India as a country is full of diversity in culture, religions, climate, ethnicities, occupations and cuisines. The food prepared also varies a lot as we travel from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. The traditional and cultural belongings drive the liking for food.
The variety of dishes available, in particular the vegetarian, in India are shaped by religious values. Also the influence of rule of Mughals, British and Portuguese can be seen on the method of preparing the dishes.
Normally a diet in India consists of grains (wheat, rice and pulses), vegetable, fruits, dairy products and sometimes, meat, fish or egg. People of religions other than Hinduism take non-veg like chicken, mutton and beef in their diet. Indian food has also been famous for use of herbs and spices.
In last decades due to globalisation and influence of west, fast food (pizza, burger, nuggets, etc.) have found their way into the meal of urban, semi-urban population of India. This has led to many International food restaurant chains like McDonald, Dominos, Pizza Hut, Burger King, Starbucks, Subway, Dunkin Donuts, Papa Jones setting up their outlets in India. The Indian restaurant brands that compete with them include Haldiram, Bikarnerwala, Saravana Bhavan, Shiv Sagar, Goli Wada Pav, Choti Wala, Rajdhani.
The food is a reflection of the culture and in India as each state is different on its own, let’s look at some of the delicacies of India:
Bengali Food: Bengali food is known for the use of panchphoron which include five essential spices – mustard, cumin seed, aniseed, fenugreek seed and black cumin seed. The specialty of Bengali food are sweet dishes like rasogulla, mishti dahi and dishes made out of fish.
Gujarati Food: Traditional Gujarati food is vegetarian. Gujarati Thali consists of variety of dals, kadhi, khichdi, theple, phukle, papad and sweets. Each dish has different cooking style and majority of them are on sweeter side.
Kashmiri Food: Kashmiri Food has influence from Persian Food and mostly include meat or mutton with different kinds of breads. Kava is a famous and rich tea that is widely served in all the restaurants in Kashmir.
Punjabi Food: Punjabi food includes a great combination of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes and are relished by many Indians. Amritsari Thali, which includes Amritsari Kulcha, Curd, Pickle, Chach, Papad is mouth-watering dish.
Rajasthani Food: Rajasthani food is also primarily vegetarian and lot of Ghee is used in mostly all preparations. Dal –Baati-Choorma is the all-time favorite here.
South Indian Food: South Indian preparations mainly involve rice, coconut and herbs. The food is light and low on calories. Lip smacking dosas, vadas, idlis and uttapams are not be missed on a visit to South Indian state.