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6 Indian States and their special Dishes that will leave you hungry for more!

The interaction of various Indian diaspora communities with the native cultures of their domiciles have resulted in the creation of many fusion cuisines, which blend aspects of Indian and foreign cuisines making the exquisite Indian Cuisines more tempting and relishing.

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Indian Food, Wikimedia

April 23, 2017: India consists of many cultures under one roof and each and every culture fills the air of this nation with the beautiful aroma of their cuisines. Indian cuisine encompasses a wide variety of regional and traditional cuisines native to India.

Given the range of diversity in soil type, climate, culture, ethnic groups, and occupations, these cuisines vary significantly from each other and use locally available spices, herbs, vegetables, and fruits. Indian food is also heavily influenced by religious and cultural choices and traditions. Also, Middle Eastern and Central Asian influences have occurred on North Indian cuisine from the years of Mughal rule.

Indian cuisine is still evolving, as a result of the nation’s cultural interactions with other societies. No wonder, the delicious delicacies of the country are an integral part of its culture and the culture is very well reflected on a single plate of food. Here is a list of popular Indian cuisines which will leave you hungry for more-

Rajma Chawal;the comfort food of Punjab,Source-Wikipedia

1. Punjab : The cuisine of Punjab is known for its diverse range of dishes. The state, being an agriculture center, is abundant with whole grains, vegetables, and, fruits. Home-cooked and restaurant Punjabi cuisines can vary significantly. Restaurant-style Punjabi cooking puts emphasis on creamy textured foods by using ghee, butter and cream to accustom various kinds of guest taste preferences; while, home-cooked equivalents center around whole wheat, rice, and other ingredients flavored with various kinds of masalas.

Try the makke ki roti and sarson da saag, which is a popular combination of a Punjabi flat-bread and gravy made of mustard leaves and spices. Also, the popular chhola-bhatura, rajma-chawal, amritsari machhli (fish) and lassi (sweetened buttermilk) find their roots in this region.

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Khaman Dhokla,the speciality of Gujarat,Source-Wikipedia

2. Gujarat- North Gujarat, Kathiawad, Kachchh, and South Gujarat are the four major regions of Gujarati cuisine. Many Gujarati dishes are simultaneously sweet, salty (like vegetable handva), and spicy. In mango season, keri no ras (fresh mango pulp) is often an integral part of the meal. . Try the dhokla, which is a well-known snack or breakfast item that is both healthy and delicious. Other popular delicacies include the thepla (flat-bread made of fresh fenugreek leaves and flour), khandvi, dhansak and Gujarati kadhi.

Pav Bhaji,A famous snack found in streets as well as restaurants;Source-Wikipedia

3. Maharashtra- Maharashtrian cuisine is an extensive balance of many different tastes. It includes a range of dishes from mild to very spicy tastes. Bajri, wheat, rice, jowar, vegetables, lentils, and fruit form important components of the Maharashtrian diet. Popular dishes include puran poli, ukdiche modak, batata wada, sabudana khichdi, masala bhat, pav bhaji, and wada pav. Poha or flattened rice is also usually eaten at breakfast. Kanda poha and aloo poha are some of the dishes cooked for breakfast and snacking in evenings. Shrikhand, a sweet dish made from strained yogurt, is a main dessert of Maharashtrian cuisine.

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Litti:Bihar’s speciality;Source-Wikipedia

4. Bihar- People don’t know enough about the typical cuisine of Bihar even though it is excessively rich in taste and austere in the way it is prepared. Bihari cuisine is wholesome and simple. Litti chokha, a baked salted wheat-flour cake filled with sattu (baked chickpea flour) and some special spices, is well known among the middle-class families served with baigan bharta, made of roasted eggplant and tomatoes. Among meat dishes, meat saalan is a popular dish made of mutton or goat curry with cubed potatoes in garam masala. During the festival of Chhath, thekua, a sweet dish made of ghee, jaggery, and whole-meal flour, flavoured with aniseed, is made.

Rajasthani Thali, Source-Wikipedia

5. Rajasthan- This state is not only illustrious because of its vast deserts, beautiful palaces, and vibrant history—it is also famed for the scrumptious indigenous cuisine. The region presents a variety of delicacies when it comes to food. One of the most appetizing dishes is daal-baati, which consists of hard balls made of wheat flour and additives fried in ghee, and a special daal made of different types of pulses. It is usually served with churma, a sweet dish prepared by crushing baatis and adding ghee and sugar. Also try the pyaaz kachori, malai ghewar, gatte ki sabzi and kalakand.

Bengali authentic full meal, Source-Wikipedia

6. West Bengal- During the 19th century, many Odia cooks were employed in Bengal and they took several dishes with them. Bengali cuisine is the only traditionally developed multi-course tradition from the Indian subcontinent that is analogous in structure to the modern service à la russe style of French cuisine, with food served course-wise rather than all at once. Bengali cuisine differs according to regional tastes, such as the emphasis on the use of chilli pepper in the Chittagong district of Bangladesh. However, across all its varieties, there is predominant use of mustard oil along with large amounts of spices. The cuisine is known for subtle flavours with an emphasis on fish, vegetables, lentils, and rice.
Fresh sweetwater fish is one of its most distinctive features; Bengalis prepare fish in many ways, such as steaming, braising, or stewing in vegetables and sauces based on coconut milk or mustard. Shondesh and Rasgulla are popular sweet dishes made of sweetened, finely ground fresh cheese. In fact first ever Rasgulla was made in West Bengal.

The interaction of various Indian diaspora communities with the native cultures of their domiciles have resulted in the creation of many fusion cuisines, which blend aspects of Indian and foreign cuisines making the exquisite Indian Cuisines more tempting and relishing.

– by Nikita Tayal of NewsGram Twitter @NikitaTayal6

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Sambhar Lake Becomes Death Bed for Large Number of Birds

The excessive salt in the water led to the poisoning, causing hypernectremia, which is water deprivation due to sodium intoxication

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Sambhar Lake
After witnessing drought for many years, this year the Sambhar Lake, however, brimmed with water due to heavy rains. The inflow made the water toxic due to the change in its alkalinity. Pixabay

A deadly game of survival is on in the Sambhar lake of Rajasthan for decades — salt versus birds. The result came a few days back: thousands of birds were seen floating dead in the lake and their carcasses scattered on the edge of the 12 km catchment area.

The dead birds seen floating in this largest inland salt lake in the country, include plovers, common coot, black winged stilt, northern shovelers, ruddy shelduck, and pied avocet among many other migratory birds.

Harsh Vardhan, a renowned environmentalist, told IANS that no forest department official has ever been appointed to look after the lake. The lake comes under the Hindustan Salt Limited, a public limited enterprise formed in the post independence era to manufacture salt. Its job is to manufacture salt. So who should look after the lake; this has never been decided, he said.

The lake has not been handed to the forest department, and the area, where birds come, is no one’s land. Sambhar lake may be a part of the Hindustan Salt Ltd, but the company has nothing to do with the birds, he says.

The chief wildlife warden Arindam Tomar has maintained silence over the issue.

Even, Principal secretary, forest and environment Shreya Guha has washed her hands off the issue. All that she did was to a give statement that the Jaipur and Nagaur District Collectors have been asked to remove the bodies. She added that 4,800 birds have been dead till date, which is disputed by experts like Harsh Vardhan, who say that counting is not easy in the vast area.

Chief minister Ashok Gehlot on Thursday held a meeting on the issue.

Sambhar Lake
A deadly game of survival is on in the Sambhar Lake of Rajasthan for decades — salt versus birds. Pixabay

Meanwhile, Harsh Vardhan questioned the presence of several private salt miners and entrepreneurs, who have set shops in and around the lake. “They dig tube wells which suck water from the land making it parched. The remaining water gets evaporated leaving crystal of salts which are packed and sold in gunny bags,” he said.

Lack of water and drought has haunted Sambhar lake for years. State government has been spending huge money to woo tourists through activities like mobiking, balloning, race, Bollywood shoots, etc. A resort on the rim of the lake showcases salt manufacturing for the tourists. Crores of Rupees have been spent on the upkeep of the narrow gauge train and watch stations, but birds and conversation issues were always overlooked.

As Sambhar lake went dry, concentration of salt deposits came up within it. The water from surrounding rivers, meant to flow into the lake, was diverted by the miners.

After witnessing drought for many years, this year the lake, however, brimmed with water due to heavy rains. The inflow made the water toxic due to the change in its alkalinity.

The excessive salt in the water led to the poisoning, causing hypernectremia, which is water deprivation due to sodium intoxication, Vardhan said.

It seems birds which came in high numbers due to high water quantity this season died due to hypernectermia after consuming their feed which is the planktons, the microrganisms found in water.

Sambhar Lake
The dead birds seen floating in this largest inland salt lake i.e Sambhar Lake in the country, include plovers, common coot, black winged stilt, northern shovelers, ruddy shelduck, and pied avocet among many other migratory birds. Wikimedia Commons

The only step that has ever been taken by any government in the state was in 1981 when it was decided to designate the site as wetland and was renamed as the Ramsar site.

According to an estimate, around 60,000 birds visited the lake in a year which has come down to less than 20,000.

Vardhan says that if the lake remains with the Hindustan Salt Limited, which has been a loss making unit since years or if it is handed over to the private operators, who do excessive mining of water, then the lake and the birds are sure to die.

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Experts like him want the lake to be handed over to the forest department which can develop it as a wetland. (IANS)