Diverse foods of India

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Pan India cuisine -

Today’s consumers are more flirtatious gazing for an increasing level of fun and variety. Anything that surrounds them for too long jades them. With the dawn of every fresh day, these modern day customers demand for quality and healthy food that is offered as per their convenience and changing cultural needs. The survival of any food outlet or the industry is also highly dependent on them – their palate can either make or break the existence of these companies.
There has been an increase in the number of tourists (both in-bound and out-bound) due to the boost in tourism resulting in the exchange of cultural and traditional ideas among different countries; the development of communication, infrastructure, and information technology due to the liberalization, globalization and various other good reasons has turned the world into a global village; the spending capacity of the middle-class people has also risen due to availability of highly disposable income and increasing economy of the country for the past few years. All these reasons were enough for the food industry to bring into the country a multitude of different gastronomy from across the globe – like the pastas & spaghettis from Italy, the ever-popular chowmein from China, the tacos and enchiladas from Mexico, the Continental pizzas and burgers, the French flambé etc., to name a popular few which were normally ever heard of and were limited within the realms of star hotels and among those people who could afford them. But of late, there have been a slew of contemporary foods pouring into the market at affordable prices that are targeted at the growing numbers of fashionable consumers. Nevertheless , India has a never ending list of cuisines to offer in its Pan Indian Menu to lure global tourists with a gastronomic appetite
India is a country embracing diverse cultures , languages , Climates and religions .By virtue of such diversities India is blessed with multiple cuisine options .The cuisines vary from region to region, from culture to culture and religion to religion. Interstingly all the cuisines have some novelty and history attached to them. “Atithi Devo Bhava”, the phrase explains all the required queries regarding the hospitality industry inIndia. It shows how old this tradition was, which now has become one of the fastest growing industry ofthe modern world. The concept of hospitality is as old as our civilization is. In Vedic period, guests were
con sidered as God. As a country , India has a great tradition of food .Apart from nourishment , food has been an integral of any important occasion in an Indian household. However , India has not had the tradition of eating out unlike many Asian countries like China, Japan etc. Inspite of the fact restaurant industry is not a new comer in India , we have had a share of small eateries, dhabas and sweet shops etc. Eating out , today is an experience . Its a way of socializing in the community where one meets and interacts with different people in a unique ambience , while savoring new and different cuisines .Coffee shops have emerged as the new hangouts for the young , artists , professionals etc while fine dining has seen a huge demand owing to a greater exposure in the rising middle class and the elite and on the other hand trendy night clubs and bars are in a great demand with the hip and happening . Nowdays people are traveling more nationally and internationally exposing them to different cuisines, standards leading to a greater experience seeking behavior when dining out. With the rise in the demands and expectations of the society for eating out in style to get a satisfying experience , the industry has been innovating and reinventing itself in terms of cuisines , service standards and ambience . Today with such high expectations from the hospitality industry there has been a requirement of educated professionals such as chefs , managers and MBAs etc to run the industry professionally. As eating out becomes increasingly common in Indian restaurant operators across cuisine types want to secure their share of increased consumer spending. To do so, international and domestic players are continuously revamping their menu to remain relevant to consumers

Diverse Cuisine

All those who think Indian cuisine begins and ends with curry, get ready for a big surprise. The character of cuisine in India is essentially regional; reasons for this must be found in the sheer size of the country which forced every area to develop a style of cooking of its own. In times gone by transportation was a problem, and this meant that each area had to come up with a style of food which made do with the locally available materials. As a result, not only dishes, but flavors, colors, methods of cooking, down to even the style of cutting the vegetables prior to be cooked changes as often as the landscape does. Each destination has an enviable range of culinary delights which
promise a veritable gastronomic experience. The list of dishes is surprisingly
endless… pampering equally those having a penchant for the hot and sour tastes
as it does the connoisseurs with a sweet palate. The recipes are redolent of the
climate of a particular region. So, non spicy food would be usually eaten in
tropical areas while the inhabitants of salubrious places normally relish hot and
spicy preparations.

There have been foreign colonial influences in parts of India that have impacted certain regions, the Moghul or Persian influences on north Indian cooking, Portuguese influences on West Indian cooking in Goa, and French influences on South Indian cooking in Pondicherry, to name a few instances. The historical timeline of Indian cooking provides a good roadmap to this
The vegetarian tradition is widespread in India. The Mughal and coastal
influence is most evident in the cooking of meats and seafood. Mughlai food,
kababs, rich kormas, nargisi koftas, the biryani, roganjosh, and preparations from
the clay oven or tandoor like tandoori rotis and tandoori chicken are important
contributions made by the old settlers from distant lands.
The food from North India traces its descent to Persian ancestors. The Mughals
brought with them Persian and Afghan cooks who started pilafs and biryanis
garnished with silver vark(Foil), alongwith spicy kormas, koftas and kababs. Usually,
a North Indian meal consists of roti/parantha/naan (Indian breads), rice, an
assortment of accessories of dals, fried vegetables, curries, yoghurt, chutney and
pickles. However, on special occasions or when there is company, a four course
meal is served. North India is very popular with desserts like kulfi (Indian ice cream),
shahi tukda, kheer, gulab jamuns, etc. Each city offers a different but
equally inviting cuisine for the gourmet and a wide range of choices of the exquisite to rustic restaurants offering an equally exhaustive and exotic menu.
Lucknow offers the most exquisite mix of nawabi food- compromising of mothwatering kebabs such as Gallauti kababs, Tunda kababs, Gillafi kebabs , shish kababs etc
The ancient princely state of Rajasthan gave rise to a royal cuisine. Even today,
Rajasthani princely feasts flaunt delicacies that are incomparable. Their food
cooked in pure ghee is famous for its mouth-watering aroma. Rajasthan’s
tastiest curries are based on the use of pulses or gram-flour. Rajasthan can also
boast of a vast array of savouries and sun-dried snacks.

The history of Kashmiri cuisine can be traced back to the 15th century. The ultimate formalbanquet in Kashmir is the royal Wazwan. Seven dishes are a must for these
occasions…rista, roganjosh, tabakmaas, daniwal korma, aab gosht,
marchwangan korma and gustava. Kashmiri cuisine is meat based. The
abundance of dry fruits also inspire the Kashmiri connoisseur to use them
lavishly in puddings, curries and snacks. Cottage cheese or chaman, as it is
called, is a popular accompaniment to many meats and vegetables.Green tea garnished with almonds called kahva is a tradition after every meal in Kashmir.

. North India-

Punjabi cooking is celebrated as one of the most popular cuisines throughout the world.
Huge earthenware ovens are half buried and heated with charcoal fire.
Marinated meat, chicken, fish, paneer, rotis and naans of many types are cooked
in this novel oven.The butter chicken and the tandoori chicken invented by Motimahal has placed India on the world culinary map.
Goan cuisine is a blend of different influences the goans had to endure during
the centuries such as Portuguese, Spanish and French etc . The staple food in Goa is fish. Famous for its distinctive cuisine,Goa can boast of delicacies like tangy pork, vindaloo, spicy sorpotel and the everpopular goan fish curry with rice. Goa’s luscious coconut and fish based dishesdraw in people from all over the world. Goa has now emerged as an international destination for food and world cuisine besides the numerous sea food shacks and high ended restaurants many foreign chefs have opened fancy restaurants serving European cuisine such as Italian, Spanish, Austrian etc.
. The Deccan Plateau: This consists of the Dravidian belt Andhra Pradesh, Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu and Kerela the cuisine here again has several varieties. Andhra Pradesh has the Hindu vegetarian cuisine and the Moslem cuisine of Hyderabad, this state is noted for its extremely spicy cuisine. Pondicherry was a French colony and the food displays the French influence, Tamil Nadu has both vegetarian and non-vegetarian influences, Kerala is largely non-vegetarian with an extensive use of fish, seafood and meat. In fact, the cuisine here is relatively sparse in the use of vegetables
Gujaratis have truly perfected the art of vegetarian cooking. From the simplest
lentils and vegetables, they create a mouth-watering variety of food. Gujarat is
known as the land of milk and butter. Predictably so, they form part of the
Gujarati meal. A Gujarati thali meal serves an endless procession of fresh
vegetables cooked in aromatic spices, a variety of crisp, fried snacks and an
array of delectable confections typically appear in the thali.
The southern region is a gourmet’s dream. A typical meal would be based on
pulses, vegetables and a vast storehouse of spices. The food is cooked with
very little fat. The meal is usually served on a fresh green banana leaf. Idlis,
dosas and vadas are a few of the dishes that are very popular all over the
country. Rice is considered a staple part of South Indian meal which consists of
rice and sambar (curry). Here again, on special occasions or when there is
company, a four-course meal is served.
. Northeast of India: These comprise of the states east of West Bengal and include Mizoram, Meghalaya, Assam, Manipur, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura. The cuisine of this region have similarities with certain far eastern cuisines. There is widespread use of dried fish and seafood to enrich the dishes, use of items like chives to season lentil dishes and there is also extensive use of fermented grains. An interesting feature of the cuisine of this area is the use of asafetida with onions, since in most other regions this is used alternately. Rice and fish are staple here. Nothing in the east can be complete until the hilsa ( a variety of fish)has been served and eaten – be it birth, death, marriage or anything else. Fish isalmost the mascot of the emotionalpeople of the East and their Maccher Jhol(fish curry) is legendary all over India. Curry is not the only thing with which fishis eaten. It is smoked, grilled, fried, made into pakoras (patties) stuffed intogreen coconuts and now into burgers too. The other good thing of the eastern cuisine is their delicate sweets.Bengal’s greatest contribution to the food heritage of India is a magnificentspectrum of sweets made from milk and curd. Rasogullas, gulab jamuns, chamcham, malai sandwich, cheena murgi, anarkali, rajbhog– the list of mouthwatering delicacies is endless.
Mishti dhoi or yoghurt sweetened with jaggery is a must in every Bengali home.
Guests are always welcomed with sandesh or sweets made from milk and
singadas or crisp samosas. Besides sweets, the Bengalis eat fish with great
relish and most of the popular Bengali dishes are made from fish.

The gourmet’s journey through India is full of pleasant surprises

First chef from India to be invited to Le cordon Bleu to demonstrate in Paris. Monish is credited with the trailblazing turn-around of Moti Mahal, from being a small but iconic presence in Delhi, to becoming a multi-national corporation that is well on its way to defining how the world eats Indian food. A traditionalist, Monish has remained true to the signature dishes that made Moti Mahal a legend, while reinventing the dining experience into one that is exciting and avant garde to suit modern sensibilities.

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