Cuisine of the Indian subcontinent

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Cuisine of the Indian Subcontinent

The Cuisine of the Indian Subcontinent encompasses a variety of traditional and regional cuisines native to the Indian Subcontinent. Given the range of diversity in soil type, climate, culture, ethnic groups, and occupations, these cuisines vary significantly from each other and use locally available spices, herbs, vegetables, and fruits.

History[edit | edit source]

The history of the Cuisine of the Indian Subcontinent is as diverse as its geography. The earliest known recipes date back to the Indus Valley Civilization, which was predominantly vegetarian. The cuisine evolved over centuries and was influenced by various cultures and societies that India came into contact with.

Ingredients[edit | edit source]

The staples of Indian cuisine include pearl millet, rice, whole-wheat flour (atta), and a variety of lentils, such as masoor (most often red lentils), toor (pigeon peas), urad (black gram), and mong (mung beans). Many Indian dishes also include chicken, goat meat, fish, and other seafoods.

Regional Cuisines[edit | edit source]

Northern Cuisine[edit | edit source]

North Indian cuisine is distinguished by the proportionally high use of dairy products; milk, paneer, ghee (clarified butter), and yoghurt (yogurt, yoghourt) are all common ingredients.

Southern Cuisine[edit | edit source]

South Indian cuisine is distinguished by a higher emphasis on rice as the staple grain, the ubiquity of sambar (also called saaru/rasam) and rasam (a thin, peppery soup), and the wide variety of dosas (thin pancakes made from fermented batter).

Eastern Cuisine[edit | edit source]

East Indian cuisine is famous for its desserts, such as rasgulla and mishti doi, and fish-based dishes.

Western Cuisine[edit | edit source]

West Indian cuisine varies from region to region. Rajasthan is known for its vegetarian cuisine. The states of Maharashtra and Gujarat also have their unique cuisines.

Influence on World Cuisine[edit | edit source]

Indian cuisine has influenced cuisines across the world, especially those from the Middle East, North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, the British Isles, the Caribbean, and the Americas.

See Also[edit | edit source]


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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD