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At Yummy Recipes website, we love food from all around the world that are healthy, easy to cook and share the love of spices and unique regional style. Here is introducing Indian Cuisine and its varied spices, vegetables and fruits in recipes that can be made by anyone at home.

Indian Cuisine is influenced by it occupiers over the years. Historical incidents such as foreign invasions, trade relations and colonialism have also played a role in introducing certain foods to the country. For instance, potato, a staple of Indian diet was brought to India by the Portuguese, who also introduced chillies and breadfruit.Indian cuisine has also shaped the history of international relations; the spice trade between India and Europe is often cited by historians as the primary catalyst for Europe’s Age of Discovery. Spices were bought from India and traded around Europe and Asia. It has also influenced other cuisines across the world, especially those from Southeast Asia, the British Isles and the Caribbean.

A normal diet in early India consisted of fruit, vegetables, grain, eggs, dairy products, honey, and sometimes meat. Over time, segments of the population embraced vegetarianism. The advent of Buddhism affected this shift, as well as an equitable climate permitting a variety of fruit, vegetables, and grains to be grown throughout the year. During this period, consumption of beef became taboo, due to cattle being considered sacred in Hinduism. Many Indians continue to follow this belief, making the use of beef in Indian cuisine somewhat rare. Beef is generally not eaten by Hindus in India, however eaten by other melting pot religion people in India.

Indian Cuisine is as versatile as its languages and people. Here we will look at the simplified version of various Indian cuisine throughout the country.

South Indian Cuisine:

Cuisine of Andhra Pradesh is a blend of Telugu cuisine along with Hyderabadi cuisine (also known as Nizami cuisine).The food is rich in spices, for which it is popular among south Indian cuisine.Rice is the staple food of Andhra people. Starch is consumed with a variety of curries and lentil soups or broths.Vegetarian and non-vegetarian foods are both popular. Seafood is common in the coastal region of the state. Various pickles are part of local cuisine, popular among those are avakaya (a pickle made from raw mango) and gongura (a pickle made from red sorrel leaves).Yogurt is a common addition to meals, as a way of tempering spiciness. Breakfast items like dosa, vada are influenced by spices native to Andhra Pradesh.

Tamil food is characterized by its use of rice, legumes, and lentils, along with distinct aromas and flavors achieved by the blending of spices such as curry leaves, tamarind, coriander, ginger, garlic, chili pepper, cinnamon, clove, cardamom, cumin, nutmeg, coconut and rose water. A meal consists of rice with other typical Tamilian dishes on a banana leaf. A typical Tamilian would eat in banana leaf as it gives different flavor and taste to the food. But it can also be served on a stainless steel tray – plate with a selection of different dishes in small bowls. Tamil food is characterized by tiffins, which is a light food taken for breakfast or dinner and meals which are usually taken during lunch. The word “curry” is derived from the Tamil kari, meaning something similar to “sauce”. The southern regions such as Madurai, Karaikudi, and Chettinad are famous for their spicy non-vegetarian dishes. Dosa,idli and Pongal are some of the popular dishes and are eaten with chutney and sambar. Fish and other sea foods are also very popular here being a coastal state.

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East Indian Cuisine:

Bengali cuisine is the only traditionally developed multi-course tradition from the Indian subcontinent. It is perhaps the only cuisine in the Indian region which still holds its authenticity over 1000 years. Bengali cuisine has a high emphasis on chilli pepper along with mustard oil and tends to use high amounts of spices altogether. The cuisine is known for subtle flavors with an emphasis on fish, vegetables, lentils, and rice.[39] Bread is not a common dish in Bengali cuisine but a deep fried version called luchi is popular. An abundant land provides for an abundant table. The nature and variety of dishes found in Bengali cooking are unique even in India. Fresh sweet water fish is one of its most distinctive features; Bengal’s countless rivers, ponds and lakes teem with innumerable varieties of fishes, Prawns, shrimp and crabs also abound.

Bengali confectioneries and desserts also distinguish the style, which has perhaps the only multi-course tradition in India similar to those in Western traditions. East Bengali food, which has a high presence in West Bengal, is much spicier than the West Bengali cuisine, and tends to use high amounts of Chilli, and is one of the spiciest cuisines in India and the World. Shondesh is a popular sweet dish made of sweetened, finely ground fresh cheese. The cuisine is found in the states of Tripura, the Barak Valley of Assam, and West Bengal itself.

West Indian Cuisine:

Gujarati cuisine is primarily vegetarian. The typical Gujarati thali consists of roti (rotli in Gujarati), daal or kadhi, rice, sabzi/shaak, papad and chaas(buttermilk) . The sabzi  (stew) is a dish of different combinations of vegetables and spices which may be stir fried, spicy or sweet.Gujarati cuisine can vary widely in flavor and heat based on personal and regional tastes. North Gujarat, Kathiawad, Kachchh, and South Gujarat are the four major regions of Gujarati cuisine. Many Gujarati dishes are simultaneously sweet, salty like Vegetable Handva, and spicy. In mango season keri no ras (fresh mango pulp), is often an integral part of the meal. Spices also vary seasonally. For example, garam masala is used less in summer. Regular fasting, with diets limited to milk, dried fruit, and nuts, is a common practice.[53] One more dish which used in FAST(Upvas in Gujarati) that is Farali Dry Potatoes.

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North Indian Cuisine:

Delhi once the capital of Mughal Empire is the birthplace of Mughlai cuisine thus famous for the Mughalai cuisine. Delhi is famous for its street food. The Paranthewali Gali in Chandani Chowk is just one of the famous landmark for stuffed flatbread (Paranthas). Delhi has people from different parts of India and thus the city have different type of food traditions its cuisine is influenced by the various cultures. Punjabi cuisine is common, due to the dominance of Punjabi communities. Delhi cuisine is actually an amalgam of different Indian cuisines modified in unique ways. This is apparent in the different types of street food available. Kababs, kachauri, chaat, sweets, Indian ice-cream, commonly called kulfi, and even western food items like sandwiches and patties are prepared in a style unique to Delhi and are immensely popular.

The cuisine of Punjab is known for its diverse range of dishes. Home-cooked and restaurant Punjabi cuisine can vary significantly. Restaurant-style Punjabi cooking uses large amounts of ghee, butter and cream, while home-cooked equivalents center around whole wheat, rice, and other ingredients flavoured with masala.Regional differences also exist in Punjabi cuisine. For example, people of Amritsar prefer stuffed paratha and dairy products. Ambur Punjabi of Amritsar created the famous lentil and bean sprout curry which swept the nation with its zesty flavor and texture. Certain dishes are exclusive to Punjab, such as makke di roti and sarson da saag. The main masala in a Punjabi dish consists of onion, garlic and ginger. Much of this food was made to meet the demands of traditional Punjabi lifestyle, with high calorie counts to support rural workers. Tandoori food is a Punjabi specialty, especially with non-vegetarian dishes. Many of the most popular elements of Anglo-Indian cuisine, such as tandoori foods, naan, pakoras and vegetable dishes with paneer, are derived from Punjabi styles.

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Indo-Chinese Cuisine:

As I love eating out at various restaurants including Indian restaurants, I became fond of Indo Chinese food. I came to realize that Chinese take out and eateries did not have these same choices until I was told that it was specially created as Indo-Chinese recipe that only can be found in some Indian Restaurants.

Indian Chinese cuisine originated in the 19th century among the Chinese community of Calcutta, during the immigration of Hakka Chinese from Canton (present-day Guangzhou) seeking to escape the Opium Wars and political instability in the region.Upon exposure to local Indian cuisine, they incorporated many spices and cooking techniques into their own cuisine, thus creating a unique fusion of Indian and Chinese cuisine. While Indian Chinese cuisine is heavily derived from traditional Chinese cuisine, it bears little resemblance to its Chinese counterpart. The dishes tend to be flavored with cumin, coriander seeds, and turmeric, which with a few regional exceptions, are not traditionally associated with Chinese cuisine. Chilli, ginger, garlic and yogurt are also frequently used in dishes.[112]

Popular dishes include Chicken Manchurian, Chicken lollipop, Chilli chicken, Hakka noodles, Hanan chicken, and Szechuan fried rice. Soups such as Man chow soup and Sweet corn soup are very popular, whereas famous desserts include ice cream on honey-fried noodles and date pancakes.

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Eating Style:

Traditionally, meals in India were eaten while seated either on the floor or on very low stools or cushions. Food is most often eaten with the right hand rather than cutlery. The left hand is used to serve oneself when the courses are not served by the host.

Often roti is used to scoop curry without allowing it to touch the hand. A somewhat different method is used in the south for the dosai, the adai, and the uththappam, where the middle finger is pressed down to hold the crepe down and the forefinger and thumb used to grip and separate a small part. Traditional serving styles vary regionally throughout India. Many ndian middle class commonly uses spoons and forks, as is traditional in Western culture.In South India, cleaned banana leaves, which can be disposed of after meals, are used for serving food. When hot food is served on banana leaves, the leaves add distinctive aromas and taste to the food.

Image source: Wikipedia

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