Most Indian foods are related on a large level through the use of spices as well as use of a wider variety of vegetables compared to any other cuisines. The eating habits of Indians are largely influenced by geography, weather, foreign influence as well as caste and religious restrictions.
For instance, a lot of fish is consumed in the coastal provinces of Kerala and West Bengal while the Brahmins are strict vegetarians due to their caste beliefs. Northern Indians consume meat, thanks to Mughal influence. Indian cuisine features different types of bread including chapatti, naan, rotis, puris and phulkas, all of which are made from a variety of flours.
Just as Chinese cuisine is dependent on different sauces for flavor and taste, and Japanese sushi relies on how fresh the meat is, Indian food is dependent on the spices in which it is cooked. Spices have always been India’s prime commodity. Watching an Indian cook at work can be interesting with different spices gratuitously sprinkling the spices in precise pinches in front of them. As a foreigner, you will truly discover the diversity of Indian food if you visit the country since most of what’s available in other parts of the world is Pakistani and North Indian type. The variation of Indian food in different regions can be staggering.
Many Indian foods require an entire day to prepare as a lot of time is spent pounding spices and cutting vegetables, as well as sitting by the fire for hours. This is not to say that there aren’t simpler dishes suitable for everyday eating.
Serving on a Thali
Indians often serve their food on a Thali, a plate made from banana leaves or metal. Small bowls containing different spiced, vegetarian food. A heap of rice, some chapattis or puris are served in the center of the thali. Most Indians eat with their hands as they believe that doing so brings out the flavor of the food.
Rice as the main staple food
To substitute for meat, the people from the rich valley of Kashmir use lotus roots. Also on the topic of meat, poultry and lamb are also cooked Mughlai style. However, all dishes are centered on the main meal which happens to be rice. A 36-course meal known as waazwan is a Kashmiri meal considered an equivalent of the thali.
In Southern Indian dining, rice is eaten for breakfast, lunch and supper. Some of the different types of rice cooked here include Basmathi rice, raw rice and parboiled rice. The latter describes rice that is prepared by forcing aroma of the husk and ingredients through raw rice. Roasted rice pancakes, idlis (steamed rice dumplings), and dosais are eaten for breakfast and they are accompanied coconut chutneys. The famous masala dosai describes one that is stuffed with minced lamb, spiced vegetables or potatoes.
Many Andhra foods tend to hot and spicy. Eating yoghurt or a banana after having such a meal will help you cool the raging fire. Famous Andhra delicacies include kurmas, grilled kebabs and rich desserts, many of which are made with apricot.
Tea in Indian cuisine
Tea is considered a beverage by Indians. Among the South Indians, tea is simply a sweet, milky version of coffee while for North Indians; tea is boiled with water and milk and served with a dose of sugar. Indians are not very big fans of alcohol and as such, it is rarely served in Indian restaurants.
Health value in Indian spices
Many of the spices used in Indian food are also used for medicinal purposes. For instance, turmeric is used for skin ailments, fresh ginger is believed to help with sore throats, and leaves from a neem tree are believed to offer protection against small pox.
The diversity of Indian food is a topic that is not easy to exhaust. However, you can rest assured that this article has touched on some of the most authentic cuisine features for Indian food! Many of Kelowna’s best restaurants are known to serve the Indian cuisine so why not celebrate the diversity of Indian food today by enjoying a hearty meal?