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Indian cuisine
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Indian cuisine

Table of contents
1 Regional cuisines
2 Staple ingredients and spices
3 Regional specialties
4 Indian food abroad
5 External Links

Regional cuisines

Indian cuisine can be broken down into three distinct regional styles:

Thanks to India's geography, wheat is a staple of North Indian foods, while rice is the primary constituent of Southern and Eastern foods.

Staple ingredients and spices

The staples of Indian cuisine are rice, atta (a special type of whole-wheat flour) and at least five dozen varieties of pulses, the most important of which are chana (bengal gram; similar to the chick pea but smaller and more flavorful), toor (pigeon pea or red gram), urad (black gram) and mung (green gram). Pulses are used almost exclusively in the form of dal, except chana, which is often cooked whole for breakfast and is processed into flour (besan).

The most important spices in Indian cuisine are chili pepper, black mustard seed (rai), cumin, turmeric, fenugreek, ginger, coriander and asafoetida (hing). In sweet dishes, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg and rose petal essence are used.

Regional specialties

Tends to be about at least 2 different base types of sauce, onion-based which works with only particular vegetables, and tomato-based which works with most succulent vegetables. Gujarati cuisine is pure vegetarian.
Main ingredients used include coriander, cumin seed, chilli, pepper, cinnamon bark, cloves, garlic and ginger.

Steam-cakes, which are prepared from a fermented batter of rice and urad dal (gram). Soak rice and gram in water for about 12 hours, then grind the stuff to a watery paste. Place the paste into plates that contain small compartments with tiny holes under them, then cook in a pressure-cooker.
Idlis are very tasty when eaten with chutney or sambhar as a side-dish.

Made from wheat(rava) and vegetables. It is partly fried and boiled along with the cut vegetables and spices added.

Other famous Indian dishes: Indian bread is known by various names, including roti prata, thosai and naan.

Some sweets:

Indian food abroad

Britain has a particularly strong tradition of Indian cuisine that originates from the British Raj. At this time there were a few Indian restaurants in the richer parts of London that catered for British officers returning from their duties in India.

In the 20th century there was a second phase in the development of Anglo-Indian cuisine, as families from countries such as Bangladesh migrated to London to look for work. Some of the earliest such restaurants were opened in Brick Lane in the East End of London, a place that is still famous for this type of cuisine.

In the 1960s, a number of inauthentic "Indian" foods were developed, including the widely popular "chicken tikka masala". This tendency has now been reversed, with subcontinental restaurants being more willing to serve authentic Indian, Bangladeshi and Pakistani food, and to show their regional variations.

Indian food is now a staple of the British diet: indeed it has been argued that Indian food can be regarded as part of the core of the British national cuisine.

See also: cuisine, Andhra food, Black salt, paan

See the Wikipedia Cookbook for specific recipes.

External Links