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-
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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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.
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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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.
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.
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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