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Created on Jul 15, 1995; last updated Sep 09, 2000.

Indian Cuisine


Most Indian cuisines are related by similiar usage of spices. Often, Indian cooking is distinguished by the use of a larger variety of vegetables than many other well-known cuisines. Within these recognisable similarities, there is an enormous variety of local styles.

In the north and the west, Kashmiri and Mughlai cuisines show strong central Asian influences. Through the medium of Mughlai food, this influence has propagated into many regional kitchens. To the east, the Bengali and Assamese styles shade off into the cuisines of East Asia.

All coastal kitchens make strong use of fish and coconuts. The desert cuisines of Rajasthan and Gujarat use an immense variety of dals and achars (preserves) to substitute for the relative lack of fresh vegetables. The use of tamarind to impart sourness distinguishes Tamil food. The Andhra kitchen is accused, sometimes unfairly, of using excessive amounts of chilies.

All along the northern plain, from Punjab through Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, a variety of flours are used to make chapatis and other closely related breads. In the rain-swept regions of the north-eastern foothills and along the coasts, a large variety of rices are used. Potatoes are not used as the staple carbohydrate in any part of India.

Modern India is going through a period of rapid culinary evolution. With urbanisation and the consequent evolution of patterns of living, home-cooked food has become simpler. Old recipes are recalled more often than used. A small number of influential cookbooks have served the purpose of preserving some of this culinary heritage at the cost of homogenising palates. Meanwhile restaurants, increasingly popular, encourage mixing of styles. Tandoori fish, mutton dosas and Jain pizzas are immediately recognisable by many Indians in cities.

Other Links

N means new link and B marks a broken link.

Indian regional cooking recipes

Andhra || Assamese || Bengali || Bihari || Goan || Gujarati || Kannada || Kashmiri || Konkani || Kutchhi || Maithili || Malayalee || Mangalorean || Marathi || Mewari || Mughlai || Oriya || Parsi || Punjabi || Sindhi || Tamil || Uttar Pradesh

The vocabulary of north Indian cuisine

is meant for those who want to know what Jaiphal means but don't know how to find out.

The Taste Makers: well known food writers

Sanjeev Kapoor's food page

is like his TV shows, and highly recommended. The page layouts are unnecessarily image heavy, but it is easy to navigate this site with images switched off. Go for it ...

Delicious India

has nice content. Enjoy.

Indian Express

the newpaper runs a cookery column. On the web this has transformed into a wonderful bank of recipes to which new ones are added regularly.

Food India

This page has deep content. Happy browsing.

Herbs and Spices

This page from Netcooks puts together a table of information on many different herbs and spices.