The region of Bengal is one of the most densely populated regions on earth, with a population density exceeding 900/km ². Most of the Bengal region lies in the low -lying Ganges–Brahmaputra River Delta or Ganges Delta, the world's largest delta. In the southern part of the delta lies the Sundarbans-the world's largest mangrove forest and home of the Bengal tiger. Though the population of the region is mostly rural, two megacities, Kolkata and Dhaka, are located in Bengal.
The Bengal region is renowned for its rich literary and cultural heritage as well as its immense contribution to the socio -cultural uplift of Indian society in the form of the Bengal Renaissance , and revolutionary activities during the Indian independence movement.
The food of this region has an emphasis on fish, vegetables and lentils served with rice as a staple diet, Bengali cuisine is known for its subtle (yet somet imes fiery) flavours, and its huge spread of confectioneries and desserts. Fresh sweet water fish is one of its most distinctive features; Bengal's countless rivers, ponds and lakes teem with innumerable varieties of fish such as rohu, hilsa, koi or pabda. Prawns, shrimp and crabs also abound.
The use of spices for both fish and vegetable dishes is quite extensive and includes many combinations not found in other parts of India. Examples are the onion flavoured kalonji (nigella or black onion seeds), radhuni (wild celery seeds), and five -spice or paanch phoron (a mixture of cumin, fennel, fenugreek, kalonji, and black mustard seeds). The trump card of Bengali cooking probably is the addition of phoron, a combinat ion of whole spices, fried and added at the start or finish of cooking as a flavouring special to each dish. Bengalis share their love of whole black mustard seeds with South Indians, but unique to Bengal is the extensive use of freshly ground mustard paste.
Maharashtra is a state in the western peninsular region of India occupying a substantial portion of the Deccan Plateau. Maharashtra is the second-most populous state in India and the second-most populous country subdivision globally. Maharashtra is one of the most industrialised states in India, it is second-most populous and is third largest Indian state in area. It’s capital Mumbai is the richest and most populous city of India. Mumbai is the commercial and entertainment capital of India. It is home to Bollywood, the world’s largest film industry. Mumbai's culture is a blend of traditional festivals, food, music and theatres.
Maharashtrian cuisine includes a variety of dishes ranging from mild to very spicy ones. Wheat, rice, jowar, bajri, vegetables, lentils and fruit form staple food of the Maharashtrian diet. Some of the popular traditional dishes include puran poli, ukdiche modak, Thalipeeth. Street food items like Batata wada, Misal Pav, Pav Bhaji and Vada pav are very popular among the locals and are usually sold on stalls and in small hotels.
Maharashtrian cuisine varies with the regions. Malvani (Konkani), Kolhapuri, and Varhadhi cuisins are examples of well-known regional cuisines. Kolhapur is famous for Tambda Pandhra rassa, a dish made of either chicken or mutton. Rice and seafood are the staple foods of the coastal Konkani people. Among seafood, the most popular is a fish variety called the Bombay duck
The Cuisine of The Gurkhas'
The Gurkhas’ are soldiers from Nepal. Historically, the terms "Gurkha" and "Gorkhali" were synonymous with "Nepali," and derived from the hill town and district of Gorkha from which the Kingdom of Nepal expanded. The name may be traced to the medieval Hindu warrior - saint Guru Gorakhnath, who has a historic shrine in Gorkha.
The former Indian Army Chief of Staff Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, once stated that "If a man says he is not afraid of dying, he is either lying or is a Gurkha." Set against the backdrop of the Himalayas, the people of Nepal have many different backgrounds and ethnicities, and this multitude of influences is reflected within the country’s cuisine.
Nepalese dishes are generally healthier than most other South Asian gastronomies, as they rely less on the extensive use of fats and more on chunky vegetables, lean meats, pickled dishes and salads. Whilst Nepal does take heavy influences from its closest geographical companions such as India, China and Tibet, this mountainous paradise only opened up its borders to outsiders in the 1950s. It is for this reason, in addition to problems with exports and imports caused by Nepal’s geographical setting, that there is a particular focus on using locally grown produce.
Dal-rice-vegetable is the standard meal eaten twice daily. However, with land suitable for irrigated rice paddies in short supply, other grains supplement or even dominate. Wheat becomes unleavened flatbread ( roti or chapati ). Typically yogurt (dahi) and curried meat (masu) or fish (machha) or chicken (kukhura) are served as side dishes.
Rajasthan, now the largest state in India, is culturally rich and has artistic and cultural traditions which reflect the ancient Indian way of life. There is proof that it has been inhabited for 6000-8000 years.
Each religion in India has its own traditional dishes and specialties. In the royal kitchen of Rajasthan, as well as most other states, food was a very serious business and rose to the level of an art form. Hundreds of cooks worked in the stately palaces and kept their recipes a closely guarded secret. Some recipes were passed on to their sons and the rest were lost forever.
The finest cooking in India was derived from the Mughals and did influence the royal kitchens of India. But the common man's kitchen remained untouched, even more so in Rajasthan. Cooking here has its own unique flavour and the simplest; the most basic of ingredients go into the preparation of most dishes.
In the desert belt of Jaisalmer cooks use the minimum of water and prefer, instead to use more milk, buttermilk and clarified butter. Dried lentils, beans from indigenous plants like sangri, ker, etc. are liberally used. Gram flour is a major ingredient here and is used to make some of the delicacies like khata, gatta ki sabzi, pakodi, powdered lentils are used for mangodi, papad. Bajra and corn is used all over the state for preparation of rabdi, kheechdi and rotis. Rajasthani Royals are also fond of hunting and game is very popular during the winter.
Parsi also spelled Parsee, member of a group of followers in India of the Iranian prophet Zoroaster. The Parsis, whose name means "Persians", are descended from Persian Zoroastrians who immigrated to India to avoid religious persecution by the Muslims. They live chiefly in Mumbai and in a few towns and villages mostly to the north of Mumbai, but also in Karachi (Pakistan) and Bangalore (Karnataka, India). Over the centuries since the first Zoroastrians arrived in India, the Parsis have integrated themselves into Indian society while simultaneously maintaining or developing their own distinct customs and traditions (and thus ethnic identity).The Parsis have made considerable contributions to the history and development of India, all the more remarkable considering their small numbers. Some notable Parsis are rock starFreddie Mercury, founder of Cobra beer Lord Karan Billimoria and the founder of Tata who bought Jaguar Land Rover.The basic feature of a Parsi lunch is rice, eaten with lentils or a curry. Dinner would be a meat dish, often accompanied by potatoes or other vegetable curry.
Kachumbar (a sharp onion-cucumber salad) accompanies most meals. Popular Parsi dishes include: Chicken farcha (fried chicken), Patra ni machhi (steamed fish wrapped in banana leaf), Dhansak (lamb, mutton, goat and vegetables in lentil and toor daal gravy), Sali murghi(spicy chicken with fine fried matchstick potatoes), Jinga no patio(shrimp in spicy tomato curry), Saas ni machhi (yellow rice with pomfret fish fillets in a white sauce), Jardaloo sali boti (boneless mutton in an onion and tomato sauce with apricots and fried matchstick potatoes). Also popular among Parsis, are the typical Parsieeda (egg) dishes, and often dishes (such as those listed above) are served with an egg on top
Indian Chinese cuisine is the adaptation of Chinese seasoning and cooking techniques to Indian tastes. This cuisine is said to have been developed by the small Chinese community that has lived in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) for over a century. Most of these people are of Hakka origin; however, the dishes of modern Indian Chinese cuisine, such as Chicken Manchurian, bear little resemblance to traditional Chinese cuisine. Today, this Chinese food has become an integral part of the Indian culinary scene. In fact,Chinese cuisine ranks as India's favourite cuisine (after local food), growing at about 8% annually. It is the most favoured option when young people go out to eat and the second favourite (after south Indian cuisine) when families dine out.
Culinary styles often seen in Indian Chinese include chilli (spicy, battered-fried), Manchurian (a sweet and salty brown sauce) and Szechwan (a spicy red sauce). These correspond only loosely, if at all, with authentic Chinese food preparation.
Foods tend to be flavoured with spices such as cumin, coriander seeds, and turmeric, which with a few regional exceptions, such as Hunan and Xinjiang, are traditionally not associated with much of Chinese cuisine. Hot chilli, ginger, garlic and yogurt are also frequently used in dishes.
This makes Indian Chinese food similar in taste to many ethnic dishes in Southeast Asian countries such as Singapore and Malaysia, which have strong Chinese and Indian cultural influences.
Some of the popular Indian Chinese dishes are;Hot and Sour Soup, Sweet Corn soup, Spring Rolls, Chilli Chicken or Paneer, Chicken or Vegetable Manchurian, fish or prawns in hot garlic Sauce, Chowmein (stir fried noodles), Chicken Lollipops(wings), Sweet and Sour Prawns, Chop Suey, banana toffee fritters with ice cream and of course, deep fried icecream!