One of the key distinctive aspects of Indian cuisine, and what makes it different from many other cuisines, is that it has an abundance of vegetarian dishes. Although many of the world’s cuisines have vegetable dishes, India, seems to have an abundance of savory vegetarian dishes.
One of the main taste characteristics of Indian food is that it is rich in herbs & spices, allowing for some unusual and delicious tastes.
Indian dishes include:
- Rice and meat based biryanis and braised meat and vegetable dishes called korma (“core-ma”). Among the common spices include cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and cloves.
- Typical Indian Sauces are often made with cream and cooking usually includes the tandoor oven to cook marinated meats on skewers, known as Tandoori (“tan- doo-ree”) food, which is one of the most popular cooking styles in India.
- Vegetarian Dishes: Vegetarians can find a huge selection of tasty Indian dishes. Indian vegetarian dishes have many varied options, including things like chickpea curry, garlic lentils or paneer cheese in a rich, flavorful sauce. Because of their unique flavors, these dishes are popular with both vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike.
Some of our favorite dishes include:
- Palak Paneer (Spinach and Cottage Cheese)
- Mutter Paneer (Peas and Cottage Cheese)
- Aaloo Paratha (Potato Paratha)
Typical Indian Side Dishes:
- Dhals (pronounced “dahl”) are curried lentils
- Raitas (pronounced “right-ah”) are thinnish yogurt salads
- Samosas (pronounced “sah-moh- sahs”) are savory deep fried pastries with spicy potatoes or meat.
Chutney is similar to jam, but it is more savory than sweet. While jam is almost always made with fruit as the primary ingredient, Chutneys will include fruit but can also use vegetables. Chutneys tend to be a mix of multiple things, including some fruit and vegetables and spices.
Chutneys are served in small amounts along with the meal. as a condiment. They are great additions to the blander dishes. (like pakoras or samosas), rather than the very spicy meals.
Three popular Indian Breads are:
- Naan is a leavened, oven-baked flatbread that’s normally served with all meals. Typically, it is served hot and can be brushed with ghee or butter. There are variations of naan can include garlic naan or a cheese naan. Naan is used more like a food scoop for sauces or chutneys.
- Chapati is a Indian flat bread made with wheat flour. Chapatis are toasted over a griddle until they are goldish. You can eat it as is, or with soup or vegetable dishes. Chapati is usually made from whole wheat flour and cooked without oil, so it is a healthier choice.
- Roti is an unleavened flat bread, similar to chapatti, They contain whole wheat flour and water, and are often coated with ghee or butter to improve the taste Tandoori roti is baked in a tandoori oven, so it may be a healthier option
This is an overview of the main Indian meal components, we will discuss specific Indian foods in other posts.
Come visit our Market, we have a variety of Indian dishes and ingredients that can be easily used in your Indian Dinner preparation.