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indian cuisine

India is a country with one of the world’s most diverse cuisines, and each region has its own unique dishes. From savory samosas to sweet barfis, Indian food is known for its fresh ingredients, spices, and flavors.

Mealtimes are an important part of life in India, and many families cook together with the same ingredients from their kitchen. Most meals include several dishes, ranging from staples like rice and bread to meat and vegetables. They are often accompanied by a dessert or beverage and are eaten together on large platters called thalis.

A thali is an entire plate of food that’s meant to be eaten in one sitting, so that each course can be enjoyed in its entirety. Some courses are mild, while others are spicy and hot.

Some of the most popular dishes are tandoori chicken, chana masala, and biryani. They’re all simple but delicious and often served with naan or paratha, a flaky bread that is baked in ghee or Indian clarified butter.

Biriyani: This dish has its origins in the Mughal Empire. It’s made with basmati rice, a base of either meat or vegetables, and spices. A variety of other optional ingredients such as dried fruits, nuts, and yogurt can also be added.

Chole (Chole) Masala: This is a popular North Indian curry, and it’s packed with flavor. The chickpeas are cooked in a spice-forward sauce that’s usually complemented by fried Indian leavened bread, such as bhature or kulcha.

Samosa: These crispy stuffed pastries are popular snacks in India. They’re traditionally made with potato and flour, but they can also be filled with a variety of ingredients such as cheese, meat, or vegetable fillings.

Fish: Some of the best-known fish curries in India come from the west coast, including Goan fish curry. Firm-fleshed white fish is common, but check the local fish market to ensure that it’s fresh.

Coconut: The versatile fruit is a key ingredient in many southern Indian dishes, and it’s also used as a garnish or a drink. It’s a great way to add texture and creaminess to a dish.

Vegetarian: Indian vegetarian cuisine is very healthy, and it can be quite flavorful. Vegetarian dishes are often flavored with garlic, turmeric, and chili powder, among other spices. They’re paired with vegetables, lentils, and other grains.

Unlike western cooking, in which most vegetables are cut into bite-sized pieces to prevent waste, Indian cooking is more often served in small amounts with a side of rice or another wholesome grain. Vegetables are seasoned with a mixture of ginger, garlic, and other aromatics before being grilled or steamed.

Indian cuisine is very social and is meant to be shared with family and friends. A thali is a platter of different courses, and most people eat in groups of four or more at once.

Eating without cutlery is common in India, and most food is eaten using the fingers of the right hand. This is believed to activate a “sixth sense” that enhances pleasure in eating.