India being a land of diverse culture and traditions, the food consumed by people and the style of preparation varies from one region to another with the result that every ethnic group boasts of a unique and distinct cuisine. For people who are fond of eating and love to try new dishes, this land would be nothing short of a paradise as there is an endless list of recipes encompassing all food categories, some of which have been discussed as follows:
This rice dish hails from the northern most state of India, Kashmir. This preparation is truly reflective of the multi-ethnic society of the state and due to the variety of ingredients used, it is wholesome in itself. It could be served during either of the main meals like lunch or dinner with or without accompaniments and its recipe is as follows:
- The basmati rice is first cleaned, washed and soaked.
- Next, one must slice onions in adequate quantity and fry till golden brown.
- In the same oil, whole spices like cinnamon, cardamom and cloves should be fried along with turmeric powder and then the rice is added to the mixture and sautéed well.
- To this, a pinch of saffron dissolved in warm milk is added followed by water and cooked till the rice is done and the grains separated.
- The rice is then served on the platter garnished with walnuts, cashew nuts, pistachios, cherries and golden fried onions.
A universal chicken preparation in India, this dish underlines the fact that in spite of the diversity there are certain Indian dishes which are relished throughout the country and could grace any occasion or meal. Chicken tikkas are normally served as starters or snacks and could be had at any time during the day.
- The preparation begins with 3-4 pounds of chicken is washed, cut, trimmed of fat and dried.
- It is then soaked in a marinade prepared with yoghurt as the base and flavored with garlic cloves, paprika, chili peppers, salt, cinnamon, ground cumin and cloves overnight in the refrigerator.
- Next day, the pieces are barbecued on wood or charcoal fire and each one takes approximately 30 minutes to cook.
Gulab Jamuns form the most popular sweet dish of the country and are aptly described as being an ‘anytime-anywhere’ dish. Indians prepare gulab jamuns on every occasion whether it be a festival, a birthday party, a celebration or even a formal occasion.
- The dough for gulab jamun is prepared by kneading milk powder, all-purpose flour, baking soda and butter with just enough milk.
- This is then divided into the desired number of portions and each portion is rolled into a smooth ball which should not feature any cracks.
- These are then fried in hot oil till they rise to the surface and appear reddish brown in color.
- After having been taken out of the oil, they are placed on tissue paper for soaking the extra oil and then dipped in warm sugar syrup overnight.
Traditionally belonging to the state of Kerala in India, this wholesome stew is ideal for anyone who is willing to try their hand at Indian cooking as it is simple to make and yet features all the frontline Indian spices.
- The diced potatoes and carrots along with sliced onions, peas, green chilies and ginger are put in a cooking vessel.
- Also added are basic spices like peppercorns, cloves and cinnamon.
- To this water is added along with salt and cooked on medium flame till the vegetables are cooked and the gravy is reduced to less than half its original quantity.
- The preparation is rounded off by addition of coconut milk followed by coconut oil and curry leaves and it is ready to be served and relished.
Kolkata Egg Rolls
This nourishing, energizing and yummy snack is served from the innumerable roadside shops in Kolkata but that does not take away anything from its goodness because it is still as hygienic and healthy as promised by its ingredients. It is the moms who benefit the most from this recipe as apart from being economical in terms of time it provides their children with a fulfilling diet without much ado.
- The eggs are beaten in a bowl and swirled on the frying pan one by one to form an omelet.
- It is before the omelet sets that one must put a round roti on top of it so that it merges with the egg and both are then cooked together.
- This dual combination is lined up with chopped cucumber, onions and capsicum mixed with tomato sauce, rolled and served.