Indian cuisine has widespread popularity because it is unique and incredibly tasty [with the largest pallet of food for vegetarians in the world]. However, the food always has been spicier than any other cuisine. So when you come to India, it is of primary importance that you know this. Because, one of the most popular issues you would face is suffering from an upset stomach. The cuisine is diverse and multifaceted and there is something in it for everyone.
To enjoy the food it is important to understand it. As spices grew with ease in the country, our food is based on spices, which is what makes it flavorsome and full of heat. The multi-cultural experience of India extends to the food too, each state in the country having their own style of cooking that is as different as it is similar. It is generally accepted that Andra Pradesh has the spiciest food [their pickles are to die for, especially ‘gongura’, which is herbs soaked in salt, chilli and oil], while Gujarati sweets have wide spread popularity. North Karnataka is known for their unique flat breads made of corn, which is nearly devoid of oil, making it extremely nutritious, which can be eaten with a rich curry made of brinjal.
The South Indian dosa and idli have wide spread fame, with idli being called one of the healthiest breakfasts in the world, along with another breakfast from Tamil Nadu called Pongal. Idli, dosa and pongal are all very mild by themselves and are eaten with aromatic chutneys and sambars [with can be tempered to suit your taste]. The lassi from Punjab is another novel dish, which is sweetened butter milk with a twist.
Mild food might be a minority in the cuisine, but there is still enough to go around. Appam is a mild South Indian dish made of rice, which is unique in its making and shaped like a bowl. There is also ‘raagi’, which is a favourite among Indian farmers, which they eat with raw chillies, onion and salt. It’s extremely good for our immune system and blood stream, being full of iron and provides a lot of energy. The taste is very bland, with semi solid consistency. ‘Aaluu paratha’ [literally translates to potato bread] is a popular North Indian flat bread, which is served with thick yoghurt, it’s rich in salt and mildly seasoned. South Indian snacks like ‘chakli’ and ‘kodbale’ must be tried, they are very distinctive.
This fare has plenty for those with a sweet tooth too. The ones not to be missed would be Mysore pak, a cuboidal sweet from Karnataka, which actually melts in your mouth. Then there is a ‘carrot halwa’, which is self explinatory [a sweet made of carrot, which extracts the sweetness of carrot and is best served with dry fruits]. A few others that no tourist must miss are badam barfi, payasam, rasagula, gulab jamun, gajar ka halwa, aam-ras, seven cup, obbatu, and jelebi to name a few.
This would be a small guile to help the tourists enjoy the best in our country in every sense. Happy eating!!
Sriraksha, pursuing a degree in Electrical&Electronics, is a self confessed patron of creativity. A quintessential Jack of all trades, she loves to write, is a doodle bug, has a photography fetish and considers herself a par-genius cook. A philosophy junkie, she enjoys walking her dogs, gardening, celebrating television and music, and reading/collecting as many books as she can lay her hands on.