Perfectly balanced Indian food: an overview

Indian Food

India’s cuisine is as rich and diverse as her culture. But despite this diversity, there is one underlying unity -- and that is the fact that all Indian food is perfectly balanced.

Now for a closer look at the historic and regional influences that have marked “India” a gourmet’s delight, in the map of the world.

Pre Independence

Pre-Independence, India consisted of large areas of land directly ruled by the British, as well as about 600 semi-independent kingdoms ruled over by Hindu Maharajas and Muslim Nawabs, under British supervision.


With Independence, the princely independent kingdoms were coaxed into merging with India. Each area with a distinct language and culture was given its own state. These separate cultures have their unique traditions that go back thousands of years. This is true of the foods and eating customs which differ from state to state.

The flavors and tastes of India

Given India’s cultural, religious, ethnic, geographic and climatic diversity, it is impossible to describe Indian food under a single catch-all title. The British, in an overly simplified attempt, call all Indian food curry. But Indian food defies definition. The gracious art of hospitality coupled with the many tastes and flavors of India, definitely need to be experienced and savored.

Climatic variations

Appetite and digestive functions are directly related to climatic conditions.
The body bases its needs on environmental variations.

In the cooler parts of India, the body requires more heat, so heavier foods are required to fulfill this need. This is seen in regions such as Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, where the emphasis is on using substantial foods like ghee, paneer, rajma and wheat.

On the other hand, warmer and tropical climates of southern regions, such as Kerala, require lighter and easily digestible foods. This is why foods such as idlis, dosas, steamed rice and fish are popular. Most foods here are steamed and lightly cooked.

The western and eastern parts of India rely on local produces such as bajra, jawar, fish and coconuts from the coastal regions, to supply them with their nutritional requirements.
Isn’t it simply amazing to observe nature working in tandem with climatic conditions, producing foods based on the body’s requirements and providing just the right solutions to our nutritional needs!


There are about 25 commonly used spices in Indian cooking. The essence of Indian cooking revolves around the use of spices. Spices act as both appetizers and digestives. These may be ground, roasted or made into a paste. The skill lies in the subtle blending of a variety of spices to enhance and add wonderful aromas and exotic flavors to the food.


All Indian food is served with either rice or bread or both. In the north, it is whole wheat breads, such as chapatti, parathas, rotis that are commonly eaten, and in the south it is plain rice and rice-based cereals. Western and Eastern India draw a mix of both.


Tea is the symbol of Indian hospitality. One could easily call it the national beverage of India. Often spices such as pepper, cardamom, ginger, saffron, cinnamon and fresh mint leaves are added to enhance the flavor of tea. These spices have therapeutic benefits, for example, ginger and mint help digestion.