A little about Indian Cuisine

The cuisine of India is characterized by the use of varied spices, herbs and vegetables. The diverse climate across the country has also considerably broadened the set of ingredients that are available for cooking. India's religious beliefs and culture with its many taboos and preferences have played an important role in its evolution. Some religions believe in not consuming roots or subterranean vegatbles. One strong influence over Indian foods is the longstanding vegetarianism within sections of India's Hindu, Buddhist and Jain communities.

The staples of Indian cuisine are rice, atta (whole wheat flour), and a variety of pulses like masoor(lentils), chana(bengal gram), tuar(pigeon pea), Urad(black gram) and moong(green gram). Based on the geographical region of a state, its cuisine varies.

North Indian cuisine is distinguished by the proportionally high use of dairy products, milk, use of tawa(griddle) for baking flat breads like roti and paratha, and kulcha.The staple food of most of North India is a variety of lentils, vegetables, and roti (wheat based bread).

East Indian cuisine is famous for its desserts, especially sweets such as rasagolla, chumchum, sandesh, rasabali, chhena poda, chhena gaja, chhena jalebi and kheeri.

South Indian cuisine is distinguished by a greater emphasis on rice as the staple grain, the ubiquity of sambar and rasam, a variety of pickles, and the liberal use of coconut and particularly coconut oil and curry leaves.

Western India has three major food groups: Gujarati, Maharashtrian and Goan. Gujarati cuisine is predominantly vegetarian. Many Gujarati dishes have a hint of sweetness due to use of sugar or brown sugar. Goan cuisine is influenced by the Portuguese colonization of Goa.

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