What’s in a food you ask? Let us say that the cuisine of a region essentially carries the soul. Same is true for Indian cuisines. Once the famous African writer observed that “language is the carrier of culture.” We agree with him but also add that food does not lag far behind when it comes to embodying the culture.
Cuisine speaks. Of its taste and about the land from where it originates. It also speaks volumes about the way it has been made. Indian cuisine too has a language and taste of its own.
Its taste differentiates it from other cuisine delicacies in the world. Comprising mostly of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes, the taste varies from being less spicy to spicy. At the same time there are other preparations like Dal and sambhar which range from being bland to tangy.
The use of spices is very common here. It is what renders the dish its taste and distinctness. However, spices likes coriander leaves are also used for garnishing. If you have planned an India travel tour for yourself there is plenty cuisine variation that you would discover and savor.
Down South, the Cuisine of Kerala is characterized by rice based dishes and the usage of coconut. This apart, you will also find an interesting mix of meats, vegetables and seafood seasoned with spices and prepared in Coconut milk. In addition to this, Coconut juice is a favorite drink of the South Indians. A conventional South Indian breakfast would be “Puttu”, a platter that consists of steamed rice powder dressed with coconut. This is generally consumed with bananas, curry or stew.
The Hindu population in Kerala mostly prepares vegetarian dishes. On the other hand the Christians and Muslims specialize in a wide variety of non-vegetarian dishes such as kozhi curry, pathiri, fish curry and biriyani. Other vegetarian preparations would include olan, rasam, pachadi, kalan, avial, thoran, kichadi and many more.
On your visit to South India, make it a point to savor the Malabar Cuisine that is also known as the “Mappila cuisine”. The taste has an individuality of its own and is much influenced by the Arab preparations.
Typically all Malabar cuisine variations are spicy, and is characterized by spices like clove, cardamom, black pepper. Fragrant coconut oil is an important ingredient. Malabar Biriyani is the most popular dish, which has been introduced by Arab seafarers. Chicken and mutton often included in the biriyani is cooked tender that gives it a delicious taste.
North Indian cuisine is said to be spicy and with rich gravy. The most popular here is the cuisines of Jaipur. The popular dishes include Dal-Bati Churma, Dahi Vada, Besan ka Gatta, Ker Sangri, Mawa Kachori, Chakke ki sabji, Pyaaz ki kachuri and Jodhpur ki Rabri.
Delhi – which is unjustly infamous for giving Delhi Belly – is yet another place to be to get an authentic test of Indian cuisines. Right from the Peshawari cuisines to the eclectic street food like chhole bhaturre, chole kulchhe and stuffed paranthas, Delhi is a must visit place just for its street food ops.
When talking of North India cuisines, mention of the Nawabi or to be more specific Awadhi Cuisines of the Audh Region nowadays Lucknow is a must. Head here for mouth watering Kakori Kebab or learn the recipe for Kakori Kebab.
Cuisine of Madhya Pradesh is spicy and also has dishes that are made from milk. The non-vegetarian dishes, prepared out of meat and fish include korma, rogan josh, biriyani pilaf, keema, seekh kebabs and shami kebabs. Bafla is the traditional Madhya Pradesh specialty. It is prepared by dipping the wheat cakes in ghee and is consumed with daal.
Eastern Indian cuisine is characterized by rice and fish preparation. People also consume wheat and whole grain food as well. Sweet dishes here include rasagolla, sandesh, sweet and sour card, kaju barfi, malai koolfi and many more. Each region with its own cuisine delicacy and taste, that’s what the Indian cuisine is all about.
Want to try your hand at Indian cuisines? Visit the Best of India section to try your hand at 50 of the Best Indian cuisines!
Have special interest in food and wine holiday? Try our culinary tour packages.
Updated by Nikhil Chandra on 23-Apr-2014