INDIA’S FOOD – THE STAPLES

India is a large and diverse country in many ways. Geographically, culturally and linguistically it is a country that is full of variety and surprises. Unsurprisingly, the food and drinks of the sub-continent reflect this diversity. Travel to India and you will find a wide range of dishes being cooked in homes and offered on restaurant menus. Once there, as you move around this vast country you will soon notice the – sometimes subtle, sometimes blatant – differences thefoodhas to offer. However, for all this variety, Indian cuisine also has its staples that are similar throughout the country. Here’s a rundown of some of those staples:

Rice
Rice is a staple food throughout India, but particularly in the south. Rice is widely grown in the south of the country and thus more prevalent within these states. The rice most commonly eaten in India is plain, boiled white rice. There are a number of variations on this including ghee rice, masala rice, lemon rice and jeera rice. As you would expect from a staple food there are a number of speciality dishes which use rice as their key ingredient; Biryani, for example, is a mix of fried spiced rice and curry either served in one pot or with the curry on the side.

Bread
Generally speaking, bread in India is wholewheat and unleavened. Largely grown in the north of the country, wheat-based products are widely consumed in these states. Different types of bread include roti, chapatti, naan and paratha. Each type of bread is traditionally cooked in its own unique way. Rotis on a hot plate, chapattis on a tava, naan in a tandoor oven andparathaalso on a hot plate with a touch of ghee. Papadam is another variation,served with pickles and chutneys. But this is just the start, there are many more styles of bread eaten across the country.

Dal
Translated from Hindi, dal means lentil and that is precisely what this staple food is – a simple lentil curry that is cooked with spices, tomatoes and chilli. Such is its popularity, you will often be served dal alongside the dish you have ordered in India. Thicker and creamier in the north of the country and much thinner in the south, it is enjoyed wherever you go.

Paneer
With a large number of the population following a vegetarian diet in India, paneer is a popular ingredient in Indian cuisine. Essentially a type of cheese that is made from curdled milk and lemon juice, paneer is similar in texture to tofu. It is used as a basis for many dishes including saagpaneer and paneerkofta.

Potatoes
A staple in the UK, potatoes are included in many Indian dishes too. From samosa and pakora to aloopaneer and stuffed paratha, potatoes are widely eaten and enjoyed in India.

Of course, Indian cuisine offers a whole host of dishes and flavours to enhance these staple foods. For an authentic taste of India head to one of London’s Indian fine dining restaurants and find out what culinary delights you can discover.

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INDIA’S FOOD – THE STAPLES

October 28th, 2014

India is a large and diverse country in many ways. Geographically, culturally and linguistically it is a country that is full of variety and surprises. Unsurprisingly, the food and drinks of the sub-continent reflect this diversity. Travel to India and you will find a wide range of dishes being cooked in homes and offered on restaurant menus. Once there, as you move around this vast country you will soon notice the – sometimes subtle, sometimes blatant – differences thefoodhas to offer. However, for all this variety, Indian cuisine also has its staples that are similar throughout the country. Here’s a rundown of some of those staples:

Rice
Rice is a staple food throughout India, but particularly in the south. Rice is widely grown in the south of the country and thus more prevalent within these states. The rice most commonly eaten in India is plain, boiled white rice. There are a number of variations on this including ghee rice, masala rice, lemon rice and jeera rice. As you would expect from a staple food there are a number of speciality dishes which use rice as their key ingredient; Biryani, for example, is a mix of fried spiced rice and curry either served in one pot or with the curry on the side.

Bread
Generally speaking, bread in India is wholewheat and unleavened. Largely grown in the north of the country, wheat-based products are widely consumed in these states. Different types of bread include roti, chapatti, naan and paratha. Each type of bread is traditionally cooked in its own unique way. Rotis on a hot plate, chapattis on a tava, naan in a tandoor oven andparathaalso on a hot plate with a touch of ghee. Papadam is another variation,served with pickles and chutneys. But this is just the start, there are many more styles of bread eaten across the country.

Dal
Translated from Hindi, dal means lentil and that is precisely what this staple food is – a simple lentil curry that is cooked with spices, tomatoes and chilli. Such is its popularity, you will often be served dal alongside the dish you have ordered in India. Thicker and creamier in the north of the country and much thinner in the south, it is enjoyed wherever you go.

Paneer
With a large number of the population following a vegetarian diet in India, paneer is a popular ingredient in Indian cuisine. Essentially a type of cheese that is made from curdled milk and lemon juice, paneer is similar in texture to tofu. It is used as a basis for many dishes including saagpaneer and paneerkofta.

Potatoes
A staple in the UK, potatoes are included in many Indian dishes too. From samosa and pakora to aloopaneer and stuffed paratha, potatoes are widely eaten and enjoyed in India.

Of course, Indian cuisine offers a whole host of dishes and flavours to enhance these staple foods. For an authentic taste of India head to one of London’s Indian fine dining restaurants and find out what culinary delights you can discover.

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