Indian cuisine is incredibly diverse and has been influenced by various international cuisines over centuries. Some of the notable influences on Indian cuisine include:
Persian Cuisine: Persian influences are evident in Mughlai cuisine, which includes dishes like biryani, kebabs, and korma. The Mughals ruled India for centuries and brought a rich culinary tradition.
Arab Cuisine: Arab traders and settlers introduced various spices, fruits, and rice dishes to the Indian subcontinent. This influence is particularly notable in the cuisine of the Malabar region in Kerala.
Central Asian Cuisine: The nomadic tribes from Central Asia, such as the Turks and Mongols, have influenced Indian cuisine, especially in the use of dairy products, spices, and the tandoor (a cylindrical clay or metal oven).
British Cuisine: During the British colonial period, Indian cuisine absorbed certain elements from British cooking. Ingredients like potatoes and tomatoes and certain cooking techniques found their way into Indian kitchens.
Portuguese Cuisine: The Portuguese significantly impacted Goan cuisine, introducing ingredients like vinegar and techniques like marination. The use of pork in Goan dishes is also a Portuguese influence.
Dutch and French Cuisine: In some coastal regions, particularly in the former French and Dutch colonies, there are influences from these European cuisines. For example, Puducherry (formerly Pondicherry) reflects French culinary influences.
Chinese Cuisine: Indo-Chinese cuisine is a fusion of Indian and Chinese culinary traditions. Dishes like Manchurian, Hakka noodles, and fried rice have been adapted to suit Indian tastes.
Jewish Cuisine: Jewish communities in India, such as the Bene Israel in Mumbai, have contributed to the culinary tapestry with their unique dishes.
These influences have shaped the diverse regional cuisines within India, resulting in a rich and varied culinary landscape. It’s important to note that Indian cuisine is highly regional, with each country’s distinct flavors, ingredients, and cooking techniques.