Characterised by its unique use of spices, herbs and vegetables grown throughout the length and breadth of the Indian terrain, Indian food offers one of the most diverse cuisines throughout the world. From the kebabs and tandoori food of the North to the idlis and dosas of the south; from the sweetdishes like rasagulla of the east to the pani puri snacks of the Western region, the cuisine of the country satiates the tastebuds of almost everyone, and in fact leaves one mind-boggled as to the variations on offer. Popular not just amongst the Indian populace and the diaspora but also globally amongst other peoples, the popularity of Indian food could be attributed to its diversity which allows the accommodation of everything from the simplest of vegetarian dishes to the richness and complexity of non-vegetarian food, and from the spiciest of curries and gravies to the sweetest of sweetmeats.

As a land known for the heterogeneity of its various cultures which provide a beautiful example of its complex heritage, the cuisine of India is a reflection of the way the intermingling of various cultures can give rise to a breathtaking multiplicity of food. Food in the country is not just a means of filling one’s belly, but is an integral part of the way of life, with good food being considered one of the key ingredients for the recipe to a satisfying life. In many cases, food is also a marker of social and historical identity, and the diversification on offer testifies to the influence of the various histories and religions which make India such a complex nation to fathom. Food thereby is more than just a cultural indicator within the framework of the Indian cultural ethos, it is a way of life which is a testimony to the broad processes of historical and cultural evolution that the nation has undergone in its long history, and as such, is an important contributor to the variety of meanings that can help us comprehend that elusive question-‘What is India all about?’

Categories: Indian Food

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