9. February 2016 – 12:49
For many, eating culture plays a major role during a trip to a foreign country. In fact, eating habits tell us a lot about people and the country, and so it is in India as well. Only that India is so large and that theredore there are so many different varieties regarding food and eating habits- just as in Euope.
If I travel with my Indian friends from the northern Himalayan region to the coasts of Kerala, the dishes prepared with coconut and lots of fish are as foreign to them as for me.
So “Indian” is not the same as “Indian”! The slightly milder dishes we know from Indian restaurants are more adapted from the North Indian cuisine.
Here you eat vegetable and meat curries. “Curry” does not mean the spice mixture as we know it, but a gravy made out of tomatoes, onions, garlic, ginger and various spices, often enriched with nuts and cream.
In general, people eat a lot of vegetarian food in India. The vegetable dishes are creative and numerous, so that especially vegetarian travellers in India are particularly well off! The dishes are served with rice or Indian flatbreads, which are baked either in the pan, in the oven or in oil.
Particularly typical are the so-called “Dal” dishes. Dal means legume, and includes all forms of lentils and dried beans. They are important protein givers and come to the table almost daily in Indian households. Together with a vegetable curry, rice, bread and maybe some yogurt, you have a complete meal, the so-called thali (plate).
Fish is very popular in coastal regions, while meat plays a major role in mountainous regions, but also in Kerala, muslim places and in cities.
Among Hindus, the cow is considered sacred, so the preparation of beef is widely dispensed with exception in some Christian and Muslim regions). For this, a lot of chicken, as well as goat and sheep meat is eaten, either baked in the oven (the so-called tandoor), or again in delicious and spicy gravies.
in the northern Buddhist regions, warming noodle soups, stuffed and steamed dough bags, as well as Chinese dishes are served.
The Indian eats also hearty and warm for breakfast. In the north, stuffed flatbreads (paranthas) or fried bread with chickpeas are popular, while in southern India dosa (rice pancakes) are common.
Depending on the region, the food in India can not only be very flavourful (cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, turmeric, coriander and cumin is used gladly and generously), but also very spicy. Chillis are especially popular in Southern India and Rajasthan! Caution! Always prefer to mention that one wants the dishes medium, or not at all spicy!
Sweet milk tea is drunk, boiled with cardamom, ginger and cinnamon. It often serves as a small energy giver.
Otherwise, fruit lassis are a delicious alternative.
Coffee is drunk in southern India. If you are a big coffee lover, you should bring your own coffee for a trip to northern India. For the most part, there is only Nescafe here.
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