Indian Cuisine-An Introduction | Beginners Guide to Indian Cooking

Indian Cuisine-An Introduction
Indian Cuisine-An Introduction

Indian cuisine inherits the traditional cooking styles and authenticities passed on by generations to the next through religious and sentimental bindings. India has a rich cultural and social heritage background. The same goes with the food. Popularity wise Indian Food is loved throughout the globe.

The Concept of ’Satvik” and ’Tamsi” food was adopted by the Indians centuries ago; which is being observed till date. Use of spices and herbs was done in the day to day cooking & today it is proved to be very scientific and good for the human being.

Indian Cuisine-An Introduction
Indian Cuisine-An Introduction

Geographic Location:
India has a wonderful geographic location on the globe. It is surrounded by a long costal line on South East, South and South West and has Himalayan range on its North. All the seasons are prominent. The variation in temperature, rains and hot weather provides a suitable condition for different crops. In different states availability of raw material 8: staple food are different. This brings a variety in food to make it more interesting and unique.

Religion:
India has followers of different religions staying together. The religion of particular area or state plays an important role in choosing the ingredients and type of food. Hindus will not eat beef but eat pork, Muslims will not eat pork but eat beef and so on. Unity in diversity is proven in the food of India.

Regional Cuisine:
India is rich in its cooking of different regions. Rajasthani, Maharastrian, Bengali, Gujrati,‘ Kashmiri, Hyderabadi, Awadhi, Punjabi, GOan and South Indian food are famous with their distinct taste and flavour. North Indian love gravies and food is a mix of vegetarians and non-vegetarians. South India has its own vegetarian way of eating. Coastal areas of India enjoy sea food. Each of them has their own style of making food. They differ from each other as regional influence of raw material and customs show their impact on the food.

Influence of Mughals:
T he Indian food has influence of Mughals. They bought a different type of food in India. Mughalai Food still persists in India, and is treated as specialty.

Use of Herbs and Spices:
The Indian Food is dominated with use of spices. Cumin, Black Pepper, Cardamom, Cloves, Saffron etc. are used. Red Chilli, Coriender and Haldi (Turmeric) powders are used throughout lndia. Different combinations of masalas make the curries and gravies very delightful and make them stand unique. The spices also have medicinal value and are used in this context. Garam Masala is famous for its wonderful taste and flavour. Flavouring agents like Small Cardamom and Kewra are used.

Use of Herbs and Spices
Use of Herbs and Spices

Use of Grains, Pulses and Legumes:
Grains, Legumes and Pulses are an essential part of an Indian meal. Grains like Wheat, Rice, Maize etc; and Pulses and grams like Arhar Dal, Masoor Dal, Rajma, Kabuli Chana etc., are eaten daily.

Use of Vegetables:
Lots of Indians are vegetarian. Ample varieties of vegetables are available. People prefer it to buy from the local market daily for freshness.

Use of Milk and its Products:
Milk and milk products like Khoya, Paneer, Curd, Butter and Desi Ghee are used in abundance. They are used for different curry preparations. Milk is use for preparation Of Indian sweets like Srikhand, Kheer, Sandesh, Barfi, Chena etc.

Use of Milk and its Products
Use of Milk and its Products

lndian Breads:
lndian breads are made in their traditional way by using Tandoor, Tawa and Chulha and there are number of breads with their distinct characteristics. Sheermal, Roomali, Naan, Bhature, Paratha, Poori, Chappati or Roti & Lucchi are some examples.

lndian Gravies:
The lndian gravies are made using best possible raw material to yield the best graVy like Makhani, Brown, Shahi, Green and Kadhai. Using these gravies Korma, Salan and Curries are made.

Cooking Medium:
The cooking medium are Desi Ghee(Clarified butter), different Oils like Sunflower, Coconut, Mustard, Seasame, Peanut and Hydrogenated Fat.

Cooking Methods use in Indian Cooking:
The cooking methods used are Roasting, Deep & Shallow Frying, Braising, Broiling, Boiling etc.. Special cooking methods/techniques like Gile hikmat (burring vessel in the earth and putting charcoal fire on top then cook), Dum(sealing the cooking vessel from top using atta dough and then allow to cook on slow fire), Dhungar(giving smoky flavour to the dish using live charcoal and ghee) are used.

Daily lndian Meal:
An Indian daily meal is consist of Dal (Pulse), Rice, Vegetable Preparation/non Vegetarian preparation, Curd or Curd preparation, lndian Bread, Pickle, Papad and Chutney. Meals are followed by an Indian dessert. All the dishes of the meal are normally served together using Thali (Round Platter made of metal like stainless steel, brass or even silver or gold) and small serving bowls (Katori).

lndian Dessert:
Meals without sweet finish are treated incomplete. lndian Sweets are famous for their distinctive taste and flavor. They are rich as best ingredients are used. Sohan Halwa, Pinni, Maysoor Pak, Bibinca, Rasoggulla, Gulab jamun, Sewain are few examples.

Specialties of Indian Food:
Appetizers like Kababs (Boti Kabab, Pasanda Kabab, Seek Kabab, Tikka etc), Snack5 (Samosa, Dhokla, Khandvi, Chat, Dosa, ldli etc.), Health drinks (Lassi, Chach, Jaljeera, Sharbat etc.) are some more established food delights.

lndian food has so much to offer through its richness, taste, flavour, colour and texture to our palate which makes it an ultimate cuisine in its own. Awadhi food used the costliest ingredients to please the Nawabs. Mughalai food is famous for its richness in the gravy, South lndian food for its varieties of vegetarian food. Gujrati food for snacks, Kashmiri food for their meat dishes, Bengali food for fish dishes; and together it is known as INDIAN CUISINE. It is said ”India is a great country so as its food”.

Summary
Indian cuisine is basically a cluster of different regional food eaten throughout India. The vegetarian and non vegetarian foods are famous. It is rich in its unique cooking techniques. All type of food for every class of people is available

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