Gourmand is a person who loves food and eat too often.
Indian subcontinent is the home to a wide variety of regional and traditional cuisines.
Given the range of diversity in soil type, climate, culture, ethnic groups, and occupations, these cuisines vary substantially from each other and use locally available spices, herbs, vegetables, and fruits.
Indian food is also heavily influenced by religion, in particular Hindu, and cultural choices and traditions.
Traveling around India is the only way to gain an appreciation of the true variety of Indian food that actually exists.
So, whether you are spending a weekend up in the valleys of Himachal or vacationing down south to Kerala, you will witness striking dissimilarities in the kind of foods people savor.
This is what makes India one of the much-loved countries by gourmet foodies the world over.
Below is a listing of a few Indian regions and their special dishes giving a little insight of the food scenic variety.
Bengali Food– Bengali cuisine is the only traditionally developed multi-course tradition from the Indian subcontinent that is analogous in structure to the modern service à la ruses’ style of French cuisine, with food served course-wise rather than all at once.
Bengalis and Odias (natives of Odisha) loves fish!
It’s fried, stewed lightly with vegetables, or made into jhol (curry with thin consistency).
Hilsa (ilish) is the most savoured variety of fish in Bengal.
The Bengali desserts such as rasgula, ras malai, sandesh,misti doi, are consider among the best desserts in the world.
Popular dishes: Luchi, Alur Tokari, Tangra Macher Jhol (Catfish curry), sandesh, rasgulla.
Punjab and Northern India – Punjabi food needs no introduction, it is serves all over the world.
Punjabi food includes classic favorite such as Tandoori chicken, Naan, parathas, Aloo Tikki, Makke di Roti and Sarson ka Saag and many more.
But wait which Punjabi dish is complete without Lassi (a version of buttermilk).
No description of Punjabi cuisine is complete without the myriad of famous desserts, such as kheer, gajar ka halwa and sooji (cream of wheat) halwa.
Most desserts are ghee or dairy-based, use nuts such as almonds, walnuts, pistachios, cashews, and, raisins.
Popular Dishes: Famous Naan, seekh kebab (minced meat on iron skewers), chicken tikka (small chunks of marinated and grilled chicken), butter chicken, tandoori chicken, rajma (curry made with red kidney beans), chana masala (curry made with chickpeas), daal makhani (daal made with butter).
Gujarati Food– Gujarati cuisine is from North-western part of India from region of Gujarat.
Gujarati food is primarily dominated with array of vegetarian dishes.
The typical Gujarati thali consists of roti (rotlii in Gujarati), daal or kadhi, rice, sabzi/shaak, papad and chaas (buttermilk). Many Gujarati dishes are simultaneously sweet, salty (like vegetable Handvo), and spicy.
At least a pinch of sugar is added to most dishes.
Popular Dishes: Khandvi, Dhokla, Patra, Khaman, Kachumbar,Dal Kadhi, Dal Dhokli, etc.
The desserts includes famous shrikand, a creamy thick saffron spiced yogurt. Other famous desserts are Basundi, Malpua, Ghari etc.
North Eastern India– It is very different to typical Indian cuisine, food in North East India is largely devoid of oil and masalas.
However, it is hot and spicy!
Rice, vegetables and meat stew make up most meals.
Pork is very popular and beef is not forbidden.
You’ll also come across some rather usual ingredients, such as ant eggs, dog meat and hornet larvae.
In Sikkim, various ethnic groups such as the Nepalese, Bhutias, and Lepchas have their own distinct cuisines.
Nepalese cuisine is very popular in this area.
Rice is the staple food of the area, and meat and dairy products are also widely consumed.
Popular Dishes: Laksa (mainly Assam), Alu Muri, Smoked Pork Stir Fry, Kelli Chana, Shapale.
Goa Region – Goan food comes from western shores of India around Goa.
Goan dishes have their roots in Portuguese as well as southern Indian coastal cuisines.
Many items such as pork and beef that are either taboo to Muslims and Hindus in India are readily available in Goa.
Rice and seafood are very popular in Goa from among Hindus and Christians.
Other vegetables as well as meat such as pork and beef are also staple Goan food.
Popular Dishes: Xacutti (coconut-based curry), cafreal (marinated and fried/grilled), sorpotel (stew), recheado (stuffed), and ambot tik (sour and spicy) are common types of dishes.
And of course, Goan chourico (sausages) and Goan pao (bread, All washed down with a chilled Beer.
Marathi food – Maharashtrian or Marathi food consist large variety of vegetables, fish and coconuts.
The coconuts are grated as flavor in many dishes.
However, coconut oil is not very widely used as a cooking medium.
Instead peanut oil is the main cooking medium.
Peanuts and cashewnuts are widely used in vegetables.
Maharashtrian cuisine is an extensive balance of many different tastes.
It includes a range of dishes from mild to very spicy tastes.
Bajri, wheat, rice, jowar, vegetables, lentils, and fruit form important components of the Maharashtrian diet.
Popular Dishes: Puran poli, ukdiche modak, batata wada, sabudana khichdi, masala bhat, pav bhaji, and the famous wada pav.
Rajasthani Food – Rajasthani food shows perfect example of use of available ingredients for food in the harsh arid region of Rajasthan, which lies in western part of India.
Due to lack of fresh vegetables, Rajasthani cuisine is full of sundried, dried food or naturally preserved food with long shelf life.
For example, Rajasthani recipes often will use dry hing (asafoetida) fresh onions and garlic to enhance the flavours.
Often lot of ghee or buttermilk is used in Rajasthani cooking than fresh cream, milk, or yogurt.
Many Rajasthan curries are bright red in color but not hot and they are thickened by besan (gram flour).
Rajasthani cuisine also has lot of dry fruit snacks or dried snacks, and desserts.
Many Rajasthani food could last for several days and could be eaten without heating.
Daal-baati is the most popular dish prepared in the state.
It is usually supplemented with choorma, a mixture of finely ground baked rotis, sugar and ghee.
Rajasthan is also influenced by the Rajputs who were predominantly non vegetarians.
Their diet consisted of game meat and gave birth to dishes like laal maas, safed maas, khad khargosh and jungli maas.
Popular Dishes: Daal-baati, tarfini, raabdi, Ghevar, bail-gatte, panchkoota, chaavadi, laapsi, kadhi and boondi. Typical snacks include bikaneri bhujia, mirchi bada, Pyaaj Kachori, and Dal Kachori.
South Indian food– South Indians can’t do without rice.
It’s the staple in their diet.
In Kerala, most dishes are coconut-based and seafood is a specialty.
In Tamil Nadu, watch out for Chettinad cuisine, perhaps the most fiery of all Indian food.
Cuisine from Andhra Pradesh is also hot and spicy.
Hyderabad is famous for its biryani.
And, the Udupi region of Karnataka is renowned for its simple but vast vegetarian fare.
South Indian food, particularly Tamil Nadu, brings to mind idlis, dosas, sambhar and vada.
Beside these immensely popular classics, there are more tasty fares.
In south India there are huge number of vegetarian dishes.
The food in this region use generous amount of spices and coconuts.
The final tempering with oil, mustard seeds, curry leaves, dried red chilies and urad dal is similar for most of the dishes.
Popular dishes: No South Indian meal is complete without rice in some form or other — either boiled rice or idlis (steamed cakes made from rice batter), or dosas or uttapams (pancakes made from a batter of rice and lentil flour).
Perhaps the south Indian food that’s most enjoyed by travelers is the masala dosa.
It’s a thin crispy pancake filled with spicy potato and onion. Cheap and tasty!
All Image Credits : Google Search Engine
-Written by Abhimanyu(Intern at BoldBlush)
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