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Types of Indian Food
Beverages in India
Growth of Restaurants in India
Types of Restaurants in India
Food Chains and Snacks Restaurants in India
Restaurants in Major Cities

Types of Indian food

Based on the tastes, cooking styles and the ingredients used, cuisine and food in India can be divided into various types. Each of them has certain unique qualities which can be distinguished from the others.

North Indian food: Usually, most of the north Indian food is made of vegetables. This is because of the fact that most people living in the northern states of the country do not east meat. A significant portion of North Indian dishes are characterized by the high density of dairy products, milk, and so on. Another staple food of north Indian cuisine are the "tawa" dishes, most of which consist of baked flat breads like chapattis, paratha, kulcha and nun. In addition to these, North Indians also prefer puri and bhatoora, which is a very special dish made from deep fried oil. In case of non vegetarian dishes, various chicken dishes like tandoori chicken and chicken tikka masala are very popular. In some parts of the region, goat and lamb meat is also consumed.

In case of north Indian snacks, "samosas" are wide preferred. This is a unique dish which is a combination of mashed mixed with flour and deep fried in oil. In some special forms of samosa, minced meat, cheese, mushroom, and peas are also added with mashed potato. Some other types of snacks include pakodas, puri or kachories, bhujiyas and so on.

The staple diet of the North Indian regions is roti, rice, vegetables, curry, lentils, and curd. Fish is not so preferred in northern part of the country. The cooking techniques differ from region to region. While Punjabis prefer spicy food, people in Uttar Pradesh do not prefer to have so much spice in their recipes. Pickles are also an added ingredient which is used to make the diet tastier. Commonly known as "achar" in the Indian language, it is mainly made with a blend of fruits, vegetables, different types of spices and oil.

In case of deserts and sweets, the popular north Indian foods are gulab jamun, peda, petha, halwa, ras malai, barfi and so on. Different types of laddus are also widely preferred.

Due to the Islamic and Mughal invasion in the medieval period, cuisines in the northern regions of India have also been influenced by recipes from the Muslim countries of central Asia. Some of the popular delicacies that have a deep influence of Islamic cuisines are kebabs, biryani, and rogan josh and so on.

Food of Eastern India: The food patterns and cuisines of East India are characterized by the usage of rice products. Rice is the staple meal in various states of Eastern India like West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Orissa, and Tripura and so on. Some of the major ingredients that are used in most East Indian delicacies are poppy seeds, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, green chili, and nuts and so on. Usually, these are mashed with spices and made into a paste and put into the cooking process. Fried fish known as "mach bhaja" is very popular in various parts of the region. In most regions, rice is consumed with curries and vegetables. Being a region rich in water bodies, various types of fish dishes are popular. Chicken and mutton dishes are also popular in East Indian states.

Desserts and sweets form a major part of East Indian cuisines. In fact, Bengal is famous for its sweets all over the world. Some of the popular types of sweets are sandesh, chhena poda, rasagolla, pantua, gaja, chhenar jalebi and so on. A special type of product known as kheer is also very popular in this part of the country.

In case of vegetable recipes, some of the popular dishes are sukto, which is made from deep fried vegetables mixed with low spice. Different types of curries are also widely eaten.

South Indian food: In case of South Indian dishes, rice is the staple food that is widely consumes in various states like Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Pondicherry. Another unique characteristic of South Indian cuisines are the addition of sambar and rasam, pickles, tamarind, vegetables and curry leaves. Unlike other parts of the country, most south Indian recipes use coconut oil.

Some popular south Indian foods are dosas, idli, vada, bonda, pongal, rice bath, pulao, Thengai Sadham and so on. Curd and milk are also consumed in large quantities. In places like Hyderabad and other region which came under Muslim rule, Mughlai dishes are also common. Among them, the most popular is Hyderabadi biryani. It is a wonderful specimen which brings out the blend of South Indian cuisine with Muslim dishes.

Another unique aspect of the preparation of the recipes is that each of the states in the region has a unique way of making sambar. By tasting the food, one can easily mark the difference between sambar of Kerala, sambar of Tamil Nadu, pappu chaaru of Andhra Pradesh and sambaru of Karnataka.

In case of non vegetarian dishes, some of the popular dishes are preparations made from prawn, mussels, lobster and other fish species. In some states of South India, sea food is also very much preferred. Among the meat dishes, Chicken Chettinad is very among the food lovers across the world.

Food of Western India: The cuisines of Western India are mainly divided into three groups, namely Maharashtrian cuisines, Goan cuisines and Gujarati cuisines. Usually, the food of coastal regions are mainly characterized by the use of rice, coconut and sea food. On the other hand, the cuisines of the dry and hilly regions are based on the usage of millets and sorghum. Most of the food from the states of Gujarat and Rajasthan are vegetarian. Compared to the dry areas of Maharashtra, cuisine in the coastal areas of the state and the Malabar Coast consist of plenty of sea food dishes.

A distinct Portuguese influence can be noticed in case of the food of Goa. As the state was a colony of the Portuguese, there has been a deep influence of Portuguese traditions and culture in the lifestyle of the people. Goan dishes are prepared from crabs, prawns, lobsters mixed with various types of sauce and spices. Some of the popular types of Goan food are Fish Udid Methi, Solachi kadi, Kalputi, Tondak, Canja de galinha, Goan prawn curry, Ambot tik and so on.

North Eastern Food: The food of North Eastern India is very different from the rest of the country. The cuisine and recipes of this part of India is very much influenced by the neighboring countries such Burma, Nepal, China, and Mongolia and so on. Usually, North Eastern cuisine is divided into three distinct categories: Naga cuisine, Tripura Cuisine and Sikkimese cuisine. The staple diet is rice, lentils, curry and meat. Due to high altitude, fish is not easily available in this part of the country. Pork, beef and Yak meat is consumed in various parts of North Eastern India. Butter and curd made of yak milk is also consumed in large quantities to keep the body warm during extreme cold and snowfall.