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What Does Indian Cuisine Consist Of? Difference Between Various Indian Dishes and How to Cook Them

What does the term ethnic food mean to you? To me, I think of the different countries and the cuisines they have to offer. One such type of food that greatly prevails all others is Indian Food. Well what does Indian cuisine consist of you may ask? Indian food is derived from India and uses a blend of subtle herbs and spices. In this form of cooking, there is a great amount of variation in the meat, vegetables, and spices used. The majority of Indian cooking is made up of vegetables and yet there are several meat and poultry dishes as well. Within India, there are two main yet distinct methods of cooking seen in both North India and South India.

Common Food Found in Northern India:

– roti: a traditional Indian flat bread eaten with Indian curries or cooked vegetables

– naan: resembles the western “pita” bread and is eaten with Indian curries or cooked vegetables as well

– kulcha: another form of tasty flat bread, usually found from Punjab

– tandoori chicken: form of chicken that is marinated in yogurt and tandoori spices, it is cooked in a large clay oven

– palak paneer: cooked spinach with minor cheese cubes and marinated with curry powder

– channa masala: chickpeas smothered in zesty sauce and marinated with curry powders and masalas

Common Food Found in Southern India:

– dosa: a type of South Indian crepe and made from rice and black lentil

– idli: a small spongy cake made from rice and black lentil

– vada: a small snack made from lentils and containing small pieces of onions as well as green chilies

– sambar: a thick spicy soup consisting of lentils and vegetables

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As you can see, the above dishes are quite unique from western foods such as hamburgers and fries. In Northern India, there is a considerable amount of curry powder used in specific items. Whereas in South India, the spices are not strong and are much less filling than North Indian food.

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