Indian food is well known in Western countries for its great use of spices and its delicious sauces. Curry and lentil based dishes are a couple of the popular menu items on Indian restaurants that exist in the United States, and it is also a standard association to this genre of food. However, once the same curry consumer visits India and experiences some of the great cuisine offered in the country’s restaurants they are often surprised by what they find.
One of the interesting aspects of Indian food is that it is extremely relevant to the culture. Much of the country’s cultural evolution and development is reflected in its cuisine. This makes dining in the country much more of a cultural experience than a simple hunger fulfillment opportunity. And this is also one of the reasons why many world travelers express the opinion that they gain a perspective on local culture by sampling the food that are based there. Many people insist on eating only at locally owned restaurants and diners when they travel and using India as the perfect example, it truly can be a great way to become familiar with a particular culture.
Some of the standard aspects of Indian cuisine can be found in restaurants and home kitchens in India, though they are also reflective of Indian food that is served across the world. One of the main distinctions is the use of vegetables. In India this can be extremely regionally based as they use a lot of vegetables in their cooking and they typically use what grows near them. This would be affected by restaurants that are based in other countries.
Another common aspect of Indian food that is typically unique to it is the extent of vegetarianism that is found throughout the country. And while many restaurants in the western part of the world that serve Indian food also have a large selection of vegetarian items, most of these establishments also have a large selection of meat based dishes. There is generally a much larger representation of meat based dishes served in restaurants in western countries than what is found in restaurants in India. This is another, and frequently more pronounced variation in Indian food found in the country and around the world. Some of the staple Indian food ingredients are rice, vegetables and spices. Legumes are also a standard element and one of the most important.