North Indian Cuisine

North Indian cuisine has some of the most exotic foods available in India and some say that if you are going to India for just the food, then the North is the place to be.

The staple of North Indian cuisine consists predominately of lentils, vegetables and Roti (round, flat wheat bread). North Indian food is also noted for its high use of dairy products. Milk, paneer, butter and yoghurt are all used as either an ingredient in the cooking process or served as a side dish.

The Thali is a good example of a standard meal in North India and would usually consist of Roti, rice and a selection of side dishes. Sometimes you will only get a couple consisting of a chutney and a Dal (lentil gravy) but if you are lucky or go to a restaurant specialising in Thalis you can get up to 12 side dishes with things like fried vegetables, curd, mango puree, chutneys, pickles, the list goes on. A typical dessert would be a choice of sweet meats which originated in Bengal. Things like Rasagulla (cheese balls dipped in syrup), Sandesh (coconut and sugar balls) and Gulab Jamuns (cream, sugar, flour and saffron).

Cuisine in the North utilises the use of the 'Tawa' (griddle) for baking the flat breads such as Roti and Paranthas and the 'Tandoor" which is a large round oven used for baking Naan bread and Tandoori chicken.

The North also eat more meat than the rest of the country, goat and lamb are popular, obviously no steak (holy cows) and pork is rare because of the large Muslim population.

The Samosa has been a large part of North Indian lives for centuries and can now be found all over India and the rest of the world. Each street seller or chef will have their own secret recipes but popular ingredients consist of fried or mashed potato with spices or minced meat, cheese, mushroom or chick peas.

Because of the large Muslim population in North India, kebabs and other meat dishes have become very popular.

Further reading

The Food of India

This gorgeous oversized hardback has an excellent range of beautiful recipes for everything an Indian Kitchen should have including how to make panner, chenna, yoghurt, strange Indian vegetables and more. The illustrations are spectacular and are accompanied by little blurbs and pieces of information relating to the food.

Eating India: An Odyssey into the Food and Culture of the Land of Spices

This award winning book has been highly acclaimed by chefs, authors and critics for a few years now and is an essential item in any food lovers bookshelf. The book Skillfully move backward and forward in time covering everything about Indian food with the intimacy of a native, the curiosity of an outsider and the broad vantage of an expatriate.

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