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Indian food is a world-renowned cuisine that features tantalising spice blends, colourful recipes, and delicious flavours. However, traditional Indian food is vastly different from one region to the next. It is influenced by a variety of things, including geography, culture, and religion.

The main ingredients that make up Indian cooking are rice, wheat, lentils, chickpeas, onion, potatoes, raisins, and yogurt. Although there are plenty of vegetarian dishes, meat is also a key ingredient in many Indian recipes.

Some of the most common traditional Indian foods include khichdi, a combination of rice and lentils; dal tadka, a dish made with split yellow peas; and biryani, a popular rice-based curry that can be flavoured with a wide range of spices and cooked with meat or vegetable.

Typical flavours in Indian food are usually quite mild, though they can be spicy in some cases. The classic Indian spice blends include cumin, fenugreek, coriander, turmeric, cardamom, and ginger. Other spices commonly used in Indian food include fennel, pepper, and cloves.

Northern Indian food is characterised by ghee, dairy products and fried snacks such as samosas, rich stews and curries and cooking in tandoors. Those in Jammu and Kashmir and Gujarat enjoy meat dishes such as rogan josh, while those in South India prefer coconut-based curries and fruits like mangoes and tamarind.

East Indian sweets such as gulab jamun and halwa (sweetened rice pudding) are also very popular. These fudge-like confections are traditionally made from khoa (dried milk solids) and butter, but an easy version is also available that uses milk powder instead.

If you’re a fan of savoury food, try some of the tandoori chicken and vindaloo dishes. These dishes are typically marinated in yoghurt and skewered before being cooked in the tandoor, resulting in succulent, smokey meat.

Biryani is a popular rice-based curry that can include meat, vegetables, or both, and is traditionally flavoured with ghee. The dish can also be flavoured with saffron or dried fruits.

Another well-known Indian dessert is the samosa, which are crisp triangles of pastry filled with savory fillings such as potatoes and peas. They are a favorite street food across India.

Besides the famous samosa, there are other snacks that can be enjoyed on the go throughout the country, such as bhel puri (a puffy rice and tamarind snack) and kabobs. You can also try some of the other savory Indian dishes that are popular around the country, such as rasam soup and rice cakes (idli).

A sweet dish that can be enjoyed as a light meal or an accompaniment to a savoury meal is the kheer, which is a mixture of rice, milk, sugar and raisins. It’s often topped with cardamom or almonds and can be served hot or cold.

Other desserts that are popular in the country include kulfi, which is similar to an American ice cream but is made from reduced milk. The dish can be flavored with mango, rose water, and other fruits or spices.