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Indian Food and its Variants !

August 05, 2012  by: ushakiran  Points: 12   Category: Food & Drinks  Earning $0.40   Views: 679

A typical Vegetarian Meal in South India consists of Rice, Sambhaar, A vegetable side dish, Rasam and curds - accompanied by light eats like Pappad, pickles and chutneys .


Indian Food

A majority of Indians are vegetarians and with India being such a vast country with many different cultures and food habits, one comes across a wide variety of dishes that are totally different .Many a times one comes across the same dish being cooked differently in different parts and regions of India !

India has a staple diet of Rice in the Southern , Eastern and North eastern parts, and Rotis , chapatis and naans are the staple food in northern parts of India and the central India.The variation in food comes with the availability of the food materials and the weather conditions - like for example down south and in the coastal areas a lot of coconut and fish is used in everyday cooking, which is because it is available in plenty and food habits are developed and mastered around this !

Similarly, when we take other states , a lot of dried vegetables and lentils are used in Rajasthan and parts of Gujarat, because of the warm weather conditions and the desert areas where it is difficult to grow green vegetables, due to insufficient water sources. The available vegetables are dried and preserved for future use and there is more stress laid on milk products...

India has probably the Greatest variety of vegetarian dishes coming from all parts of the country.Most of them are tasty and family specialties in that they have been nurtured and fine tuned and are preserved like heirlooms through generations .
The variety of vegetables grown in India is mind boggling, there are nearly 50-60 varieties in Green leafy vegetables only, with such abundance one naturally can expect some mouthwatering vegetarian dishes !

A typical Vegetarian Meal in South India consists of Rice, Sambhaar, A vegetable side dish, Rasam and curds - accompanied by light eats like Pappad, pickles and chutneys .
Whereas a Northern Indian Meal would have Rotis/chappatis/naans with a Paneer and palak or peas dish, Some Dhal , a vegetable Sabzi and Dahi(curds). The taste too would be quite different since different spices and methoid of cooking is used.

Here is a typical South Indian Sambhar recipe


Toor Dhal( Split pea, lentils) 1 cup
A variety of vegetables like Drum stick(optional), Brinjal,Bhindi(ladies finger) potatoes ,french beans, radish ,carrots ...cut into pieces.
Onion 1 sliced
Green chillies 3-4 sliced
Tomato 1 sliced
a marble sized amount of tamarind soaked in water
Saambhar powder (MTR preferably)
salt to taste and a piece of jaggery

For Tempering:-

2 tb sp oil
mustard seeds 1/2 tsp
Cummin seeds 1/2 tsp
curry leaves a few...

Pressure cook the dhal with 3 cups of water and a pinch of turmeric powder...
Mix the vegetables with the onions, tomatoes, and green chillies and a little tamarind water, 2 cups of water and cook until the vegetables are cooked but firm.
Mix the dhal with the vegetables and the tamarind water and add 2 tb spoonfuls of MTR Saambhar powder, mix well and check salt and add 1/2 tsp of sugar or jaggery and chilly powder if one wants the Saambhar to be fiery !
Once it is well mixed take off the fire..
In a small frying pain heat the oil and add the mustard seeds and when they start spluttering add the cummin seeds and curry leaves , pour this over the Sambhaar..
( Tamarind can be substituted by lime juice, and jaggery can be substituted by sugar...)

Some of the most mouth watering dishes are made using vegetables. Preparations like Aloo sago, a potatoe gravy which tastes yummy with Rotis and naan and poories(Fried parathas) are liked by many and prepared in many households on a regular basis .
Then there are green leafy vegetables - a variety of them like Paalak( Spinach), Methi(fenugreek leaves), and the local variety of spinach. All the Greens can be combined together and chopped and cooked along with tomatoes, onions, green chillies and salt and added to cooked Dhal and preferred choice of spices,chilly powder .This is a very tasty dish that goes well with steamed rice besides being very nutritious and healthy !

I have another favourite dish , the Chutney - the one made from Pudina(Mint) leaves is simply marvelous !

Mint Chutney

There are no doubt many varieties of chutneys made in Indian homes and since fresh ingredients are used, they are all very healthy and tasty.It is a great side dish to Idlies,Dosas ,Rotis ,Samosas,Cutlets or as Sandwich fillers.

It is very easy to prepare mint chutney which is very popular and often made at Indian homes .
Use plenty of Mint leaves, add green chillies, some salt, sugar , some lime juice and grated coconut and blend in the mixer.Great tasting and very easy to prepare !
One can also make this a little differently by adding some roasted cummin seeds and 4-5 pepper corns to the above mentioned list of ingredients.The taste will be sllightly different and this type of chutney goes well with steamed rice and ghee !

Uppukari , a side dish

There is a whole range of dry vegetable dishes called Uppukari , which is a delicious accompaniment to a south Indian meal along with Saambhaar and rice.
This dish can be made with any vegetable like french beans, cabbage,Greens like Palakh(Spinach), brinjals etc;

1,The vegetables are chopped into small pieces.Heat oil in a pan add some mustard seeds and urad dhal(Black gram dhal).
2,When the dhal is well browned add chopped onions and 2-3 slit greenchillies and curry leaves, mix well and add the vegetables and salt mix thoroughly and finally sprinkle some water into the vegetables.
3,Cover and cook on slow flame, turning the vegetables every now and then. It should be done in 10-15 minutes, can add some freshly grated cocnut and finely chopped coriander leaves just before taking off the flame.Mix well before serving..

Author: SandeepSunnyJasrotia        
Posted Date: 08/13/2012    Points:2    

Nice share...Indian food have lots of variety..They have north indian food,south indian food,east indian food and west indian (Do they really have, lolzz )food.
There is a variety in the indian food..The masalas makes the difference and I like it much...

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