One of the wonderful features of Indian cuisine or Indian food is the extremely wide range of choices that exist. They are all native to India and were created on the subcontinent. India is a nation with a great deal of diversity of soil types, climate and occupations and their cuisine varies in different parts of the country. There are also other factors that influence the cuisine such as spices, fruits, vegetables and herbs that can be easily found in each location. Even the climate changes from one area to another and this is also an important factor. Even today, Indian food is still evolving because the country continues to adopt new ideas from other societies. For example, in northern India the food is strongly influenced by the rule of the Mughals.
India is a country that has been heavily influenced by foreign invasions, trade and colonial occupation throughout its long history. All of these factors were influential in introducing new foods to the Indian people. For example, the Portuguese people brought the potato to the country a long time ago. They also introduced chilies and breadfruit. Indian cuisine is actually responsible for the burgeoning of trade between India and Europe. Along the so-called “Spice Route” they sent spices from India to places throughout Europe and much of Asia.
The usual diet in India generally includes legumes, fruits, dairy products, eggs, meat, fish, honey, grains and vegetables. Over time, various regions of India became vegetarian due to the influence of Jainism and Hinduism. Indian food is actually known for the large number of spices that are included in their food. These are cardamom, coriander, garlic, ginger, turmeric and cumin. They have a mixture of spices called garam masala that is often used in Indian cuisine.
Because India is such a large and diverse country, its cuisine is very different from one region to another. The food in northern India looks nothing like the food in southern India. One of the biggest differences is that in the north they prefer atta or wheat dishes over the rice that the southern Indians enjoy. Their desserts are also very different based on what part of the country they come from. But, in most cases, Indians are flexible in their food choices and today they often eat dishes from all over the country.
Lately, Indian cuisine has been gaining in popularity around the world because it has extraordinary flavor and taste.