Letter of Transmittal
Subir Kumar Banerjee (MHCIMA-UK)
College of Tourism and Hospitality Management (CTHM)
IUBAT—International University of Business Agriculture and Technology
Subject: Submission of the report on Indian Cuisine.
I have been advised to prepare a presentation on Indian Cuisine.
I have followed your guidelines to prepare this report and all steps of communication system. To
make this report I have faced many problem, but crossing this hardship I have tried my lavel best
to make it successful. I have added lots of information about Indian Cuisines as per your
guidelines on this report. From this report I have learned a lot of basic knowledge of Indian
Cuisine and i think it will help me a lot in my future career.
Due to the short span of time I faced a lot of problems to prepare this report. Crossing all the
challenges finally I am able to submit my report on due time. I will be grateful if you accept my
report with the care of limitations.
Md. Al-Amin Khan
This Introduction to Indian Cuisine report is prepared on the basis of the assignment taken from
the book and internet . It was a magnificent practice while working on Indian Cuisines. I am
grateful to all the respondents for patiently furnishing the required information, which was
needed for successful completion of this report. Lots of people helped me by contributing
information to make this report. I would like to thanks, Subir Kumar Banerjee (MHCIMAUK)
(Director of College of Tourism and Hospitality Management.)
Md. Ismail Hossen (santo) ( Work on Kazana,Indian resturant ), I am expressing my immense
gratitude to all of them who have extended support, direction and speared their valuable time on
preparing this report.
I am also grateful to the internet (Wikipedia) to give information about my queries and their
support and to all those who have in some way contributed to the preparation of this report.
my heartiest thanks for all of them.I will be always pleased to them.
First of all to make this report I have set an objective on which segment of the communication. I
will conduct my research. So that, I choose Indian Cuisine and also evolution of communicating
strategy followed by Indian Cuisine through which I can predict the present situation of Indian
To evaluate about Indian Cuisines I have to get different information from the internet about
present situation of Indian Cuisine compares with other. I have visited various websites to
congregate information about Indian cuisine. After visiting the website I devoted myself into
analyzing the respond which I have been found through the research to portray findings which I
have given later in this report.
I have tried to make it writing easy and rich by information.
Table of Contents
Title Name Page
Part: 1 Prefactory Part…………………………………………………
Letter of Transmittal 1
Executive summary 3
Table of Contents 4 -7
Part:2 introductory Part of the Report………………………………….
2.1Introduction 9 -10
Part:3 History of Indian Food……………………………………………
3.1 Introduction to the Indian Food 12
3.2 Indian Appetizers and Snacks 13-14
3.3 Indian Sweets. 15-16
3.4 Conclusion 17
Part:4 Types of Indian Regional Cuisine…………………………………..
4.1 Introduction 19
Part :5 North Indian Cuisine………………………………………………
5.1 introduction 21
5.2 Awadhi cuisine 21-22
5.2.1 Awadhi dastarkhwan 22-24
5.2.2Desserts comprise 24-25
5.2.3 Kebab 26-27
5.2.4 Curry preparations 28
5.2.5Rice preparations 29
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Indian cuisine can be said to have evolved along lines parallel to Indian history. India has ancient
cultural heritage which is dependent on religion, geography and socio-economic conditions.
Traditionally Indian cooking has been handed down through the generations by demonstrations
and word of mouth.
Strong impact was made on Indian cuisine during the reign of Mughals in the sixteenth century,
who were fond of good living. Cooking and eating. Muslim cooking was based on meat. Their
Influence was sti-ongesl In North and Central India. Since then, well-known Mughlat flt.shcs
wci-revolved which have soon developed into an Important culinary art and is part of Indian
cuisine. Extreme South, the Mughal influence was less. where cooking is mainly vegetarian. The
regional dishes from different parts of India are Influenced by religion. availability of Ingredients
and old traditions and customs, many of them being Influenced by the different invasions.'Thus it
is a combination of cookery of many nationalities.
The cooking habits of india vary not within the religious communities but from area to area.
Indian cuisine or Indian food encompasses a wide variety of regional cuisines native to India.
Given the range of diversity in soil type, climate and occupations, these cuisines vary
significantly from each other and use locally available spices, herbs, meat, vegetables, and fruits.
Indian food is also heavily influenced by religious and cultural choices.
The development of these cuisines have been shaped by Dharmic beliefs, and in particular by
vegetarianism, which is a growing dietary trend in Indian society. There has also been Central
Asian influence on North Indian cuisine from the years of Mughal and Turkic Delhi Sultanate
rule. Indian cuisine has been and is still evolving, as a result of the nation's cultural interactions
with other societies.
Historical incidents such as foreign invasions, trade relations and colonialism have also played a
role in introducing certain foods to the country. For instance, potato, a staple of Indian diet was
brought to India by the Portuguese, who also introduced chillies and breadfruit.Indian cuisine has
also shaped the history of international relations; the spice trade between India and Europe is
often cited by historians as the primary catalyst for Europe's Age of Discovery.Spices were
bought from India and traded around Europe and Asia. It has also influenced other cuisines
across the world, especially those from Southeast Asia, the British Isles and the Caribbean.
Indian cuisine reflects a 5000-year history of various groups and cultures interacting with the
subcontinent, leading to diversity of flavours and regional cuisines found in modern-day India.
Later British and Portuguese influence added to the already diverse Indian Cuisine.
Indian dishes are popular all over the world for its taste and variety. There are people who travel
a long distance to have the taste of it. There is so many things that you never forget about India,
one of them is Tasty dishes. Nothing reaveals the variety in Indian culture better than the
diversity of its sensational food.
3.1 Introduction to the Indian Food
Once considered the shining jewel in the British Empire’s crown, India can today be easily
deemed as the huge, 60-carat diamond in the World’s flavored cuisine ring. The large variety of
dishes, appetizers, snacks, side dishes and desserts have found numerous fans on an international
scale, as Indian restaurants spread at an incredible rate, with an enormous success in every
possible culture and in every possible corner of the World. Combining all tastes possible, the
Indian cuisine is bound to satisfy spice-lovers, “salty” people and persons with a sweet tooth
alike (although the latter will feel right at home, since India is a “sweet” country).
Some say that the Indian cuisine is almost as diverse as the entire European cuisine, because of
the four different main regional styles: the North Indian cuisine (the regions Benaras, Kashmir,
Mughlai, Punjab and Rajasthan), the South Indian cuisine (regions Andhra, Kannada, Kerala and
Tamil), East Indian cuisine (regions Assamese and Bengali) and Western Indian cuisine (regions
Gujarat, Maharashtrian and Malwani). The northern part of India is mostly rural, although it
contains large cities such as Delphi or Calcutta, thus its cuisine is more agricultural than
anything, wheat being a primary constituent of this region’s dishes. Southern regions however
tend to be more exotic, more spicy in their dishes and rice is a constant ingredient in their food.
To give the taste of their main dishes, North Indians use onions and coriander whilst southerners
use a more exotic coconut base for their dishes.
The history of Indian food tells us that during the reign of the British Empire in India (the British
Raj), the local cuisine was considered by the Europeans closely to what Gods taught of ambrosia:
a delightful, heavenly and delicate dish. Many times, we ask how the Indian cuisine grew to be
so popular, so diverse and so delightful. In truth, the question is quite dim…from a population of
one billion people, is it really that hard to believe some of them are great cooks?…
But let’s take a closer look at what Indian dishes and snacks have to offer, providing a history of
Indian food and a few related legends alongside. Ready your taste buds, because it’s going to be
one juicy ride!
3.2 Indian Appetizers and Snacks.
The history of Indian food and especially of Indian appetizers is closely related to the country’s
culture and traditions. The Indian cuisine is as diverse as the Indian people and it has a large (and
extremely rich) selection of appetizers, hors d'oeuvres, and snacks. Besides being extremely tasty
and actually stimulating your appetite rather than diminishing it like some other cuisines’
appetizers, these fast snacks are also quite low in fat, since they are based on a number of spices
and herbs, such as ginger, cinnamon, garlic, cloves, asafetida, aniseed or coriander, rather that
the fat appetizers you’ll find mostly anywhere else in the World.
The majority of Indian appetizers and snacks are based on potatoes, combined with different
spices. The Alu Ki Tikki for example, which is one of the oldest snacks recorded by the history
of Indian food, is made out of mashed potatoes coriander and onions. Another snack greatly
enjoyed by the British during the Raj period, the Samosa appetizer, made out of steamed
potatoes, peas and vegetables, is one of the many Indian recipes that was passed on from ancient
Although most appetizers and snacks usually follow the same ingredients for each particular
recipe, it should be noted that authentic Indian dishes can never be limited to a strict formula,
since they differ from household to household. For example if you go to the North, in Punjab for
instance and try out a Dahi Barra yogurt and fritter appetizer, it will definitely taste and even
look slightly different than a similar Dahi Barra appetizer dish in Southern India’s Tamil region.
Because of this, when the British armies set foot in India, their cooks were dazzled by the sheer
number of variations of the same dish. One legend stands out of the crowd from the history of
Indian food, namely that of the British cook William Harold. William was quite an experienced
chef, working for a rather successful restaurant in central London, when he was sent to India to
help the war effort with his meals. Because his dishes were so delightfully well done, he was
promoted to be the personal cook of a high ranking officer in the British Empire’s Army. One
day, the officer ordered William to get the recipe for a local dish he ate and thoroughly enjoyed
that day, named by the locals Bhel Puri, in order to mass-cook it for the troops.
Because there were very few written recipes in India back then (locals were passing on their
cuisine with each generation, usually orally) William started walking from home to home,
knocking from door to door, in order to find the recipe for the Bhel Puri, which, even today, is
quite a complicated appetizer. With every house he went to, he got another recipe, another kind
of spice to put on top of the potatoes and rice (seemingly the only ingredients that remained
constant in the dish) and another kind of oil to use.
After a long day of inquiries in which the poor cook was unable to find a stable recipe for the
wonderful snack, he returned to the barracks, beaten and amazed by the variety of semi-recipes
he managed to pile up. Seeing that he is back, the officer asked if he could serve the first portion
of Bhel Puri that night, but William told him he couldn’t get any real recipe in his hands and
ironically stated that “we’ll have to stick to French fries again tonight, Sir!”. Legend says that the
officer, berserk with fury, took out his handgun and shot the cook dead, causing a mutiny
amongst the barrack’s soldiers, who were both fed up with the officer’s cruel and disrespectful
ways and in love with William’s heavenly cooking. That’s how a small bowl of Bhel Puri (or
should I say the lack of it) shook an entire British barracks and caused a long night in the Court
All legends aside, we now know an approximate recipe to the Bhel Puri (somehow thanks to
poor William too). The tasty Indian snack is made out of crispy puris, puffed rice, Indian sevs,
chilli powder, potatoes, red onion, chat masala, coriander and lemon or mango juice. It comes in
two dish “versions”, spicy or sweet. The spicy chutney includes garlic cloves, mint leaves, salt
and green chilies, while the sweet chutney’s ingredients are cumin seeds, jaggery, sugar,
tamarind pulp and boiled dates pulp.
3.3 Indian Sweets.
Indian cuisine is known throughout the entire World as a sweet cuisine and this tag doesn’t come
along without some extremely solid arguments. How else would you call a country’s cuisine if
almost half its dishes are either sweets or desserts? Actually, Indian sweets have not only made
Indian food famous throughout history, but they have been acquired and accommodated to
European and North American dishes, finding great success in fancy “Baltic” restaurants
through-out England, France, the United States or Spain.
The Rasgulla for example, one of the most popular relished sweetmeats in India, originating
from the Eastern part of the country, has an interesting modern history. This dish produced by
the boiling of small pops of casein in sugar syrup has become emblematic of the quintessentially
effeminate stuff of ridicule of the Bengali people. This sweet dessert can be found in almost all
Eastern Indian households, while global malls sell it like there’s no tomorrow.
Another Indian dessert that blends with the Hindu culture is the Payasam (or Kheer as it is called
by the Hindi). This dessert has been an essential dish throughout the history of India, being
usually found at ceremonies, feasts and celebrations. In Southern India, ancient traditions tell that
a wedding is not fully blessed if Payasam is not served at the wedding feast, this tradition being
kept alive with each generation, still being practiced by newly wedded couples, mostly in the
southern regions, from where the tradition started in the first place.
The best and most popular Payasam dishes are found in the temples of Guruvayoor and
Ambalappuzha. In the Ambalappuzha temple, Payasam is served as part of a tradition, based on
an ancient legend. The legend states that Lord Krishna (the eight avatar of Vishnu, playing a
major role in the Hindu religion) took the form of an old sage and challenged the great king who
ruled over that region to a game of chess. Being a true chess player and a master of the mind
game’s tricks, the king gladly accepted the sage’s invitation. Asking what the sage wanted in
case he wins the game, the king remained bedazzled by the sage’s request: an amount of rice
grains for each square of the chess board, each pile having double the number of grains than the
previous pile. So the first square would have only one grain of rice, the second would have 2
grains, the third would have 4 grains, the fourth would have 8 rice grains and so on, each pile
growing at a geometrical progression from the past pile of rice grains. Hearing this request, the
king was shocked that the sage wanted only what he taught were a few piles of grain, when he
could have betted for his whole kingdom or the immense riches that he held.
Naturally the king lost, (because playing chess against a God is not that easy, mind you) so he
started placing grain piles on each square, starting with only one grain. He soon realized that the
sage’s demand was not entirely what he thought of, when the number reached one million grains
of rice by the 20th square. By the 40th or so square, the entire kingdom’s rice reserve was
depleted and when he got to the last square he calculated that he would have to pay the sage
18,447,744 trillions of tons of rice, which he could have never paid off. The sage then revealed
his true form, that of Lord Krishna, and said that the debt does not have to be paid immediately,
but the king will have to serve Payasam freely in the temple of Ambalappuzha, to pilgrims,
homeless or whoever comes there for peace of mind and prayer or for those seeking shelter. This
is how the Payasam became famous, integrating in the Hindu culture. The tradition of freely
serving Payasam in Ambalappuzha still lives today and pilgrims all over India have an easier
ride knowing that a hot bowl of the sweet dessert awaits them at the end of their journey.
Western India also does a great job on satisfying the sweet tooth of its inhabitants, with one of
the most delicious desserts you will be able to find throughout the history of Indian food: the
Shrikhand. The Shrikhand is a creamy dessert made out of strained yogurt, from which all water
is drained off, leaving the thick yogurt cream by itself. Adding exotic dry fruits like mangos only
enhances the Shrikhand’s delightful taste to newer limits. This great dessert is one of Western
India’s most popular traditional dishes, since it has ancient roots in the Indian cuisine.
Comparisons of this dessert to the Indian people have stated that Indians are a people who like to
extract the best of things from everything, leaving everything else behind, their true and
hospitable nature being a result of the fact that they dry out every spiritual detail that has no
substance or meaning.
Other important traditional Indian sweets and desserts, famous throughout the history of Indian
food, include the following: Gulab Jamun (a popular Indian dessert made out of fried milk balls
in sweet syrup), Mysore Pak (a delicious dessert made out of ghee, sugar and chick pea flour),
Halwa (or Halva in modern English spelling; made out of semolina and sugar, the Halwa is one
of the most popular Indian desserts that have spread in every corner of the World), the Kulfi
(often referred to as Indian ice cream, the Kulfi is made out of boiled milk and a wide variety of
mango, kesar or cardamom flavors), the Jalebi (a common sweet dish from North India, the
Jalebi is basically a pretzel-shaped fried batter, which is soaked in syrup) and the Jangiri (the
South Indian look-alike of the North Indian Jalebi).
As they can easily conclude, the Indian cuisine is closely related to the Indian history, each
historical region developing a unique set of dishes, using diverse ingredients. However, a
constant remains for all regions: the affinity for sweet desserts and spicy snacks. Besides being
closely related to history, Indian cuisine is also strongly influenced by the Indian religion, Indian
culture and traditions and the Indian people themselves.
If you can appreciate the facts behind the history of Indian food, the setting in which this great
country’s cuisine was formed, the influences it took and the diversity it created, then you will
surely appreciate one of their sweet desserts or one of their spicy snacks and appetizers. No other
country has a wider selection of exotic dishes and no other country can offer such a large variety
of impulses for your taste buds.
North Indian cuisine (Hindi: Uttar Bharatiya Vyanjan, Urdu: Shumali Bharti Khana), part of
Indian cuisine, is a term used to refer to the cuisines found in Northern India which includes the
Indian states: Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand
(Kumaon) and West-Central Uttar Pradesh (Awadh and Braj). This is also major cuisine in the
Eastern regions like Eastern Uttar Pradesh (Purvanchal) and Bihar (Bhojpuri Cuisine, excluding
Cuisine of Mithilanchal.) Region as well as Central regions like Madhya Pradesh and
North Indian cuisine:
Cuisine of Kashmir
Cuisine of Uttar Pradesh
5.2 Awadhi cuisine
Awadhi cuisine is from the city of Lucknow, which is the capital of the state of Uttar Pradesh in
Central-South Asia and Northern India, and the cooking patterns of the city are similar to those
of Central Asia, the Middle East, and Northern India as well. The cuisine consists of both
vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. Awadh has been greatly influenced by Mughal cooking
techniques, and the cuisine of Lucknow bears similarities to those of Persia, Kashmir, Punjab
and Hyderabad; and the city is known for Nawabi foods.
The bawarchis and rakabdars of Awadh gave birth to the dum style of cooking or the art of
cooking over a slow fire, which has become synonymous with Lucknow today.
consisted of elaborate dishes like kebabs, kormas, biryani, kaliya, nahari-kulchas, zarda,
sheermal, roomali rotis, and warqi parathas. The richness of Awadh cuisine lies not only in the
variety of cuisine but also in the ingredients used like mutton, paneer, and rich spices including
cardamom and saffron.
5.2.1 Awadhi dastarkhwan
Dastarkhwan, a Persian term, literally means a meticulously laid-out ceremonial dining spread. It
is customary in Awadh to sit around and share the Dastarkhwan. Laden with the finest and the
most varied repertoire of the khansamas (chefs), the Dastarkhwan of the raeis (the rich) were
called Khasa (special).
A variety of dishes cooked under the barbecue method
The richness of Awadhi cuisine lies not only in the variety of cuisine but also is the ingredients
used in creating such a variety. The Chefs of Awadhi transformed the traditional dastarkhwan
with elaborate dishes like kababs, kormas, kaliya, nahari-kulchas, zarda, sheermal, roomali rotis,
Chicken curry with Chapati.
Uttar Pradeshi thali (platter) with Naan bread, Daal, Raita, Shahi paneer, and Salad.
The Awadhi/Lucknow dastarkhwan would not be complete unless it had the following dishes.
Qorma (braised meat in thick gravy),
salan (a gravy dish of meat or vegetable),
qeema (minced meat),
kababs (pounded meat fried or roasted over a charcoal fire),
pasinda (fried slivers of very tender meat, usually kid, in gravy)
fresh cake mix
Rice is cooked with meat in the form in the form of a
chulao (fried rice) or
There would also be a variety of rotis.
5.2.2 Desserts comprise
kheer (milk sweetened and boiled with whole rice to a thick consistency),
sheer brunj, (a rich, sweet rice dish boiled in milk),
The menu changes with the seasons and with the festival that marks the month. The severity of
winters is fought with rich food. Paye (trotters) are cooked overnight over a slow fire and the
shorba (thick gravy) eaten with naans. Turnips are also cooked overnight with meat koftas and
kidneys and had for lunch. This dish is called shab degh and a very popular in Lucknow. The
former Taluqdar of Jehangirabad would serve it to his friends on several occasions during winter.
Birds like partridge and quail are had from the advent of winter since they are heat giving meats.
Fish is relished from the advent of winter till spring. It is avoided in the rainy season. In Awadh
river fish are preferred particularly rahu (carp), fish kababs (cooked in mustard oil) are preferred.
Peas are the most sought after vegetable in Awadh. One can spot peas in salan, qeema, pulao or
just fried plain.
Spring (Sawan) is celebrated with pakwan (crisp snacks), phulkis (besan pakoras in salan), puri-
kababs and birahis (paratha stuffed with mashed dal) khandoi (steamed balls of dal in a salan),
laute paute (gram flour pancakes—rolled, sliced, and served in a salan), and colocasia-leaf
cutlets served with salan add variety. In summer, raw mangoes cooked in semolina and jaggery
or sugar, make a dessert called curamba. These dishes come from the rural Hindu population of
Activity in the kitchen increases with the approach of festivals. During Ramzan, the month of
fasting, the cooks and women of the house are busy throughout the day preparing the iftari (the
meal eaten at the end of the day’s fast), not only for the family but for friends and the poor. Id is
celebrated with varieties of siwaiyan (vermicelli). Muzzaffar is a favourite in Lucknow. Shab-e-
barat is looked forward to for its halwas, particularly of semolina and gram flour. Khichra or
haleem, a mixture of dals, wheat and meat, cooked together, is had during Muharram, since it
signifies a sad state of mind.
Some dishes appear and disappear from the Lucknow dastarkhwan seasonally, and others are a
permanent feature, like qorma, chapatti, and roomali roti. The test of a good chapatti is that you
should be able to see the sky through it. The dough should be very loose and is left in a lagan
(deep broad vessel) filled with water for half an hour before the chapattis are made.
Sheermals were invented by mamdoo bawarchi more than one and a half century ago. They are
saffron covered parathas made from a dough of flour mixed with milk and ghee and baked in
iron tandoors. No other city produces sheermals like Lucknow does and the festive dastarkhwan
is not complete without it. Saffron is used to flavour sweets too.
Utensils are made of iron or copper. Meat kababs are cooked in a mahi tawa (large, round
shallow pan), using a kafgir—a flat, long handled ladle—to turning kababs and parathas. Bone
china plates and dishes have been used in Lucknow since the time of Nawabs. Water was
normally sipped from copper or silver kato ras and not glasses. The seating arrangement, while
eating was always on the floor where beautifully embroidered dastarkhwans were spread on
dares and chandnis (white sheets). Sometimes this arrangement was made on a takht or low,
wide wooden table.
Boti Seekh Kebab
Kebab's are the integral part of Awadhi. Lucknow is proud of its Kebabs. There are several
varieties of popular kebabs in Awadhi cuisine viz. Kakori Kebabs, Galawat ke Kebabs, Shami
Kebabs, Boti Kebabs, Patili-ke-Kebabs, Ghutwa Kebabs and Seekh Kebabs are among the
The kebabs of Awadhi cuisine are distinct from the kebabs of Punjab insofar as Awadhi kebabs
are grilled on a chula and sometimes in a skillet as opposed to grilled in a tandoor in Punjab.
Awadhi kebabs are also called "chula" kebabs whereas the kebabs of Punjab are called
The Seekh Kebab has long been considered a piece de resistance in the Awadhi dastarkhwan.
Introduced by the Mughals it was originally prepared from beef mince on skewers and cooked on
charcoal fire. Now lamb mince is preferred for its soft texture.
The 100-year old Tunde ke Kabab in Chowk is the most famous outlet for Kababs even today.
Tunde kabab is so named because it was the speciality of a one-armed chef. The tunde kabab
claims to be unique because of the zealously guarded family secret recipe for the masala (home
made spices), prepared by women in the family. It is said to incorporate 160 spices.
Kakori kabab is considered blessed since it was originally made in the place by the same name in
the dargah of Hazrat Shah Abi Ahder Sahib with divine blessings. The mince for the kabab
comes from the raan ki machhli (tendon of the leg of mutton) other ingredients include khoya,
white pepperm and a mix of powdered spices that remains secret.
Shami Kebab is made from mince meat, with usually with chopped onion, coriander, and green
chillies added. The kebabs are round patties filled with spicy mix and tangy raw green mango.
The best time to have them is May, when mangoes are young. When mangoes are not in season,
kamrakh or karonda may be substituted for kairi, as both having a tart flavour reminiscent of the
A variant made without any admixture or binding agents and comprising just the minced meat
and the spices is the Galawat kabab.
An unusual offering is the Pasanda Kebab, piccata of lamb marinated and then sautéed on a
Boti kebab is lamb marinated in yoghurt and skewered, then well cooked. Traditionally, Boti
Kebab (Lamb) is cooked in a clay oven called a tandoor. You can achieve an authentic tandoor
flavour using your own barbecue grill.
Vegetarian kebabs include Dalcha Kebab, Kathal ke Kebab, Arbi ke Kebab, Rajma Galoti Kebab
(kidney bean kebab cooked with aromatic herbs), Zamikand ke Kebab (Lucknowi yam kebabs),
5.2.4 Curry preparations
Chicken curry Navratan Korma
Korma is actually the Indian name for the technique of braising meat. It originated in the lavish
Moghul cuisine wherein lamb or chicken was braised in velvety, spiced sauces, enriched with
ground nuts, cream and butter. While kormas are rich, they are also mild, containing little or no
cayenne or chillies.There are both vegetarian(navratan korma) and non-vegetarian(chicken,
lamb, beef & fish korma) varieties of korma. Murgh Awadhi Korma is a classic from Lucknow.
Kaliya is a mutton preparation with gravy along with the compulsory inclusion of turmeric or
Awadhi mutton biryani Awadhi Chicken Dum Biryani
Biryani derives from the Persian word Birian, which means "roasted before cooking." Biryani is
a mixture of basmati rice, meat, vegetables, yogurt, and spices. Lucknow biryani or awadh
airyani is a form of pukki biryani. Pukki means "cooked." Both meat and rice are cooked
separately, then layered and baked. The process also lives up to the name biryani in the Persian
meaning "fry before cooking'.
It has three steps. First, the meat is seared in ghee and cooked in water with warm aromatic
spices till tender. The meat broth is drained. Second, the rice is lightly fried in Ghee, and cooked
in the meat broth from the previous step. Third, cooked meat and cooked rice are layered in a
handi. Sweet flavours are added. The handi is sealed and cooked over low heat. The result is a
perfectly cooked meat, rice, and a homogenous flavour of aromatic meat broth, aromatic spices
and sweet flavours.
Among various Biryani the Lucknow and Hyderabad style are dominant, with a friendly rivalry.
Chitrita Banerji a Bengali writer in her book Eating India: exploring a nation’s cuisine in an
inevitable comparison between Awadhi and Hyderabadi biriyani, picked the Awadhi version as
The vegetarian version of biryani might have some Textured vegetable protein based protein
balls to present the impression of a meat-based dish for vegetarians.
The difference between biryani and pullao is that pullao is made by cooking the meat in ghee
with warm aromatic spices until the meat is tender, then adding rice and cooking in the sealed
pot over low heat till done—but with biryani, the rice is boiled or parboiled separately in spiced
water and then layered with meat curry or marinade (depending on the type of biryani), then
sealed and cooked over low heat until done.
Tehri is the name given to the vegetarian version of the dish and is very popular in Indian homes.
5.2.6 Bread preparations
Naan is one of the staple breads of Awadh Tea with Paratha
Sabji with Paratha Puri with accompaniments.
As wheat is the staple food of the state, breads are very significant. Breads are generally flat
breads; only a few varieties are raised breads. Tawa roti is bread made on crude iron pans.
Improvisations of the roti (or bread) are of different types and made in various ways and include
the rumaali roti, tandoori roti, naan (baked in a tandoor), kulcha, lachha paratha, sheermaal and
Breads made of other grains have descriptive names only, thus we have Makai ki roti, Jowar ki
roti (barley flour roti), Bajre ki roti (bajra is a grain only grown in India), chawal-ki-Roti (roti of
Chapati is the most popular roti in India, eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Puri are small and deep fried so they puff up.
Paratha is a common roti variant stuffed with fillings of vegetables, pulses, cottage cheese,
and even mince meat and fried in ghee or clarified butter. This heavy and scrumptious round
bread finds its way to the breakfast tables of millions.
Rumali Roti is an elaborately prepared ultra thin bread made on a large, convex metal pan
from finely ground wheat flour. The Urdu word rumaali literally means a kerchief.
Tandoori Roti is a relatively thick bread that ranges from elastic to crispy consistency,
baked in a cylindrical earthen oven. The Urdu word tandoor means an oven.
Naan is a thick bread, softer and richer in texture and consistency than the tandoori roti. It is
made from finely ground wheat flour kneaded into a very elastic mass. This bread is prepared
with a rich mixture of cream, sugar, wheat flour, butter, and essence.
Sheermaal is a sweetened Naan made out of Maida (All-purpose flour), leavened with yeast,
baked in a Tandoor or oven. It typically accompanies aromatic quorma (gravied chicken or
mutton). Originally, it was made just like Roti. The warm water in the recipe for Roti was
replaced with warm milk sweetened with sugar and flavoured with saffron. Today,
restaurants make it like a Naan and the final product resembles Danish pastry.
Baqarkhani is an elaborate variation of the sheer-maal that is fried on a griddle rather than
baked in a tandoor.
Some assorted halva including sooji, chana, and gajar halva
Winters are dedicated to halwas of all kinds that came from Arabia and Persia to stay in India.
There are several varieties of these, prepared from different cereals, such as gram flour, sooji,
wheat, nuts and eggs. The special halwa or halwa sohan, which has four varieties, viz Papadi,
Jauzi, Habshi and Dudhiya is prepared especially well in Lucknow.
The Jauzi Halwa Sohan is a hot favourite even today, but the art of preparing it is confined to
only a few households. Prepared for the most part from germinated wheat, milk, sugar, saffron,
nuts etc., it has love and patience as its vital ingredients.
5.3 Bihari cuisine
Bihari cuisine (Hindi: Urdu: ) is eaten mainly in Bihar, Jharkhand, Eastern Uttar Pradesh,
Bangladesh, Nepal, Mauritius, Fiji, some cities of Pakistan, Guyana, and Trinidad and Tobago as
these are they places where Bihari people are present. Bihari cuisine is predominantly vegetarian
because traditional Bihar society influenced by Buddhist and Hindu values of non-violence did
not eat eggs, chicken, fish and other animal products. However there is also a tradition of meat-
eating and fish dishes are especially common due to the number of rivers in Bihar such as the
Sone, Gandak and the Ganges. There are also numerous Bihari meat dishes with chicken and
mutton being the most common.
Dairy products are consumed frequently throughout the year, with common foods including
yogurt known as dahi and also buttermilk known as mattha, ghee, lassi and butter. The cuisine of
Bihar is similar to a great extent to North Indian cuisine but has an influence from other East
Indian Cuisine (for example like Bengali cuisine). It is highly seasonal, with watery foods such
as watermelon and Sherbet made of pulp of the wood-apple fruit being consumed mainly in the
summer months and dry foods, preparations made of sesame seeds,poppy seeds in the winter
Some dishes which Bihar is famous for, include Sattu Paratha, which are parathas stuffed with
fried chickpea flour, Chokha (spicy mashed potatoes), Fish curry and Bihari Kebab,Postaa-dana
As the seasons change so does the Bihari thaali, every 3–4 months. The constants are rice, roti,
achar, chatni, dals and milk products with some variation.
People use both vegetable oil or mustard oil and zeera or panchforan (literally "five seeds",
namely saunf, sarson, methi, ajwain and mangraeel(Kalaunji) for
"chhounkna"/"Tadka"(tempering) of some vegetables. There is a lot of light frying, called
bhoonjnaa, in Bihari food.
One of the most remarkable thing about this cuisine is "smoked food". It refers to using smoked
red chilli to infuse a strong aroma in food. It is used in preparing "chokhaa", i.e. mashed
brinjals/potatoes/tomatoes, either single or combined. Smoked chilli is also used in preparing
kadam (a common fruit sweet sour in taste, technical name Anthocephalus morindaefolia)
Kadhi Bari - these fried soft dumplings made of besan (gram flour) are cooked in a spicy
gravy of yogurt and besan. It goes well over plain rice.
Khichdi - Mix of Rice, Dal and several Vegetables; steamed together to give a distinctive
taste of different ingredients combined in one dish. It is often topped up with ghee.
Ghugni - It is a preparation made of grams soaked (either lightly/overnight)in water and then
sauted in mustard oil in a wok.
Pittha - It is something like momos. It could be either salty or sweet.It is either a semi
circular/ball shaped preparation made of crust made of soft rice flour and filled with
preparations made of Channa Daal lentil paste, or Poppy seeds & Gur (Jaggey). and then
steamed in water/ milk (allowed to thicken).
Choora - beaten rice, served with a coat of creamy curd and sugar or jaggery. In winters, this
is mildly baked and accompanied with a thick spicy preparation made of peas and onions.
Sattu - powdered baked gram, a high energy giving food usually mixed with water or with
milk. Sometimes, sattu mixed with spices is used to prepare stuffed 'chapattis', locally called
as 'makuni roti'.
Dhuska - a deep fried item prepared from a mixture of powdered rice and ghee but is salted.
Litti - Powdered baked gram is mixed with chopped onions,green chillies,lemon
juice,coriander leaves. This mixture is filled inside atta and either barbecued over coal or
deep fried with oil. Best accompanied with Ghee,Curd and Chokha and baigan bharta.
Veg-Korma - Subziyon ka Panchranga Korma
The distinctive Bihari flavor of non-vegetarian cooking finds mention in the memoirs of
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad who found it quite tasty. Forms of kebabs, mutton preparations and
dishes prepared from various fowl and birds have a distinctive flavor. Biharis are quite famous
for their Bihari Kebabs, another typical Bihari non-vegetarian dish. This dish was traditionally
made from mutton and is eaten with roti, paratha or boiled rice. The region of Champaran is
famous for a mutton grilled dish called Taash. Recently, in fast food restaurants, these Bihari
Kebabs are also sold as Bihari Kebab Rolls, which are essentially kebabs wrapped up in a
Shaahi Jhinga Masaledaar
Jhor Waali Machhli
Parauntha - filling of a paste made of poppy seeds soaked overnight in water and then ground
with spices, particularly red chilli.
Makai ke roti
5.3.6Bihari fast food
Litti -can be prepared with minimum of utensils by people who away on tour. It is a ball
shaped dish of the size between a table tennis and a lawn tennis ball, baked in mild fire
(though it can be done in any electric oven/ microwave oven, but would miss the distinct
flavour infused by fire .The crust is made of a hard dough made of wheat flour and filled
with a dry amorphous preparation made of Sattu (gram flour) and spices.It is accompanied
with chokhaa (mashed potato and/or brinjals, green chilli and coriander leaf. Dill is an
essential ingredient for brinjal chokhaa).
Bhunjia - Bhunjia of Bihar must not be confused with 'bhajia' of other regions.
Samosa Chaat, it is basically samosa sweet chatni, curd, Namkeen mixtures with chiura, onion
and other garnishing ingredients.
Motichoor ka Ladoo
There is large variety of sweet delicacies. Unlike Oriya and Bengali sweets, which are soaked in
syrups made of sugar and are therefore wet, sweets of Bihar are mostly dry.
Khaja - This may be compared to patties, with a difference that this is generally sweet,
sometimes found in a salty form and has no fillings. Famous one is from Silao Nalanda
Tilkut (Til Burfi) - This is made of sesame seed and is available only in winters. A thick
hard base of sugar of the size of a tennis ball is rolled in copious amount of sesame seed and
then hammered to roll out in round shape. The more the seed, the softer, better and
amorphous it is. Though available all over the state, the one from Gaya is famous.
Kheer - A special form of kheer called Rasia is prepared during the Chhath festival.
Balushahi - Famous one is from Harnaut
Anarasa (Come from particular area Basopatti & the nearest villages)
Motichoor ka Ladoo - Famous one is from Maner
Peda - Famous one is from Kesaria
khurma - found only in southwest bihar.
Parwal ki Mithai - It is made of pointed gourd (botanical name-Trichosanthes dioica). The
fruit is scrapped to remove the skin,sliced longitudinally, deseeded and boiled to make it
tender and then filled with Khoyya- a preparation made of condensed milk and dry fruits. It is
then imbibed with warm sugar syrup. Silver foil may be added after it cools off.
Khubi ka Lai - Famous one is from Barh
Murki - Famous one is from Koelwar
Pirikya - Made from flour and khoya etc. It is famous in Basopatti and villages nearby.
Khurchan - This is made of layers of scrapped condensed milk. Available in Patna city (old
Postaa-dana kaa Halwa -a sweet pudding made of poppy seeds soaked overnight in water
and then ground to a paste and sauted in ghee(clarified butter)in a wok. This is generally
prepared in winter season.
Kasar - A dry sweet prepared of coarsely ground rice during the Chhath festival.
Dangra ka Tilkut - This is made of sesame seed and is available only in winters. A thick hard
base of jaggey (gur/mittah) of the size of a tennis ball is rolled in copious amount of sesame seed
and then hammered to roll out in round shape.The more the seed, the softer, better and
amorphous it is. Though available all over the state, the one from Dangra village in Gaya is
Paan Peda - Famous one is from Mohiuddin Nagar,Madudabad, Kalyanpur Basti area. it is a
heart shaped peda with a completely different taste from common peda available in the
Gaja - It is a sweet which is cubical in form and made out of maida.
5.4 Bhojpuri cuisine
Bhojpuri cuisine is a part of North Indian cuisine, is a style of food preparation common amongst
the Bhojpuri people living in bhojpuri region of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Bhojpuri food are
mostly mild in term of spices used and are less hot but could be more hotter and spicier as par the
dish prepared or according to the taste bud of peoples. The food is teller made for Bhojpuri
lifestyle in which the rural folk burn up a lot of calories in the fields. Bhojpuri people take pride
in celebrating various festivals and practices various religious rites, and as a result, their food
resembles the delicacies offered to deities. Generally Bhojpuri peoples enjoy eating both veg and
non-veg dishes. Bhojpuri cuisine is heavily influenced by Mughlai and it's neighbouring Awadhi
cuisines. Unlike western perception, which is, any Indian gravy dish is called curry, Bhojpuri
cuisine traces no history with use of curry powder or leaves and the rich gravy dishes of this
region, in fact whole North India, where curry leaf is an alien spice, can be considered stews,
rather than curries.
Wheat and Rice are the staple diet of majority of the peoples. Bhojpuri vegeterian thali includes
Roti/Parantha, two or three kind of rich gravy Sabzi, Daal (traditionally Chana daal), Steamed
rice (Chawal)/ Pulao, Salad and chutney (generally dhania ki chutney), along with Desserts,
mostly Gulabjamun, which is the most famous dessert among Bhojpuri peoples. And in a
complete Bhojpuri thali, in addition includes, meat stew (Shikaar/Gosh) or fish stew (Machari).
5.4.2Spices & Condiments
Amount of spices used in cooking are very few and sometimes can be just two or three kind of
spices, which imparts a perfect aroma and taste, rather than putting all spices together and
making the dish very spicy and hot. Among these spices, a few of them are used in any particular
Cumin seeds (Zeera)
Black Cumin seeds (Shahi Zeera)
Black pepper (Kala Marcha)
Red Chilli (Laal Marcha)
Green Chilli (Hara Marcha)
Black Cardamom (Bara Elaichi)
Dried Pomegranate (Anardana)
Some dishes popular in Bhojpuri cuisine include:
Rajma (red kidney beans)
Lobiya (black eyed bean)
Urad ka daal
Chokha (roasted tomatoes, roasted aubergine roasted potatoes, roasted brinjals mixed with
garlic chilly and raw mustard oil)
Roti (Paratha stuffed with cooked potatoes or yellow/green peas or sattu)
Petha (locally called Bhatua ka Murabba)
Mardua and Thekua
Bati-stffed with sattu
Nimona (made of green peas)
Ghugni (Made with green peas or sprouted black gram)
Dahi chooda (Curd and chooda)
Gojha (stuffed with Daal and cooked in steam)
Bathua ke saag
Stuffed Paranthe (Aloo Parantha, Sattu Parantha)
Rumali Roti (used in rolling up Bihari kebab, together with called Paranthe Kebab or Bihari rolls)
Pua (considered a dessert)
Thekua (considered a dessert or a biscuit like snack)
Halwa, generally of Soozi (Semolina), Gajar (Carrot), Besan (Chickpea flour), Atta (Whole
wheat flour), Singhara (Chestnut), Doodhi (Bottle gourd), Badam (Almond), Khas khas
Laddoo (made up of besan, motichur, bundi, gond, mewe and etc)
Methi Ke Laddoo (esp. during winters)
Tilwa (esp. during winters)
Til ki Laai
Parwal ki Mithai
Belgrami (A dry sweet made up of Maida, Sugar and Ghee)
Pedukia/Murki (A dry sweet made up of Maida and stuffed with mixture of Khowa/fried
Soozi (Semolina, sauted in little Ghee) and Sugar and then fried.
Ghujhia (Pedukia dipped in sugar syrup)
Laktho (A dry and hard sweet, made up of Maida and Jaggery and seasoned with aniseed)
Matka Kulfi is most famous among Bhojpuri peoples
Coffee (commonly in Urban population)
Falooda (esp. in summer)
Rooh Afza is a popular summer drink in this region
Ganne/Ookh ka Ras (Sugarcane juice
In Bhojpuri region, pickling is quite common and traditional. There are varieties of pickles
(Aachar & Murabba) prepared in each and every home. Aachar includes, Aam (Mango), Aãwla
(Amla), Imli (Tamarind), Mooli (Radish), Lehsun (Garlick), Nimbu (Lemon), Lemu (Lime),
Gajar (Carrot), Gobhi (Cauli flower), Sonth (Dried Ginger), Laal aur Hara Marcha (Red and
Green Chilli) and Murabbas are generally prepared from Aãwla (Amla), Cheri (Cherries), Aam
(Mango), also called Amawat and etc.
5.5 Kumauni cuisine
Kumauni cuisine is the food of the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, India. Kumaoni food is very
simple but very nutritious completely suits the hard environment of the Himalayas. Pulses like
gehet are fashioned into different preparations like ras-bhaat, chains, faanda and thatwaani all are
unique preparations from the same pulse. Jholi or curry seasoned with curd. Chudkani and jola
made from bhatt pulses. Cereals like mandua with rice and wheat are popular.
Meat is also prepared but the recipe is quite similar to the way it is prepared in most of North
5.6 Cuisine of Kashmir
Kashmiri cuisine is based on the ancient tradition of this area. The Rigveda mentions the meat
eating traditions of this area.The ancient epic of Kashmir, namely the Nilmatapurana informs us
that Kashmiris were heavy meat eaters. This habit persists in today's Kashmir.
The most notable ingredient in today's Kashmir cuisine is mutton, of which there are over 30
5.6.1Kashmiri Pandit Cuisine
Kashmiri Pandit cuisine has had the earliest influence on Kashmiri cuisine. Beef is strictly
forbidden in Kashmiri Pandit cuisine and Kashmiri Muslim cuisine, in keeping with the age old
Kashmiri tradition known as Kashmiriyat. The Nilamat Purana records that the Brahmins of
Kashmir have always been heavy meat eaters (lamb, mutton). The two most important saints of
Kashmir, Lalleshwari and Sheikh Noor-ud-din Wali were vegetarians for spiritual reasons. Meat
is cooked in Kashmiri Pandit festivals and forms a very important part of Kashmiri Pandit
identity. Some noted Kashmiri pandit dishes include:
Monji Haak/Gogji Haak
Tea drinking forms a very important of Kashmrii Pandit cuisine and is often used in place of
dessert. Two very important types of tea are Kehwa (Sweet Green tea with Cardammom and
almonds) and Sheer Chai (salty pink tea with almonds). Such teas are usually taken with Baked
Breads like Kulcha and Katlam.
Kashmiri Pandit cuisine has very few dessert dishes or sweets. More importance is therefore
given to the main course and tea and not much to the dessert.
Wazwan, a multi-course meal in the Kashmiri Muslim tradition, is treated with great respect. Its
preparation is considered an art. Almost all the dishes are meat-based (lamb, chicken, fish).Beef
is generally not prepared in the Srinagar region, but is popular among the other districts. It is
considered a sacrilege to serve any dishes based around pulses or lentils during this feast. The
traditional number of courses for the wazwan is thirty-six, though there can be fewer. The
preparation is traditionally done by a vasta waza, or head chef, with the assistance of a court of
wazas, or chefs.
Wazwan is regarded by the Kashmiri Muslims as a core element of their culture and identity.
Guests are grouped into fours for the serving of the wazwan. The meal begins with a ritual
washing of hands, as a jug and basin called the tash-t-nari are passed among the guests. A large
serving dish piled high with heaps of rice, decorated and quartered by four seekh kabab, four
pieces of meth maaz, two tabak maaz, sides of barbecued ribs, and one safed kokur, one zafrani
kokur, along with other dishes. The meal is accompanied by yoghurt garnished with Kashmiri
saffron, salads, Kashmiri pickles and dips. Kashmiri Wazwan is generally prepared in marriages
and other special functions. The culinary art is learnt through heredity and is rarely passed to
outside blood relations. That has made certain waza/cook families very prominent. The wazas
remain in great demand during the marriage season (May - October). Bearing in mind that the
Wazwan consists of meat, mostly all lamb dishes, as lamb is considered the occasional delicacy,
some of the essential Wazwan dishes include but are not limited to:
Rogan Josh (lamb cooked in spicy red gravy)
Yakhni (lamb, usually shanks cooked in curd based gravy)
Rista (Pounded lamb meatballs in spicy red gravy)
Tabakh Maaz (Fried Rack of Lamb also known as Qabargah. Hindu and Muslim differences
make way for specific names for food authentic to the prevalent religion in the area.)
Kaanti (lamb pieces in red hot gravy, usually eaten as a snack and not part of the main
Syoon Olav (Meat with Potatoes cooked in spicy gravy)
Syoon Pulaav (Meat Pulao)
Modur Pulaav (Sweet Pulao, usually as a dessert)
Lyodoor Tschaman (Cottage Cheese cooked in creamy turmeric based gravy)
Dum Oluv (Whole Potatoes cooked in spicy red gravy)
Muj Gaad (Fish with Radish)
Nadir-Waangan (lotus stems with Brinjal)
Nadir-Haaq/Gogji/Monji (lotus stems cooked with Haaq, a Collard-Green only found in
Kashmir and Portugal, or Radish)
Raazma-Gogji (Kidney Beans with Cabbage)
Raazma- Shalgam (Kidney Beans with Turnip)
Tea drinking is a very important part of Kashmiri Pandit culture. Two of the most important
types of tea that the Pandits drink are "Sheer Chai"(salted pink tea with almonds) and
Kehwah(sweet green tea with almonds and cardamom). With tea, they often eat certain types of
bread/bakery such as "Katlam" and "Kulcha" topped with Kashmiri Butter made from fresh milk.
Marcha-wangan korma- (Chilli Eggplant Korma)
Sheekh kabab: spicy ground lamb on skewers
Gushtaaba: Pounded lamb meatballs with spices cooked in oil, milk and curds
kebab- Roasted Chicken, Beef or Lamb Kebabs
5.6.3 Kashmiri beverages
Noon Chai or Sheer Chai
Kashmiris are heavy tea drinkers. The word "noon" in Kashmiri language means Salt. The most
popular drink is a pinkish colored salted tea called "noon chai." 
It is made with green tea, milk,
salt and bicarbonate of soda. The particular color of the tea is a result of its unique method of
preparation and the addition of soda. The Kashmiri Pandits more commonly refer to this chai as
Noon Chai or Sheer Chai is a common breakfast tea in Kashmiri households and is taken with
breads like baqerkhani brought fresh from the Sufi, or bakers. Often, this tea is served in a large
At marriage feasts, festivals, and religious places, it is customary to serve Kahwah, or Qahwah
(originates from a 14th-century Arab coffee, which, in turn, was named after an ancient beverage
of the Sufis) - a green tea made with saffron, spices, and almonds or walnuts. Over 20 varieties
of Kahwah are prepared in different households. Some people also put milk in kahwah (half milk
+ half kahwah). This chai is also known as "Maugal Chai" by some Kashmiri Pandits from the
smaller villages of Kashmir.
5.7 Mughlai cuisine
Mughlai cuisine is a style of cooking developed in the Indian subcontinent by the imperial
kitchens of the Mughal Empire. It represents the cooking styles used in North India (especially
Uttar Pradesh and Delhi), Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Indian city of Hyderabad. The cuisine is
strongly influenced by the Persian cuisine of Iran, and has in turn strongly influenced the
regional cuisines of Kashmir and the Punjab region.
The tastes of Mughlai cuisine vary from extremely mild to spicy, and is often associated with a
distinctive aroma and the taste of ground and whole spices.A Mughlai course is an elaborate
buffet of main course dishes with a variety of accompaniments.
The names of the dishes are quite often Persian, the official language of the Mughal court.
Dishes include various kebabs, kofta (meatballs), nihari, pulao (a.k.a. pilaf in Central Asia), and
biryani. Paneer is used for preparing vegetarian dishes to suit vegetarian dietary requirements.
Shahi Tukra is a rich bread pudding with dry fruits, flavored with cardamom.
Kesari Firni is a rice based sweet dish streaked with Saffron
5.8 Punjabi cuisine
Punjabi cuisine is food from the Punjab regions of Pakistan and India. It can be non-vegetarian
or completely vegetarian
5.8.1 Background and overview
One of the main features of Punjabi cuisine is its diverse range of dishes. Home cooked and
restaurant Punjabi cuisine can vary significantly, with restaurant style using large amounts of
ghee (clarified butter) with liberal amounts of butter and cream, with home cooking
concentrating on mainly upon preparations with whole wheat, rice and other ingredients flavored
Within the Punjab region, there are different preferences. People in the area of Lahore and
Amritsar prefer stuffed parathas and dairy products. In fact, the area is well known for quality of
its milk products. There are certain dishes which are exclusive to Punjab, such as sarson da saag
and makki di roti. The main masala in a Punjabi dish consists of onion, garlic and ginger.
Tandoori food is a Punjabi specialty especially for non-vegetarian dishes. Indeed, before the
1947 partition, tandoori cooking in India was traditionally associated with the former undivided
Punjab. Many of the most popular elements of Indian cuisine as it is marketed to non-Indian
customers (such as tandoor, naan, pakoras and vegetable dishes with paneer) is derived from the
Chicken tikka, a popular dish in Punjabi cuisine. Aloo Gobi, Seekh Kehbab, and Beef Karahi
Mint Parantha from Punjab, IndiaMint salted lassi from Punjab,
Chicken: Tandoori Chicken, Butter Chicken, Chicken Tikka
Lamb: Rogan Josh, Bhuna Gosht, Kadhai Gosht, Raan Gosht, Dal Gosht, Saag Gosht, Nihari
Gosht, Rara Gosht, Paye da Shorba
Freshwater fish dishes like Amritsari Fish, Tandoori Fish, Fish Tikka, Fish Pakora
Kebabs: lamb, chicken and beef chunks
Biryanis: lamb, chicken, and beef variations
Kheema: braised minced lamb or beef meat, commonly served with naan
Kunna Gosht: meat prepared in Kunna (matti ka bartan)
Paye: Siri Paye
Pulse, bean and/or lentil preparations:
sarson da saag (a dish prepared from green mustard leaves) and with makki di roti, a bread
made by corn flour
Mushroom and bean sabzi
Dal makhani (lentils with cream and butter)
rajma (red kidney bean) and rice
rongi (Black-eyed peas)
choley (eaten with naan or kulcha)
aloo (eaten with puri)
Kadhi Pakora (traditional curry with pakoras) and rice
Kadhi is a type of curry made by cooking garamflour with curd or buttermilk. Fried lumps
(pakoras) of gramflour with salt and chillies are also added.
Paneer dishes like Shahi Paneer, Khoya Paneer
Sweet dishes like Phirni, Jalebi, Malpua, Sheer korma
Snacks like pakoras which is eaten with green chutney also called as pudine ki chutney,
Punjabi breads are both flat (unleavened) breads as well as raised breads. The breads may be
made of different types of flour and can be made in various ways:
Baked in the tandoor like naan, Tandoori roti, Kulcha, or Lachha Paratha
Dry baked on the Tava (Indian griddle) like Phulka or Chapati, jowar ki roti, baajre ki roti
and Makki ki roti (these are also smeared with white butter)
Shallow fried like Paratha, Keema Paratha, Potato or Radish Paratha
Deep fried like Puri and Bhatoora (a fermented dough)
Naan is also very popular. It is served with most of the dishes made at an Indian restaurant.
5.9 Rajasthani cuisine
Rajasthani cooking was influenced by both the war-like lifestyles of its inhabitants and the
availability of ingredients in this arid region.
Food that could last for several days and could be
eaten without heating was preferred. Scarcity of water and fresh green vegetables have all had
their effect on the cooking. It is also known for its snacks like Bikaneri Bhujia, Mirchi Bada and
Pyaaj Kachori. Other famous dishes include Bajre ki roti (millet bread) and Lashun ki chutney
(hot garlic paste), Mawa Kachori from jodhpur, Alwar ka mawa, Malpauas from pushkar and
Rassgollas from Bikaner. Originating for the Marwar region of the state is the concept Marwari
Bhojnalaya, or vegetarian restaurants, today found in many part of India, which offer vegetarian
food of the Marwari people.
Sweet dishes are never referred to as 'dessert' in Rajasthan, because unlike desserts which are had
after the meal, Rajasthani sweets are had before, during and after the meal.
Seero (Hindi: Halwa)
Milk-Cake (Alwar ka Mawa)
Typical Rajasthani curries
Kicha ki sabji
Moranga ki sabji
Guwar fali ki saag
Beans ki sabji
Gajar ki sabji
Karela ki sabji
Ker-saangri ki sabji
Makki ki raab
Makki ki saag
Kikoda ki sabji
Papad ki sabji
Matar ki sabji
Aloo matar ki sabji
Besan Gatte ki sabji
Govind Gatte or Shahi Gatte
Makki ki ghaat
Dal Chawal Kutt
Lauki key Koftey
dahi mein aloo
rabori ki sabji
ker sangari ki sabji
Typical Rajasthani meat dishes
Mohan maans (meat cooked in milk)
Laal maans (meat in red chillies curry)
Safed maans (meat cooked in curd)
Saanth ro achaar (pickled wild boar meat)
Khad khargosh (wild hare cooked and roasted underground)
Bajri ki raab
5.10 Cuisine of Uttar Pradesh
Cuisine of Uttar Pradesh is from the state of Uttar Pradesh located in Northern India, Awadhi
and Mughlai are the two chief genre of Uttar Pradeshi cuisine, and the cooking patterns of the
state are similar to those of the rest of Northern India. The cuisine consists of both vegetarian and
non-vegetarian dishes. Uttar Pradesh has been greatly influenced by Mughal cooking techniques.
The Awadhi cuisine of Uttar Pradesh bears similarities to those of Kashmir and Punjab, and the
state is famous for its Nawabi foods(of Lucknow and environs) and use of mutton, paneer, and
rich spices including cardamom and saffron. Its most famous dishes include kebabs, Dum
Biryani, and various Mutton recipes. The Chaat, samosa and pakora, among the most popular
snacks in all of India, are also originally from Uttar Pradesh. Awadhi is a type of West-Central
Uttar Pradeshi cuisine found in the state's Awadh Region.
Dum Bhindi (Fried whole okra stuffed with spiced potato filling)
Kahi Pakoda Kadhi
Shami Kabab (includes tangy green mango)
Kakori Kabab (similar to Seekh Kabab)
Pasanda Kabab (skewered boneless mutton)
Pasanda Paneer (similar to Paneer Makhani or butter paneer(Indian cheese))
Chaat has its root from Uttar Pradesh
Shab Deg (a winter dish, turnips and mutton balls with saffron)
Paneer Pakora & of various vegetables
Tehri (vegetarian rice dish with spices and mixed vegetables that popular amongst Hindus)
Daal bhari Puri
5.10.1 Traditional Desserts
Gujia (like a samosa though filled with sweetened thickened milk (khoya))
Halwa (sweet pudding)
Gaajar ka Halwa
Gond ke Laddu
Besan ke Laddu
Motichoor ke Laddu
5.10.2 Popular drinks from Uttar Pradesh
Sharbats is a popular juice in Uttar Pradesh. There are many types of sharbats, including:
Gurahl Sharbat (hibiscus)
Khas ka Sharbat
Other drinks include:
As wheat is the staple food of the state, breads are very significant. Breads are generally flat
breads; only a few varieties are raised breads. The breads may be made of different types of flour
and can be made in various ways. Popular breads include the Tandoori Naan, or naan baked in a
tandoor, tandoori roti, kulcha, taftan, sheermal, millet (millet flour flatbread), and lachha paratha.
South India has a distinct cuisine of its own which is strikingly different from the north, east or
west Indian cuisine. The southern Indian state of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra
Pradesh eat both vegetarian and non vegetarian food. Offlate many of the recipes of the south
India have become quite popular with not only the rest of Indians but also with the foreigners.
Some of these recipes include idli, dosa, uppuma, pongal and sambhar. These dishes will delight
you with their taste and flavour.
Similarities and differences between the four states' cuisines
The similarities are the presence of rice as a staple food, the use of lentils and spices, the use of
dried red chilies and fresh green chilies, coconut and native fruits and vegetables like tamarind,
plantain, snake gourd, garlic, ginger, etc. Overall all the four cuisines have much in common and
differ mostly in the spiciness of the food.
Kerala, Tamil Nadu, South and coastal Karnataka and most parts of Andhra Pradesh use more
rice. North Karnataka on the other hand consumes more ragi and jowar, while Telangana region
uses Jowar and Bajra more. Consumption of rice is more common among certain Brahmin
6.2 Andhra food
Pesarattu served with Ginger Pachadi
The cuisines of Andhra are the spiciest in all of India. Generous use of chili powder and tamarind
make the dishes tangy and hot. The majority of a diverse variety of dishes are vegetable or lentil
6.3 Regional variations
The three regions of Andhra Pradesh have their own variations, with Telangana region sharing
some of the Central Indian and (Vidharba region of Maharashtra, the region has more Jowar and
Bajra based rotis in their main staple menu. The Rayalaseema districts sharing borders with
eastern Karnataka and Tamil Nadu has similarities to those regions. The more fertile Andhra
Coastal region also having a long coastline of Bay of Bengal has a distinctive taste with various
cuisines seafood .Hyderabad, the capital of Andhra Pradesh, has its own characteristic cuisine
considerably different from other Andhra cuisines. The Nizams patronised the Hyderabadi
cuisine, which is very much like the Nawabs of the Avadh with Lucknowi cuisine. The only
difference is that the Nizams of Hyderabad liked their food to be spicier, resulting in the
Hyderabadi cuisine which included the Kacche Gosht ki Biryani and the Dum ka Murgh,
Baghare Baingan and Achaari Subzi during the reign of the Nizams.
6.4 Popular Andhra dishes
Tiffins - Pesarattu (mung bean pancake), Attu, Bobbatlu, pulihora or pulihaara (tamarind &
lemon rice), Upma
Pickles (Pachhallu) (cut raw mango) pickle, Maaghaya, Gongura pacchadi,
Pandumirapakayala pacchhadi, tomato pacchadi, Allam (ginger) pachhadi, Dosakaya
pachhadi, Dosavakaya, Chintakaya (tamarind)
Curries (Kooralu) - Gutti Vankaya, Bendakaya fry, Dondakaya Fry, cabbage pesara pappu,
Pappu (lentils) varieties - Thotakura(amaranth - pigeon pea stew) pappu, Chukkakoora
pappu, Menthikura pappu, palakura pappu (spinach - pigeon pea dal), Dosakaya (yellow
cucumber - pigeon pea stew), Tomato, Beerakaya, Sorakaya
Pulusu - palakoora pulusu, sorakaya pulusu, thotakoora pulusu, anapakaya pulusu, Gongura
Chaaru - tomato charu, miriyala charu (pepper), Ulava charu,
Chaaru + Curd Variations - perugupachadi/majjiga charu - with potlakaya (snakegourd),
Snacks - chekkalu, murukulu, jantikalu, Chakkilalu,
Sweets - pootarekulu, kaaja, Ravva laddu, Boondi laddu, Pesara laddu, Sunnundalu,
Thokkudu laddu, Ariselu, Nuvvula laddu
Chutney and pickles
Raw pachadi-vankaya pachadi, dosakaya vanakaya pachadi, tomato pachadi, cabbage pachadi.
Pickles of Avakaya(Mango), Usirikaya (Indian Gooseberry), Ginger, Citroen, Gongura, Tomato
Hyderabadi biriyani and various Hyderabadi meat dishes makes the part of Hyderabadi cuisine
.While rest of Andhra cuisine has a varied versions of Lamb and Chicken meat and the Coastal
region has extensive varieties of sea food.Kodi iguru (chicken stew), Kodi pulusu (chicken
gravy), Chepa pulusu (fish stew) etc.,Fish fry,Prawns curry.
6.6 Karnataka food
Lunch from Karnataka served on a plantain leaf. North Karnataka meal
Karnataka cuisine is very diverse. Described as the mildest in terms of spice content of these four
states' cuisines, there is a generous use of Jaggery, palm sugar and little use of chilli powder.
Since the percentage of vegetarians in Karnataka is higher than other southern states, vegetarian
food enjoys widespread popularity. Udupi cuisine forms an integral part of Karnataka cuisine.
6.7 Regional Karnataka cuisine
6.7.1 North Karnataka cuisine
In north Karnataka the staple grains are jowar and bajra. Rottis made out of these two grains
along with side dishes made of eggplant, fresh lentil salads, spiced and stewed lentils are
popularly consumed. They also consume a variety of spicy condiments like chutney powders and
pickles. Of all the other regional cuisines in Karnataka, this is known for its fiery spice level and
heat. Eateries called Khanavallioften run by families serve inexpensive but tasty home style
food. Most of them are run by Veerashaivaa are therefore vegetarian but Khanavallis serving
non-vegetarian food are not uncommon.
6.7.2 Coastal Karnataka cuisine
The cuisine of coastal Karnataka is marked by widespread use of seafood, coconut and coconut
oil. Rice is the staple grain and is the centerpiece of every meal. Gravies called 'Gassi' made from
chicken, fish, meats are served with rice. Lentils and vegetables cooked with coconut, spices and
tempered with mustard, curry leaves, generous asafoetida, called Huli, is also served with rice. A
Rasam-like preparation is called Saaru, which again is served with rice. The meal will also
contain vegetable side dishes called Palya. Other accompaniments include curd-based Tambli,
sweet-tangy Gojju, pickles and Happala, Sandige(Fryums) or Papads. Some of the distinct
breakfast foods served here include Bun, Biscuit rotti, Goli Bajji, and Patrode.
Chutney and pickles: Pickles popularly are Appemidi(found in Dandeli forest), Bettada nelli,
lemon, Amateykai, and Mixed vegetables. Chutneys: Ground nut Chutnety, Cocnut Chutney,
Coorgi cuisine is very distinct from the other regional cuisines of Karnataka, much like their
culture. The hallmark of Coorgi cuisine is the widespread use of pork, game, and meats. They
also use kokum generously in their cooking. While the staple food remains rice and rice-based
preparations like kadambattu, steamed rice dumplings and rice rottis, their expertise in cooking
non-vegetarian foods is unmatched.
6.7.4 South Karnataka cuisine
The south Karnataka or the old Mysore cuisine is dominated by Ragi or finger millet and rice.
Ragi in the form of Ragi Mudde of dumplings or steamed rice is the centerpiece of a meal. Often
served with these two dishes are vegetable sides or Palya, Gojju, pickles, Tovve - mildly spiced
lentils laced with Ghee, Huli - the lentil curry and Tili Saaru, a peppery thin watery curry almost
like Rasam. Certain preparations like Bas saaru, which is a spiced lentil with vegetable or greens'
stock along with seasoned vegetables or greens, Upp Saaru which is another lentil stock based
accompaniment to rice or mudde, Mosoppu, which is mashed spiced greens, Maskai, which is
mashed spiced vegetables, are typical home style food from this region. Avare Kal (or Indian
beans) is a popular vegetable consumed during winter. They are used in a variety of dishes like
Usali, Upma, Huli, Hitakida Bele Saaru, etc.Rice preparations usually served as the second
course of a traditional meals include Bisi bele baath, Chitranna, Hulianna, etc.
Yogurt is a typical part of every meal in all the regions of Karnataka and is probably the most
popular dairy product. Generally yogurt with rice constitute the final course of a meal.
Buttermilk laced with spices and curry leaves is also popularly served with meals especially
during summer. Ghee and butter are also popular cooking mediums for those who can afford
them, and are mostly reserved for festivals and special occasions.
6.8 Udipi hotels
The credit for popularizing these foods elsewhere in India goes to Udupi hotels. In fact, in north
India, Udupi hotels are often synonymous with south Indian food, even though the range of
foods they serve is mostly restricted to the Karnataka cuisine. These small establishments serve
inexpensive vegetarian breakfast dishes throughout the day, all over India. These were mostly
run by people native to the Canara region. The famous Masala Dosa traces its origin to Udupi
cuisine and was subsequently popularized by Udupi restaurants.
6.9 Most famous food items
People from Karnataka are notorious for their sweet tooth. Mysore Pak, Obbattu/Holige,
Dharwad pedha, Pheni, Chiroti are popular sweets. Apart from these sweets there are other lesser
known sweets like 'Hungu', Kajjaya, Coconut Mithai, karjikai, Rave Unde, sajapa, Pakada
Pappu, Chigali, a variety of Kadubus, Tambittu, Paramanna, and Hayagreeva. Most of these
sweets are not milk-based, unlike the popular sweetmaking tradition elsewhere in India. Most of
these sweets are made using Jaggery and not refined sugar.
Some typical Breakfast dishes include Masala Dosa, Ragi rotti, Akki rotti, Vangi Baath,
Menthya Baath, Tamato Baath, Khara Baath, Kesari Baath,Shavige Baath, Davanagere Benne
Dosa, Uppittu, Plain and Rave Idli, Mysore Masala Dosa, Kadubu, Poori, Avalakki etc. Lunch
items include (sambar)Huli, (rasam)thili, Kootu, Gojju and a delicacy called Bisi bele baath,
Chitranna, Kosambri(Salad), Pachadi or Mosaru bajji
Snack Items: Kodabale, Chakkali, Nippatu, Maddur Vade, Aamb Vade, Golli Bajji, Mangalore
6.10 Kerala food
a typical Kerala lunch on plaintain leaf. Spicy fish from Kerala.
Kerala cuisine is quite diverse. The diversity is best classified on the basis of the various
communities. Most of the food is vegetarian but with the higher Christian and Muslim
population than other states, non-vegetarian dishes are also common. The Hindus, especially the
Namboodris and Nairs have a predominantly vegetarian cuisine, whilst the Christian and the
Muslim communities have a largely non-vegetarian cuisine. The Syrian Christian dishes and
Malabari Muslim dishes are famous. Since Kerala's main export is coconuts, almost all of the
dishes, irrespective of the variety in the cuisines of the different communities, have coconuts
associated with them, either in the form of shavings or oil extracted from the nut. Seafood is also
very popular in the coastal regions and eaten almost every day.
Most famous food items
Vegetarian: olan, paalpradaman, nendarangai chips, aviyal, pulissery, erucherri, sambar, rasam,
kalan, upperis, pachady, kichadi.
Non-vegetarian: shrimp coconut curry, fish curry (various versions depending on the region),
fish fry, chicken fry with shredded coconuts, fish pickle, podimeen fry, meen thoran (fish with
coconut), Karimeen (pearl spot fish) pollichathu, shrimp masala, chicken stew, mutton stew,
duck curry, malabari fish curry, kakka (shells) thoran, kalllumekka, crabs, malabar biriyani,
thalassery biriyani, pearl spot fish, jewel fish, mussels, squid, kappa boiled, kappa (tapioca)
vevichathu with non- vegetarian curries. Malabar biriyani is a rice cuisine the difference is it uses
Khyma rice instead of basmati rice. The main variants are Thalassery biriyani and Kozhikode
Snacks: upperi, payasam, banan fry (ethaykkappam or pazham pori), ullivada, kozhukkatta,
avalosunda, unniyappam, neeyyappam, unnaykka, thira, churuttu, boli, modhakam, paal
vazhaykka, cutlets, halwas, cakes, vattayappam, kinnathappam, irattymadhuram.
Breakfast: Puttu (with banana or kadala curry, egg curry, or beef fry).
Appam (velayappam, palappam) with curry, vegetable stew, fish molee, chicken or mutton stew,
beef curry, duck roast, pork masala. Idiyappam also with same curries.
Pidi with mutton curry or chicken curry.
Porotta with chicken curry or mutton curry.
Idli, dosai with chutney.
Kanji with dry beans, pickle, pappad and made with coconut.
Typical Indian masala dosa (Kerala style): It is a combination of shredded, cooked, and fried
vegetables with Indian sauce and a lot of spices as the basic stuffing, enveloped by a thick brown
dosa made out of a dal and rice batter. To embellish this unique preparation, it is served with hot
sambhar and coconut chutney.
6.11 Tamil food
Idli-Sambar,a typical Tamil breakfast dish. Murukku, a crunchy savory.
A typical Tamil meal consists of many spicy and non-spicy dishes.Except Brahmins and a couple
of non-Brahmin castes, tamils eat more non-vegetarian. Many of these dishes are typically mixed
and eaten with steamed rice, which is the staple food of the region.
Tamil cuisine groups dishes under five slightly overlapping categories. First are the dishes that
necessarily are mixed with rice; various Kuzhambu, Sambhar, Paruppu, Rasam, Thayir,
Kadaiyals and the likes belong to this category. The second are the side dishes that accompany
such mixtures; Kootu, Kari, Poriyal, Pickles, Papads fall into this category. Third are the short
snacks and their accompaniments; vadai, bonda, bajji, soups, various chutneys, thayir pachadi
and the likes belong to this category. The fourth category is usually the rich, sweet dishes that
serve as desserts; Payasam, Kheer, Kesari and a plethora of Indian sweets belong to this
category. The fifth category includes "tiffin", or light meals. This include various types of idlis,
various types of dosai, poori, types of pongal, types of uppma, idiyappam, aappam, adai, parotta,
paniyaram etc.. Preparations from the fifth category are served for breakfast and dinner, usually
not as midday meal. Tamil cuisine mainly offers light breakfast, lighter dinner, a heavy midday
meal and evening snacks, often served with tea or coffee. Third to follow will be the Rasam
again, mixed with rice, one usually eats this accompanied by crisps. The last of the courses will
invariably be rice with curd or yoghurt; this is usually taken along with pickles. Throughout the
meal, the side dishes are served and eaten with the courses, depending upon one's taste or choice;
side dishes are constantly replenished during any meal. As a last course, the desserts are served.
Finally guests retire to the living room and conclude the meal with banana and freshly made paan
consisting of betel leaves, betel nuts and lime. paan is considered a digestive aid.
The situation is similar with Tamil non-vegetarian meals, except that the first and second courses
are usually replaced by various Biryanis and non-vegetarian gravies.
In either case, a typical meal (Lunch or Dinner) will be served on a banana leaf. Meals are often
accompanied by various pickles and appalams.
Food is generally classified into six tastes - sweet, sour, salt, bitter, pungent and astringent and
traditional Tamil cuisine recommends that you include all of these six tastes in each main meal
you eat. Each taste has a balancing ability and including some of each provides complete
nutrition, minimizes cravings and balances the appetite and digestion.
Sweet (Milk, butter, sweet cream, wheat, ghee (clarified butter), rice, honey)
Sour (Limes and lemons, citrus fruits, yogurt, mango, tamarind)
Salty (Salt or pickles)
Bitter (Bitter gourd, greens of many kinds, turmeric, fenugreek)
Pungent (Chili peppers, ginger, black pepper, clove, mustard)
Astringent (Beans, lentils, turmeric, vegetables like cauliflower and cabbage, cilantro)
6.12 Chettinad cuisine
Chettinad cuisine is famous for its use of a variety of spices used in preparing mainly non-
vegetarian food. The dishes are hot and pungent with fresh ground masalas, and topped with a
boiled egg that is usually considered an essential part of a meal. They also use a variety of sun-
dried meats and salted vegetables, reflecting the dry environment of the region. The meat is
restricted to fish, prawn, lobster, crab, chicken and mutton. Chettiars do not eat beef and pork.
Most of the dishes are eaten with rice and rice based accompaniments such as dosais, appams,
idiyappams, adais and idlis. The Chettinad people through their mercantile contacts with Burma,
learnt to prepare a type of rice pudding made with sticky red rice.
Chettinad cuisine offers a variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. Some of the popular
vegetarian dishes include idiyappam, paniyaram, vellai paniyaram, karuppatti paniyaram, paal
paniyaram, kuzhi paniyaram, kozhakattai, masala paniyaram, adikoozh, kandharappam, seeyam,
masala seeyam, kavuni arisi and athirasam.
Most famous food items
Vegetarian: kevar kalli, idli, sambar, vadai, rasam, dosa, thayir sadam (yogurt rice), thayir vadai
(yogurt-soaked fritters), kootu (vegetables in wet style), poriyal/kari (vegetables in dry style),
murukku, uthappam, idiappam, appalam (deep fried lentil-flour crisps) and papadum (baked
lentil-flour crips), freshly made thayir pachidi (yogurt mixed with fresh vegetables).
Non-vegetarian: karuvattu kuzhambu (salted, dried fish in sauce), chettinad pepper chicken, fish
fry, and Kanji with "old fish" gravy.
East India includes the state of Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Orissa and seven north eastern
states. The cuisine of the first three states is generally one, however, differences crop up in the
preference of dishes. For example the Bengalis are more fond of Macher Jhol as compared to the
people of other two states. Bengal is also famous for its sweets like sandesh, rasgulla, pantua and
chamcham. As far as north east states are concerned, non vegetarian food forms a major part. In
this part people eat every available animal.
Assamese – Naga – Sikkimese – Tripuri
8.1 Assamese cuisine
Assamese cuisine is the cuisine of Assam, a state in North-East India. It is a style of cooking
that is a confluence of cooking habits of the hills that favor fermentation and drying as forms of
food preservation, and those from the plains that provide fresh vegetables and abundance of fish
from its many rivers and ponds; both of which are centered around the main ingredient—rice. It
is a mixture of different indigenous styles with considerable regional variations and some
external influences. The cuisine is characterized by very little use of spices, little cooking over
fire and strong flavors due mainly to the use of endemic exotic fruits and vegetables that are
either fresh, dried or fermented. Fish is widely used, and birds like duck, squab etc. are very
popular, which are often paired with a main vegetable or ingredient. Preparations are rarely
elaborate—the practice of Bhuna, the gentle frying of spices before the addition of the main
ingredients so common in Indian cooking, is absent in the cuisine of Assam.
Assamese Thali Kosu Xaak aru Madhuxuleng
A traditional meal in Assam begins with a khar, a class of dishes named after the main
ingredient, and ends with a tenga, a sour dish. These two dishes characterize a traditional meal in
Assam. The food is usually served in bell metal utensils made by an indigenous community
called Mariya. Tamul (betel nut, generally raw) and paan generally concludes the meal.
Though still obscure, this cuisine has seen wider notice in recent times.The discovery of this
cuisine in the popular media continues, with the presenters yet to settle on the language and the
specific distinctiveness to describe it.
The cuisine of Assam is strongly influenced by the local ingredients, especially because this
cuisine tries to preserve the natural flavors or augment them by processes like drying,
Rice is the most important ingredient in this cuisine. The large varieties of rice found in the
region has led to speculation that the grain was first domesticated in the Assam- Yunnan region.
Both the indica as well as the japonica varieties are grown in Assam. The most popular class of
rice is the joha or scented rice. As a staple diet rice is eaten either steam boiled (ukhua) or
sundried (aaroi). Some very fine quality of rice namely, Karaballam or kauribadam etc. are
available in Assam only. Rice is eaten as snack in many different forms: roasted and ground
(xandoh), boiled in its husk and flattened (chira), puffed (akhoi). There also grows a variety of
rice that can be just soaked and eaten (kumol saul).
Rice is a part of all meals in Assam. A traditional breakfast consists of chira with yogurt and
jaggery. Farmers eat cooked rice soaked overnight (poita) garnished with mustard oil, onions,
etc. Snacks would be xandoh, kumol saul or bora saul, a sticky variety with milk. For other
major meals, rice could be boiled, steamed or wrapped in leaves and roasted.
A special class of rice preparations, called pithas are generally made only on special occasions
like the Bihu. Made usually with soaked and ground glutinous rice (bora saul), they could be
fried in oil with a sesame filling (xutuli pitha), roasted in young green bamboo over a slow fire
(sunga pitha) or baked and rolled over a hot plate with a filling (kholasapori pitha).
The next most important ingredient is the fish, harvested from the many rivers, ponds and lakes
in the region. There is no traditional ethnic community in Assam that does not eat fish. Most
traditional rural households have their own ponds for pisciculture. Some of the most popular big
fishes are the rou, ilish and cital (big), khoria (medium) (Chitala chitala), maagur, Xingi, borali,
bhokua, Xaal, Xol, etc. The small varieties of fish available and eaten in Assam like puthi,
borolia, mua, ceniputhi, tengera, lachin, bhagun, pabho, etc. The discerning gourmet would be
able to tell which region of Assam is known for which variety of fish.
The most popular dish from Assam, the tenga (fish sour), is an indispensable part of a proper
meal in Assam. The most popular tenga is made with tomatoes, though ones made with kajinemu
(thick skinned elongated lemon) and thekera (dried Mangosteen,) are also popular. Another
favorite is small fish roasted in banana leaves (paatotdia). Hukuti is a special fish dish prepared
from dried small fish (puthi maas) pounded with arum stem and dried and stored in bamboo
tubes. Variations of this exist among the ethnic communities of Northeast India in general and
Assam in particular, are dried and fermented small fish puthy mas (Ticto barb), three to four in
numbers are roasted along with lavish amounts of green chillies, tomatoes, ginger and garlic (all
roasted). The ingredients are then pounded in a mortar to make a coarse paste and served with
The Assamese meat and fish dish is characterized by low amount of spices and oil, higher
quantity of ginger, norosingho paat (Curry leaves) and lemon juice. This is quite different from
Bengali dishes in taste. Pork and to some extent, beef dishes are particularly favorites in the
tribal areas in Assam. Beef is not taken by the majority of Assamese as they practice Hinduism;
however, beef is popular among Assamese Muslims, although general people also have pork, but
that is not taken by the Assamese Muslims. The basic cooking method is boiling. Onla, of the
Bodos, is made with ground rice and special herbs, and constitutes a complete meal in itself.
Other meats include squab, duck, chicken, mutton, venison, and turtle although venison and
turtle meat are legally prohibited. The combination of duck – white gourd and squab – papaya or
banana flower is very popular. Meat is curried in spicy gravy.
Greens and vegetables
The environs of Assam are rich in vegetation, and green leafy vegetables, called xaak, are an
important part of the cuisine. Some of them are grown while others like the dhekia (fern) grows
wild. There is a bewildering variety that is eaten and according to custom, one has to have a
hundred different xaaks (greens) during Rongali Bihu.
Among spices there are ginger, garlic, onion, cumin seed, black cumin, black pepper, chilli,
turmeric, coriander seed, cinnamon, cardamom, clove, fenugreek seed, white mustard seed,
aniseed, Malabar leaf, etc.
Snacks and cakes
Jolpan (snacks) in Assamese is what is breakfast although it is not always served as breakfast in
Assamese cuisine. The items served in Bihu, marriage or any special occasions are called Jolpan.
Some Jolpan are Bora saul, Komal Saul, Xandoh, Chira, Muri, Akhoi, Sunga saul, etc. along
with curd, jaggery, and yogurt. These are probably some of the earliest form of what we called
"Cereals". Assamese people have been eating them mainly as breakfast for many centuries.
Pitha (rice cake) is a special class of rice preparation generally made only on special occasions
like Bihu in Assam. Made usually with soaked and ground rice, they could be fried in oil, roasted
over a slow fire or baked and rolled over a hot plate. Some pithas are Til Pitha, Ghila Pitha,
Xutuli Pitha, Sunga Pitha, Bhapotdiya Pitha, Lakhimi Pitha, Tora Pitha, Tekeli Pitha, Deksi
Pitha, Muthiya Pitha, Kholasapori Pitha, etc.
Larus are sweet balls that are associated with traditional Assamese food: Laskara, narikolor laru,
tilor laru are often seen in Assamese cuisine.
Tea (Saah in Assamese) is an indispensable part of Assamese cuisine. It is served in form of
Black tea, Milk tea, Spiced tea, Lemon tea (adding lemon juice to black tea) etc.
Some other snacks
Some other snacks include roti, luchi, and ghugni.
An Assamese meal is generally concluded with Tamol It is a routine item after every meal.