Pictures of Indian deities

Indian Cuisine(s)

Can one provide a satisfactory definition of Indian cuisine? I think not. Indeed, many Indian cuisines have common features, in the sense that one might guess that south Indian brahmanaic cooking and Marwari cooking come from the same broad culture, in exactly the same way as Haggis and Chorizo do. However, the trouble with identifying common threads amongst Indian subcontinental cuisines are the exceptions. What about the various tribal cuisines? The techniques used by the north-eastern tribes is perhaps more similar to that of the region that used to be called than of their non-tribal neighbours. What about Tibetan food? On the one hand Tibet isn’t a part of India, and on the other the Tibetan community in Himachal is as much a part of that region now as anybody else, and indeed they run Tibetan restaurants and anyone who’s travelled in that part of the world and has any interest in food is likely to be familiar with their delicious dishes.

All this is, of course, a far cry from the sort of cooking one finds in most Indian restaurants abroad, or indeed in most large Indian cities.