India is called “the cradle of civilizations”, its culture is diverse, and the national Indian cuisine is exotic, and for most Europeans it is rather unusual, especially its unimaginable combinations of products.
Food for the inhabitants of this country is not just saturation of the body with the necessary nutrients and calories, but a special sacred ritual, which is of great importance. What associations does Indian cuisine evoke? This is an abundance of spices, aromatic herbs, spicy taste of dishes.
Features of Indian cuisine
The cuisine of this country is diverse, because mysterious India has long been attractive, Europeans were especially eager to enter it, and each nation brought its own recipes to the country, which took root and modified the local culinary traditions. Pepper is a “gift” from the Portuguese, soufflés and fragrant baguettes are influenced by France. The British taught how to cook jellies and puddings.
The Great Mughals who ruled the country had the strongest influence on the country’s cuisine; pilaf and almond bread are still extremely popular in many provinces.
We can say that the overwhelming number of Indians are vegetarians, meat is honored only by Muslims, and religion allows them to eat only lamb, poultry and goat meat. However, the population of Goa also eats pork, mainly cooked with rice.
Cows are sacred animals in this country, so even with a strong desire, you will not try beef here.
The fact that there are practically no meat dishes in the country is also explained by the climatic conditions, the meat simply spoils in the heat, but the vegetables are harvested several times a year.
In the south of India, the vast majority of Hindus adhere to vegetarianism, and many do not even eat tomatoes and beets, believing that their color is a reminder of animal blood. What do they eat? Boiled rice, dates, yellow bell peppers and lentils.
As already mentioned, the cuisine of India is a lot of all kinds of spices and herbs. Curry, coriander, cinnamon, turmeric and cardamom are very popular.
Chefs use spices so masterly in their art that even ordinary rice can have up to hundreds of different tastes, the height of skill is the use of more than fifteen different spices for cooking one dish.
National cuisine of India by region
All traditional Indian cuisine differs depending on the region of the country.
In the north, where summers are very hot and winters cold, Indians eat only seasonal vegetables and fruits.
On the menu you can often find nuts and dried fruits, cream, milk and cottage cheese. They are included in numerous local recipes. Preference is given to vegetarian vegetable dishes and rice, and several varieties of it are grown here.
It is from here that the tradition of baking bread in tandoori and various puff pastries with vegetable and rice fillings spread. For cooking, they use sunflower and mustard oil, the latter is used to prepare only festive dishes.
Seasonings in northern India include cumin, chili, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and fennel. The most popular dishes in this region are curry with peas and very fat cottage cheese, pilaf, various potato dishes (chat).
It is here that you can try a huge number of seafood dishes, and the most spicy of Indian dishes.
The main component in both is the same rice. Steam pies are made from it, for this, they beat the rice, and pancakes. It is paired with lentils, fish and vegetables. Popular in the region include lentils and small pancakes, poppadum and sweet and sour chutney.
The main spices used in the local cuisine are curry, mustard, various types of peppers, chili and tamarind.
The eastern regions of India do not lag behind in the use of rice in cooking. Both vegetarians and meat lovers live in this part, so the cuisine is varied. Nearby Mongolia and China greatly influenced the recipe and principles of cooking.
All the dishes this region is famous for are very simple, mostly stewed or steamed. Here live “sweet tooth”, and it is in the east that you can taste the famous Indian sweets and desserts. The main ingredients in them are fermented milk products.
The ubiquitous use of coconut, corn and yoghurt sets this part of the country apart from others.
Seasonings are added in moderation, and mustard, fennel and fenugreek are preferred, pepper is added minimally.
The most varied and completely different flavors of food can be tasted in the west of India. Here they prepare meat dishes, spicy and sweet and sour, and vegetarian, also distinguished by their spiciness. Seafood and fish are also cooked in various variations, and sometimes dishes contain up to ten ingredients.
Each meal here can consist of ten items, plus sweets or spicy pancakes will be served for dessert.
Goa national cuisine
You can talk about the national cuisine of Goa for a long time. However, is it worth wasting time talking about food when you don’t need to discuss it, but try it yourself? Let me recommend a few local dishes.
First, this curry sauce is the real king, alpha and omega of all Indian cuisine. Many housewives who would like to prepare this sauce at home are interested in what ingredients are needed for it.
For a real curry, you need to take a coconut and grind it with a basalt stone. Next, add the type of spices you need. The use of turmeric, cumin, garlic, chili, or coriander is usually allowed here.
The main dishes of Guan cuisine are fairly standard. Vegetables and seafood, rice, dough products – all this can be bought and prepared anywhere, anywhere in the world. Therefore, it is the spices that give Guan cuisine their special, unique flavor.
Spices are widely used here. If you are not yet familiar with the peculiarities of Goa cuisine, then you may have slight doubts about the sanity of the chef adding spices to a sweet dish. But those doubts are immediately dispelled when you taste the ready-made dish – and you will find it delicious!
Spices not only change the taste, making it more pungent or savory. They can serve as a cure for diseases – many of them do. Chefs who have reached heights in their art know how to cool or warm the human body with the help of spices. The first is especially true for Goa, where in the hottest season the air temperature rises above + 30 ° C.