INDIA’S TRADITIONAL FOOD & SPICES
India’s traditional food has been widely praised for its fabulous use of spices and herbs. India’s share of the world economy is 15 per cent.
Indian cuisine is renowned for its wide choice of dishes. The style of cooking varies from area to region. By having large number of restaurants and hotel resorts for its multi-cuisine is reminiscent of harmony in diversity.
The use of different spices, herbs and other vegetables, and sometimes fruits grown in India, as well as the widespread practise of vegetarianism in Indian society, are characterised by Indian cuisine. India’s food is best known for its spiciness.
Spices are used generously in food in India, be it North India or South India. But it should not be overlooked that every single spice used in Indian dishes has some nutritional and medicinal properties.
Kashmiri cuisines represent strong Central Asian influences in the north of India, to start with.In Kashmir, most of the dishes are cooked around the main rice course that is abundantly located in the beautiful valley. The ‘Saag’ is another delicious item cooked here, made with a green leafy vegetable known as the ‘Hak’.
On the other hand, however, states such as the Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh display high consumption of Chapatis as staple foods.
Again, a number of flours such as wheat, rice, maida, besan etc. are prepared with these chapatis. Tandoori, Rumaali and Naan etc., in addition to Chapatis, are other closely related breads baked in these areas. The influence of Mughlai food in the northern region, however, is very evident.
The desert cuisine in western India is renowned for its distinctive taste and food varieties.
The states reflecting the dessert taste of Indian food are Rajasthan and Gujarat. A wide selection of dals and achars (pickles/preserves) is used here, which literally replaces the relative absence of fresh vegetables in these areas.
The Bengali and Assamese types of cooking are visible in eastern India. The yummy combination of rice and fish is the staple food of Bengalis. They have great taste buds for sweet popularly known as the ‘Roshagulla’ .
In the states like Maharashtra, the food is usually a mix of both north as well as south cooking styles.
Along the coastline of Mumbai a wide variety of fishes is available. Dishes such as the Bombay Prawn and Pomfret provide some of the delicious preparations.
One can find Portuguese influence both in the cooking style and in the dishes in Goa, which is further down to the south.
The sweet and sour Vindaloo, duck baffad, sorpotel and egg molie, etc., are some of the main dishes of this region.
The States make great use of herbs, fish and coconuts in Southern India, as most of them have coastal kitchens. The use of tamarind is widely used in Tamil Nadu foods to add soundness to the dishes. The Tamil food simply separates it from other cuisines.