There is no single cuisine in India. Just like the culture of India, the Indian cuisine is also very diverse. From Punjabi to South Indian to Gujarati, Indian food consists of a number of different regional cuisines. Read further to know about the traditional food of India.
Most of the Indian cuisines have a liberal usage of spices. Also, there is a wide usage of a variety of vegetables. Within these basic similarities, there is also diversity in the local styles.
North and West:
North Indian meals consist of basically chapatis or rotis, along with dals (pulses), vegetables and Curd (yoghurt). Use of rice is there but not too much. There are also side dishes chutney (preserves) and achars (pickle). In the North and West, there are also Kashmiri and Mughlai cuisines, reflecting the strong influence of central Asia. There is a heavy consumption of Milk based sweets also.
South and East:
In South and East India, there is a heavy consumption of rice, along with dals and curries. The dishes are mostly rice-based. Coconut is a very important and widely used ingredient in most of the South and East Indian dishes. Fish also consists of a part of this diet.
In the desert area of Rajasthan and Gujarat, there is a usage of a wide variety of dals and achars. A reason for this is the relative lack of fresh vegetables.
However, the staple diet of India consists of rice, atta (whole wheat flour), a variety of pulses and vegetables. Besides the main dishes, there are a number of snacks that are quite popular in India. Some of them are samosa, pakodas, vadas, chillas, etc. Regarding drinks, the most popular is tea. Coffee is more popular in South India. Nimbu pani (lemonade), lassi, and coconut milk are also popular. Traditionally, meals are eaten while sitting on the floor. But with the modernization of India, this practice has diminished to great extent. Also, most of the Indian food is eaten with the fingers only.
Read about Indian cuisines and the traditional food of India.