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(In British Accent) A Primer on Indian Regional Cuisines

posted Jun 11, 2011, 7:08 AM by Dustin Romero   [ updated Dec 3, 2011, 10:26 PM ]
Chances are, and I mean, I did a thorough study on this, that you don’t know what the difference is between North Indian Cuisine and South Indian Cuisine. That’s okay, I didn’t know the difference a year ago either. I’m going to take a minute to explain that difference for you, so that you (like me) will be able to enjoy the different foods of India more, and find restaurants that are going to have that particular dish you are looking for

Naan cooking in our Tandoor oven.

The first thing I want to make clear is that we are neither a North Indian or South Indian cart (nor East, West, etc. for that matter). We try to serve a variety of curries that range the continent, although, as you’ll see after I explain the cuisines that we do lean towards North Indian cuisine.

For the most part Indian Cuisine is divided among four regions. North, South, East and West. The North region comprises the cuisines of Rajasthan, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. The South has Andrha, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. In the West in Gujarat, Maharastra and Goan Cuisines. I’m sure your mind glazed over those names, mine did when I first read them. Read on though, it become clearer.

The North Indian region is the region that contains the greater amount of renowned landmarks (like the Taj Mahal). It also has the most tourists. It’s also more commonly represented in American Indian restaurants. Punjab cuisine in particular is well known in America with menu items such as tandoori dishes, naan and  many vegetable dishes like saag are common to Punjab. North Indian cuisine is heavily influence by the Mughal imperial kitchens, a cuisine rich in a tradition of extravagance. And who these days doesn’t like a little extravagance?

Does the Taj Mahal (of North India) really need a caption???

South Indian cuisine is also found in many restaurant in the U.S. and uses, much like most Indian food a lot of rice and lentils. Dishes from the South are influenced by the availability of fruits so ingredients like coconut is a used in many of the dishes. Some of the popular dishes in the south include Dosa’s (an Indian crepe like dish), Idlis (a steamed and stuffed dumpling thingy) and Coconut Shrimp Curry (does not this sound awesome!).

The South is more tropical and warm than the North, strange. (sarcasm)

Look forward to future posts as we dig deeper into each Indian Region and explore the various flavors and styles of these delightful regional cuisines.


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