In fact, if you prepare material on the theme of Indian cuisine, you get an impressive multi-volume edition. Local cuisine is so multifaceted and diverse that in one visit to India it is hardly possible to try at least a tenth of the national dishes. Each state has a huge selection of dishes that can only be tasted here. Only at first glance it may seem that Indian dishes taste the same – just spicy, but believe me, in the national cuisine there are many treats without spices, delicious desserts and drinks.
General Indian Food Information
The country has preserved certain national characteristics and traditions of Indian cuisine – here they give priority to vegetables, a huge variety of spices, along with this you will not find beef on the menu. A vegetarian will certainly feel in a gastronomic paradise once in India. Locals do not eat meat and even fish.
Interesting fact! About 40% of the inhabitants eat only food of plant origin.
In the past, various recipes were brought into Indian cuisine by the Mongols, Muslims. In addition, the peculiarities of the national Indian dishes were influenced by the religious views of the residents – more than 80% of the local population profess Hinduism, which excludes any violence. The essence of religion is that any living being is spiritual, containing a divine particle. That is why most people in India are vegetarians, but at the same time, Indian national dishes have a rich, bright taste, spicy, buttery.
Since we are talking about vegetarianism within a particular state, a huge variety of treats from cereals, vegetables, and legumes has appeared in the local cuisine. The best known is sabji, a vegetable stew with lentils, seasoned with various spices. He is eaten with rice, bread cakes.
Good to know! In India, long-grain basmati rice is used. As for legumes, there are more than one hundred varieties of peas in the country; chickpeas, lentils, mung beans, and dal are also popular.
A separate volume in the encyclopedia of traditional Indian cuisine will have to be devoted to seasonings and spices. The most popular is curry, by the way, it is not only a spice, but also the name of an Indian dish of bright orange color. It is this seasoning that gives the treat a thick aroma with a unique taste.
A lot of seasonings are mixed in curry, it will be very difficult to list them all, probably, the Indians themselves will not be able to accurately name the recipe. It is known for certain that the composition contains: cayenne, red and black pepper, cardamom, ginger, coriander, paprika, cloves, cumin, nutmeg. Despite the fact that the composition of curry may vary, turmeric is always present in it. It is noteworthy that in Indian families there is a personal recipe for making curry, it is carefully passed from generation to generation.
Baking bread in the form in which it is baked in Europe is not accepted in India. Serve cakes or thin pita bread. The traditional Indian dish is called chapati and accompanies every meal from the first course to the dessert.
The recipe for cooking is quite simple, every housewife can repeat it – mix wholemeal, salt, water, fry flat cakes without oil (if you cook in nature, use an open flame). The finished cake resembles a ball, because it swells, vegetables, legumes are added inside, they just eat with sauce.
Another common type of baking in India is samosa – fried triangular pies with various fillings. Most often they are prepared for the festive table. In real national samosas, the dough is tender, crispy, melts, the filling must be evenly warmed up.
Interesting fact! If there are no bubbles on the test, the pies are prepared according to the original recipe and in compliance with the technology. To do this, do not overheat the oil.
In India, many dishes are made from milk. Yogurt is no exception, fruits and berries are added to it.
Good to know! It is customary to season first courses with natural yogurt before serving.
In addition, yogurt is the basis of a cooling drink and at the same time dessert – lassi. Water, ice are added to it, whipped to a state of thick foam. The result is a drink that perfectly refreshes in hot weather. Also, fruit, ice cream or cream is added to the drink.
Some helpful suggestions:
- almost all food in India is very spicy, so if you don’t like pepper dishes, tell the waiters – know spicy, spices will add to the treat anyway, but much less;
- in restaurants, and even more so in markets, they do not always adhere to hygiene rules, therefore it is strongly recommended not to try raw fruits and vegetables before buying;
- in India there is an acute shortage of clean, drinking water, it is strictly forbidden to drink tap water, you need to buy bottled water;
- It is also better to stop drinking ice because it is made from tap water.
Traditional dishes of india
As noted earlier, the national Indian cuisine is very diverse, and it is almost impossible to cover all the dishes worthy of the attention of tourists. We decided to simplify the task and prepared a review of the best 15 national dishes of Indian cuisine.
There is documentary evidence that curry, an Indian dish, was first prepared several thousand years ago. This name is not only a popular seasoning, but also a national dish. It is prepared from legumes, vegetables, sometimes meat and, of course, a whole bunch of spices are added. In the finished treat can be up to two dozen seasonings. The finished dish is served with rice.
Good to know! Betel leaves are served with curry, they are eaten at the end of the meal. Shredded betel nut and a set of spices are wrapped in leaves. It is generally accepted that such a set of products improves digestion.
A single recipe for curry does not exist, the technology differs depending on the region of India, as well as culinary preferences in a single family. It is noteworthy that curry is an Indian dish, but it has become known in many countries of the world. Today there is Thai and Japanese curry, it is also cooked in Britain. In India, a dish can be spicy or sweet and sour.
A typical example of a combination of vegetables, legumes (peas), rice, curry in one Indian dish – gave. Soup is a must for an Indian lunch, the composition includes legumes or peas, eat with rice, bread cake.
Indian soup is called not just a national dish, but a folk one, since it is necessarily prepared without exaggeration in every family. The first course is served, both hot and cold. Locals claim that there are so many methods of making soup that it is easy to cook all year round without repeating it.
Main ingredients: onions, garlic, tomatoes, spices, yogurt. The dish is boiled, baked, stewed and even fried. Depending on the set of products, the method of preparation, treats are served for breakfast, lunch or dessert.
Another famous national Indian dish is fried small balls of potatoes and paniri cheese. Also add greens, spices, nuts.
The name means – meatballs (jacket) in a cream sauce (small).
Good to know! Panir is a soft, fresh cheese found in Indian cuisine. The finished product does not melt, has a low acidity. The cheese is based on cottage cheese from milk, lemon juice and food acid.
Locals call the dish moody, as it requires a careful attitude. If you cook it without proper delicacy, the small jacket will turn out to be tasteless. By the way, even in India it is not always cooked successfully. As a result, tourists do not pay attention to treats. If a true master takes up the cooking, you will be subdued by the delicate taste of vegetable balls in the sauce.
The list of the most famous Indian dishes includes spinach and cheese soup, and spices and vegetables are also added. Actually, in translation, palak means spinach, and panir is a kind of soft cheese similar to Adyghe. The Indian dish is delicate, with a pleasant creamy taste. Served with rice, bread cakes.
Advice! Beginners who are just getting acquainted with Indian culture and national cuisine are recommended to order a palir panir with a minimum set of spices in order to experience the real, creamy taste of the dish.
To make it clearer, the finished national dish can be called Indian pilaf. The name comes from the Persian word, which means fried. They cook it using this technology – basmati rice is fried with the addition of ghee oil, vegetables, seasonings. It is noteworthy that in each region their composition of spices, the cooking algorithm, most often use saffron, zira, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves.
Interesting fact! Biriani cannot be called a truly Indian dish, since Persian merchants brought the recipe to the country.
The name of an Indian street dish combines vegetables, cheese and meat fried in batter. There is an analogue in Slavic cuisine, but the only difference – in India pea is used instead of wheat flour – grind chickpeas (hummus beans). As a result, the crust is tender, crispy, and the dish acquires additional nutritional value, because beans contain a lot of protein.
The most common pakora of vegetables, use a different basis – pumpkin, sweet potato, eggplant, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, potatoes. The finished dish is served with seasoning from apples or tomatoes.
Advice! If you want to cook the Pakora yourself, the main thing is to choose and maintain the temperature regime correctly.
Translated, the name of the Indian dish tali means a tray with refreshments. In fact, it is – small plates with various dishes are put on a large dish. Initially, it was served on a banana leaf, by the way, in some regions it is served today like this – the old fashioned way.
A mandatory component of thali is rice, also served with stewed vegetables, papadas (lentil flour tortilla), chapati (bread tortillas), chutney sauces, pickles. Traditionally, 6 dishes are prepared at home, while a cafe or restaurant serves a maximum of 25 dishes. The selection of treats varies by region.
Perhaps the most famous bread cake in India is chapati. The dish is prepared very quickly, since it requires a minimum of products – whole grain flour. The Indian dish uses a special flour – atta. Cakes are baked in a dry skillet, without adding oil. Thus, tortillas are great for those who do not want to gain extra calories.
Advice! Chapati should only be eaten hot. Many tourists do not know this and use it in restaurants – they serve yesterday’s dish. Cakes are recommended to be ordered as necessary so that a freshly baked dish is served to the table.
One of India’s most beloved dishes is naana cakes. Yogurt and vegetable oil are added to regular yeast dough. Tortillas baked in an Indian tandoori oven.
In India there is a wide selection of flat cakes, experienced tourists recommend trying naan butter (with butter), naan chiiz (with cheese), naan garlik (with garlic).
Naan can be tasted in any Indian cafe, restaurant, cakes are served in the form of a dish or stuffed with meat, potatoes or cheese.
Being in India and not tasting tandoori chicken is equivalent to not having traveled to this exotic country. So, tandoor is a traditional Indian roasting oven. Pre-marinated chicken in yogurt and, of course, spices (a traditional set – cayenne pepper and other hot peppers). After the bird is baked over high heat.
Good to know! In India, you can buy special sets of spices for marinating chicken and cooking tandoori chicken. In the original version, aimed at local residents, the dish turns out to be too spicy, and for tourists the amount of ground pepper is reduced. Serve chicken with rice and naan cakes.
The composition of the Indian national dish is clear from the name – alu – potato, and the gobi – cauliflower. Additionally add tomatoes, carrots, onions, spices. They eat with rice, traditional cakes, washed down with Indian masala tea.
Why did the dish become national and popular? Products for its preparation can be purchased in any market, regardless of the season.
The dish is a vegetable mixture prepared in a cream and nut sauce. The national dish traditionally has 9 ingredients, since the name means nine jewels, and the food means stewed. Serve a treat with rice and unleavened cakes.
Advice! For sauce, instead of cream, you can use coconut milk or natural yogurt.
Indian national cuisine has a large selection of sweets and desserts. Jalebi is a pretzel of saturated orange time, he is known in every corner of India. The treat is prepared from batter, it is poured into boiling oil, and then soaked in sugar syrup. The national treat is crispy, juicy, but it turns out to be fat, sweet, and therefore very high in calories.
The traditions and customs of Indian cuisine vary, primarily, depending on the region. But in general, several features can be noted – spicy, spicy, vegetarian.
Indian cuisine is one of the most colorful in the world and, if you want to get acquainted with the culture of the country, be sure to pay attention to the gastronomic aspects.
Street Food in India: