All About North Indian Cuisine - The Food from North India, India
North Indian cuisine includes the cuisines from the states of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.
North Indian Cuisine is known as the king of cuisines in India. North Indians and their delicacies are undividable.
North Indians are known as serious food lovers and cooking for this clan is no less than a ritual when compared to other parts of the country.
The taste and flavours of the North Indian Dishes is influenced by the Mughal dynasty that ruled India for three centuries.
Apart from the architecture, saffron and rich gravies made of pureed nuts and cream are all in the recipes inherited from them.
Evolution of North Indian Cuisine - The Food from North India
North Indian cuisine has evolved by being strongly influenced by the Mughals.
North India has extreme climates. Scorching heat in summers & freezing winters makes a lot of variations in the eating patterns of the habitants in this territory.
Its geographical location with relation to the other part of the Sub-continent means that this region of the country has had strong Central Asian influences in its culture and its food.
Extreme climatic conditions have made variety of fruit and vegetable available at all times of the year, the region produces an incredible array of vegetarian dishes.
North Indian curries usually have thick, moderately spicy and creamy gravies. The use of dried fruits and nuts is fairly common even in everyday foods.
Dairy products like milk, cream, cottage cheese, ghee (clarified butter) and yogurt play an important role in the cooking of both savory and sweet dishes.
Punjabi Cuisine - Food From the State of Punjab
Punjab is also known as the "Granary of India" or "India's bread-basket".
Punjabi Cuisine: The staple food of Punjab is wheat, being an agricultural state. Punjabi cuisine has always been strongly influenced by Mughal invaders who brought with them the tradition of the great tandoor (clay oven) and now Punjabi tandoori cooking is celebrated as one of the most popular cuisine throughout the world.
The local cuisine of Punjab is heavily influenced by the agriculture and farming lifestyle prevalent from the times of the ancient Indus Valley Civilisation.
While those ancient caravan routes from Central Asia to Punjab left their lasting stamp on the Khyber Pass in the Hindu Kush mountain range also became the established route which allowed raiders to enter the subcontinent’s northern frontiers to raid and plunder the region.
Punjabi cuisine is known for its rich, buttery flavours along with the extensive vegetarian and meat dishes. Read more about the Punjabi Cuisine.
Haryanvi Cuisine - Food from the State of Haryana
Haryana is also known as the "Land of Rotis" and the “Abode of God”.
Haryanvi Cuisine: Haryanvi cuisine is like the people of Haryana – simple, earthy and inextricably linked to the land. The simpler the culture or civilisation, so is the cuisine which is uncomplicated and essentially implies sustenance.
Haryana with its essentially agrarian culture has retained simplicity in its cuisine. Hence, the ‘Land of Rotis’ is an appropriate title for Haryana, as people are fond of eating different kinds of rotis here.
Haryana is also called the “Abode of God” being derived from the Sanskrit words Hari (“the Hindu God Vishnu”) and Ayana (“home”).
Haryana has a plethora of famous delicious delectable delights in their cuisine. The dairy of Haryana is also very famous and an integral part of Haryana cuisine.
Haryana is well known for its cattle wealth and is the home of the famous Murrah buffalo and the Haryana cow.
No wonder there is an abundance of milk and milk products in Haryanvi cuisine. People make butter and ghee at home and use these liberally in their daily diet. Read more about the Haryanvi Cuisine
Rajasthani Cuisine - Food from the State of Rajasthan
Rajasthan erstwhile Rajputana is also known as the "Land of Kings".
As with all culinary cultures, the cuisine of Rajasthan is also shaped by its geographical features, climate and availability of resources.
The culinary basket of Rajasthan includes hardy crops and grains such as jowar, bajra, sesame, ragi, tur, pulses, gram, ground-nuts, etc. that can survive in the harsh climatic conditions of the region.
Rajasthani cuisine is among those rare cuisines boasting of a never-ending platter with a wide array of dishes; ranging from tangy drinks to spicy starters, mouth-watering sabzi and crunchy bread along with added delights of chutneys, achars, papad and chaach.
There is also a huge spread of delicate desserts and rich crunchy delights. Find out more about the Rajasthani Cuisine.
Kashmiri Cuisine - Food from the State of Kashmir & Jammu
Kashmir is also known as the "Paradise on Earth".
Kashmiri Cuisine: Kashmiri food that we have today in the restaurants has evolved over the years. Kashmiri cooking developed through the ages as two schools of culinary expertise: Kashmiri Pandit and Kashmiri Muslim.
The basic difference between the two was that the Pandits used hing (asafoetida) and curd and Muslims used onions and garlic. Then there is the Ladakhi cuisine as well that comes from the same region but is very different.
Kashmiri cuisine combined and evolved from the features of the cooking styles adopted in Central Asia, Persia and Afghanistan. Kashmiri food makes an extensive use of turmeric and yoghurt.
The beautiful state of Kashmir is not only famous for its beauty and serenity but the state also offers authentic non-vegetarian dishes too.
Though, being in the same belt – Kashmir and Ladakh regions have different cuisines. Find more about the Kashmiri Cuisine
Himachali Cuisine - Food from the State of Himachal Pradesh
Himachal Pradesh is also known as 'Dev Bhoomi' or the 'Land of Gods' and 'Veer Bhoomi' which means the 'Land of Braves'.
Himachali Cuisine: Varied as the land, different valley regions of Himachal offer a variety of cuisines on offer that can grip a traveller to come back looking for more.
Drawn from the farms and pastures the land grows, many dishes make a liberal use of the produce, herbs, nuts, fruits, milk and milk products.
In many belts, non-vegetarian food is the norm and most meals are centered around meat, cereals and lentils. Leafy vegetables are only a recent induction into the Himachali palate.
Traditionally, Himachali cuisine is dominated by red meat and wheat bread. Thick and rich gravy, with aromatic spices, is used in abundance as the base of many dishes.
Dham is the traditional food served in marriages or other functions. Siddu, Patrode, Cheele and Babru are the authentic snack dishes of the state. Read more about the Himachali Cuisine.
Cuisine of Uttarakhand - Food from the State of Uttarakhand
Uttarakhand was formerly known as Uttaranchal. It is also known as "Devbhumi" or the "Land of the Gods".
Uttarakhand Cuisine: Uttarakhand or Uttaranchal cuisine is simple and similar to its people. The state cuisine is meticulously chosen to not only offer the delight taste of buds but also to make most of the available resources.
The delicacies prepared in Uttarakhand simply exemplify the common phrase “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”.
You will be greeted by different aromas coming from roadside vendors while walking through the road up to your favourite hill station in Uttarakhand.
The food of Uttarakhand is classified by Garhwali cuisine and Kumaoni cuisine, food from two of its main regions. The dishes are simple and locally grown without being dominated by complex spices.
Some of the most famous dishes of Uttarakhand are cooked over a slow fire and consists of lentils. Learn more about the cuisine of Uttarakhand.
Cuisine of Uttar Pradesh - Food from Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh largely offers delicacies from Awadh and Mughlai dishes are two predominant cuisines.
Cuisine of Uttar Pradesh: The state largely offers delicacies of Awadh and Mughlai dishes which form two predominant cuisines of the state.
Awadhi food is best enjoyed in Lucknow and offers both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes which have a Mughal signature.
It was the bawarchis and rakabdars of Awadh who founded the ‘dumpukht’ style of cooking or the art of cooking over a slow fire, which has become synonymous with Lucknow today.
The cuisine of Uttar Pradesh is as diverse as its geography and has been successful in providing a satisfying experience to the travellers.
Food of Uttar Pradesh is divided into three distinct zones namely Western UP, Awadh and Eastern Uttar Pradesh.
These cuisines find their source to the courts of various emperors and rulers who have ruled the sugarcane fields of Oudh and around. The origin of some of the dishes goes as back as the life and times of Lord Krishna.
Therefore it is very natural that the state has quite a generous platter to offer to the visitors. Read more about the Cuisine of Uttar Pradesh.
Bihari Cuisine - Food from the State of Bihar
Bihar derives its name from the ancient word "Vihara" (monastery). It is indeed a land of monasteries.
Bihari Cuisine: While Bihari cuisine has many distinctive dishes, unfortunately, they are not widely known in the rest of the country.
This is partly because Bihari cuisine is often subsumed in the larger North Indian culinary practices, disallowing specific study of the Bihari spread.
However, certain Bihari dishes like Litti Chokha have received exceptional focus, ultimately leading to the outshining of other equally unique recipes of the state but this definitely put the spread on the culinary map.
Bihari cuisine, however, is very varied and wholesome. Geographically, Bihar lies on the Indo-Gangetic plain which makes it suitable for intensive agriculture. It is one of the major producers of rice in India.
More than 60 varieties of rice are cultivated here. It is both the commercial and the staple crop, and daal-bhaat (daal and rice) is the most commonly eaten food in Bihar.
Speaking of distinctive features, Bihari culinary techniques involve a great deal of deep-frying, roasting (bhoonna) and steaming.
Mustard oil is the preferred cooking base, though other vegetable oils are also used. Read more about the Bihari Cuisine
Jharkhandi Cuisine - Food from the State of Jharkhand
Jharkhand is also known as Vananchal. or the "Land of Forests" or "Bushland".
Jharkhandi Cuisine: Jharkhandi cuisine encompasses the cuisine of the Indian state of Jharkhand. Staple food of Jharkhand are rice, dal, vegetable and tubers.
Common meals often consist of vegetables that are cooked in various ways, such as curried, fried, roasted and boiled.
Traditional dishes of Jharkhand may not be available at restaurants. However, on a visit to a local village, one can get a chance to taste such exotic foods. Though, some commonly eaten daily dishes may be mild with a low oil and spice content, pickles and festive dishes may not have the same characteristics.
Jharkhand is usually known for some main dishes, but also some of the major dishes as in other neighbouring states.
The food is not very different from its neighboring state of Bihar. Jharkhandi People normally prefer rice, vegetables and pickles for their household meals.
Peoples of Jharkhand usually use Sunflower Oil and Mustard Oil for daily cooking. Some of the mainstream local vegetarian dishes of Jharkhand include Dhuska, Koinar Saag, Dubki, Urad Dal, Kulthi Dal, Litti-Chokha.
Some more are Sattu Paratha, Pitha, Khapada, Roti, Arsa, Mitha Pitha, and Kudrum Ki Chatni.
The popular non-vegetarian dishes of Jharkhand include Mudwa Khussi Meat, Duck Meat, Deshi Chicken and Tengara Fee. Read more about the Jharkhandi Cuisine
Cuisine of Chhattisgarh - Food from the State of Chhattisgarh
Chhattisgarh is also known as the ''Rice bowl of India".
Cuisine of Chhattisgarh: Being a state which produces staple food in abundance, a great part of the food culture of Chhattisgarh consists of the staple crops such as Rice, Wheat, Bajra, Jawar.
Other than these lentils like urad dal, chicken, mutton & leafy vegetables are majorly consumed in the state. Many sweet dishes are made of rice too.
The state largely maintains its ethnic food culture as most of its population continues to live within rural and tribal areas.
The state has nearly 44% of forest cover which serves as a decent source of food. People here prefer a vegetarian diet, and over 70 varieties of leaves, 25 varieties of tubers and roots are used here as vegetables.
The locals of this place are very fond of protein-rich food. The visitors are often enticed with the variety of lentils served to them.
The locals are also fond of snacks and every evening a variety of snack elements are presented. The sweet delectables are in a wide number of range.
The food of the state is highly inspired from its neighboring states. Hence, a great meal of food of Chhattisgarh promises a great taste and delicious inspirations from its neighbours.
The State of Chhattisgarh is known as the rice bowl of India and has a rich tradition of food culture.
Chhattisgarhi people like all types of spicy, salty and sweet food famous among them are Chila, Faraa/ Phara, Aamat, Muthia, Bafauri, Bara, Sabudana ki Khichdi, Bhajia, Tilghur, Khurma & Hatphodva.
Some more of these dishes include Dubki Kadi, Dal Pithi, Kujhiya, etc. Read more about the Chhattisgarhi Cuisine
Cuisine of Madhya Pradesh - Food from the State of Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh is also known as the “Heart of India”.
Cuisine of Madhya Pradesh: The cuisine of Madhya Pradesh is as varied as its people, history and its culture. Though modernity can never be able to intervene into the traditional methods of cooking, the authenticity has been very well maintained.
The cuisine of Madhya Pradesh varies regionally. Wheat is more common in the north and rice is more popular in the south.
The cuisine of Madhya Pradesh takes inspiration from its neighbours Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra. There are some tribal flavours as well.
Due to its extensiveness in terms of area, Madhya Pradesh cuisine differs from the northern Madhya Pradesh than the southern part.
In fact, people from all over the country settled in Madhya Pradesh are also an important contribution to the multi diversity in cuisine.
The food also has various influences dude to its cultural & historical legacy.
Wheat is the staple ingredient of Madhya Pradesh. Flowers of the Mahua tree that are highly nutritious are used in jams, jellies and biscuits.
Mahua seed oil is also extracted and used as a bio-fuel in Madhya Pradesh. The home-made spices and organic pulses make the Madhya Pradesh cuisine delicious.
Today, the Bhopal Cuisine serves you with spicy kebabs, biryani, korma, fish, meat and keema. Places such as Indore and Gwalior provide you with various delicacies prepared from milk.
Bundelkhand will surprise you with the famed Bundeli hospitality. Mahakoshal will offer traditional Tikkis, Gulab Jamun & Meva Bati. The distinct Malwa cuisine, the Nimar cuisine or the Baghelkhand (Bagelkhand) cuisine, Madhya Pradesh has a lot to offer.
What are the cooking methods for North Indian Food?
Traditional and modern methods are both employed for cooking North Indian cuisine.
Kitchen Equipment for North Indian Cuisine – The traditional stoves and ovens used to cook North Indian food include:
Chulha – The traditional name of the stove in the North Indian language is chulha. Traditional houses also have ovens (wadda chulha or band chulha) that are made from bricks, stones, and in many cases clay.
Angithi – Angithi is a traditional brazier used for space-heating and cooking in North India. It usually generate heat from burning coal and, when in use, have glowing coal or charcoal pieces but few or no flames.
Bhatti – A masonry oven is known as a Bhatti. Outdoor cooking and grilling have many different types of Bhatti.
Tandoor – The tandoor is traditionally made of clay and is a bell-shaped oven, set into the earth and fired with wood or charcoal reaching high temperatures.
Okhal aur Moosal and Sil Batta – Spices would be ground/ crushed with the traditional mortar and pestle (Okhal aur Moosal) and grinding stones (Sil batta).
Handi, Degchi, Patila, Karchi, Kadai, Tawa – For cooking & serving, these iron, brass and copper utensils, believed to be beneficial for health, are still used in the North India for both ritual and utilitarian purposes.
Modern equipment – This includes pressure cooker & griddle.
Dining & Eating Etiquette for North India
North Indian households follows a similar or slightly varied dining etiquette. Family dining is a basic norm.
Though certain dining etiquette varies regionally, there are many practices that are common throughout North India. Family dining is an established norm in most North Indian families.
Bringing and sending fresh fruits, sweets and food items as gifts to family members is a common practice in North India, particularly during the spring season.
Food items are distributed among neighbours as well on special occasions and as a sign to show hospitality.
Invitation for meals – Invitation to a meal or tea is generally distributed few days beforehand & denying or not turning up for the invitation for no major reason is considered a breach of etiquette.
- The invited guest or elder person is given special respect and attention.
- The invited guest are requested to start the meal & it is considered rude if the host starts eating without taking into account the attendance of all guests.
- Table setting is done before the arrival of the guests.
- Family members or any occupants within one home make sure to eat together during the dinner.
- Hand washing prior to and after the dinner, lunch or brunch at any household of north India is a norm.
- It is considered rude to start eating food without asking others to participate in a meal.
- Use right hand for food intake and left hand for drinking water or drinks.
- Chewing food with one’s mouth open and burping in front of others is considered rude.
- The bread is eaten with the hands. Rice and desserts are eaten with spoons. Soup spoons are used for consuming soup and forks are used for eating noodles.
- Politely ask for the dish to be passed on instead of grabbing it from far across the table.
- DO NOT pass on your JHOOTA (food that has been in contact with your mouth) even to your family members in front of an Indian host.
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