Indian cuisine

The cuisine of India is one of the most diverse cuisines in the world, characterized by its sophisticated and subtle use of the many spices, vegetables, grains and fruits grown throughout India. The cuisine of each geographical region includes a wide assortment of dishes and cooking techniques reflecting the diverse demographic characteristics of the ethnically diverse Indian subcontinent. The religious beliefs and culture of India have played an influential role in the evolution of his cuisine. Vegetarianism is widely practiced in many Hindu, Buddhist and Jain communities.

India’s unique blend of cuisines has evolved through large-scale cultural interactions with neighboring Persia, ancient Greece, the Mongols and West Asia. New World foods such as peppers, tomatoes, potatoes and squash, introduced by Arab and Portuguese traders in the 16th century, and European cuisine styles introduced during the colonial period added to the diversity of the world. Indian cuisine.

Indian cuisine has also influenced cuisines around the world, especially those in Southeast Asia. It is now one of the most popular cuisines around the world, appreciated not only by the large Indian diaspora but also by the general population in North America, Europe, Australia and parts of Africa.

Elements of Indian cuisine

The staple foods of Indian cuisine are rice, atta (whole wheat flour) and a variety of legumes, the most important of which are the masoor (most often red lentils), the chana (the Bengal grass) , toor (pigeon pea or yellow gram), urad (black gram) and mung (green gram). Legumes can be used whole, shelled, for example dhuli moong or dhuli urad, or split. Legumes are widely used in the form of dal (slit). Some legumes such as Chana and “Mung” are also processed into flour (besan).

Most Indian curries are fried in vegetable oil. In the north and west of India, peanut oil is traditionally the most popular for frying, while in eastern India, mustard oil is more commonly used. In South India, coconut oil and sesame oil (gingelly) are common. In recent decades, sunflower oil and soybean oil have gained popularity throughout India. Hydrogenated vegetable oil, known as Vanaspati ghee, is also a popular cooking medium that replaces Desi ghee (clarified butter).

The most important and most used spices in Indian cuisine are pepper, black mustard seed (rai), cumin (jeera), turmeric (haldi, manjal), fenugreek (methi), asafoetida ( hing, perungayam), ginger (adrak, inji), and garlic (lassan, poondu). Popular spice blends are garam masala which is usually a powder of five or more dried spices, usually consisting of cardamom, cinnamon and clove. Each region has its own blend of Garam Masala. Goda Masala is a popular spice blend in Maharashtra. Some leaves such as tejpat (cassia leaf), coriander leaf, fenugreek leaf and mint leaf are commonly used. The use of curry leaves is typical of all South Indian cuisine. In sweet dishes, cardamom, nutmeg, saffron and rose petal essence are used.
The term “curry” is generally understood to mean “sauce” in India, rather than “spices”. ”


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