India's food is as diverse as the people of the country themselves. Butter chicken and Laccha paratha from North India and dosa and sambhar from the South is already famous throughout the country. However, there are little gems from all over the country which haven't been discovered but are flavoursome and tasteful. Here are the lesser known cuisines of India which will make you want to pack your bags and immediately set off to these places.
A distinguishing factor is that the food is cooked with relatively lesser oil and lesser spice than its contemporaries. Mustard oil is used predominantly. A lot of dishes are also based on yogurt and cheese. Ingredients like plantains, jackfruit and papaya are used while 'panch putana' is a widely used mixture containing mustard, cumin, fenugreek, aniseed and kalonji. Food cooked here sees an influence of holy scriptures and temples.
The cuisine of Telangana is known for its tangy, hot and spicy taste. Millet based breads like roti are predominant here. The food is made with a lot of spices, making it one of the richest in India. Dal, tomato and tamarind are largely used for cooking curries along with jowar and bajra. Non vegetarian is given as much importance as vegetarian food, mutton and chicken are cooked regularly.
Rice dominates this cuisine and the most consumed item is meat. It is given prime importance and is consumed voraciously by Kashmiris. Kashmir also have a bakery culture where elaborate baked items are available. A wazwan is a multi course meal and its preparation is considered to be an artistic skill. The traditional number of dishes in a wazwan are approximately thirty, all of them exceptionally delicious.
A notable feature of Kathiawadi cuisine, which is found in the Kutch area of Gujarat, is the usage of less water and dominance of gram flour and jaggery. Onions, potatoes and garlic as well as a combination of dairy products are used extensively. A local favourite is the Kathiawadi Mix Spicy Shaak which is made comprising of eggplant, peanut and curd; a simple yet toothsome recipe.
India's major tribal areas are the seven sisters of the North East. Less oil and spices are used; most of the taste comes from exotic herbs, fruits and vegetables. Tribals eat a lot of animals including rabbits, pigeons, dogs, cats, spiders which makes their cuisine quite distinctive from others. The cooking method is simplistic. Bamboo is used quite extensively and the food presentation is rarely elaborate.
Malnadu cuisine belongs to a part of Karnataka. Ingredients like tender bamboo shoots, colocassia leaves, turmeric leaves and raw jackfruit are a part of the preparation. Again, there is little use of oils while steaming is the favourite method of cooking. Coffee is also a preferred beverage, it is served five to six times a day. The food is influenced by the richness of the mountains where it is derived from.
Konkani/ Malvani Cuisine
This cuisine belongs to the coastal region around Maharashtra and Goa. The unique flavour of this cuisine comes from the special Malvani masala, kokam and extensive use of coconut. Seafood is dominant and also the most used ingredient. Rice and millet breads, both are eaten and combined in the form of rice rotis as well, which is worth trying out. The sweets also include a touch of coconut.
We are so tempted to try out these cuisines, you comment and let us know which one is your favourite.