Indian Cuisine: It’s History and Evolution

In the 5000 years of Indian history, India has welcomed many settlers from around the world. Indian cuisine has evolved into different forms due to its homogeneous nature. India’s food has been divided according to different religions and regions. Different areas and regions in India have their own cooking recipes, spices and ingredients. With a population of over one billion, the food in India is as diverse as its people.

Photo Courtesy: Catch News

Indian cooking has been mostly influenced by Hindu and Muslim style of cooking. Each of the settlers who migrated to India have given their own culinary methods to India. In India, two cultures of cooking are practised i.e. Hindu for vegetarian food and Muslim for cooking of meats. Mughlai food, Kormas(curry), nargis kaftas(meatballs), rogan josh and biryani are some of the favourite dishes that are prepared in a clay over tandoor. If we talk about South India, the cuisine is mostly prepared with rice and a thin soup called Rasam is added to it. Most South Indian recipes have coconut as their main ingredient. Some favourite Hindu dishes of South India include Idli(steamed rice cakes), Dosa(rice pancakes) and fermented rice.

The Indian cooking is largely influenced by Persians, Portuguese and Britishers. For example, the Britishers brought tea/chai into India. Most Indians love Chai.

Photo Courtesy: Quatr.us Study Guides

Indian cooking has four main regional styles i.e. East, West, North and South. North India was largely influenced by Moghuls. They ruled India for about three centuries and then were replaced by Britishers in 1800s. The Mughals gave us Saffron and rich gravies prepared from cream and pureed nuts. The Naan, which is a tandoori dish is not of the Indian origin. It came from Afghanistan where it is a staple food. Although, most of the people think that Naan is an Indian dish.

The South Indian food is totally opposite to that of North India. Their unique rice crepes and steamed rice cakes are a favourite among South Indians. Rice can be had in any meal and lunch usually has three dishes which can be served with rice.

Photo Courtesy: www.whatsuplife.in

Hindus are divided into two categories i.e. meat eating and non-meat eating. In the West, states like Gujarat, Goa and Maharashtra have their unique food. In Gujarat, most of the population consists of Parsis, Hindu, Muslims and Jains. Each of them have their own style of cooking. The Parsis have very rich non-vegetarian diet that contains seafood and chicken while Jains are vegetarian. Most people in Gujarat are vegetarians and it’s vegetarian food is very famous.

The sea-food of Mumbai, Maharashtra is very famous. Most of the hotels and restaurants in coastal areas of Maharashtra serve seafood with a little of red chillies and coconut. Eastern states like, Bihar, Orissa, West Bengal and Jharkhand are very different from each other. Bengali cuisine is very delicate and contains fish and rice as its staple food. The Bengali cuisine is famous for a variety of dishes including mixed veg and milk based sweets.

Photo Courtesy: HungryForever

Orissa is famous for its squash blossoms which are dipped in paste prepared with rice, deep fried/turned to patties. Some other prominent foods of Orissa include seafood and fish. Bihar and Jharkhand are known for beans and vegetables. But they have Western influence with chicken, beef, goat and pork in their diet.

The Indian cuisine is largely influenced by Indian history. Each historical region have its own unique dishes with many ingredients. But there is a common thing about every region: a fondness for spicy snacks and sweet desserts. Besides being influenced by history, Indian cuisine is also influenced by religion, culture and traditions of India.

There is no other country which offers such a wide variety of exotic dishes with such a large variety of tastes for taste-buds.

Best Indian Main Course Dishes

Lunch and dinner are our main course meals. Although, dinner can be kept light but breakfast and lunch should always be proper. In this article, I am sharing some main course recipes.

Both North Indian and South Indian recipes are included in this article.

  • Chole: This is a Punjabi Chole masala recipe which is spicy, tasty and flavorful. Chole are perfect with naan, pooris, rotis and rice.punjabi-chole-recipe23
  • Tiffin SambarThis recipe of hotel style tiffin sambar goes well with medu vada, dosa and idli. There are many variations of sambar that you can try.

hotel-style-tiffin-sambar-recipe20

  • Punjabi Kadhi: Kadhi Pakora is a popular recipe of North India. These are fried pakoras in a yogurt sauce that is creamy and sour. There are many variations of kadhi that are available in different regions of India.punjabi-kadhi-pakora
  • Paneer MakhaniDeliciously cooked cottage cheese in tomatoes and cream sauce. Light spice is added to it with little sweetness and tang.paneer-makhani-recipe17
  • Chana Dal: This is a Punjabi style chana dal which is flavored with onions, spices and tomatoes. Dal is best served with rice/rotis. They are a staple food of North India.chana-dal-recipe25
  • Kadai MushroomMushrooms prepared in a spicy onion-tomato gravy. You must also try mushroom curry and Restaurant Style Kadai Mushroom.kadai-mushroom-gravy-recipe20
  • Gobi Masala: This is a delicious, creamy and light spicy gobi masala made in restaurant style. The same recipe can be prepared with different veggies. Some recipes similar to this include matar masala and capsicum masala. These go well with naan, rotis, tandoori rotis or rice.gobi-masala-recipe17
  • Veg Biryani in Pressure Cooker: This is a very easy recipe of veg biryani. No previous cooking of vegetables and rice are required. For an authentic dum cooked biryani, try this hyderabadi veg biryani. Some other popular recipes of rice are veg fried rice and veg pulao.vegetable-biryani
  • Veg SaguA curry that is creamy, spicy and coconut based. It is prepared with mix veggies. This goes well with neer dosa, set dosa, parathas, pooris, chapatis etc. You must also try Kerala Style Veg Stewveg-saguside-dish-for-roti.1024x1024-1
  • Paneer MasalaThis is a delicious and rich paneer curry prepared with onion-tomato-cashew base. Some other popular paneer recipes include paneer butter masala and palak paneer.53519872

10 Must Have Indian Traditional Dishes

It is a feast for your taste buds to try Indian food. Indian food is very diverse. In India, food is of two types, South Indian and North Indian. It can further be categorized into sub-groups like Rajasthani, Punjabi, Gujarati, Sindhi, Chettinad, Mughali, Kashmiri, Bengali and Hyderabadi.

If you happen to visit any place in India, there are some dishes that you must try. In this article, we have collected most ordered dishes with their recipes:-

  • Butter Chicken
    Butter Chicken is best served with Kaali Daal and Naans. Here’s the recipe: http://bit.ly/2gQiIaOIndian_Butter_Chicken_1
  • Tandoori Chicken
    Tandoori Chicken is an easy to prepare dish. You can prepare it anytime you feel like eating it. Here’s the recipe: http://bit.ly/2qNgRv7tandoori-chicken
  • Chicken Tikka Masala
    This delicious dish is prepared by marinating chicken pieces and then grilling them. Then they are added to thick and creamy gravy. Here’s the recipe: http://bit.ly/2qHuDPbZA0207H_chicken-in-creamy-tomato-curry-chicken-tikka-masala_s4x3.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.616.462
  • Rogan Josh
    This dish from Kashmir literally translates to ‘red lamb’. The colour of the dish is due to The red chillies that are used in the dish. Although, the name of the dish is fiery but the spiciness of the dish is reduced due to the cream added to it. Here’s the recipe: http://bit.ly/2qN6nvN15732-4359-mx
  • Malai Kofta
    A vegetarian alternative of meatball, Malai Kofta goes well with Jeera Rice or Naans(tandoor-baked flatbreads). Here’s the recipe: http://bit.ly/2k7Wh2Tmalai-kofta14
  • Chole(Chickpea Curry)
    This delicious dish is best served hot with pooris or bhatooras. Here’s the recipe: http://bit.ly/2ijgL7dpunjabi-chole-recipe23
  • Palak Paneer
    This delicious dish is mildly flavoured and very healthy. Here’s the recipe: http://bit.ly/2hXqMLkpalak-paneer-recipe25
  • Kaali Daal
    Kaali Daal, which is also known as Ma Ki Daal is very nutritious and delicious. Here’s the recipe: http://bit.ly/2rtJQVokali-daal
  • Chaat
    This is one of the most popular snack of North India. Different kinds of variations can be found. A popular alternative to regular dinner is a chaat party. Here’s the recipe: http://bit.ly/2rtq50oगुजराती-चाट-बनाने-की-विधि
  • Naan
    This is a popular Indian bread that is best served with popular dishes like Tandoori Chicken and Kebabs. Here’s the recipe: http://bit.ly/2rLrQ5yimages

8 Different Kinds of Indian Roti Recipes

Roti is a staple part of every Indian’s diet. A roti can be prepared in a number of ways. The regular roti is rich in carbs, protein and fiber as it is made of flour. The benefits of consuming roti are many. It helps in boosting your body’s energy. Here we give you 9 different kinds of rotis that you can try at home.

  1. Naan

Naan

Any north Indian meal is incomplete without a naan. A Naan is made with plain flour, oil and yeast. Those who don’t eat yeast can use a substitute for yeast (like yogurt, milk and baking powder). A naan is traditionally prepared in tandoor. For those who don’t have access to tandoor, here we give you an alternate recipe that you can easily make.

 

Naan Recipe

 

  1. Tandoori Roti

big_tandoori-roti-(kebabs-and-tikkis-recipe)-1593

Whole-wheat flour is used to prepare Tandoori roti. It is cooked traditionally in tandoor or clay oven. It tastes great with paneer vegetable or curry. Try this easy recipe.

 

Tandoori Roti Recipe

 

  1. Paneer Kulcha

paneer-kulcha-recipe

Kulcha is an Indian bread that is very popular in India. It is very common in Punjabi families. It is made of curds and plain flour. Paneer kulcha is stuffed with filling of paneer. It goes well with chole, rajma or any mughlai subzi.

 

Paneer Kulcha Recipe

 

  1. Laccha Paratha

Paneer Kulcha

This multi-layered paratha is made of plain flour dough and water. It goes through a shallow fry on the Tawa. The method of preparation is unique that results in a multi-layered laccha Paratha.

 

Laccha Paratha Recipe

 

  1. Makhani Roti

52de0551e4b04447a41174b5-makhani-roti-1059

Makhani Roti is a bread of  Mughlai cuisine. The preparation of Roti is done with wheat flour, black pepper and butter.

 

Makhani Roti Recipe

 

  1. Khamiri Roti
Photo Courtesy: Supermeal

Photo Courtesy: Supermeal

The roti derives its name from khamir, which means yeast. When yeast is added to the flour, it helps in making roti spongy and soft. The roti tastes great with any Indian side-dish.

 

Khamiri Roti Recipe

 

  1. Varqui Paratha

big_varqui_paratha-5981

These parathas are prepared with a mix of plain flour and wheat flour. Chapatis or rotis are piled or rolled in a swiss roll. Then they are cut and rolled, forming multi-layered parathas.

 

Varqui Paratha Recipe

 

  1. Phulka

big_phulkas-4350

Phulkas are also called rotis or chapatis. Phulkas are a necessary part of many Indian Cuisines. They are made of whole wheat flour. Besides being rich in nutrients and fiber, it is also low in fat.

 

Phulka Recipe

 

For more interesting recipes from around the world visit: http://tastyfix.com/