Indian Cuisine is distinguished by its sophisticated use of spices and herbs and the influence of the longstanding and widespread practice of vegetarianism in Indian society. The finest of India's cuisines is as rich and diverse as it's civilization. It is an art form that has been passed on through generations purely by word of mouth, from teacher to student or from mother to daughter. The range assumes astonishing proportions when one takes into account regional variations. Very often the taste, colour, texture and appearance of the same delicacy changes from state to state.
Food is an integral part of India's culture, with cuisines differing according to community, region, and state. Indian cuisine is characterized by a great variety of foods, spices, and cooking techniques. Furthermore, each religion, region, and caste has left its own influence on Indian food. Many of the recipies have evolved since the days when India was predominantly inhabited by Vedic Hindus. Later Mughals, Christians, British, Buddhists, Portugese, and others had their influence. Vegetarianism came to prominence duing the rule of Ashoka, one of the greatest of Indian rulers who was a promoter of Buddhism. In India, food, culture, religion, and regional festivals are all closely related.
These are some of the famous Cuisines which make India Complete in Culinary World.
This is a cuisine from the hindus of the Kashmir region.The cuisine of Kashmir has actually developed over hundreds of years the major and the first influence on the Kashmiri cuisine is the food of the Kashmiri Pandits. The actual Kashmiri Pandit Cuisine uses a lot of turmeric and yoghurt. The Kashmiri Pandit Cuisine traditionally does not use garlic and onion.
The oldest examples of a tandoor were found in the Harappa and Mohenjo Daro settlements of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization, though earlier Tandoor type ovens have been recovered in early-Harappan contexts on the Makran coast, including the mound site of Balakot. A tandoor is a cylindrical clay oven used in cooking and baking. The tandoor is used for cooking in India, Turkey, Iran, Armenia, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, the Balkans, the Middle East, Central Asia as well as Burma and Bangladesh.
The heat for a tandoor was traditionally generated by a charcoal fire or wood fire, burning within the tandoor itself, thus exposing the food to live-fire, radiant heat cooking, and hot-air, convection cooking.
Temperatures in a tandoor can approach 480°C (900°F), and it is common for tandoor ovens to remain lit for long periods to maintain the high cooking temperature. The tandoor design is something of a transitional form between a makeshift earth oven and the horizontal-plan masonry oven.
Talk about the Kashmiri cuisine and mouth watering is the common response. Essentially non-vegetarian, cuisine of Kashmiri is popularly known as Wazwan and the cook is known as Waza. These wazas claim to be the descendants of the master chefs who migrated from different parts of central Asia to Kashmiri in 15th century at the time of reign of Timurlane in India.
Punjabi cuisine can be non-vegetarian or completely vegetarian. It is widely popular however there is some ignorance in Western Cultures that Punjabi is cuisine is completely curry based. The level of spices can vary from minimal to very prevalent. One of the main features of Punjabi cuisine is its diverse range of dishes.
Punjabis have the reputation of being the greatest producers of good food and being the still greater consumers of it. Punjab has bequeathed the institution of Dhaba-originally a wayside-eating joint to the world.
Garhwal is situated in the northern part of Uttar Pradesh, nestled amidst the majestic Himalayas, Garhwal is celestial and alluring. The traditional cuisine of the land is highly nutritious, simple to prepare and at the same time appealing to the palate. You will enjoy delicious and mouth-watering Pahari recipes from Garhwal and Kumaon region of Uttarakhand.
The Mughlai Cuisine comes from the kitchens of the ancient Indian aristocracy or the Moghul Emperors. This cuisine is dominates in the northern part of India and has strong influences of Muslim Cooking. In fact Indian cuisine is predominantly influenced by the cooking style practiced during the Mughal era. Mughlai food is known for its richness. It is famous for the exotic use of spices, dried fruit and nuts. Mughlai Dishes and have a distinct aroma and taste of ground and whole spices.
Awadhi cuisine hails from the city of Nawabs, Lucknow. Lucknow is also the capital city of North Indian State Uttar Pradesh. Most of the dishes and cooking style of Lucknow is inspired from the Mughlas. The Awadhi cuisine includes both Vegetarian and Non-vegetarian delights prepared in exotic spices and garnished with dry fruits.
The ancient princely state of Rajasthan gave rise to a royal cuisine. The Rajas who went on hunting expeditions ate the meat or the fowl that they brought back. Even today, Rajasthani princely feasts flaunt meat cuisines that are incomparable. In contrast are the vegetarian Rajasthanis. Their food cooked in pure ghee is famous for it's mouth- watering aroma. one will begin to realise the exciting dimension of Indian vegetarian cuisine. Marwaris, originally from Rajasthan, are from the Bania or business community and have settled all over the north. Their food often suggests the austerity of their desert motherland, specially in its ingredients, which are quite superb- they are strictly vegetarian, even to the point of refraining from the use of onions and garlic. Marwari kitchens are restricted territories. No one enters except a professional cook called a “Maharaja”.
Chettinad is one of the driest regions of south India. The Chettiar community, who are a majority in this region are a very successful trading community. Chettinad cuisine is one of the spiciest and the most aromatic in India. Chettinad cuisine offers a variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. Chettinad cuisine is famous for its use of a variety of spices used in preparing mainly non-vegetarian food. The dishes are hot and pungent with fresh ground masalas. They also use a variety of sun dried meats and salted vegetables, reflecting the dry environment of the region. The meat is restricted to fish, prawn, lobster, crab, chicken and mutton. Chettiars do not eat beef and pork.
Kongunad cuisine is basically a collection of exotic recipes being created by the people residing in the Kongu region. The cuisine is quite extensive for a simple reason that the Kongu region is very vast and includes places like Ooty, Coimbatore (the present headquarters of Kongu Kingdom), Pollachi, Tiruppur, Udumalpet, Avinashi, Palladam, Kangayam (the previous headquarters of Kongu Kingdom) to Karur, Erode, Aathur, Salem, Palani Mettur and Dharapuram. Basically, the kongu cuisine comes from 50 cities of Tamil Nadu.
Hyderabadi cuisine is inspired by the Mughlai cuisine. This style of cooking is here since the Asaf Jahi period. Thus, the Hyderabadi cuisine is a perfect amalgamation of the typical Mughlai flavors with a blend of rich spices. What makes the Hyderabadi Cuisine special is the use of special ingredients, carefully chosen and cooked to the right degree. The addition of a certain Herb, Spice, Condiment, or an Amalgam of these add an unique taste and texture to the dish.
Telangana cuisine has its origin from a region called the telengana region in Andhra Pradesh a state in south India. This is a dry region and the food prepared is a lot spicy compared to the other regions in South India. It is very delicious and flavours blend well together. The Telangana cuisine does not have any foreign influence and holds their tradition very strongly.
Mangalorean cuisine to some extent has been inspired by the mixed culture that constitutes the population of Mangalore. This is why one can enjoy both vegetarian as well as non vegetarian recipes at the same time. Mangalorean cuisine is well known for their distinct flavour. In general, the Mangalorean recipies are quite spicy and fresh coconut is an integral part of these recipes. Rice is the staple food of the Mangaloreans though for the non vegetarians, fish is also a regular meal. The cuisine of Mangalore would remain incomplete without usage of rice.
Udupi Cuisine is one of the most famous South Indian cuisines. The cuisine is named so after the name of the city Udupi which is situated in the south west coast of Karnataka. The main ingredients used in the preparation of various Udupi dishes are vegetables, grains, beans, coconut and fruits. A remarkable feature of the cuisine of Udupi is that it follows the strict tradition of vegetarian food and does not even allow onions and garlic to be used. But people can use the same procedure with the non vegetarian items.
The tranvancore cuisine has an influence from the syrian christians. The cuisine mostly consists of bland preparations and at times are spicy because of the coastal region's influence. The use of coastal ingredients are very liberal and gives you distinctive flavours from its origin. Both Vegetarian and Non Vegetarian dishes are simple and very tasty.
The cuisine of Malabar, also referred as ‘Mappila cuisine’, boasts of a distinct flavor and taste that has been influenced by the Arabs as well as by the locally available spices, products and culinary traditions. Traditional Malabar cuisine is spicy, characterized by the regular use of spices like black pepper, clove, cardamom, and almost always, cooked in fragrant coconut oil.