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“Age cannot wither…. nor custom stale the infinite variety”. These very lines of
Shakespeare can be perfectly used to describe the Indian Cuisine.Indian food is as varied
and diversified as the country itself, with every region having its own speciality. India has
immense variety of not only non-vegetarian but also vegetarian food. One will be surprised
to know that the styles of cooking and commonly used ingredients differ not only from
region to region, but from also one household to another. The dishes that have gravy are
normally called curries but are prepared with a a combination of different spices and
seasonings that bring altogether different flavor. A traditional meal commonly served in
India in a large metal plate is called a ‘Thali’ along with a number of small bowls used to
serve the gravy dishes or different curries and bread (naan or wheat based roti) in the
North, or rice in the South.
Drinks and Beverages
In most parts of India, people do not usually drink alcohol with a meal but a glass of salty or
sweet buttermilk or maybe a soft drink. But many hotels and big restaurants with liquor
licenses, will have no problem in serving you a drink at your table if you want one.
Tea or chai as called by the locals is the most widely consumed beverage in India. The
famous “Masala Chai” is prepared with milk, sugar, and blend of ginger, and some spices
like cinnamon and cardamom. India also grows good coffee, and South Indians drink a lot
more of it than North Indian tea lovers.
An example of a common cold Indian drink is “lassi”, a yoghurt or a buttermilk drink that
can be sweet or salty or flavored with rose, mango, or served plain depending on individual
The cuisine of Punjab has enormous variety of mouth-watering vegetarian as well as non-
vegetarian dishes. The tandoori style of cooking is actually the best Punjabi contribution to
Indian cuisine. In this style, large earthen ovens called tandoor, are used to cook different
types of meat, breads, or vegetable dishes, which gives food a distinctive flavor and seals in
the aroma of the item.
Milk products such as yoghurt lassis and fresh cottage cheese are also an important part of
the Punjabi diet. Punjabi food is very popular in North India.
The Gujarati food is mainly vegetarian with high nutritional value. It has sweet touch in all its
dishes. The food is usually served in a traditional thali style, in which all items are served at
once on a large plate.
Bengal is known for its fish and sweets. Located on the eastern coast of India, fish is a
staple diet of a Bengali. Many famous sweets originated in Bengal like rasogulla, gulab
jamun and sondesh, eaten all over in India.
South Indian Cuisine:
The South Indian dishes are known for having low calories. The traditional south Indian food
is mainly rice based. Coconut is widely used in preparation of the food and is also served as
a chutney (sauce) along with the famous idli(rice cakes), dosa, vada, uppam. In kerela, food
is served on a large banana leaf.
Gujarat is the only dry state in India but foreigners can obtain liquor permits.
Water from the tap is not purified for drinking in India. So, to be safe use your bottle of
mineral water and check the seal of the bottled water if it’s intact.
Avoid eating salads and cut fruits sold by the roadside vendors, small restaurants.