Indian cuisine is popular all over the world for its variety, mouthwatering tastes and aroma. It is as diverse as the country itself with its numerous styles of cuisine and its typical regional variations.
In almost every country in the world you can find Indian restaurants and hotels representing every kind of Indian cuisine. Some of the most famous among them are the Mughalai, Chettinadu, Hyderabadi Cuisine etc.
Indian Cooking is known for its use of spices, herbs and flavorings. The common ingredients in Indian Cuisine are rice or bread (rotis), a variety of dals (lentils), regional vegetables, pickles, ghee, chutneys, a meat or fish dish. Spices are an essential element to Indian cuisine. The cooking medium is generally oil. The type of oil used differs in different regions. Sweets are usually milk based. Many popular sweets such as Gulab jamun, Ladoo are common throughout India, while many others like Rasbari, peda, burfi, halwa, Malpuwa, Rasgula etc are local favorites. Food is often eaten with fingers, rice or breads are accompanied by vegetables and curries.
The tastes and variety of the multiple cuisines from Kashmir in the north to Kanya Kumari in the south, is absolutely mind blowing. Indian cuisine can be divided into two, Northern and Southern Indian cuisine.
South Indian Cuisine
Cuisines from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Goa and Tamil Nadu are all part of South Indian Cuisine. Mostly vegetarian, Rice is the basis of every meal in a South Indian Cuisine and the cooking medium could be either gingelly, coconut or sunflower oil. Coconut is one of the main ingredient in all South Indian food and spices are abundant in south Indian cooking. Spices commonly used are mustard, Asafetida, pepper, curry leaves, peppercorns etc. Other fragrant spices added are cardamom, clove, cinnamon and star aniseed. Areas with access to waterways rely more heavily on seafood. Saturated with ghee, rice is served with Sambhar, Rasam, lentils, vegetables etc. South Indians are great lovers of filter coffee especially the Madras coffee is popular in South Indian restaurants throughout the world.
Made of fermented rice and dal batter, the dosa, vada and the idli as well as puttu made of rice flour are inexpensive south Indian snacks which are popular all over the country. The popular south Indian dishes are Appam and Stews, sea food dishes (Kerala), Mysore Pak, basundhi, jangiri, the semolina-based upma, Milk or wheat based Payasams/ kheers, Hyderbadi Biryani and the Goan vindaloo curry etc.
North Indian Cuisine
North Indian Cooking is often called Mughal Style Cooking which is similar to the food of the Middle East and Central Asia. With its rich uses of sauces, butter-based curries, dried fruits and nuts, ginger-flavoured roast meats and mind-blowing sweets, it is one of the world’s popular cuisines. A typical North Indian meal consist of chappatis, roti, parantha, pooris and tandoori baked breads like nan etc. made of wheat. Rice is also popular and is made into biryanis and pulaos. Kashmiri pulao is one of the famous north Indian food. The cooking medium is generally oil, cream, butter or ghee. Sunflower and canola are mostly used vegetable oils used in north Indian cooking. Garam masala is a spice mixture used mainly in northern Indian cuisine.
Mutter Paneer (a curry made with cottage cheese and peas), Bengal's Rasagulla, sandesh, Rasamalai, gulab jamuns, Biryani, Pulaos, Daal Makhani, Dahi Gosht, Butter Chicken, Kheer, Chicken Tikka, Kebabs, Fish Amritsari, Samosas (snack with a pastry case with different kinds of fillings), Chaat (hot-sweet-sour snack made with potato, chick peas and tangy chutneys), 'makki ki roti' and 'sarson ka sag', Motichoor laddoo are some of the delicious north Indian foods.