cuisine can be broken down into three distinct regional styles:
to India's geography,
wheat is a staple
of North Indian foods, while rice is the primary constituent of
Southern and Eastern foods.
ingredients and spices
staples of Indian cuisine are rice, atta
(a special type of whole-wheat flour), and at least five dozen
varieties of pulses, the most important of which
are chana (bengal gram; similar to the
but smaller and more flavorful), toor (pigeon pea or red gram), urad
and mung (green gram). Pulses
are used almost exclusively in the form of dal, except chana, which is
often cooked whole for breakfast and is processed into flour (besan).
most important spices in Indian cuisine are chilli pepper, black
mustard seed (rai), cumin, turmeric, fenugreek, ginger, coriander and asafoetida
(hing). In sweet dishes, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg and rose petal essence are used.
also from Southern India.
which are prepared from a fermented batter of rice and urad dal (gram). Soak rice and gram in
water for about 12 hours, then grind the stuff to a watery paste. Place the paste
into plates that contain small compartments with tiny holes under them, then cook
in a pressure-cooker.
are very tasty when eaten with chutney or sambhar as a side-dish.
from wheat(rava) and vegetables. It is partly fried and boiled along with the
cut vegetables and spices added.
famous Indian dishes
bread is known by
various names, including roti, poli,
dosai and naan.
sweets and desserts
has a particularly strong tradition of Indian cuisine that originates from the
At this time there were a few Indian restaurants in the richer parts of London
that catered for British officers returning from their duties in India.
the 20th century there was a
second phase in the development of Anglo-Indian cuisine, as families from countries
such as Bangladesh migrated to London
to look for work. Some of the earliest such restaurants were opened in Brick Lane
in the East End of London,
a place that is still famous for this type of cuisine.
the 1960s, a number
of inauthentic "Indian" foods were developed, including the widely popular "chicken tikka masala".
This tendency has now been reversed, with subcontinental restaurants being more
willing to serve authentic Indian, Bangladeshi and Pakistani food, and to show
their regional variations. In the late 20th century Birmingham was the centre of
growth of Balti houses, serving a newly
developed style of cooking in a large, wok-like, pan, with a name sometimes
attributed to the territory of Baltistan, but more often derived
from the Portuguese Balde, meaning 'bucket'.
food is now a staple of the British diet: indeed it has been argued that Indian
food can be regarded as part of the core of the British national cuisine.
the United States of
America, Indian cuisine has become far more popular and prevalent since the
in New York City but also in
other large metropolitan areas nationwide, as a result of the huge increase in
South Asian immigration.