When visiting a country, one of the many things to look forward to is getting a taste of the local cuisine. India, however, offers a unique experience because countless people consider the country as having the most diverse and unique cooking styles.
It can be attributed to the large diaspora of the country, which is the second most populous in the world and has varying religious beliefs and culture. The large-scale interactions of India with neighboring countries have also contributed to the diversity of Indian cuisine.
Basically, there are four geographical varieties that each have their distinct flavor; though they do share a common theme of heavy reliance on blends of spices and seasonings, which is also known as masala.
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North: India’s northern region experiences cool weather, which contributes to the hearty texture and warm, subtle flavors of the dishes there. Meats and bread are prepared in cylindrical-shaped, clay ovens called tandoors. North Indian cuisine also typically uses a relatively high amount of dairy for sauces or gravies.
East: This area is surrounded by different bodies of water, making the Eastern Indian cuisine fish-based. Rice is the staple grain in this region because its climate is conducive for cultivating different varieties of rice. This cuisine is also well-known for its desserts.
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West: Western Indian cuisine has three primary food groups: Gujarati (predominantly vegetarian), Maharashtrian (heavily uses coconut), and Goan (seafood-based cuisine). Many say that this cuisine is where the Northern, Eastern, and Southern cuisines meet.
South: Primarily vegetarian, the cuisine in Southern India has an of abundance spice-intense and meatless dishes. The meals also make heavy use of soup and tamarind.