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  Indian Cuisine
• Breakfast  • Lunch  • Refreshments  • Dinner  • Drinks


Indian food reflects a mixture of the cuisines of many diverse regions. It represents its religious beliefs, cultural practices, and above all, its geographical attributes. Most Indian cuisines are related by similar usage of spices. Often, Indian cooking is distinguished by the use of a larger variety of vegetables than many other well-known cuisines. Within these recognizable similarities, there is enormous variety of local styles.

In the north and the west, Kashmiri and Mughlai cuisines show strong central Asian influences. Through the medium of Mughlai food, this influence has circulated into many regional kitchens. To the east, the Bengali and Assamese styles shade off into the cuisines of East Asia.

All coastal kitchens make use of fish and coconuts. The desert cuisines of Rajasthan and Gujarat use an immense variety of dals and achars (pickles) to substitute for the relative lack of fresh vegetables. The use of tamarind to impart sourness distinguishes Tamil food. The Andhra kitchen is accused, sometimes unfairly, of using excessive amounts of chillies.

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Paratha

Paratha is an Indian flatbread, usually made with whole-wheat flour, fried in ghee, and sometimes stuffed with vegetables, or Paneer (Indian cheese). Indian immigrants brought this dish to Malaysia and Singapore, resulting in variations such as roti canai and roti paratha. Parathas are enjoyed with mixed vegetable curry, particularly gobi (cauliflower) and a salad.

Chapatti

Chapatti or roti is the most common break fast of India. It is made from a dough of atta flour (whole grain durum wheat), water and salt. The dough is flattened into discs of approximately twelve centimeters in diameter; these discs are roasted on a very hot, dry tava (Indian Griddle) or frying pan (preferably not one coated with Teflon or other nonstick material). Each disc is then held directly into an open flame for about half a second, causing it to puff up with steam, like a balloon.

Puri

A puri is an Indian unleavened bread made from a dough of atta (whole grain durum wheat flour), water and salt by rolling it out into small discs and deep frying it in ghee or vegetable oil. Traditionally served in South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka) it and is best eaten if served hot.

Baati

Baati is a hard, unleavened bread cooked in desert areas North India. It is prized there for its exceptionally long life and high energy content, as well as the minimal quantity of water required for preparation. It is always eaten with dal.

Idly - saambaar

Idly is a typical South Indian dish; but now, it is the most common breakfast available across the country. It is made by steaming batter into patties, using specially made idly pans or idly trays. The batter is made by grinding soaked rice and black lentil in a grinder. This batter is allowed to ferment over night, which brings the idly its unique taste. Usually idly is eaten with a coconut chutney or sambar, which is a dish common in southern India, made of lentils and vegetables in a spicy tamarind and lentil flour soup base. It is served with idly, dosa and vada for breakfast and with boiled rice for lunch.

Dosa

The dosa is also from South India. This is a very thin cooked pancake made using the very same batter used for idly. The batter is ladled in small amounts onto a pre-heated tava (Indian Griddle) and is fried with edible oil or ghee until golden brown. Dosa is served hot with coconut chutney or sambar.

Upma

Main ingredient of upma is Wheat Rava (Semolina). Dry-roast rava is cooked in a large saucepan, with vegetables, green chilies, ginger, spices and water. Upma is removed from flame, when rava absorbs the water. It is garnished with grated coconut, chopped cilantro leaves and lemon juice. Upma tastes well with a variety of side-dishes like yogurt, Chutney, Sugar or Pickles.

Idi-appam and stew

di-appam (Rice Noodles), also known as Stringhoppers, is a light south Indian food, usually served for breakfast in Kerala. It can be eaten with side dishes like mixed vegetable or mutton stew and/or sweetened coconut milk.

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Biryani

Biryani is a rice dish from the Indian Subcontinent made with a mixture of spices, basmati rice, meat/vegetables and yogurt. The spices and condiments used in Biryani contribute to its unique taste. There are hundreds of varieties across India for Biryani, which can be broadly classified into Vegetarian and Non-Veg. The main ingredients of Veg-Biryani are cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaves, coriander and mint leaves, apart from ghee, ginger, onions, garlic and yoghurt. In Non-Veg Biryani, the ingredient that accompanies the spices and condiments is meat - chicken, goat, lamb or sometimes beef. Biryani is usually served with a mango or lime pickle, salad and/or some side-dish like raita or korma.

Tandoori Chicken

This is a chicken dish aging back to the time of the Mughal Empire in Central and Southern Asia and is still popular throughout the same area. It has gained popularity even among people whose religion forbids the consumption of meat (Hinduism/Sikhism) in India. The chicken is marinated for some time in a yogurt marinade well seasoned with garlic, ginger, cumin, garam masala, cayenne pepper, and other spices depending on the recipe. It is traditionally cooked at high temperatures in an earthen oven (i.e. tandoor)

Pulao

Pulao or 'pulav' is made of rice along with peas, potatoes, mutton, beef or chicken. This is a dish in which rice is generally first browned in oil, and then cooked in a seasoned broth. Depending on the local cuisine, it may contain a variety of meat and vegetables. The difference between biryani and pulao is that, biryani may be made by cooking the items together, whereas pulao is made by cooking the rice separately from other ingredients. Pulao is served hot with yogurt salads.

Sadya

The sadya is usually served as lunch. It is a big feast associated with special occasions such as a marriage, birthday or childbirth. Sadya is traditionally a vegetarian meal served on a banana leaf; people eat sitting cross-legged on the floor. The main dish is plain boiled rice. There will be more than seven curries, three pickles, papadum, plain yogurt or buttermilk, banana chips, and two or more payasams.

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Vada Pav

Vada Pav is an Indian vegetarian fast food commonly eaten in Mumbai (Maharashtra). It consists of a vada, served in a bun (pav). The vada is usually potato-based. Potatoes are mashed/diced and coated with an herb-seasoned batter, then deep fried. The finished vada is then wrapped in bread and served with condiments such as chutney and red chili powder.

Chaat

Chaat refers to small plates of savory snacks served at the side of the road from stalls or carts. Although chaat dishes originated in North India, they became popular across the country. Now there are restaurants in the major cities like Mumbai and Bangalore; which specialise in chaat items.

Modak

Modak, also called modagam, is a sweet dish which originated in the Indian state of Maharashtra. Usually, modaks are made with an outer crust of rice flour, and a filling of coconut (sweetened with jaggery or, sometimes, sugar).

Aloo Bonda

Bonda is a typical South Indian snack. The process of making Bonda involves deep frying potato or some other vegetable filling dipped in gram flour batter.

Tandoori Fish Tikka

Boneless pieces of deep-sea kingfish wrapped in green masala, herbs and spices then smoked to perfection. It is most commonly served with chapattis.

Tandoori Prawn

Prawn cutlets marinated in yogurt and spices and then gently cooked in the tandoor. This is a North Eastern India specialty.

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Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala is one of the most popular Indian dishes in the world. British politician Robin Cook described it as "a true British national dish". Its popularity has proven so great that almost every Indian restaurant worldwide offers it.

Mashli Gashli

Mashli Gashli is special variety of seafood served in the beach hotels of Goa. Coconut oil lends its special flavor to this fish delicacy cooked in coconut milk and other spices.

Rice Congee

Rice congee is a type of rice porridge that is usually served as supper dish. It can be made in a pot or in a rice cooker, by boiling rice in water. Congee is usually seasoned with salt, ghee and scraped coconut before serving. It also is a traditional "sick-food" of South India.

Curd Rice

Thayir Sadam or curd rice is a dish originating with the Tamil culture of South India. It is most easily prepared by simply mixing boiled rice and curd; more elaborate methods are used when needed. It can also be prepared by mashing cooked plain rice, mixing it with some salt, yogurt and a bit of milk; and garnishing it with fried urad dal, mustard seeds, green chili and chopped cilantro.

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Gulab Jamun

Gulab Jamun is a popular Indian sweet dish comprised of fried milk balls in a sweet syrup flavoured with cardamom seeds and rosewater or saffron. Mixes and finished products are often available in supermarkets, though it is still popular to be made from scratch. It is most commonly served in the Northern part of India.

Rasgulla

Rasgulla is a common dish in the Western parts of India. Rasgulla is produced by mixing the sweetened cottage cheese with a small amount of semolina to lighten it, and then forming the mix into small balls, which are then boiled in light sugar syrup until the syrup diffuses into the ball.

Kulfi

Kulfi is a popular ice cream made with boiled buffalo milk. It is available in many flavors like pistachio, malai, mango, cardamom and saffron. Its difference from western ice cream is the richer taste and creamier texture. Kulfi is also served with Falooda.

Jhajhariya

Jhajhariya is a delicacy of Indian origin made of corn, milk, ghee and sugar garnished with raisins and nuts. It is usually served along with other Rajasthani dishes.

Payasam or Kheer (porridge)

This is a traditional rice pudding typically made by boiling rice with milk and sugar. It is often flavored with cardamom and pistachios. It is an essential dish in many Hindu and Muslim feasts and celebrations. Payasam is served as an offering to the Gods in Hindu temples during rituals and ceremonies. It is also served at Muslim weddings and on the feasts of Eid ul-Fitr and Eid ul-Adha.

MysorePak (Burfi)

Mysore pak is a sweet South Indian dish, usually served as dessert. It is made of generous amounts of ghee (clarified butter), sugar and chick pea (besan) flour. The dish is renowned for its unrivalled richness and fantastic sweetness.

Halva

The word halva is used to describe block shaped confections. It is a popular sweet in India and neighboring countries, and is made with semolina wheat, sugar or honey, and butter or vegetable oil. Raisins, dates or other dried fruits are often included.

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Sweet Lassi

The sweet lassi is prepared by mixing cold curd with the sugar. It is usually served in summer during which the temperature is as high as 45 degrees.

Falooda

Falooda is a refreshment drink popular throughout North India and Pakistan. It is made by mixing milk, vermicelli, tutti frutti and sugar along with huge amounts of ice cream. Falooda is available in flavors like rose, chocolate, mango and many others. A variant is falooda kulfi, where falooda and kulfi are served together with a syrup.

Ginger Lemon Drink 

Ginger Lemon Drink as the name suggests is a mixture of ginger and lemon along with sugar, crushed ice, and water.

Jal Jeera

Jal Jeera is extremely popular in Northern India because of its cooling properties against the extreme heat there. It is generally served with appetizers before a meal. Jal Jeera is a healthy, no sugar, no artificial flavors drink and hence is loved by weight watchers. The main ingredients are water cumin and salt. The Cumin makes this drink special as it aids in digestion.

Kashmiri Namkeen Chai

The Kashmiri Namkeen Chai (Tea) is an exclusive drink in the Northern parts of India, which is spicy and tasty. Its ingredients are milk, sugar, and salt mixed in tea.

Indian Filter Coffee

South Indian Coffee, also known as Madras Filter Coffee is a sweet milky coffee made from dark roasted coffee beans and chicory. Traditional households would not use granulated sugar but jaggery, to sweeten the coffee. The filter coffee is typically served in a Dabarah and tumbler. Dabarah is a wide metal saucer with lipped walls; the tumbler filled with coffee is placed in this saucer. The coffee is drunk after pouring it back and forth between the dabarah and the tumbler. This cools the very hot coffee down and leaves a thick layer of froth on top.

Goan Fenny

Fenny is an Indian liquor made from either coconut or the juice of the cashew apple. It is originated in Goa, and the Goan fenny is generally considered superior, with the best brand being "Big Boss" (available both in coconut and (slightly more expensive cashew versions). The other popular brands of Fenny are 'Cashyo' and 'Reals' (pronounced as Reaals). Feni made from the cashew apple is known as Kaju feni (cashew feni).

Toddy

Palm toddy or simply Toddy, is an alcoholic beverage created from the sap of various species of palm tree. The drink is common in South India (particularly in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, where it is known by the name of kallu).Palm wine is generally drunk soon after creation, since it has a short shelf life.


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