Like any other country, we have our specialties and considering the different mix of cultures, there is a huge variety of delicacies. Every region has its cuisine.Then there’s the fusion cooking. In the olden days, when Ayurveda was commonly practiced in every household, the food cooked in the house was with spices and vegetables specific to the season. Even today, a lot of households in India do cook according to the season.
Indian cuisine has been influenced by a 5000-year history of various groups and cultures interacting with the subcontinent, leading to the diversity of flavors and regional cuisines found in modern-day India.
Many recipes first emerged during the initial Vedic period, when India was still heavily forested and agriculture was complemented with game hunting and forest produce. In Vedic times, a normal diet consisted of fruit, vegetables, grain, dairy products, honey, and poultry and other sorts of meats. Over time, some segments of the population embraced vegetarianism. This was facilitated by the advent of Buddhism and an equitable climate permitting a variety of fruits, vegetables, and grains to be grown throughout the year. A food classification system that categorized any item as saatvic, raajsic or taamsic developed in Ayurveda. A reference to the kind of food one is to eat is also discussed in the Bhagavad Gita . In this period eating beef became taboo, a belief still commonly held today.
During the Middle Ages, several North Indian dynasties were predominant, including the Gupta dynasty. Travelers who visited India brought with them new cooking methods and products such as tea and spices. Later, India saw the period of Central Asian and Afghan conquerors, which saw the emergence of the Mughlai cuisine many people now associate with India. This included the addition of several seasonings, such as saffron, and the practice of cooking in a sealed pot called a dum.
Most Americans believe that Indian food is spicy, its partly true. Most of the Indian recipes can be tweaked to one’s liking.
More about regional cuisine in the following posts.