Indian Cooking- A Complete Guide
Indian food is one of the best in the world. It is a diverse and delectable cuisine that is not as challenging to prepare as you might imagine. Cooking the food seems complicated because the diversity of the nation is truly staggering, with each state, town and even individual household having unique recipes for countless different cuisines.
A cuisine rooted in the past
The roots of Indian cuisine were set during the Indus civilization, commonly referred to as the Harappan civilization, which existed approximately 5,000 years ago. The staple foods since then were and still are wheat, rice, millet, chickpeas, and lentils. The food was first flavoured with spices, particularly cinnamon, and later modern spices like black cardamom, cumin, and star anise gained popularity. Afterwards, dairy items were added, and flatbreads gained popularity. Indian curries nowadays use a variety of spice combinations and vary by location, ingredients, and even family, so your way to make Indian food is very much your unique take on the cuisine.
Indian cuisine today is broadly divided into regions to classify the difference in tastes, cooking styles and influences.
The most popular variety of Indian food outside of India is North Indian. It is heavily influenced by Mughal cuisine and frequently includes dairy products like yoghurt, clarified butter (ghee), and cream. Foods from this region like Samosas, Palak Paneer, and Korma may be familiar to you.
The cuisine of West India is primarily composed of fish and coconuts along its western coast, while Goa, a state bordering the sea and a former Portuguese colony, has a significant Portuguese influence. Some areas of western India, particularly Gujarat, eat mostly vegetarian food that has been gently sweetened.
Along the eastern shores of India, particularly in Bengal, fish and rice are favourites in the cuisine. Because of their proximity to the border, the upper north-eastern states are noted for their unique food, which is often influenced by East Asian food.
In the coastal areas of South India, rice and shellfish are major culinary staples. Additionally, well-known dishes in the area include lentil and vegetable curries. Instead of flatbreads, meals are frequently paired with Dosas and Appams, rice pancakes that resemble crepes that can be stuffed or topped with chutneys and veggies.
Taking the first steps towards cooking Indian Cuisine
When cooking Indian food, you need certain staples in your kitchen. In practically every Indian kitchen, you can find rice and whole wheat flour in large quantities. If you enjoy cooking Indian food, these are essential items. You should fill your cupboard with different kinds of kidney beans, pigeon pea lentils, yellow lentils and green gram (mung), ideally both whole and split, along with a myriad of spices like bay leaves, cardamom, cloves, curry leaves, cumin seeds, caraway seeds, and mustard, caraway, cumin seeds and many more. Regional cuisines often require special spices or spice mixes that are available at your Indian grocery store.
If you are looking to foray into the world of Indian cooking, you don’t have to look further than your own India Bazaar. We have all the spices and grocery items that you can need to cook Indian food, whether it’s a soothing Khichadi or a flavourful biryani.