Indian cuisine embodies regional cuisines native to India that are widely varied. Diversities in climate, soil conditions, and the peoples occupying the various regions are considerably divergent. Each regional cuisine differs from the others and reflects the use of locally available fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices. Also of considerable influence in Indian cuisine are the traditions, cultures, and religious preferences prevalent in each region of India.
These varied cuisines have also been developed and molded by a variety of religious beliefs. The most notable of which, many would say, is vegetarianism and veganism. The meatless diet grows steadily as the preferred way to eat in India. This is not particularly surprising, as for ages the cow in India has been considered as a sacred animal, to be cared for and revered, and never harmed – let alone eaten.
Other influences on Indian cuisine include that of Central Asia – especially in the northern region, the result of many years of Mughal rule.
Indian cuisine has always been (and is still is) evolving, this being the outcome of the country’s social and cultural interactions with so many cultures from a wide variety of other countries. British colonization for centuries has had perhaps the most notable influence.
Colonization, trade relations, and foreign invasions are markedly pronounced historical incidents we can identify in shaping what we know of today as Indian cuisine. These factors played important roles with regard to introducing many foods to the country.
As an example, the Portuguese brought with them the potato, which is now a staple of the Indian diet. They also introduced to Indian cuisine breadfruit and chili peppers.
Also of considerable note, Indian cuisine was shaped in large part by the history of international relationships. The spice trade between Europe and India and Europe is often, by culinary historians, cited as the being the foremost catalyst for Europe’s “Age of Discovery”. During this era, spices unique to India were shipped and traded all around Asia and Europe.
The Indian cuisine, with its many unique and exotic spices has also been of major influence to other cuisines around the globe. Several of particular note are the cuisines of the Caribbean, Great Britain, and Southeast Asia.
But okay, enough of the historical and cultural background. You can Google all that stuff, to your heart’s content. Let’s get into the meat and potatoes of what you really came her for. THE RECIPES!
Below is a list of dishes that are authentic, traditional and classic Indian cuisine. Click on what interests you, and you will be taken to a print-friendly page with that recipe on it.
So what are you waiting for? Click away, and go off on your ethnic food adventure, into the spicy, rich, sumptuous, and widely varied world of …
Bhuna Gosht (Savory curried lamb)
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