Kerala is known to have several mythical as well as historical facts about its origin. In fact, the earliest written records are dated as back as the 2nd and the 4th century BC. Its strategic location at the southern tip of India, nestled very close to the Malabar Coast, has attracted several explorers to Kerala. One such explorer whose is remembered in the cosy Fort Kochi area in Kerala is Vasco Da Gama. In fact, Fort Kochi itself dates back to the 15th century that coincides with the advent of the Portuguese. Soon Fort Kochi evolved as one of the prime ports of that time, attracting the Dutch to the final arrival of the British. Kerala is a confluence of Christian, Hindu and Muslim population that leaves it tinge in the cuisines as well. Apart from this, the Portuguese, Dutch and European influences have also left an indelible mark on Keralite cuisine.
South Indian cuisine is rice based. Rice is combined with lentils to make wonderful Dosas, Idlis, Vadas and Uttapams. These items are glorious and delicious besides being nourishing and digestible (due to the fermenting process). They are combined with sambhar (dal), rasam (tamarind dal), dry and curried vegetable and pachadi (yogurt).Their rice preparations are also masterpieces like biryani from Hyderabad, lemon rice and rice seasoned with coconut, peanuts, tamarind, chilies, curry leaves, urad dal and fenugreek seeds. seasoning, nutritional balance, fragrance, taste, and visual appeal.
North Indian cuisine is distinguished by the proportionally high use of dairy products; milk, paneer, ghee (clarified butter), and yoghurt are all common ingredients. Gravies are typically dairy-based. Other common ingredients include chilies, saffron, and nuts. The Mughal influence has resulted in meat-eating habits among many North Indians. Also, a variety of flours are used to make different types of breads like chapathis. rotis, phulkas, puris and naan. North Indian cooking features the use of the “tawa” (griddle) for baking flat breads like roti and paratha, and “tandoor” (a large and cylindrical charcoal-fired oven) for baking breads such as naan, and kulcha; main courses like tandoori chicken also cook in the tandoor. Other breads like puri and bhatoora, which are deep fried in oil, are also common. Goat and lamb meats are favored ingredients of many northern Indian recipes.
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