Subtle use of spices and herbs characterize the Indian cuisine. Being the most diverse cuisine of the world, the cooking techniques and the variety of dishes in India change with the change in the region. The Indian cuisine has an array of delectable dishes to offer.
Food forms a vital part of the Indian culture, be it daily routine or special festivals and celebrations. The daily meals in most of the Indian families consists of dal, roti and rice essentially followed by curd, chutney and pickle for taste.
Diversity not only defines Indian cuisine but the culture, language and the geography of the country as well. Food in India changes from region to region. The Indian cuisine has also been greatly affected by the different cultural groups that had invaded India throughout its history. These groups had left an influence on the cuisine of the country. Invaders from Central Asia, Europe and West Asia had come over to India.
The cuisine of India can be broadly classified into four categories - North Indian, South Indian, West Indian and East Indian. The most amazing part is that despite such diversity, there still exists some unifying thread. Use of spices is an inseparable part of the making of Indian food so as to make a dish flavourful and create and aromas that are extra-ordinary.
North Indian Cuisine
The cuisine of North India is somewhat influenced by the Persian style of cooking and largely influenced by the Mughals. With the onset of the Mughals in North India, dishes namely biryanis, kormas and kebabs graced the tables. It was not onto then that these dishes were relished by the emperors but are eaten till date by the population in the Northern part of the country.
South Indian Cuisine
Wherever you go in South India, rice will be served everywhere. The mouth-watering dishes of the south are prepared by adding mustard, chillies, coconut oil and certain other spicy seeds too. Dosa, Idli and Sambhar are some of the poplular South Indian dishes.
Then there is Goan cuisine as well, a mix of the Konkan and the Portuguese cooking styles.
East Indian Cuisine
Rice and fish are the staple food items across the whole of the east Indian block. No occasion, be it marriage, birth, festival is completed till hilsa (a type of fish) is prepared served to the guests. Macherjhol (fish curry) is the most popular dish not only in the East but across the country. Fish is not only eaten with curry but there are other options as well. Fish can be grilled, smoked, fried, stuffed into coconuts, pakoras and burgers too.
Sweets in East India are made out of chena (light cottage cheese) basically.
West Indian Cuisine
The cuisine in the Western India is strictly vegetarian. The credit for this goes to the Marwari community of Rajasthan that no longer remains restricted to Rajasthan but extends its power to the whole of India. The food followed them wherever they wet. The Marwari cuisine is rich and spicy. It is the best that can be cooked out of the limited material available in Rajasthan. Pooris, dal batti, aaloo bhajis are some popular dishes.