A Glug of Oil

Easy and delicious recipes including midweek dinner ideas, English and world cuisine.

Exploring Indian Food By Region

Indian cuisine is highly regionally specific but there are common threads that unite all the different culinary dishes. If you ask anyone, they will tell you the defining characteristic is the range of spices and seasoning. Curry makes up the vast proportion, but there are many factors which vary based on the region.
Indian Spices

There are 7 spices which make up the base flavours of Indian cooking and are all used frequently in various combinations:

1. Cardamom
2. Clove
3. Cumin
4. Coriander
5. Nutmeg
6. Turmeric
7. Saffron

If you are planning on taking a trip to India to experience the culinary delights, be sure to check out this A-Z guide to India.

North India and Punjab
North Indian cuisine takes Mughal influencer and is the culinary style found most common in the UK. It includes a high use of dairy, such as milk, paneer (a mild cheese), ghee and yogurt. Snacks are made up of samosas and fried pastry stuffed with potatoes. These are best from a street food vendor, but ensure you pick one where food is being cooked fresh to order.

Tandoors are popular in the North, giving naan brad and tandoori chicken its distinctive flavour.

Popular dishes: Dal, korma, Saag paneer.

East India
Primarily known for its desserts, their sweetness making an excellent end to most meals. Other regions favour the desserts of the East and these are commonly found in restaurants around the world. If travelling in the East, be sure to try Rasgulla, made up of semolina and cheese curd (chenna) balls before being fried in sugar syrup.

If you are after savoury food, fish and rice dishes feature prominently, however eastern dishes are more lightly spiced then other areas. A great area to visit for those scared of too much spice.
Popular dishes: Rasgulla.

South India
Southern style curries are distinguished by their drier consistency. Dry curries consist of a variety of vegetables and spices, accompanied by rice dishes.

Aside from curry style dishes, fried snacks are popular in the southern region. Dosas are a large rice pancake usually filled with vegetables, masala curries and chutneys, rolled up into a cylinder. Be sure to also check out Idlis, Vadas and Utthapams.

Popular dishes: Idlis, Dosas, Pappadams

West India
Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa make up the western area of India. It’s no shock that Goa is a tourist trap. Being a coastal state the food is Goa is dominated by seafood. If you find yourself at one of the numerous beach facing restaurant expect little more than a grill of unfamiliar fish, which will be created into mouth-watering, hot and sour fish curries. According to Explore, West India has food influence from Portugal, and in particular, this area has offerings of pork vindaloo and pork sausages.

Popular dishes: Goan fish curry, pork sausages.

For a list of dishes to try click here.

Disclosure: I did not receive payment for this post. I believe it's something my readers will be interested in.

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