marinated meats.