How do Indians like their vegetarian, meat and seafood dishes? Indian food is a delicious mix of many types of dishes which may feature a variety of ingredients like vegetables, meat, eggs and seafood flavored well with spices and each emanating an aroma of its own.
Indian Vegetarian Dishes
Vegetarianism is a system of eating which is completely devoid of animal products. Indian food takes pride in being versatile since it features a number of recipes in which different vegetables are combined with a host of seasonings and spices to result in a number of dishes which are not only healthy but flavorful as well.
Some of the most common Indian vegetarian dishes are dum aloo which is a potato preparation, subzi which refers to a dry preparation of any vegetable ranging from carrots and brinjal to cabbage and cauliflower, palak paneer which features chunks of paneer in dark green spinach gravy and stuffed vegetables like stuffed tomatoes, stuffed capsicum and so on. In most of these, the use of ginger, garlic, turmeric and red chili powder is prevalent due to which they are yummy as well as well flavored.
Indian vegetarian dishes could acquire the form of side dishes and desserts as well and while some popular examples of the former are raita and chutney, the latter includes gajar ka halwa (carrot halwa), laddoos and kheer.
From the health aspect, vegetarian dishes being low in fat, calories and cholesterol are easier to digest and absorb and hence are not likely to result in health problems.
Indian Meat Dishes
Apart from the never-ending vegetarian section, Indian cuisine boasts a host of non-vegetarian or meat preparations and while chicken and mutton dominate the scenario, at certain places one might come across beef, rabbit and other lesser known varieties of meat as well.
Chicken is considered to be the universally accepted form of meat in India and every region specializes in its own unique preparation of this meat. Therefore, an individual traveling from north to south in India would encounter tandoori chicken and chicken tikka kebabs in the north, chicken vindaloo in the central belt, chicken biryani in Andhra Pradesh and chicken dhansak and chicken chetinad further towards the southern tip. Some preparations like butter chicken and minced form of chicken are standard meat dishes in every part of the country. These preparations may be either dry or with gravy as preferred by the diners.
Mutton, which is a red meat, is less widespread as compared to chicken and some of its most common preparations are seekh kebab, Rogan josh, korma and mutton stews. These meats are rich in spices and there are times when they are combined with leafy vegetables like spinach to form the gravy.
Indian Seafood Dishes
Indian coasts have been blessed with abundant marine life and therefore are centers where one can sample a variety of delicately flavored seafood dishes prepared from prawns, shrimps, lobsters and a variety of seawater fishes.
Prawns vary in size and while the tiniest of them are known as shrimps, the large-sized creatures are referred to as jumbo or king-size. Likewise, the style of preparation differs as in while smallest prawns are cooked in form of gravy the larger ones can be batter-fried and golden fried or simply served as a dry preparation of chili prawns. Irrespective of the preparation, prawns are a rich source of Omega 3 fatty acids, proteins, iron, zinc and vitamin E and having them with the goodness of coconut gravy or with a number of sauces is an Indian experience which should never be spared.
A visit to coastal states like Goa, Maharashtra and Kerala would expose one to spicy and delectable sea fish preparations while Bengal being an estuary prides itself on fresh water fish preparations.