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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Indian Recipes For Winter Season

Winter is a perfect time to indulge in delicious food. This season is full of markets filled with tubers, root vegetables and leafy greens that are filled with nutrients. Everyone waits for winters to prepare favourite seasonal dishes like gajar ka halwa or mooli ke parathas.

Each region has its own speciality like Gujarat’s Undhiyo, which is a slow-cooked vegetarian dish prepared with flat beans, yam, turnip, green garlic, raw banana and potatoes. If we talk about Punjab, we have dishes like Sarson ka saag, makke ki roti and kanji. Some other winter delicacies include rasam, avial, mooli kofte, beetroot kebab and matar pulao.

Although, all vegetables are available throughout the year, it is important to use them according to the season and availability. So, what you can bring home now are carrots, beets, turnips, cauliflowers, sweet potatoes, green peas, broad beans, spinach, mustard green, green garlic etc.

In this article, we have collected a list of 10 best recipes that you can cook in winters:-

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These are fried balls prepared with spices and radish. They are dipped in spicy gravy. When combined with hot rotis, it is really a great experience.

Photo Courtesy: India Today

This is a highly nutritive food as it is filled with Vitamin C, Vitamin A and minerals including calcium and magnesium. The milk in the dish is full of protein and saffron has a number of health benefits.

This is a very popular Indian dessert. It is really hard to resist and has its origins in Punjab. It is perfect for winter season. It is prepared with milk, grated carrots, nuts and sugar. The ingredients are stirred and cooked together.

  • Undhiyo

    Photo Courtesy: RumourNews

    This is an authentic Gujarati recipe. It is prepared with chickpea dumplings and fried winter vegetables which are mixed in spices.

  • Shalgam Ki Sabzi

Photo Courtesy: Vegetarian’s Recipe

This dish is prepared with pieces of turnip that are cooked in great flavours. It can be teamed up with roti and rice.

Methi Matar Malai

Photo Courtesy: mapsofindia

This is a famous recipe of Punjab. It is best served with hot naan. Learn to prepare Methi Matar Malai with this recipe.

  • Aloo Capsicum

    Photo Courtesy: Indobase

    If you need to quickly make your lunch, then aloo capsicum fry is something you should prepare. This Punjabi dish is best served with hot rotis.

  • Vegetable Pulav

    Photo Courtesy: swasthi’s recipe

    Vegetable Pulav is a very easy to prepare and delicious recipe. With a variety of vegetables that you can choose from, you can cook different versions of the dish.

  • Aloo Palak

    Photo Courtesy: Patel Brothers

    Aloo Palak is prepared by cooking spinach, tomatoes and potatoes. It is a healthy and spicy curry that is very popular in North India. It is best served with rice and breads.

Delicious Winter Recipes

Whenever winter arrives, you indulge yourself in different kinds of seasonal dishes. In this season, the markets are filled with different root vegetables, leafy greens and tubers which are filled with goodness of nature. In India, we wait for winters eagerly to make favourite dishes like gajar ka halwa that is cooked with red carrots. You can also try ghee-filled mooli parathas.

Every region has its own speciality. For one, Undhiyo, which is a vegetarian dish is made with the help of turnips, flat beans, raw banana, yam, potatoes and green garlic. There are many heart warming winter delicacies like beetroot kebab, matar pulao, rasam, mooli kofte and avial.

If you want to know how to cook these delicious seasonal veggies, we have collected the following 10 recipes for winter.

1. Sarson da Saag

sarson-ka-saagThis is one of the best Punjabi dish. It is best consumed with Makki di Roti. Sarson da Saag is a stew-like dish that is made of mustard green.

2. Gajar ka Halwa

hqdefault-2Gajar ka Halwa is one of the most popular desserts of India. It is really irresistible. The dish, which originated in Punjab is a delight for winter season. Grated nuts, carrots and sugar are stirred and cooked together.

3. Undhiyo

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Undhiyo is an authentic Gujarati dish which is very flavourful. The fried winter vegetables and chickpea dumplings are mixed with spicy masala.

4. Shalgam ki Sabzi

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Pieces of turnip are cooked with everyday flavours that can be easily combined with roti and rice. Try the recipe of Shalgam ki Sabzi.

5. Beetroot Kebab

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These beetroot and tofu kebabs are filled with energy. These kebabs are full of antioxidants and have less calories.

6. Dal Palak Ka Shorba

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Dal Palak Ka Shorba is of thinner consistency and is a great way to start the meal. It is a comfortable and warm dish and is filled with goodness of spinach, lentils, ginger-garlic and spices. The seasoning should be done with cream and lime.

7. Bharwan Gobhi

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Cauliflower flowers are made pale and filled with khoya and cheese. They are coated with thick batter of besan and are deep fried to golden colour. Try the recipe.

8. Mooli ke Kofte

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These fried balls are made with spices and radishes that are grated. They are dipped in a spicy gravy. Try the recipe.

8 Traditional Indian Winter Recipes

Winter is the season in which you can give your taste buds a good treat. Indian winter dishes are not only tasty but are also beneficial for overall health. These food keep you warm and strengthen immunity.

Sometimes mineral deficiency is caused due to winters which can be supplemented with proper diet. There are some winter foods like Gajar Ka Halwa(Carrot Halwa) and Makke Di Roti and Sarson da Saag which have many nutritional properties.

Here are 8 traditional Indian winter recipes that you must try:-

  1. Gajar Ka Halwa:
    Photo Courtesy: Youtube

    Photo Courtesy: Youtube

     

    Gajar Ka Halwa is one of the most famous winter dish. It is an all-time favorite dessert of India. It is a must have sweet during chilly winters. This sweet is prepared with ghee (clarified butter). It is filled with dry fruits and tastes really good in winter season as fresh, sweet carrots are available.Carrots help in regulating blood sugar and are rich in dietary fibre. Ghee helps in enhancing the physical and mental health. Ghee provides the body warmth and the dry fruits combat colds.

Gajar Ka Halwa recipe

 

   2. Sarson Da Saag:                                      

Saagroti

This is a traditional winter dish, very popular in Punjab. It is best consumed with makke ki roti, jaggery and butter. Sarson Da Saag is filled with nutrients. Sarson is enriched with protein and iron. It is also anti-inflammatory and an anti-oxidant, making it an essential part of diet.

Sarson Da Saag recipe

Makki Ki Roti recipe

 

  1. Spicy Sweet Potatoes:
    Photo Courtesy: sweetpeaskitchen

    Photo Courtesy: sweetpeaskitchen

     

    Sweet potatoes are available in large amounts in winter season. It is consumed in many forms. Some roast it, some boil it and spice it. Most people like to cook it with spices and then consume it with roti (also known as chapati). Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber.

Spicy Sweet Potatoes recipe

 

  1. Gaund ke laddoo:
    Photo Courtesy: healthyvegrecipes

    Photo Courtesy: healthyvegrecipes

     

    It is made of edible gum that is easily available and got from the bark of a tree. Gaund provides warmth in the body and also fights winter chills. These laddoos are made with ghee which is very beneficial in limited amounts. This special winter dish is best consumed with a glass of milk.

Gaund ke laddo recipe

 

 

    5. Rogan Josh:                                                                                                          Rogan Josh

This is a Kashmiri dish that is stuffed with dry fruits and nuts. The fiery spices add to the warmth provided by this dish to the body. The mutton used in the dish is cooked perfectly in spices that are traditional. Rogan Josh is a traditional dish that is delicious and hot and protects the body from cold.

Rogan Josh recipe

 

       6. Paya Shorba:

Photo Courtesy: pearlkitchen

Photo Courtesy: pearlkitchen

 

Paya Shorba is a soup which is prepared with hoof or trotters of a cow, lamb or goat. The shorba is prepared with spices that make it delicious. This delicious dish is filled with nutrition and is very good for winters as it generates heat in the body.

Paya Shorba recipe

 

  1. Undhiyo:
    Photo courtesy: hubpages

    Photo courtesy: hubpages

     

    This Gujarati dish is a specialty that’s made with papdi (a vegetable). A fiery veg dry stew is made using papdi and other vegetables like sweet potatoes, brinjals, peas etc. These vegetables are tossed with heat generating spices. The dish can be consumed with puris or methi muthiyas(a traditional dish).

Undhiyo recipe

 

    8. Rasam:                                                                                                         

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Rasam is a very popular South-Indian dish. Rasam contains red lentis, which are rich in fiber, antioxidants and proteins. This soupy dish is spicy and contains traditional masalas like turmeric and other spices. Besides that it contains some vegetables. It can be consumed as a whole meal. If you drink a bowl of rasam, it will help you bear the winter evenings more easily.

Rasam recipe

 

For more interesting recipes from around the world visit tastyfix.