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Minara Masjid on the night of 27th Roza, 18th Sept 09.

 

These food lanes or khau gullies of 'Ebrahim Mohd Merchant Road' or 'Mohammad Ali Road', Mumbai - India are probably the only open air eatery area in the whole world where people from all over the world gather in the holy month of Ramazan to eat delicious, mouth watering non vegetarian dishes.

Making it one of the most prominent landmark of the world.

 

These shops are thronged by hungry and happy shoppers.

These small joints sprung up only for & in the month of Ramzan and vanishes exactly on the last night of the 30th Rozas or fast.

Just for the information Mohd Ali Road comprises of 4 major junctions and 14 traffic signals.

 

Hand held shot - ISO 2500.

Lens: Fish Eye

 

Thanks Babul. I hope you like it.

Minara Masjid on the night of 27th Roza, 18th Sept 09.

 

These food lanes or khau gullies of 'Ebrahim Mohd Merchant Road' or 'Mohammad Ali Road', Mumbai - India are probably the only open air eatery area in the whole world where people from all over the world gather in the holy month of Ramazan to eat delicious, mouth watering non vegetarian dishes.

Making it one of the most prominent landmark of the world.

 

These shops are thronged by hungry and happy shoppers.

These small joints sprung up only for & in the month of Ramzan and vanishes exactly on the last night of the 30th Rozas or fast.

Just for the information Mohd Ali Road comprises of 4 major junctions and 14 traffic signals.

 

Hand held shot - ISO 2500.

 

Thanks Babul. I hope you like it.

Minara Masjid on the night of 27th Roza, 18th Sept 09.

 

These food lanes or khau gullies of 'Ebrahim Mohd Merchant Road' or 'Mohammad Ali Road', Mumbai - India are probably the only open air eatery area in the whole world where people from all over the world gather in the holy month of Ramazan to eat delicious, mouth watering non vegetarian dishes.

Making it one of the most prominent landmark of the world.

 

These shops are thronged by hungry and happy shoppers.

These small joints sprung up only for & in the month of Ramzan and vanishes exactly on the last night of the 30th Rozas or fast.

Just for the information Mohd Ali Road comprises of 4 major junctions and 14 traffic signals.

 

Thanks Babul. I hope you like it.

I have working with Suleman Mithaiwala since past 40 years and making Malpuas for them from past 20 years. In the month of Ramzan every I make around 2000 Malpuas.

 

The Malpuas which I make contains various ingredients but the major portion still remains my Heart.

Sweet pancakes with thickened milk flavored with cardamom and saffron

Sweet pancakes with thickened milk flavored with cardamom and saffron

Indian cuisine consists of a wide variety of regional and traditional cuisines native to the Indian subcontinent. Given the range of diversity in soil type, climate, culture, ethnic groups, and occupations, these cuisines vary substantially from each other and use locally available spices, herbs, vegetables, and fruits. Indian food is also heavily influenced by religion, in particular Hindu, cultural choices and traditions. The cuisine is also influenced by centuries of Islamic rule, particularly the Mughal rule. Samosas and pilafs can be regarded as examples.

 

Historical events such as foreign invasions, trade relations, and colonialism have played a role in introducing certain foods to this country. For instance, potato, a staple of the diet in some regions of India, was brought to India by the Portuguese, who also introduced chillies and breadfruit. Indian cuisine has shaped the history of international relations; the spice trade between India and Europe was the primary catalyst for Europe's Age of Discovery. Spices were bought from India and traded around Europe and Asia. Indian cuisine has influenced other cuisines across the world, especially those from Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, the British Isles, Fiji, and the Caribbean.

 

HISTORY

Indian cuisine reflects an 8,000-year history of various groups and cultures interacting with the Indian subcontinent, leading to diversity of flavours and regional cuisines found in modern-day India. Later, trade with British and Portuguese influence added to the already diverse Indian cuisine.

 

ANTIQUITY

Early diet in India mainly consisted of legumes, vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy products, and honey. Staple foods eaten today include a variety of lentils (dal), whole-wheat flour (aṭṭa), rice, and pearl millet (bājra), which has been cultivated in the Indian subcontinent since 6200 BCE. Over time, segments of the population embraced vegetarianism during the Śramaṇa movement while an equitable climate permitted a variety of fruits, vegetables, and grains to be grown throughout the year. A food classification system that categorised any item as saatvic, raajsic, or taamsic developed in Yoga tradition. The Bhagavad Gita proscribes certain dietary practices (chapter 17, verses 8–10). Consumption of beef is taboo, due to cows being considered sacred in Hinduism. Beef is generally not eaten by Hindus in India except for Kerala, parts of southern Tamil Nadu and the north east.

 

FOODS MENTIONED IN ANCIENT INDIAN SCRIPTURE

While many Ancient Indian recipes have been lost one can look at ancient texts to see what was eaten in Ancient and pre historic India.

 

Rice

Rice Cake

Curd

Sugar

Ghee

Cashew nut

Bread Fruit

Pomegranate

Mango

Rose Apple

Sweet Potato

Barley

Mustard

Figs

Betel Leaves

Honey

Salt

Saffron

Sesame Oil

Grape Wine

Turmeric

 

MIDDLED AGES TO THE 16TH CENTURIES

During the Middle Ages, several Indian dynasties were predominant, including the Gupta dynasty. Travel to India during this time introduced new cooking methods and products to the region, including tea. India was later invaded by tribes from Central Asian cultures, which led to the emergence of Mughlai cuisine, a mix of Indian and Central Asian cuisine. Hallmarks include seasonings such as saffron.

 

INGREDIENTS

Staple foods of Indian cuisine include pearl millet (bājra), rice, whole-wheat flour (aṭṭa), and a variety of lentils, such as masoor (most often red lentils), tuer (pigeon peas), urad (black gram), and moong (mung beans). Lentils may be used whole, dehusked - for example, dhuli moong or dhuli urad - or split. Split lentils, or dal, are used extensively. Some pulses, such as channa or cholae (chickpeas), rajma (kidney beans), and lobiya (black-eyed peas) are very common, especially in the northern regions. Channa and moong are also processed into flour (besan). Many Indian dishes are cooked in vegetable oil, but peanut oil is popular in northern and western India, mustard oil in eastern India, and coconut oil along the western coast, especially in Kerala and parts of southern Tamil Nadu. Gingelly (sesame) oil is common in the south since it imparts a fragrant, nutty aroma. In recent decades, sunflower, safflower, cottonseed, and soybean oils have become popular across India. Hydrogenated vegetable oil, known as Vanaspati ghee, is another popular cooking medium. Butter-based ghee, or deshi ghee, is used frequently, though less than in the past. Many types of meat are used for Indian cooking, but chicken and mutton tend to be the most commonly consumed meats. Fish and beef consumption are prevalent in some parts of India, but they are not widely consumed except for coastal areas, as well as the north east.The most important and frequently used spices and flavourings in Indian cuisine are whole or powdered chilli pepper (mirch, introduced by the Portuguese from Mexico in the 16th century), black mustard seed (sarso), cardamom (elaichi), cumin (jeera), turmeric (haldi), asafoetida (hing), ginger (adrak), coriander (dhania), and garlic (lasoon). One popular spice mix is garam masala, a powder that typically includes seven dried spices in a particular ratio, including black cardamom, cinnamon (dalchini), clove (laung), cumin (jeera), black peppercorns, coriander seeds and anise star. Each culinary region has a distinctive garam masala blend - individual chefs may also have their own. Goda masala is a comparable, though sweet, spice mix popular in Maharashtra. Some leaves commonly used for flavouring include bay leaves (tejpat), coriander leaves, fenugreek leaves, and mint leaves. The use of curry leaves and roots for flavouring is typical of Gujarati and South Indian cuisine. Sweet dishes are often seasoned with cardamom, saffron, nutmeg, and rose petal essences.

 

REGIONAL CUISINES

Cuisine differs across India's diverse regions as a result of variation in local culture, geographical location (proximity to sea, desert, or mountains), and economics. It also varies seasonally, depending on which fruits and vegetables are ripe.

 

ANDAMAN AND NICOBAR ISLAND

Seafood plays a major role in the cuisine of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Staples of the diet of the Indigenous Andamanese traditionally included roots, honey, fruits, meat, and fish, which were obtained by hunting and gathering. Some insects were also eaten as delicacies. Immigration from mainland of India, however, has resulted in variations in the cuisine.

 

ANDHRA PRADESH

The cuisine of Andhra Pradesh belongs to the two Telugu-speaking regions of Rayalaseema and Coastal Andhra and is part of Telugu cuisine. The food of Andhra Pradesh is known for its heavy use of spices, and the use of tamarind. Seafood is common in the coastal region of the state. Rice is the staple food (as is with all South Indian states) eaten with lentil preparations such as pappu (lentils) and pulusu (stew) and spicy vegetables or curries. In Andhra, leafy greens or vegetables such as bottle-gourd and eggplant are usually added to dal. Pickles are an essential part of the local cuisine; popular among those are mango-based pickles such as avakaya and maagaya, gongura (a pickle made from Kenaf leaves), usirikaya (gooseberry or amla), nimmakaya (lime), and tomato pickle. Dahi (yogurt) is a common addition to meals, as a way of tempering spiciness. Breakfast items include dosa, pesarattu (mung bean dosa), vada, and idli.

 

ARUNACHAL PRADESH

The staple food of Arunachal Pradesh is rice, along with fish, meat, and leaf vegetables. Many varieties of rice are used. Lettuce is the most common vegetable, usually prepared by boiling with ginger, coriander, and green chillies. Boiled rice cakes wrapped in leaves are a popular snack. Thukpa is a kind of noodle soup common among the Monpa tribe of the region. Native tribes of Arunachal are meat eaters and use fish, eggs, beef, chicken, pork, and mutton to make their dishes. Apong or rice beer made from fermented rice or millet is a popular beverage in Arunachal Pradesh and is consumed as a refreshing drink.

 

ASSAM

Assamese cuisine is a mixture of different indigenous styles, with considerable regional variation and some external influences. Although it is known for its limited use of spices, Assamese cuisine has strong flavours from its use of endemic herbs, fruits, and vegetables served fresh, dried, or fermented. Rice is the staple food item and a huge variety of endemic rice varieties, including several varieties of sticky rice are a part of the cuisine in Assam. Fish, generally freshwater varieties, are widely eaten. Other nonvegetarian items include chicken, duck, squab, snails, silkworms, insects, goat, pork, venison, turtle, monitor lizard, etc. The region's cuisine involves simple cooking processes, mostly barbecuing, steaming, or boiling. Bhuna, the gentle frying of spices before the addition of the main ingredients, generally common in Indian cooking, is absent in the cuisine of Assam. A traditional meal in Assam begins with a khar, a class of dishes named after the main ingredient and ends with a tenga, a sour dish. Homebrewed rice beer or rice wine is served before a meal. The food is usually served in bell metal utensils. Paan, the practice of chewing betel nut, generally concludes a meal.

 

BIHAR

Bihari cuisine may include litti chokha, a baked salted wheat-flour cake filled with sattu (baked chickpea flour) and some special spices, which is served with baigan bharta, made of roasted eggplant (brinjal) and tomatoes. Among meat dishes, meat saalan is a popular dish made of mutton or goat curry with cubed potatoes in garam masala. Dalpuri is another popular dish in Bihar. It is salted wheat-flour bread, filled with boiled, crushed, and fried gram pulses. Malpua is a popular sweet dish of Bihar, prepared by a mixture of maida, milk, bananas, cashew nuts, peanuts, raisins, sugar, water, and green cardamom. Another notable sweet dish of Bihar is balushahi, which is prepared by a specially treated combination of maida and sugar along with ghee, and the other worldwide famous sweet, khaja, also very popular, is made from flour, vegetable fat, and sugar, which is mainly used in weddings and other occasions. Silav near Nalanda is famous for its production. During the festival of Chhath, thekua, a sweet dish made of ghee, jaggery, and whole-meal flour, flavoured with aniseed, is made.

 

CHANDIGARH

Chandigarh, the capital of Punjab and Haryana is a city of 20th century origin with a cosmopolitan food culture mainly involving North Indian cuisine.

 

People enjoy home-made recipes such as parantha, especially at breakfast, and other Punjabi foods like roti which is made from wheat, corn, or other glutenous flour with cooked vegetables or beans. Sarson da saag and dal makhani are well-known dishes among others. Popular snacks include gol gappa (known as panipuri in other places). It consists of a round, hollow puri, fried crisp and filled with a mixture of flavoured water, boiled and cubed potatoes, bengal gram beans, etc.

 

CHHATTISGARH

Chhattisgarh cuisine is unique in nature and not found in the rest of India, although the staple food is rice, like in much of the country. Many Chhattisgarhi people drink liquor brewed from the mahuwa flower palm wine (tadi in rural areas). The tribal people of the Bastar region of Chhattisgarh eat ancestral dishes such as mushrooms, bamboo pickle, bamboo vegetables, etc.

 

DADRA AND NAGAR HAVELI

The local cuisine resembles the cuisine of Gujarat. Ubadiyu is a local delicacy made of vegetables and beans with herbs. The common foods include rice, roti, vegetables, river fish, and crab. People also enjoy buttermilk and chutney made of different fruits and herbs.

 

DAMAN AND DIU

Daman and Diu is a union territory of India which, like Goa, was a former colonial possession of Portugal. Consequently, both native Gujarati food and traditional Portuguese food are common. Being a coastal region, the communities are mainly dependent on seafood. Normally, rotli and tea are taken for breakfast, rotla and saak for lunch, and chokha along with saak and curry are taken for dinner. Some of the dishes prepared on festive occasions include puri, lapsee, potaya, dudh-plag, and dhakanu. While alcohol is prohibited in the neighbouring state of Gujarat, drinking is common in Daman and Diu. Better known as the “pub” of Gujarat. All popular brands of alcohol are readily available.

 

DELHI

Delhi was once the capital of the Mughal empire, and it became the birthplace of Mughlai cuisine. Delhi is noted for its street food. The Paranthewali Gali in Chandani Chowk is just one of the culinary landmarks for stuffed flatbread (paranthas). Delhi has people from different parts of India, thus the city has different types of food traditions; its cuisine is influenced by the various cultures. Punjabi cuisine is common, due to the dominance of Punjabi communities. Delhi cuisine is actually an amalgam of different Indian cuisines modified in unique ways. This is apparent in the different types of street food available. Kababs, kachauri, chaat, Indian sweets, Indian ice cream (commonly called kulfi), and even western food items like sandwiches and patties, are prepared in a style unique to Delhi and are quite popular.

 

GOA

The area has a tropical climate, which means the spices and flavours are intense. Use of kokum is a distinct feature of the region's cuisine. Goan cuisine is mostly seafood and meat-based; the staple foods are rice and fish. Kingfish (vison or visvan) is the most common delicacy, and others include pomfret, shark, tuna, and mackerel; these are often served with coconut milk. Shellfish, including crabs, prawns, tiger prawns, lobster, squid, and mussels, are commonly eaten. The cuisine of Goa is influenced by its Hindu origins, 400 years of Portuguese colonialism, and modern techniques. Bread, introduced by the Portuguese, is very popular, and is an important part of goan breakfast. Frequent tourism in the area gives Goan food an international aspect. Vegetarianism is equally popular.[

 

GUJARAT

Gujarati cuisine is primarily vegetarian. The typical Gujarati thali consists of roti (rotlii in Gujarati), daal or kadhi, rice, sabzi/shaak, papad and chaas (buttermilk). The sabzi is a dish of different combinations of vegetables and spices which may be stir fried, spicy or sweet. Gujarati cuisine can vary widely in flavour and heat based on personal and regional tastes. North Gujarat, Kathiawad, Kachchh, and South Gujarat are the four major regions of Gujarati cuisine. Many Gujarati dishes are simultaneously sweet, salty (like vegetable Handvo), and spicy. In mango season, keri no ras (fresh mango pulp) is often an integral part of the meal. Spices also vary seasonally. For example, garam masala is used much less in summer. Few of Gujarati Snacks like Sev Khamani, Khakhra, Dal Vada, Methi na Bhajiya, Khaman, Bhakharwadi etc. Regular fasting, with diets limited to milk, dried fruit, and nuts, is a common practice.

 

HARYANA

Cattle being common in Haryana, dairy products are a common component of its cuisine. Specific dishes include kadhi, pakora, besan masala roti, bajra aloo roti, churma, kheer, bathua raita, methi gajar, singri ki sabzi, and tamatar chutney. In the olden days, its staple diet included, bajra khichdi, rabdi, onion chutney, milet roti and bajra roti. In the non-veg cuisine it includes kukad kadhai and masala gravy chicken. Lassi, sharbat, nimbu pani and "labsi(which is a mixture of bajra flour and lassi) are three popular nonalcoholic beverages in Haryana. Liquor stores are common there, which cater to a large number of truck drivers.

 

HIMACHAL PRADESH

The daily diet of Himachal people is similar to that of the rest of North India, including lentils, broth, rice, vegetables, and bread, although nonvegetarian cuisine is preferred. Some of the specialities of Himachal include sidu, patande, chukh, rajmah, and til chutney.

 

JAMMU AND KASHMIR

The cuisine of Jammu and Kashmir is from three regions of the state: Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh. Kashmiri cuisine has evolved over hundreds of years. Its first major influence was the food of the Kashmiri Hindus and Buddhists. The cuisine was later influenced by the cultures which arrived with the invasion of Kashmir by Timur from the area of modern Uzbekistan. Subsequent influences have included the cuisines of Central Asia and the North Indian plains. The most notable ingredient in Kashmiri cuisine is mutton, of which over 30 varieties are known. Wazwan is a multicourse meal in the Kashmiri tradition, the preparation of which is considered an art.

 

Kashmiri Pandit food is elaborate, and an important part of the Pandits' ethnic identity. Kashmiri Pandit cuisine usually uses dahi (yogurt), oil, and spices such as turmeric, red chilli, cumin, ginger, and fennel, though they do not use onion and garlic. Also, birayanis are quite popular here. They are the speciality of Kashmir.

 

The Jammu region is famous for its Sund Panjeeri, Patisa, Rajma ( Kidney Beans) with rice and Kalari cheese. Dogri food includes ambal (sour pumpkin dish), khatta meat, Kulthein (Macrotyloma uniflorum) di dal, dal chawal, maa da madra and Uriya. Many types of pickles are made including mango, kasrod, and girgle. Street food is also famous which include various types of chaats, specially Gol Gappas, Gulgule, Chole Bhature, Rajma Kulcha and Dahi Bhalla.

 

JHARKHAND

Staple food in Jharkhand are rice, dal and vegetable. Famous dishes include Chirka roti, Pittha, Malpua, Dhuska, Arsa roti and Litti Chokha. Local alcoholic drinks include Handia a rice beer and Mahua daru, made from flowers of the "Mahua" tree (Madhuca longifolia).

 

KARNATAKA

A number of dishes, such as idli, rava idli, Mysore masala dosa, etc. were invented here and have become popular beyond the state of Karnataka. Equally, varieties in the cuisine of Karnataka have similarities with its three neighbouring South Indian states, as well as the states of Maharashtra and Goa to its north. It is very common for the food to be served on a banana leaf, especially during festivals and functions.

 

Karnataka cuisine can be very broadly divided into: 1) Mysore/Bangalore cuisine, 2) North Karnataka cuisine, 3) Udupi cuisine, 4) Kodagu/Coorg cuisine, and 5) Karavali/coastal cuisine. The cuisine covers a wide spectrum of food from pure vegetarian and vegan to meats like pork, and from savouries to sweets. Typical dishes include bisi bele bath, jolada rotti, badanekai yennegai, Holige, Kadubu, chapati, idli vada, ragi rotti, akki rotti, saaru, huli, kootu, vangibath, khara bath, kesari bhath, sajjige, neer dosa, mysoore, haal bai, chiroti, benne dose, ragi mudde, and uppittu.

 

The Kodagu district is known for spicy pork curries, while coastal Karnataka specialises in seafood. Although the ingredients differ regionally, a typical Kannadiga oota (Kannadiga meal) is served on a banana leaf. The coastal districts of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi have slightly varying cuisines, which make extensive use of coconut in curries and frequently include seafood.

 

KERALA

Traditional food of Kerala Hindus is vegetarian[citation needed], with regional exceptions such as the food of the Malabar area. It includes Kerala sadhya, which is an elaborate vegetarian banquet prepared for festivals and ceremonies. Contemporary Kerala food also includes nonvegetarian dishes. A full-course sadya, which consists of rice with about 20 different accompaniments and desserts is the ceremonial meal, eaten usually on celebrations such as marriages, Onam, Vishu, etc. and is served on a plantain leaf.

 

Fish and seafood play a major role in Kerala cuisine, as Kerala is a coastal state. An everyday Kerala meal in most households consists of rice with fish curry made of sardines, mackerel, seer fish, king fish, pomfret, prawns, shrimp, sole, anchovy, parrotfish, etc. (mussels, oysters, crabs, squid, scallops etc. are not rare), vegetable curry and stir-fried vegetables with or without coconut traditionally known as thoran or mizhukkupiratti. As Kerala has large inland water bodies, freshwater fish are abundant, and constitute regular meals.

 

It is common in Kerala to have a breakfast with nonvegetarian dishes in restaurants, in contrast to other states in India. Chicken/mutton stews, lamb/chicken/beef/pork/egg curry, fish curry with tapioca for breakfast are common. A wide range of breakfast with non-vegetarian is common in Malabar and in Central Kerala.

 

Kerala cuisine reflects its rich trading heritage. Over time, various cuisines have blended with indigenous dishes, while foreign ones have been adapted to local tastes. Significant Arab, Syrian, Portuguese, Dutch, Jewish, and Middle Eastern influences exist in this region's cuisine, through ancient trade routes via the Arabian Sea and through Arab traders who settled here, contributed to the evolution of kozhikodan halwa along with other dishes like Thalassery biryani.

 

Coconuts grow in abundance in Kerala, so grated coconut and coconut milk are commonly used for thickening and flavouring. Kerala's long coastline and numerous rivers have led to a strong fishing industry in the region, making seafood a common part of the meal. Rice is grown in abundance, along with tapioca. It is the main starch ingredient used in Kerala's food.

 

Having been a major production area of spices for thousands of years, the region makes frequent use of black pepper, cardamom, clove, ginger, and cinnamon. Most of Kerala's Hindus, except its Brahmin community, eat fish, chicken, beef, pork, eggs, and mutton. The Brahmin is famed for its vegan cuisine, especially varieties of sambar and rasam. A thick vegetable stew popular in South and Central India called avial is believed to have originated in southern Kerala. Avial is a widely eaten vegetarian dish in the state and plays a major role in sadya.

 

In most Kerala households, a typical meal consists of rice and vegetables. Kerala also has a variety of breakfast dishes like idli, dosa, appam, idiyappam, puttu, and pathiri. The Muslim community of Kerala blend Arabian, North Indian, and indigenous Malabari cuisines, using chicken, eggs, beef, and mutton. Thalassery biryani is the only biryani variant, which is of Kerala origin having originated in Talassery, in Malabar region. The dish is significantly different from other biryani variants.

 

The Pathanamthitta region is known for raalan and fish curries. Appam along with wine and curries of cured beef and pork are popular among Syrian Christians in Central Kerala.

 

Popular desserts are payasam and halwa. The Hindu community's payasams, especially those made at temples, like the Ambalappuzha temple, are famous for their rich taste. Halva is one of the most commonly found or easily recognised sweets in bakeries throughout Kerala, and Kozhikode is famous for its unique and exotic haluva, which is popularly known as Kozhikodan haluva. Europeans used to call the dish "sweetmeat" due to its texture, and a street in Kozhikode where became named Sweet Meat Street during colonial rule. Kozhikodan haluva is mostly made from maida (highly refined wheat), and comes in various flavours, such as banana, ghee or coconut. However, karutha haluva (black haluva) made from rice is also very popular. Many Muslim families in the region are famed for their traditional karutha haluva.

 

LAKSHADWEEP

The cuisine of Lakshadweep prominently features seafood and coconut. Local food consists of spicy nonvegetarian and vegetarian dishes. The culinary influence of Kerala is quite evident in the cuisines of Lakshadweep, since the island lies in close proximity to Kerala. Coconut and sea fish serve as the foundations of most of the meals. The people of Lakshadweep drink large amounts of coconut water, which is the most abundant aerated drink on the island. Coconut milk is the base for most of the curries. All the sweet or savory dishes have a touch of famous Malabar spices. Local people also prefer to have dosa, idlis, and various rice dishes.

 

MAGHYA PRADESH

The cuisine in Madhya Pradesh varies regionally. Wheat and meat are common in the north and west of the state, while the wetter south and east are dominated by rice and fish. Milk is a common ingredient in Gwalior and Indore. The street food of Indore is renowned, with shops that have been active for generations. Bhopal is known for meat and fish dishes such as rogan josh, korma, qeema, biryani, pilaf, and kebabs. On a street named Chatori Gali in old Bhopal, one can find traditional Muslim nonvegetarian fare such as paya soup, bun kabab, and nalli-nihari as some of the specialties.

 

Dal bafla is a common meal in the region and can be easily found in Indore and other nearby regions, consisting of a steamed and grilled wheat cake dunked in rich ghee, which is eaten with daal and ladoos. The culinary specialty of the Malwa and Indore regions of central Madhya Pradesh is poha (flattened rice); usually eaten at breakfast with jalebi. Beverages in the region include lassi, beer, rum and sugarcane juice. A local liquor is distilled from the flowers of the mahua tree. Date palm toddy is also popular. In tribal regions, a popular drink is the sap of the sulfi tree, which may be alcoholic if it has fermented.

 

MAHARASHTRA

Maharashtrian cuisine is an extensive balance of many different tastes. It includes a range of dishes from mild to very spicy tastes. Bajri, wheat, rice, jowar, vegetables, lentils, and fruit form important components of the Maharashtrian diet. Popular dishes include puran poli, ukdiche modak, batata wada, sabudana khichdi, masala bhat, pav bhaji, and wada pav. Poha or flattened rice is also usually eaten at breakfast. Kanda poha and aloo poha are some of the dishes cooked for breakfast and snacking in evenings. Popular spicy meat dishes include those that originated in the Kolhapur region. These are the Kolhapuri Sukka mutton, pandhra rassa, and tabmda rassa. Shrikhand, a sweet dish made from strained yogurt, is a main dessert of Maharashtrian cuisine. The cuisine of Maharashtra can be divided into two major sections—the coastal and the interior. The Konkan, on the coast of the Arabian Sea, has its own type of cuisine, a homogeneous combination of Malvani, Goud Saraswat Brahmin, and Goan cuisine. In the interior of Maharashtra, the Paschim Maharashtra, Khandesh, Vidarbha and Marathwada areas have their own distinct cuisines. The cuisine of Vidarbha uses groundnuts, poppy seeds, jaggery, wheat, jowar, and bajra extensively. A typical meal consists of rice, roti, poli, or bhakar, along with varan and aamtee - lentils and spiced vegetables. Cooking is common with different types of oil. Savji food from Vidarbha is well known all over Maharashtra. Savji dishes are very spicy and oily. Savji mutton curries are very famous.

 

POHA - A POPULAR MAHARASHTRIAN BREAKFAST DISH

Like other coastal states, an enormous variety of vegetables, fish, and coconuts exists, where they are common ingredients. Peanuts and cashews are often served with vegetables. Grated coconuts are used to flavour many types of dishes, but coconut oil is not widely used; peanut oil is preferred. Kokum, most commonly served chilled, in an appetiser-digestive called sol kadhi, is prevalent. During summer, Maharashtrians consume panha, a drink made from raw mango.

 

MALWANI

Malwani cuisine is a specialty of the tropical area which spans from the shore of Deogad Malwan to the southern Maharashtrian border with Goa. The unique taste and flavor of Malwani cuisine comes from Malwani masala and use of coconut and kokam. The staple foods are rice and fish. Various kinds of red and green fish, prawns, crab, and shellfish curries (also called mashacha sar in the Malwani language) are well known, along with kombadi (chicken) wade and mutton prepared Malwani style. Mohari mutton is also one of the distinct delicacies of Malwani cuisine.

 

A large variety of fish is available in the region, which include surmai, karali, bangada, bombil(Bombay duck), paplet (pompret), halwa, tarali, suandale, kolambi (prawns), tisari (shell fish), kalwa (stone fish) and kurli (crab).

 

All these fish are available in dried form, including prawns, which are known as sode. Local curries and chatanis are also prepared with dried fish.

 

Different types of rice breads and pancakes add to the variety of Malwani cuisine and include tandlachi bhakari, ghawane, amboli, patole, appe, tandalachi and shavai (rice noodles). These rice breads can be eaten specially flavored with coconut milk, fish curries, and chicken or mutton curries.

 

Sole kadi made from kokam and coconut milk is a signature appetizer drink . For vegetarians, Malwani delicacies include alloochi bhaji, alloochi gathaya, kalaya watanyacha, and sambara(black gram stew).

 

The sweets and desserts include ukadiche modak, Malawani khaje, khadakahde kundiche ladu, shegdanyache ladu, tandalchi kheer, and tandalachi shavai ani ras (specially flavored with coconut milk).

 

MANIPUR

Manipuri cuisine is represented by the cuisine of the Meitei people who form the majority population in the central plain. Meitei food are simple, tasty, organic and healthy. Rice with local seasonal vegetables and fish form the main diet. Most of the dishes are cooked like vegetable stew, flavored with either fermented fish called ngari, or dried and smoked fish. The most popular manipuri dish is the Eromba; it's a preparation of boiled and mashed vegetables, often including potatoes or beans, mixed with chilli and roasted fermented fish. Another popular dish is the savory cake called Paknam, made of a base of lentil flour stuffed with various ingredients such as banana inflorescence, mushrooms, fish, vegetables etc., and baked covered in turmeric leaves. Along with spicy dishes, a mild side dish of steamed or boiled sweet vegetables are often served in the daily meals. The manipuri salad dish called singju, made of finely julienned cabbage, green papaya, and other vegetables, and garnished with local herbs, toasted sesame powder and lentil flour is extremely popular locally, and often found sold in small street side vendors. Singju is often served with bora which are fritters of various kinds, and also kanghou, or oil fried spicy veggies. Cooked and fermented soybean is a popular condiment in all manipuri kitchens. The staple diet of Manipur consists of rice, fish, large varieties of leafy vegetables (of both aquatic and terrestrial). Manipuris typically raise vegetables in a kitchen garden and rear fishes in small ponds around their house. Since the vegetables are either grown at home or obtained from local market, the cuisines are very seasonal, each season having its own special vegetables and preparations. The taste is very different from mainland Indian cuisines because of the use of various aromatic herbs and roots that are peculiar to the region. They are however very similar to the cuisines of Southeast/East/Central Asia, Siberia, Micronesia and Polynesia.

 

MEGHALAYA

Meghalayan cuisine is unique and different from other Northeastern Indian states. Spiced meat is common, from goats, pigs, fowl, ducks, chickens, and cows. In the Khasi and Jaintia Hills districts, common foods include jadoh, ki kpu, tung-rymbai, and pickled bamboo shoots. Other common foods in Meghalaya include minil songa (steamed sticky rice), sakkin gata, and momo dumplings. Like other tribes in the northeast, the Garos ferment rice beer, which they consume in religious rites and secular celebrations.

 

MIZORAM

The cuisine of Mizoram differs from that of most of India, though it shares characteristics to other regions of Northeast India and North India. Rice is the staple food of Mizoram, while Mizos love to add non-vegetarian ingredients in every dish. Fish, chicken, pork and beef are popular meats among Mizos. Dishes are served on fresh banana leaves. Most of the dishes are cooked in mustard oil. Meals tend to be less spicy than in most of India. Mizos love eating boiled vegetables along with rice. A popular dish is bai, made from boiling vegetables (spinach, eggplant, beans, and other leafy vegetables) with bekang fermented soya beans or Sa-um, a fermented pork and served with rice. Sawhchiar is another common dish, made of rice and cooked with pork or chicken.

 

NAGALAND

The cuisine of Nagaland reflects that of the Naga people. It is known for exotic pork meats cooked with simple and flavourful ingredients, like the extremely hot Bhut jolokia pepper, fermented bamboo shoots and akhuni or fermented soya beans. Another unique and strong ingredient used by the Naga people, is the fermented fish known as ngari. Fresh herbs and other local greens also feature prominently in the Naga cuisine. The Naga use oil sparingly, preferring to ferment, dry, and smoke their meats and fish. Traditional homes in Nagaland have external kitchens that serve as smokehouses.

 

A typical meal consists of rice, meat, a chutney, a couple of stewed or steamed vegetable dishes – flavored with ngari or akhuni. Desserts usually consist of fresh fruits.

 

ODISHA

The cuisine of Odisha relies heavily on local ingredients. Flavours are usually subtle and delicately spiced, unlike the spicy curries typically associated with Indian cuisine. Fish and other seafood, such as crab and shrimp, are very popular, and chicken and mutton are also consumed. Panch phutana, a mix of cumin, mustard, fennel, fenugreek and kalonji (nigella), is widely used for flavouring vegetables and dals, while garam masala and turmeric are commonly used for meat-based curries. Pakhala, a dish made of rice, water, and dahi (yogurt), that is fermented overnight, is very popular in summer in rural areas. Oriyas are very fond of sweets, so dessert follows most meals.

 

Few popular Oriya cuisines, Anna, Kanika, Dalma, Khata (Tamato & Oou), Dali (Different types of lentils, i.e. Harada (Red Gram), known as Arhar in Hindi), Muga (Moong), Kolatha (Horsegram), etc. And many more varieties both in Veg. (Niramisha) & Non-Veg. (Aamisha). Saga ( spinach and other green leaves) and Alu-bharta(mashed potato) along with Pakhala are popular dishes(lunch) in rural Odisha.

 

Odisha is well known for its milk-based sweets. Among the many Rasagula which originated in Odisha, Chhena poda, Chhena gaja, Chhena jhili, and Rasabali are very famous.

 

PUDUCHERRY

The union territory of Puducherry was a French colony for around 200 years, making French cuisine a strong influence on the area. Tamil cuisine is eaten by the territory's Tamil majority. The influence of the neighbouring areas, such as Andhra Pradesh and Kerala, is also visible on the territory's cuisine. Some favourite dishes include coconut curry, tandoori potato, soya dosa, podanlangkai, curried vegetables, stuffed cabbage, and baked beans.

 

PUNJAB

The cuisine of Punjab is known for its diverse range of dishes.The cuisine is closely related to the cuisine of the neighbouring Punjab province of Pakistan. The state, being an agriculture center, is abundant with whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. Home-cooked and restaurant Punjabi cuisine can vary significantly. Restaurant-style Punjabi cooking puts emphasis on creamy textured foods by using ghee, butter and cream while, home-cooked meals center around whole wheat, rice, and other ingredients flavored with various kinds of masalas. Common dishes cooked at home are roti with daal and dahi (yogurt) with a side chutney and salad that includes raw onion, tomato, cucumber, etc. The meals are also abundant of local and seasonal vegetables usually sautéed with spices such as cumin, dried coriander, red chili powder, turmeric, black cloves, etc. Masala Chai is a favorite drink and is consumed in everyday life and at special occasions. Many regional differences exist in the Punjabi cuisine based on traditional variations in cooking similar dishes, food combinations, preference of spice combination, etc. Is it apparent that "the food is simple, robust, and closely linked to the land." Certain dishes exclusive to Punjab, such as makki di roti and sarson da saag, dal makhani, etc. are a favorite of many. The masala in a Punjabi dish traditionally consists of onion, garlic, ginger, cumin, garam masala, salt, turmeric, tomatoes sauteed in mustard oil. Tandoori food is a Punjabi specialty. Common meat dishes in this region are Bhakra curry (Goat) and fish dishes Dairy products are commonly consumed and usually accompany main meals in the form of dahi, milk, and milk derived products such as lassi, paneer, etc. Punjab consists of a high number of people following the Sikh religion who traditionally follow a vegetarian diet (which includes plant derived foods, milk, and milk by-products. See diet in Sikhism) in accordance to their beliefs.

 

No description of Punjabi cuisine is complete without the myriad of famous desserts, such as kheer, gajar ka halwa, sooji (cream of wheat) halwa, rasmalai, gulab jamun and jalebi. Most desserts are ghee or dairy-based, use nuts such as almonds, walnuts, pistachios, cashews, and, raisins.

 

Many of the most popular elements of Anglo-Indian cuisine, such as tandoori foods, naan, pakoras and vegetable dishes with paneer, are derived from Punjabi styles. Punjabi food is well liked in the world for its flavors, spices, and, versatile use of produce; and hence it is one of the most popular cuisine's from the sub continent. And last but not least is the Chhole Bhature and Chhole Kulche which are famous all over the north India.

 

RAJASTHAN

Cooking in Rajasthan, an arid region, has been strongly shaped by the availability of ingredients. Food is generally cooked in milk or ghee, making it quite rich. Gram flour is a mainstay of Marwari food mainly due to the scarcity of vegetables in the area.

 

Historically, food that could last for several days and be eaten without heating was preferred. Major dishes of a Rajasthani meal may include daal-baati, tarfini, raabdi, Ghevar, bail-gatte, panchkoota, chaavadi, laapsi, kadhi and boondi. Typical snacks include bikaneri bhujia, mirchi bada, Pyaaj Kachori, and Dal Kachori.

 

Daal-baati is the most popular dish prepared in the state. It is usually supplemented with choorma, a mixture of finely ground baked rotis, sugar and ghee.

 

Rajasthan is also influenced by the Rajput community who have liking for meat dishes.Their diet consisted of game meat and gave birth to dishes like laal maas, safed maas, khad khargosh and jungli maas.

 

SIKKIM

In Sikkim, various ethnic groups such as the Nepalese, Bhutias, and Lepchas have their own distinct cuisines. Nepalese cuisine is very popular in this area. Rice is the staple food of the area, and meat and dairy products are also widely consumed. For centuries, traditional fermented foods and beverages have constituted about 20 percent of the local diet. Depending on altitudinal variation, finger millet, wheat, buckwheat, barley, vegetables, potatoes, and soybeans are grown. Dhindo, Daal bhat, Gundruk, Momo, gya thuk, ningro, phagshapa, and sel roti are some of the local dishes. Alcoholic drinks are consumed by both men and women. Beef is eaten by the Bhutias.

 

SINDH

Sindhi cuisine refers to the native cuisine of the Sindhi people from the Sindh region, now in Pakistan. While Sindh is not geographically a part of modern India, its culinary traditions persist, due to the sizeable number of Hindu Sindhis who migrated to India following the independence of Pakistan in 1947, especially in Sindhi enclaves such as Ulhasnagar and Gandhidam. A typical meal in most Sindhi households consists of wheat-based flatbread (phulka) and rice accompanied by two dishes, one with gravy and one dry. Lotus stem (known as kamal kakri) is also used in Sindhi dishes. Cooking vegetables by deep frying is a common practice that is followed. Some common Sindhi dishes are Sindhi Kadhi, Sai Bhaji, Koki and Besan Bhaji. Some common ingredients used are mango powder, tamarind, kokum flowers, and dried pomegranate seeds.

 

TAMIL NADU

Tamil Nadu is noted for its deep belief that serving food to others is a service to humanity, as is common in many regions of India. The region has a rich cuisine involving both traditional non-vegetarian and vegetarian dishes. Tamil food is characterised by its use of rice, legumes, and lentils, along with distinct aromas and flavours achieved by the blending of spices such as mustard, curry leaves, tamarind, coriander, ginger, garlic, chili pepper, cinnamon, clove, cardamom, cumin, nutmeg, coconut and rose water. The traditional way of eating a meal involves being seated on the floor, having the food served on a plantain leaf, and using the right hand to eat. After the meal the plantain leaf is discarded but becomes food for free-ranging cattle and goats. A meal (called Saapadu) consists of rice with other typical Tamil dishes on a plantain leaf. A typical Tamilian would eat on a plantain leaf as it is believed to give a different flavour and taste to food. Also growing in popularity are stainless steel trays – plates with a selection of different dishes in small bowls.

 

Tamil food is characterized by tiffin, which is a light food taken for breakfast or dinner, and meals which are usually taken during lunch. The word "curry" is derived from the Tamil kari, meaning something similar to "sauce". The southern regions such as Tirunelveli, Madurai, Paramakudi, Karaikudi, and Chettinad,Kongu Nadu are noted for their spicy non-vegetarian dishes. Dosa, idli, pongal and Biryani are some of the popular dishes that are eaten with chutney and sambar. Fish and other seafoods are also very popular, because the state is located on the coast. Chicken and goat meat are the predominantly consumed meats in Tamil Nadu.

 

Many Tamilians are vegetarian, however, and the typical meal is heavily dependent on rice, vegetables and lentil preparations such as rasam and sambar. There are further variations of Tamil vegetarian dishes. They have influenced Kerala as well in their Kootu, Arachi vitta sambhar and molagootals. As mentioned above, the Chettinad variety of food uses lots of strong spices, such as pepper, garlic, fennel seeds and onions. Tamil food tends to be spicy compared to other parts of India so there is a tradition of finishing the meal with dahi (yogurt) is considered a soothing end to the meal.

 

Notably, Tamil Brahmin cuisine, the food of the Iyers and Iyengar community, is characterized by slightly different meal times and meal structures compared to other communities within the state. Historically vegetarian, the cuisine is renown for its milder flavor and avoidance of onion and garlic (although this practice appears to be disappearing with time). After a light morning meal of filter coffee and different varieties of porridges (oatmeal and janata kanji are immensely popular), the main meal of the day, lunch/brunch is usually at 11 am and typically follows a two-three course meal structure. Steamed rice is the main dish, and is always accompanied by a seasonally steamed/sauteed vegetable (poriyal), and two or three types of tamarind stews, the most popular being sambhar and rasam. The meal typically ends with thair sadham (rice with yogurt), usually served with pickled mangoes or lemons. Tiffin is the second meal of the day and features several breakfast favorites such as idli, rava idli, upma, dosa varieties, vada and is usually accompanied by chai. Dinner is the simplest meal of the day, typically involving leftovers from either lunch or tiffin. Fresh seasonal fruit consumed in the state include bananas, papaya, honeydew and canteloupe melons, jackfruit, mangos, apples, kasturi oranges, pomegranates, and nongu (hearts of palm).

 

TELANGANA

The cuisine of Telangana consists of the Telugu cuisine, of Telangana's Telugu people as well as Hyderabadi cuisine (also known as Nizami cuisine), of Telangana's Hyderabadi Muslim community. Hyderabadi food is based heavily on non-vegetarian ingredients, while Telugu food is a mix of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian ingredients. Telugu food is rich in spices and chillies are abundantly used. The food also generally tends to be more on the tangy side with tamarind and lime juice both used liberally as souring agents. Rice is the staple food of Telugu people. Starch is consumed with a variety of curries and lentil soups or broths. Vegetarian and non-vegetarian foods are both popular. Hyderabadi cuisine includes popular delicacies such as Biryani, Haleem, Baghara baingan and Kheema, while Hyderabadi day to day dishes see some commonalities with Telanganite Telugu food, with its use of tamarind, rice, and lentils, along with meat. Dahi (yogurt) is a common addition to meals, as a way of tempering spiciness.

 

TRIPURA

The Tripuri people are the original inhabitants of the state of Tripura in northeast India. Today, they comprise the communities of Tipra, Reang, Jamatia, Noatia, and Uchoi, among others. The Tripuri are non-vegetarian, although they have a minority of Vaishnavite vegetarians. The major ingredients of Tripuri cuisine include vegetables, herbs, pork, chicken, mutton, fishes, turtle, shrimps, crabs, freshwater mussels, periwinkles, edible freshwater snails and frogs.

 

UTTAR PRADESH

Traditionally, Uttar Pradeshi cuisine consists of Awadhi and Mughlai cuisine, though a vast majority of the state is vegetarian, preferring dal, roti, sabzi, and rice. Pooris and kachoris are eaten on special occasions. Chaat, samosa, and pakora, among the most popular snacks in India, originate from Uttar Pradesh. Well known dishes include kebabs, dum biryani, and various mutton recipes. Sheer Qorma, Ghevar, Gulab jamun, Kheer, and Ras malai are some of the popular desserts in this region.

 

Awadhi cuisine (Hindi: अवधी खाना) is from the city of Lucknow, which is the capital of the state of Uttar Pradesh in Central-South Asia and Northern India, and the cooking patterns of the city are similar to those of Central Asia, the Middle East, and other parts of Northern India. The cuisine consists of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. Awadh has been greatly influenced by Mughal cooking techniques, and the cuisine of Lucknow bears similarities to those of Central Asia, Kashmir, Punjab and Hyderabad. The city is also known for its Nawabi foods. The bawarchis and rakabdars of Awadh gave birth to the dum style of cooking or the art of cooking over a slow fire, which has become synonymous with Lucknow today. Their spread consisted of elaborate dishes like kebabs, kormas, biryani, kaliya, nahari-kulchas, zarda, sheermal, roomali rotis, and warqi parathas. The richness of Awadh cuisine lies not only in the variety of cuisine but also in the ingredients used like mutton, paneer, and rich spices, including cardamom and saffron.

 

Mughlai cuisine is a style of cooking developed in the Indian subcontinent by the imperial kitchens of the Mughal Empire. It represents the cooking styles used in North India (especially Uttar Pradesh). The cuisine is strongly influenced by the Central Asian cuisine, the region where the Chagatai-Turkic Mughal rulers originally hailed from, and it has in turn strongly influenced the regional cuisines of Kashmir and the Punjab region. The tastes of Mughlai cuisine vary from extremely mild to spicy, and is often associated with a distinctive aroma and the taste of ground and whole spices. A Mughlai course is an elaborate buffet of main course dishes with a variety of accompaniments.

 

UTTARKHAND

The food from Uttrakhand is known to be healthy and wholesome to suit the high-energy necessities of the cold, mountainous region. It is a high protein diet that makes heavy use of pulses and vegetables. Traditionally it is cooked over wood or charcoal fire mostly in iron utensils. While also making use of condiments such as jeera, haldi and rai common in other Indian cuisines, Uttarakhand cuisine uses some exotic condiments like jambu, timmer, ghandhraini and bhangira. Similarly, although the people in Uttarakhand also prepare the dishes common in other parts of northern India, several preparations are unique to Uttarakhand tradition such as rus, chudkani, dubuk, chadanji, jholi, kapa, etc. Among dressed salads and sauces, kheere ka raita, nimbu mooli ka raita, daarim ki khatai and aam ka fajitha necessarily deserve a mention. The cuisine mainly consists of food from two different sub regions - Garhwal and Kumaon - though their basic ingredients are the same. Both the Kumaoni and Garhwali styles make liberal use of ghee, lentils or pulses, vegetables and bhaat (rice). They also use Badi (sun-dried Urad Dal balls) and Mungodi (sun-dried Moong Dal balls) as substitutes for vegetables at times. During festivals and other celebrations, the people of Uttarakhand prepare special refreshments which include both salty preparations such as bada and sweet preparations such as pua and singal. Uttarakhand also has several sweets (mithai) such as singodi, bal-mithai, malai laddu, etc. native to its tradition.

 

WEST BENGAL

During the 19th century, many Odia-speaking cooks were employed in Bengal, which led to the transfer of several food items between the two regions. Bengali cuisine is the only traditionally developed multi-course tradition from the Indian subcontinent that is analogous in structure to the modern service à la russe style of French cuisine, with food served course-wise rather than all at once[citation needed]. Bengali cuisine differs according to regional tastes, such as the emphasis on the use of chilli pepper in the Chittagong district of Bangladesh However, across all its varieties, there is predominant use of mustard oil along with large amounts of spices. The cuisine is known for subtle flavours with an emphasis on fish, meat, vegetables, lentils, and rice. Bread is not a common dish in Bengali cuisine, but a deep fried version called luchi is popular. Fresh sweetwater fish is one of its most distinctive features; Bengalis prepare fish in many ways, such as steaming, braising, or stewing in vegetables and sauces based on coconut milk or mustard. East Bengali food, which has a high presence in West Bengal and Bangladesh, is much spicier than the West Bengali cuisine, and tends to use high amounts of chilli, and is one of the spiciest cuisines in India and the World. Shondesh and Rasgulla are popular sweet dishes made of sweetened, finely ground fresh cheese. The "Jaggery Rasgullas" are even more famous. The rasgulla originated in Bengal. and later became popular in erstwhile Odisha. The government of west Bengal has recently acquired the GI status of rasgulla after citing proof in court.

 

The cuisine is also found in the state of Tripura and the Barak Valley of Assam.

 

DIASPORA AND FUSION CUISINE

The interaction of various Indian diaspora communities with the native cultures of their domiciles have resulted in the creation of many fusion cuisines, which blend aspects of Indian and foreign cuisines. These cuisines tend to adapt Indian seasoning and cooking techniques to foreign dishes.

 

INDIAN CHINESE CUISINE

Indian Chinese cuisine, also known as Indo-Chinese cuisine originated in the 19th century among the Chinese community of Calcutta, during the immigration of Hakka Chinese from Canton (present-day Guangzhou) seeking to escape the First and Second Opium Wars and political instability in the region. Upon exposure to local Indian cuisine, they incorporated many spices and cooking techniques into their own cuisine, thus creating a unique fusion of Indian and Chinese cuisine. After 1947, many Cantonese immigrants fleeing political repression under Mao Zedong, opened their own restaurants in Calcutta, whose dishes combined aspects of Indian cuisine with Cantonese cuisine. While Indian Chinese cuisine is heavily derived from traditional Chinese cuisine, it bears little resemblance to its Chinese counterpart. The dishes tend to be flavoured with cumin, coriander seeds, and turmeric, which with a few regional exceptions, are not traditionally associated with Chinese cuisine. Chilli, ginger, garlic and dahi (yogurt) are also frequently used in dishes.

 

Popular dishes include Chicken Manchurian, Chicken lollipop, Chilli chicken, Hakka noodles, Hunan chicken, Chow mein, and Szechwan fried rice. Soups such as Manchow soup and Sweet corn soup are very popular, whereas desserts include ice cream on honey-fried noodles and date pancakes. Chow mein is now known as one of the most favorite Chinese dishes in India. Especially in West Bengal, it is one of the most loved street foods.

 

MALAYSIAN INDIAN CUISINE

INDIAN SINGAPOREAN CUISIBE

Indian Singaporean cuisine refers to foods and beverages produced and consumed in Singapore that are derived, wholly or in part, from South Asian culinary traditions. The great variety of Singaporean food includes Indian food, which tends to be Tamil cuisine, especially local Tamil Muslim cuisine, although North Indian food has become more visible recently. Indian dishes have become modified to different degrees, after years of contact with other Singaporean cultures, and in response to locally available ingredients, as well as changing local tastes.

 

INDIAN INDONESIAN CUISINE

Indian-Indonesian cuisine refers to food and beverages in Indonesian cuisine that are have influenced of Indian cuisine - especially from Tamil, Punjabi, and Gujarati cuisine. These dishes are well integrated.

 

ANGLO-INDIAN CUISINE

Anglo-Indian cuisine is the cuisine that developed during the British Raj in India, as the British wives interacted with their Indian cooks. Well-known Anglo-Indian dishes include chutneys, salted beef tongue, kedgeree, ball curry, fish rissoles, and mulligatawny soup.

 

DESSERTS

Many Indian desserts, or mithai, are fried foods made with sugar, milk or condensed milk. Ingredients and preferred types of dessert vary by region. In the eastern part of India, for example, most are based on milk products. Many are flavoured with almonds and pistachios, spiced with cardamon, nutmeg, cloves and black pepper, and decorated with nuts, or with gold or silver leaf. Popular Indian desserts include Rasogolla, gulab jamun, jalebi, laddu, peda etc.

 

BEVERAGES

NON-ALCÄOHOLIC BEVERAGES

Tea is a staple beverage throughout India, since the country is one of the largest producers of tea in the world. The most popular varieties of tea grown in India include Assam tea, Darjeeling tea and Nilgiri tea. It is prepared by boiling the tea leaves in a mix of water, milk, and spices such as cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger. In India, tea is often enjoyed with snacks like biscuits and pakoda.

 

Coffee is another popular beverage, but more popular in South India. Coffee is also cultivated in some parts of India. There are two varieties of coffee popular in India, which include Indian filter coffee and instant coffee.

 

Lassi is a traditional dahi (yogurt)-based drink in India. It is made by blending yogurt with water or milk and spices. Salted lassi is more common in villages of Punjab and in Porbandar, Gujarat. Traditional lassi is sometimes flavoured with ground roasted cumin. Lassi can also be flavoured with ingredients such as sugar, rose water, mango, lemon, strawberry, and saffron.

 

Sharbat is a sweet cold beverage prepared from fruits or flower petals. It can be served in concentrate form and eaten with a spoon, or diluted with water to create a drink. Popular sharbats are made from plants such as rose, sandalwood, bel, gurhal (hibiscus), lemon, orange, pineapple, sarasaparilla and falsa (Grewia asiatica). In Ayurveda, sharbats are believed to hold medicinal value.

 

Other beverages include nimbu pani (lemonade), chaas, badam doodh (almond milk with nuts and cardamom), and coconut water. Cold drinks unique to southern India include beverages, such as "Panner Soda" or "Gholi Soda", which is a mixture of carbonated water, rose water, rose milk, and sugar. "Narenga Soda", a mixture of carbonated water, salt and lemon juice and "Soda Nannari Sharbat", a mixture of sarasaparilla Sharbat with carbonated water are most popular non alcoholic beverages in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Street shops in Central Kerala and Madurai region of Tamil Nadu are most popular for these drinks which are also called 'Kulukki Sharbats' in Kerala

 

ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES

BEER

Most beers in India are either lagers (4.8 percent alcohol) or strong lagers (8.9 percent). The Indian beer industry has witnessed steady growth of 10–17 percent per year over the last ten years. Production exceeded 170 million cases during the 2008–2009 financial year. With the average age of the population decreasing and income levels on the rise, the popularity of beer in the country continues to increase.

 

OTHERS

Other popular alcoholic drinks in India include fenny, a Goan liquor made from either coconut or the juice of the cashew apple. The state of Goa has registered for a geographical indicator to allow its fenny distilleries to claim exclusive rights to production of liquor under the name "fenny."

 

Hadia is a rice beer, created by mixing herbs with boiled rice and leaving the mixture to ferment for around a week. It is served cold and is less alcoholic than other Indian liquors. Chuak is a similar drink from Tripura. Palm wine, locally known as Neera, is a sap extracted from inflorescences of various species of toddy palms. Chhaang is consumed by the people of Sikkim and the Darjeeling Himalayan hill region of West Bengal. It is drunk cold or at room temperature in summer, and often hot during cold weather. Chhaang is similar to traditional beer, brewed from barley, millet, or rice. Kallu(Chetthu Kallu) is a popular natural alcohol extracted from coconut and pine trees in Kerala. It is sold in local Kallu shops and is consumed with fried fish and chicken. Its alcoholic content is increased by addition of alcoholic additives.

 

EATING HABITS

Indians consider a healthy breakfast important. They generally prefer to drink tea or coffee with breakfast, though food preferences vary regionally. North Indian people prefer roti, parathas, and a vegetable dish accompanied by achar (a pickle) and some curd. Various types of packaged pickles are available in the market. One of the oldest pickle-making companies in India is Harnarains, which had started in the 1860s in Old Delhi. People of Gujarat prefer dhokla and milk, while south Indians prefer idli and dosa, generally accompanied by sambhar or sagu and various chutneys.

 

Traditional lunch in India usually consists of a main dish of rice in the south and the east, and whole wheat rotis in the north. It typically includes two or three kinds of vegetables, and sometimes items such as kulcha, naan, or parathas. Paan (stuffed, spiced and folded betel leaves) which aids digestion is often eaten after lunch and dinner in many parts of India. Apart from that, many households, specially those in north and central India, prefer having sweets after the dinner (similar like the western concept of dessert after meals).

 

Indian families often gather for "evening snack time", similar to tea time to talk and have tea and snacks. Dinner is considered the main meal of the day.

 

DIETARY RESTRITIONS

In India people often follow dietary restrictions based on their religion or faith:

 

Hindu communities consider beef taboo since it is believed that Hindu scriptures condemn cow slaughter. Cow slaughter has been banned in many states of India.

Vaishnavism followers generally do not eat garlic and onions because they are advised against it in the Bhagavad Gita.

Jains follow a strict form of vegetarianism, known as Jain vegetarianism, which in addition to being completely vegetarian, also excludes potatoes and other root vegetables because when the root is pulled up, organisms that live around the root also die.

Muslims do not eat pork or pork products.

 

ETIQUETTE

Traditionally, meals in India were eaten while seated either on the floor or on very low stools or mattress. Food is most often eaten with the hands rather than cutlery. Often roti is used to scoop curry without allowing it to touch the hand. In the wheat-producing north, a piece of roti is gripped with the thumb and middle finger and ripped off while holding the roti down with the index finger. A somewhat different method is used in the south for the dosai, the adai, and the uththappam, where the middle finger is pressed down to hold the crepe down and the forefinger and thumb used to grip and separate a small part. Traditional serving styles vary regionally throughout India.

 

Contact with other cultures has affected Indian dining etiquette. For example, the Anglo-Indian middle class commonly uses spoons and forks, as is traditional in Western culture.

 

In South India, cleaned banana leaves, which can be disposed of after meals, are used for serving food. When hot food is served on banana leaves, the leaves add distinctive aromas and taste to the food. Leaf plates are less common today, except on special occasions.

 

OUTSIDE INDIA

Indian migration has spread the culinary traditions of the subcontinent throughout the world. These cuisines have been adapted to local tastes, and have also affected local cuisines. Curry's international appeal has been compared to that of pizza. Indian tandoor dishes such as chicken tikka enjoy widespread popularity.

 

CANADA

As in the United Kingdom and the United States, Indian cuisine is widely available in Canada, especially in the cities of Toronto, Vancouver, and Ottawa where the majority of Canadians of South Asian heritage live.

 

CHINA

Indian food is gaining popularity in China, where there are many Indian restaurants in Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen. Hong Kong alone has more than 50 Indian restaurants, some of which date back to the 1980s. Most of the Indian restaurants in Hong Kong are in Tsim Sha Tsui.

 

MIDDLE EAST

The Indian culinary scene in the Middle East has been influenced greatly by the large Indian diaspora in these countries. Centuries of trade relations and cultural exchange resulted in a significant influence on each region's cuisines. The use of the tandoor, which originated in northwestern India, is an example. The large influx of Indian expatriates into the Middle Eastern countries during the 1970s and 1980s led to the booming of Indian restaurants to cater to this population and was also widely influenced by the local and international cuisines.

 

NEPAL

Indian cuisine is available in the streets of Nepalese cities, including Kathmandu and Janakpur.

 

SOUTHEAST ASIA

Indian cuisine is very popular in Southeast Asia, due to the strong Hindu and Buddhist cultural influence in the region. Indian cuisine has had considerable influence on Malaysian cooking styles and also enjoys popularity in Singapore. There are numerous North and South Indian restaurants in Singapore, mostly in Little India. Singapore is also known for fusion cuisine combining traditional Singaporean cuisine with Indian influences. Fish head curry, for example, is a local creation. Indian influence on Malay cuisine dates to the 19th century. Other cuisines which borrow inspiration from Indian cooking styles include Cambodian, Lao, Filipino, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Thai, and Burmese cuisines. The spread of vegetarianism in other parts of Asia is often credited to Hindu and Buddhist practices.

 

UNITED KINGDOM

The UK's first Indian restaurant, the Hindoostanee Coffee House, opened in 1810. By 2003, there were as many as 10,000 restaurants serving Indian cuisine in England and Wales alone. According to Britain's Food Standards Agency, the Indian food industry in the United Kingdom is worth 3.2 billion pounds, accounts for two-thirds of all eating out and serves about 2.5 million customers every week.

 

One of the best known examples of British Indian restaurant cuisine is Chicken tikka masala, which has also been called "a true British national dish."

 

IRELAND

Ireland's first Indian restaurant, the Indian Restaurant and Tea Rooms, opened in 1908 on Sackville Street, now O'Connell Street, in Dublin. Today, Indian restaurants are commonplace in most Irish cities and towns. Non-Chinese Asians are the fastest growing ethnic group in Ireland.

 

UNITED STATES

A survey by The Washington Post in 2007 stated that more than 1,200 Indian food products had been introduced into the United States since 2000. There are numerous Indian restaurants across the US, which vary based on regional culture and climate. North Indian and South Indian cuisines are especially well represented. Most Indian restaurants in the United States serve Americanized versions of North Indian food, which is generally less spicy than its Indian equivalents.

 

At sit-down restaurants with North Indian cuisine (the most common), complimentary papadum is served with three dipping sauces − typically hari chutney (mint and cilantro), imli chutney (taramind), and a spicy red chili or onion chutney − in place of European-style bread before the meal.

 

WIKIPEDIA

Indian cuisine consists of a wide variety of regional and traditional cuisines native to the Indian subcontinent. Given the range of diversity in soil type, climate, culture, ethnic groups, and occupations, these cuisines vary substantially from each other and use locally available spices, herbs, vegetables, and fruits. Indian food is also heavily influenced by religion, in particular Hindu, cultural choices and traditions. The cuisine is also influenced by centuries of Islamic rule, particularly the Mughal rule. Samosas and pilafs can be regarded as examples.

 

Historical events such as foreign invasions, trade relations, and colonialism have played a role in introducing certain foods to this country. For instance, potato, a staple of the diet in some regions of India, was brought to India by the Portuguese, who also introduced chillies and breadfruit. Indian cuisine has shaped the history of international relations; the spice trade between India and Europe was the primary catalyst for Europe's Age of Discovery. Spices were bought from India and traded around Europe and Asia. Indian cuisine has influenced other cuisines across the world, especially those from Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, the British Isles, Fiji, and the Caribbean.

 

HISTORY

Indian cuisine reflects an 8,000-year history of various groups and cultures interacting with the Indian subcontinent, leading to diversity of flavours and regional cuisines found in modern-day India. Later, trade with British and Portuguese influence added to the already diverse Indian cuisine.

 

ANTIQUITY

Early diet in India mainly consisted of legumes, vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy products, and honey. Staple foods eaten today include a variety of lentils (dal), whole-wheat flour (aṭṭa), rice, and pearl millet (bājra), which has been cultivated in the Indian subcontinent since 6200 BCE. Over time, segments of the population embraced vegetarianism during the Śramaṇa movement while an equitable climate permitted a variety of fruits, vegetables, and grains to be grown throughout the year. A food classification system that categorised any item as saatvic, raajsic, or taamsic developed in Yoga tradition. The Bhagavad Gita proscribes certain dietary practices (chapter 17, verses 8–10). Consumption of beef is taboo, due to cows being considered sacred in Hinduism. Beef is generally not eaten by Hindus in India except for Kerala, parts of southern Tamil Nadu and the north east.

 

FOODS MENTIONED IN ANCIENT INDIAN SCRIPTURE

While many Ancient Indian recipes have been lost one can look at ancient texts to see what was eaten in Ancient and pre historic India.

 

Rice

Rice Cake

Curd

Sugar

Ghee

Cashew nut

Bread Fruit

Pomegranate

Mango

Rose Apple

Sweet Potato

Barley

Mustard

Figs

Betel Leaves

Honey

Salt

Saffron

Sesame Oil

Grape Wine

Turmeric

 

MIDDLED AGES TO THE 16TH CENTURIES

During the Middle Ages, several Indian dynasties were predominant, including the Gupta dynasty. Travel to India during this time introduced new cooking methods and products to the region, including tea. India was later invaded by tribes from Central Asian cultures, which led to the emergence of Mughlai cuisine, a mix of Indian and Central Asian cuisine. Hallmarks include seasonings such as saffron.

 

INGREDIENTS

Staple foods of Indian cuisine include pearl millet (bājra), rice, whole-wheat flour (aṭṭa), and a variety of lentils, such as masoor (most often red lentils), tuer (pigeon peas), urad (black gram), and moong (mung beans). Lentils may be used whole, dehusked - for example, dhuli moong or dhuli urad - or split. Split lentils, or dal, are used extensively. Some pulses, such as channa or cholae (chickpeas), rajma (kidney beans), and lobiya (black-eyed peas) are very common, especially in the northern regions. Channa and moong are also processed into flour (besan). Many Indian dishes are cooked in vegetable oil, but peanut oil is popular in northern and western India, mustard oil in eastern India, and coconut oil along the western coast, especially in Kerala and parts of southern Tamil Nadu. Gingelly (sesame) oil is common in the south since it imparts a fragrant, nutty aroma. In recent decades, sunflower, safflower, cottonseed, and soybean oils have become popular across India. Hydrogenated vegetable oil, known as Vanaspati ghee, is another popular cooking medium. Butter-based ghee, or deshi ghee, is used frequently, though less than in the past. Many types of meat are used for Indian cooking, but chicken and mutton tend to be the most commonly consumed meats. Fish and beef consumption are prevalent in some parts of India, but they are not widely consumed except for coastal areas, as well as the north east.The most important and frequently used spices and flavourings in Indian cuisine are whole or powdered chilli pepper (mirch, introduced by the Portuguese from Mexico in the 16th century), black mustard seed (sarso), cardamom (elaichi), cumin (jeera), turmeric (haldi), asafoetida (hing), ginger (adrak), coriander (dhania), and garlic (lasoon). One popular spice mix is garam masala, a powder that typically includes seven dried spices in a particular ratio, including black cardamom, cinnamon (dalchini), clove (laung), cumin (jeera), black peppercorns, coriander seeds and anise star. Each culinary region has a distinctive garam masala blend - individual chefs may also have their own. Goda masala is a comparable, though sweet, spice mix popular in Maharashtra. Some leaves commonly used for flavouring include bay leaves (tejpat), coriander leaves, fenugreek leaves, and mint leaves. The use of curry leaves and roots for flavouring is typical of Gujarati and South Indian cuisine. Sweet dishes are often seasoned with cardamom, saffron, nutmeg, and rose petal essences.

 

REGIONAL CUISINES

Cuisine differs across India's diverse regions as a result of variation in local culture, geographical location (proximity to sea, desert, or mountains), and economics. It also varies seasonally, depending on which fruits and vegetables are ripe.

 

ANDAMAN AND NICOBAR ISLAND

Seafood plays a major role in the cuisine of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Staples of the diet of the Indigenous Andamanese traditionally included roots, honey, fruits, meat, and fish, which were obtained by hunting and gathering. Some insects were also eaten as delicacies. Immigration from mainland of India, however, has resulted in variations in the cuisine.

 

ANDHRA PRADESH

The cuisine of Andhra Pradesh belongs to the two Telugu-speaking regions of Rayalaseema and Coastal Andhra and is part of Telugu cuisine. The food of Andhra Pradesh is known for its heavy use of spices, and the use of tamarind. Seafood is common in the coastal region of the state. Rice is the staple food (as is with all South Indian states) eaten with lentil preparations such as pappu (lentils) and pulusu (stew) and spicy vegetables or curries. In Andhra, leafy greens or vegetables such as bottle-gourd and eggplant are usually added to dal. Pickles are an essential part of the local cuisine; popular among those are mango-based pickles such as avakaya and maagaya, gongura (a pickle made from Kenaf leaves), usirikaya (gooseberry or amla), nimmakaya (lime), and tomato pickle. Dahi (yogurt) is a common addition to meals, as a way of tempering spiciness. Breakfast items include dosa, pesarattu (mung bean dosa), vada, and idli.

 

ARUNACHAL PRADESH

The staple food of Arunachal Pradesh is rice, along with fish, meat, and leaf vegetables. Many varieties of rice are used. Lettuce is the most common vegetable, usually prepared by boiling with ginger, coriander, and green chillies. Boiled rice cakes wrapped in leaves are a popular snack. Thukpa is a kind of noodle soup common among the Monpa tribe of the region. Native tribes of Arunachal are meat eaters and use fish, eggs, beef, chicken, pork, and mutton to make their dishes. Apong or rice beer made from fermented rice or millet is a popular beverage in Arunachal Pradesh and is consumed as a refreshing drink.

 

ASSAM

Assamese cuisine is a mixture of different indigenous styles, with considerable regional variation and some external influences. Although it is known for its limited use of spices, Assamese cuisine has strong flavours from its use of endemic herbs, fruits, and vegetables served fresh, dried, or fermented. Rice is the staple food item and a huge variety of endemic rice varieties, including several varieties of sticky rice are a part of the cuisine in Assam. Fish, generally freshwater varieties, are widely eaten. Other nonvegetarian items include chicken, duck, squab, snails, silkworms, insects, goat, pork, venison, turtle, monitor lizard, etc. The region's cuisine involves simple cooking processes, mostly barbecuing, steaming, or boiling. Bhuna, the gentle frying of spices before the addition of the main ingredients, generally common in Indian cooking, is absent in the cuisine of Assam. A traditional meal in Assam begins with a khar, a class of dishes named after the main ingredient and ends with a tenga, a sour dish. Homebrewed rice beer or rice wine is served before a meal. The food is usually served in bell metal utensils. Paan, the practice of chewing betel nut, generally concludes a meal.

 

BIHAR

Bihari cuisine may include litti chokha, a baked salted wheat-flour cake filled with sattu (baked chickpea flour) and some special spices, which is served with baigan bharta, made of roasted eggplant (brinjal) and tomatoes. Among meat dishes, meat saalan is a popular dish made of mutton or goat curry with cubed potatoes in garam masala. Dalpuri is another popular dish in Bihar. It is salted wheat-flour bread, filled with boiled, crushed, and fried gram pulses. Malpua is a popular sweet dish of Bihar, prepared by a mixture of maida, milk, bananas, cashew nuts, peanuts, raisins, sugar, water, and green cardamom. Another notable sweet dish of Bihar is balushahi, which is prepared by a specially treated combination of maida and sugar along with ghee, and the other worldwide famous sweet, khaja, also very popular, is made from flour, vegetable fat, and sugar, which is mainly used in weddings and other occasions. Silav near Nalanda is famous for its production. During the festival of Chhath, thekua, a sweet dish made of ghee, jaggery, and whole-meal flour, flavoured with aniseed, is made.

 

CHANDIGARH

Chandigarh, the capital of Punjab and Haryana is a city of 20th century origin with a cosmopolitan food culture mainly involving North Indian cuisine.

 

People enjoy home-made recipes such as parantha, especially at breakfast, and other Punjabi foods like roti which is made from wheat, corn, or other glutenous flour with cooked vegetables or beans. Sarson da saag and dal makhani are well-known dishes among others. Popular snacks include gol gappa (known as panipuri in other places). It consists of a round, hollow puri, fried crisp and filled with a mixture of flavoured water, boiled and cubed potatoes, bengal gram beans, etc.

 

CHHATTISGARH

Chhattisgarh cuisine is unique in nature and not found in the rest of India, although the staple food is rice, like in much of the country. Many Chhattisgarhi people drink liquor brewed from the mahuwa flower palm wine (tadi in rural areas). The tribal people of the Bastar region of Chhattisgarh eat ancestral dishes such as mushrooms, bamboo pickle, bamboo vegetables, etc.

 

DADRA AND NAGAR HAVELI

The local cuisine resembles the cuisine of Gujarat. Ubadiyu is a local delicacy made of vegetables and beans with herbs. The common foods include rice, roti, vegetables, river fish, and crab. People also enjoy buttermilk and chutney made of different fruits and herbs.

 

DAMAN AND DIU

Daman and Diu is a union territory of India which, like Goa, was a former colonial possession of Portugal. Consequently, both native Gujarati food and traditional Portuguese food are common. Being a coastal region, the communities are mainly dependent on seafood. Normally, rotli and tea are taken for breakfast, rotla and saak for lunch, and chokha along with saak and curry are taken for dinner. Some of the dishes prepared on festive occasions include puri, lapsee, potaya, dudh-plag, and dhakanu. While alcohol is prohibited in the neighbouring state of Gujarat, drinking is common in Daman and Diu. Better known as the “pub” of Gujarat. All popular brands of alcohol are readily available.

 

DELHI

Delhi was once the capital of the Mughal empire, and it became the birthplace of Mughlai cuisine. Delhi is noted for its street food. The Paranthewali Gali in Chandani Chowk is just one of the culinary landmarks for stuffed flatbread (paranthas). Delhi has people from different parts of India, thus the city has different types of food traditions; its cuisine is influenced by the various cultures. Punjabi cuisine is common, due to the dominance of Punjabi communities. Delhi cuisine is actually an amalgam of different Indian cuisines modified in unique ways. This is apparent in the different types of street food available. Kababs, kachauri, chaat, Indian sweets, Indian ice cream (commonly called kulfi), and even western food items like sandwiches and patties, are prepared in a style unique to Delhi and are quite popular.

 

GOA

The area has a tropical climate, which means the spices and flavours are intense. Use of kokum is a distinct feature of the region's cuisine. Goan cuisine is mostly seafood and meat-based; the staple foods are rice and fish. Kingfish (vison or visvan) is the most common delicacy, and others include pomfret, shark, tuna, and mackerel; these are often served with coconut milk. Shellfish, including crabs, prawns, tiger prawns, lobster, squid, and mussels, are commonly eaten. The cuisine of Goa is influenced by its Hindu origins, 400 years of Portuguese colonialism, and modern techniques. Bread, introduced by the Portuguese, is very popular, and is an important part of goan breakfast. Frequent tourism in the area gives Goan food an international aspect. Vegetarianism is equally popular.[

 

GUJARAT

Gujarati cuisine is primarily vegetarian. The typical Gujarati thali consists of roti (rotlii in Gujarati), daal or kadhi, rice, sabzi/shaak, papad and chaas (buttermilk). The sabzi is a dish of different combinations of vegetables and spices which may be stir fried, spicy or sweet. Gujarati cuisine can vary widely in flavour and heat based on personal and regional tastes. North Gujarat, Kathiawad, Kachchh, and South Gujarat are the four major regions of Gujarati cuisine. Many Gujarati dishes are simultaneously sweet, salty (like vegetable Handvo), and spicy. In mango season, keri no ras (fresh mango pulp) is often an integral part of the meal. Spices also vary seasonally. For example, garam masala is used much less in summer. Few of Gujarati Snacks like Sev Khamani, Khakhra, Dal Vada, Methi na Bhajiya, Khaman, Bhakharwadi etc. Regular fasting, with diets limited to milk, dried fruit, and nuts, is a common practice.

 

HARYANA

Cattle being common in Haryana, dairy products are a common component of its cuisine. Specific dishes include kadhi, pakora, besan masala roti, bajra aloo roti, churma, kheer, bathua raita, methi gajar, singri ki sabzi, and tamatar chutney. In the olden days, its staple diet included, bajra khichdi, rabdi, onion chutney, milet roti and bajra roti. In the non-veg cuisine it includes kukad kadhai and masala gravy chicken. Lassi, sharbat, nimbu pani and "labsi(which is a mixture of bajra flour and lassi) are three popular nonalcoholic beverages in Haryana. Liquor stores are common there, which cater to a large number of truck drivers.

 

HIMACHAL PRADESH

The daily diet of Himachal people is similar to that of the rest of North India, including lentils, broth, rice, vegetables, and bread, although nonvegetarian cuisine is preferred. Some of the specialities of Himachal include sidu, patande, chukh, rajmah, and til chutney.

 

JAMMU AND KASHMIR

The cuisine of Jammu and Kashmir is from three regions of the state: Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh. Kashmiri cuisine has evolved over hundreds of years. Its first major influence was the food of the Kashmiri Hindus and Buddhists. The cuisine was later influenced by the cultures which arrived with the invasion of Kashmir by Timur from the area of modern Uzbekistan. Subsequent influences have included the cuisines of Central Asia and the North Indian plains. The most notable ingredient in Kashmiri cuisine is mutton, of which over 30 varieties are known. Wazwan is a multicourse meal in the Kashmiri tradition, the preparation of which is considered an art.

 

Kashmiri Pandit food is elaborate, and an important part of the Pandits' ethnic identity. Kashmiri Pandit cuisine usually uses dahi (yogurt), oil, and spices such as turmeric, red chilli, cumin, ginger, and fennel, though they do not use onion and garlic. Also, birayanis are quite popular here. They are the speciality of Kashmir.

 

The Jammu region is famous for its Sund Panjeeri, Patisa, Rajma ( Kidney Beans) with rice and Kalari cheese. Dogri food includes ambal (sour pumpkin dish), khatta meat, Kulthein (Macrotyloma uniflorum) di dal, dal chawal, maa da madra and Uriya. Many types of pickles are made including mango, kasrod, and girgle. Street food is also famous which include various types of chaats, specially Gol Gappas, Gulgule, Chole Bhature, Rajma Kulcha and Dahi Bhalla.

 

JHARKHAND

Staple food in Jharkhand are rice, dal and vegetable. Famous dishes include Chirka roti, Pittha, Malpua, Dhuska, Arsa roti and Litti Chokha. Local alcoholic drinks include Handia a rice beer and Mahua daru, made from flowers of the "Mahua" tree (Madhuca longifolia).

 

KARNATAKA

A number of dishes, such as idli, rava idli, Mysore masala dosa, etc. were invented here and have become popular beyond the state of Karnataka. Equally, varieties in the cuisine of Karnataka have similarities with its three neighbouring South Indian states, as well as the states of Maharashtra and Goa to its north. It is very common for the food to be served on a banana leaf, especially during festivals and functions.

 

Karnataka cuisine can be very broadly divided into: 1) Mysore/Bangalore cuisine, 2) North Karnataka cuisine, 3) Udupi cuisine, 4) Kodagu/Coorg cuisine, and 5) Karavali/coastal cuisine. The cuisine covers a wide spectrum of food from pure vegetarian and vegan to meats like pork, and from savouries to sweets. Typical dishes include bisi bele bath, jolada rotti, badanekai yennegai, Holige, Kadubu, chapati, idli vada, ragi rotti, akki rotti, saaru, huli, kootu, vangibath, khara bath, kesari bhath, sajjige, neer dosa, mysoore, haal bai, chiroti, benne dose, ragi mudde, and uppittu.

 

The Kodagu district is known for spicy pork curries, while coastal Karnataka specialises in seafood. Although the ingredients differ regionally, a typical Kannadiga oota (Kannadiga meal) is served on a banana leaf. The coastal districts of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi have slightly varying cuisines, which make extensive use of coconut in curries and frequently include seafood.

 

KERALA

Traditional food of Kerala Hindus is vegetarian[citation needed], with regional exceptions such as the food of the Malabar area. It includes Kerala sadhya, which is an elaborate vegetarian banquet prepared for festivals and ceremonies. Contemporary Kerala food also includes nonvegetarian dishes. A full-course sadya, which consists of rice with about 20 different accompaniments and desserts is the ceremonial meal, eaten usually on celebrations such as marriages, Onam, Vishu, etc. and is served on a plantain leaf.

 

Fish and seafood play a major role in Kerala cuisine, as Kerala is a coastal state. An everyday Kerala meal in most households consists of rice with fish curry made of sardines, mackerel, seer fish, king fish, pomfret, prawns, shrimp, sole, anchovy, parrotfish, etc. (mussels, oysters, crabs, squid, scallops etc. are not rare), vegetable curry and stir-fried vegetables with or without coconut traditionally known as thoran or mizhukkupiratti. As Kerala has large inland water bodies, freshwater fish are abundant, and constitute regular meals.

 

It is common in Kerala to have a breakfast with nonvegetarian dishes in restaurants, in contrast to other states in India. Chicken/mutton stews, lamb/chicken/beef/pork/egg curry, fish curry with tapioca for breakfast are common. A wide range of breakfast with non-vegetarian is common in Malabar and in Central Kerala.

 

Kerala cuisine reflects its rich trading heritage. Over time, various cuisines have blended with indigenous dishes, while foreign ones have been adapted to local tastes. Significant Arab, Syrian, Portuguese, Dutch, Jewish, and Middle Eastern influences exist in this region's cuisine, through ancient trade routes via the Arabian Sea and through Arab traders who settled here, contributed to the evolution of kozhikodan halwa along with other dishes like Thalassery biryani.

 

Coconuts grow in abundance in Kerala, so grated coconut and coconut milk are commonly used for thickening and flavouring. Kerala's long coastline and numerous rivers have led to a strong fishing industry in the region, making seafood a common part of the meal. Rice is grown in abundance, along with tapioca. It is the main starch ingredient used in Kerala's food.

 

Having been a major production area of spices for thousands of years, the region makes frequent use of black pepper, cardamom, clove, ginger, and cinnamon. Most of Kerala's Hindus, except its Brahmin community, eat fish, chicken, beef, pork, eggs, and mutton. The Brahmin is famed for its vegan cuisine, especially varieties of sambar and rasam. A thick vegetable stew popular in South and Central India called avial is believed to have originated in southern Kerala. Avial is a widely eaten vegetarian dish in the state and plays a major role in sadya.

 

In most Kerala households, a typical meal consists of rice and vegetables. Kerala also has a variety of breakfast dishes like idli, dosa, appam, idiyappam, puttu, and pathiri. The Muslim community of Kerala blend Arabian, North Indian, and indigenous Malabari cuisines, using chicken, eggs, beef, and mutton. Thalassery biryani is the only biryani variant, which is of Kerala origin having originated in Talassery, in Malabar region. The dish is significantly different from other biryani variants.

 

The Pathanamthitta region is known for raalan and fish curries. Appam along with wine and curries of cured beef and pork are popular among Syrian Christians in Central Kerala.

 

Popular desserts are payasam and halwa. The Hindu community's payasams, especially those made at temples, like the Ambalappuzha temple, are famous for their rich taste. Halva is one of the most commonly found or easily recognised sweets in bakeries throughout Kerala, and Kozhikode is famous for its unique and exotic haluva, which is popularly known as Kozhikodan haluva. Europeans used to call the dish "sweetmeat" due to its texture, and a street in Kozhikode where became named Sweet Meat Street during colonial rule. Kozhikodan haluva is mostly made from maida (highly refined wheat), and comes in various flavours, such as banana, ghee or coconut. However, karutha haluva (black haluva) made from rice is also very popular. Many Muslim families in the region are famed for their traditional karutha haluva.

 

LAKSHADWEEP

The cuisine of Lakshadweep prominently features seafood and coconut. Local food consists of spicy nonvegetarian and vegetarian dishes. The culinary influence of Kerala is quite evident in the cuisines of Lakshadweep, since the island lies in close proximity to Kerala. Coconut and sea fish serve as the foundations of most of the meals. The people of Lakshadweep drink large amounts of coconut water, which is the most abundant aerated drink on the island. Coconut milk is the base for most of the curries. All the sweet or savory dishes have a touch of famous Malabar spices. Local people also prefer to have dosa, idlis, and various rice dishes.

 

MAGHYA PRADESH

The cuisine in Madhya Pradesh varies regionally. Wheat and meat are common in the north and west of the state, while the wetter south and east are dominated by rice and fish. Milk is a common ingredient in Gwalior and Indore. The street food of Indore is renowned, with shops that have been active for generations. Bhopal is known for meat and fish dishes such as rogan josh, korma, qeema, biryani, pilaf, and kebabs. On a street named Chatori Gali in old Bhopal, one can find traditional Muslim nonvegetarian fare such as paya soup, bun kabab, and nalli-nihari as some of the specialties.

 

Dal bafla is a common meal in the region and can be easily found in Indore and other nearby regions, consisting of a steamed and grilled wheat cake dunked in rich ghee, which is eaten with daal and ladoos. The culinary specialty of the Malwa and Indore regions of central Madhya Pradesh is poha (flattened rice); usually eaten at breakfast with jalebi. Beverages in the region include lassi, beer, rum and sugarcane juice. A local liquor is distilled from the flowers of the mahua tree. Date palm toddy is also popular. In tribal regions, a popular drink is the sap of the sulfi tree, which may be alcoholic if it has fermented.

 

MAHARASHTRA

Maharashtrian cuisine is an extensive balance of many different tastes. It includes a range of dishes from mild to very spicy tastes. Bajri, wheat, rice, jowar, vegetables, lentils, and fruit form important components of the Maharashtrian diet. Popular dishes include puran poli, ukdiche modak, batata wada, sabudana khichdi, masala bhat, pav bhaji, and wada pav. Poha or flattened rice is also usually eaten at breakfast. Kanda poha and aloo poha are some of the dishes cooked for breakfast and snacking in evenings. Popular spicy meat dishes include those that originated in the Kolhapur region. These are the Kolhapuri Sukka mutton, pandhra rassa, and tabmda rassa. Shrikhand, a sweet dish made from strained yogurt, is a main dessert of Maharashtrian cuisine. The cuisine of Maharashtra can be divided into two major sections—the coastal and the interior. The Konkan, on the coast of the Arabian Sea, has its own type of cuisine, a homogeneous combination of Malvani, Goud Saraswat Brahmin, and Goan cuisine. In the interior of Maharashtra, the Paschim Maharashtra, Khandesh, Vidarbha and Marathwada areas have their own distinct cuisines. The cuisine of Vidarbha uses groundnuts, poppy seeds, jaggery, wheat, jowar, and bajra extensively. A typical meal consists of rice, roti, poli, or bhakar, along with varan and aamtee - lentils and spiced vegetables. Cooking is common with different types of oil. Savji food from Vidarbha is well known all over Maharashtra. Savji dishes are very spicy and oily. Savji mutton curries are very famous.

 

POHA - A POPULAR MAHARASHTRIAN BREAKFAST DISH

Like other coastal states, an enormous variety of vegetables, fish, and coconuts exists, where they are common ingredients. Peanuts and cashews are often served with vegetables. Grated coconuts are used to flavour many types of dishes, but coconut oil is not widely used; peanut oil is preferred. Kokum, most commonly served chilled, in an appetiser-digestive called sol kadhi, is prevalent. During summer, Maharashtrians consume panha, a drink made from raw mango.

 

MALWANI

Malwani cuisine is a specialty of the tropical area which spans from the shore of Deogad Malwan to the southern Maharashtrian border with Goa. The unique taste and flavor of Malwani cuisine comes from Malwani masala and use of coconut and kokam. The staple foods are rice and fish. Various kinds of red and green fish, prawns, crab, and shellfish curries (also called mashacha sar in the Malwani language) are well known, along with kombadi (chicken) wade and mutton prepared Malwani style. Mohari mutton is also one of the distinct delicacies of Malwani cuisine.

 

A large variety of fish is available in the region, which include surmai, karali, bangada, bombil(Bombay duck), paplet (pompret), halwa, tarali, suandale, kolambi (prawns), tisari (shell fish), kalwa (stone fish) and kurli (crab).

 

All these fish are available in dried form, including prawns, which are known as sode. Local curries and chatanis are also prepared with dried fish.

 

Different types of rice breads and pancakes add to the variety of Malwani cuisine and include tandlachi bhakari, ghawane, amboli, patole, appe, tandalachi and shavai (rice noodles). These rice breads can be eaten specially flavored with coconut milk, fish curries, and chicken or mutton curries.

 

Sole kadi made from kokam and coconut milk is a signature appetizer drink . For vegetarians, Malwani delicacies include alloochi bhaji, alloochi gathaya, kalaya watanyacha, and sambara(black gram stew).

 

The sweets and desserts include ukadiche modak, Malawani khaje, khadakahde kundiche ladu, shegdanyache ladu, tandalchi kheer, and tandalachi shavai ani ras (specially flavored with coconut milk).

 

MANIPUR

Manipuri cuisine is represented by the cuisine of the Meitei people who form the majority population in the central plain. Meitei food are simple, tasty, organic and healthy. Rice with local seasonal vegetables and fish form the main diet. Most of the dishes are cooked like vegetable stew, flavored with either fermented fish called ngari, or dried and smoked fish. The most popular manipuri dish is the Eromba; it's a preparation of boiled and mashed vegetables, often including potatoes or beans, mixed with chilli and roasted fermented fish. Another popular dish is the savory cake called Paknam, made of a base of lentil flour stuffed with various ingredients such as banana inflorescence, mushrooms, fish, vegetables etc., and baked covered in turmeric leaves. Along with spicy dishes, a mild side dish of steamed or boiled sweet vegetables are often served in the daily meals. The manipuri salad dish called singju, made of finely julienned cabbage, green papaya, and other vegetables, and garnished with local herbs, toasted sesame powder and lentil flour is extremely popular locally, and often found sold in small street side vendors. Singju is often served with bora which are fritters of various kinds, and also kanghou, or oil fried spicy veggies. Cooked and fermented soybean is a popular condiment in all manipuri kitchens. The staple diet of Manipur consists of rice, fish, large varieties of leafy vegetables (of both aquatic and terrestrial). Manipuris typically raise vegetables in a kitchen garden and rear fishes in small ponds around their house. Since the vegetables are either grown at home or obtained from local market, the cuisines are very seasonal, each season having its own special vegetables and preparations. The taste is very different from mainland Indian cuisines because of the use of various aromatic herbs and roots that are peculiar to the region. They are however very similar to the cuisines of Southeast/East/Central Asia, Siberia, Micronesia and Polynesia.

 

MEGHALAYA

Meghalayan cuisine is unique and different from other Northeastern Indian states. Spiced meat is common, from goats, pigs, fowl, ducks, chickens, and cows. In the Khasi and Jaintia Hills districts, common foods include jadoh, ki kpu, tung-rymbai, and pickled bamboo shoots. Other common foods in Meghalaya include minil songa (steamed sticky rice), sakkin gata, and momo dumplings. Like other tribes in the northeast, the Garos ferment rice beer, which they consume in religious rites and secular celebrations.

 

MIZORAM

The cuisine of Mizoram differs from that of most of India, though it shares characteristics to other regions of Northeast India and North India. Rice is the staple food of Mizoram, while Mizos love to add non-vegetarian ingredients in every dish. Fish, chicken, pork and beef are popular meats among Mizos. Dishes are served on fresh banana leaves. Most of the dishes are cooked in mustard oil. Meals tend to be less spicy than in most of India. Mizos love eating boiled vegetables along with rice. A popular dish is bai, made from boiling vegetables (spinach, eggplant, beans, and other leafy vegetables) with bekang fermented soya beans or Sa-um, a fermented pork and served with rice. Sawhchiar is another common dish, made of rice and cooked with pork or chicken.

 

NAGALAND

The cuisine of Nagaland reflects that of the Naga people. It is known for exotic pork meats cooked with simple and flavourful ingredients, like the extremely hot Bhut jolokia pepper, fermented bamboo shoots and akhuni or fermented soya beans. Another unique and strong ingredient used by the Naga people, is the fermented fish known as ngari. Fresh herbs and other local greens also feature prominently in the Naga cuisine. The Naga use oil sparingly, preferring to ferment, dry, and smoke their meats and fish. Traditional homes in Nagaland have external kitchens that serve as smokehouses.

 

A typical meal consists of rice, meat, a chutney, a couple of stewed or steamed vegetable dishes – flavored with ngari or akhuni. Desserts usually consist of fresh fruits.

 

ODISHA

The cuisine of Odisha relies heavily on local ingredients. Flavours are usually subtle and delicately spiced, unlike the spicy curries typically associated with Indian cuisine. Fish and other seafood, such as crab and shrimp, are very popular, and chicken and mutton are also consumed. Panch phutana, a mix of cumin, mustard, fennel, fenugreek and kalonji (nigella), is widely used for flavouring vegetables and dals, while garam masala and turmeric are commonly used for meat-based curries. Pakhala, a dish made of rice, water, and dahi (yogurt), that is fermented overnight, is very popular in summer in rural areas. Oriyas are very fond of sweets, so dessert follows most meals.

 

Few popular Oriya cuisines, Anna, Kanika, Dalma, Khata (Tamato & Oou), Dali (Different types of lentils, i.e. Harada (Red Gram), known as Arhar in Hindi), Muga (Moong), Kolatha (Horsegram), etc. And many more varieties both in Veg. (Niramisha) & Non-Veg. (Aamisha). Saga ( spinach and other green leaves) and Alu-bharta(mashed potato) along with Pakhala are popular dishes(lunch) in rural Odisha.

 

Odisha is well known for its milk-based sweets. Among the many Rasagula which originated in Odisha, Chhena poda, Chhena gaja, Chhena jhili, and Rasabali are very famous.

 

PUDUCHERRY

The union territory of Puducherry was a French colony for around 200 years, making French cuisine a strong influence on the area. Tamil cuisine is eaten by the territory's Tamil majority. The influence of the neighbouring areas, such as Andhra Pradesh and Kerala, is also visible on the territory's cuisine. Some favourite dishes include coconut curry, tandoori potato, soya dosa, podanlangkai, curried vegetables, stuffed cabbage, and baked beans.

 

PUNJAB

The cuisine of Punjab is known for its diverse range of dishes.The cuisine is closely related to the cuisine of the neighbouring Punjab province of Pakistan. The state, being an agriculture center, is abundant with whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. Home-cooked and restaurant Punjabi cuisine can vary significantly. Restaurant-style Punjabi cooking puts emphasis on creamy textured foods by using ghee, butter and cream while, home-cooked meals center around whole wheat, rice, and other ingredients flavored with various kinds of masalas. Common dishes cooked at home are roti with daal and dahi (yogurt) with a side chutney and salad that includes raw onion, tomato, cucumber, etc. The meals are also abundant of local and seasonal vegetables usually sautéed with spices such as cumin, dried coriander, red chili powder, turmeric, black cloves, etc. Masala Chai is a favorite drink and is consumed in everyday life and at special occasions. Many regional differences exist in the Punjabi cuisine based on traditional variations in cooking similar dishes, food combinations, preference of spice combination, etc. Is it apparent that "the food is simple, robust, and closely linked to the land." Certain dishes exclusive to Punjab, such as makki di roti and sarson da saag, dal makhani, etc. are a favorite of many. The masala in a Punjabi dish traditionally consists of onion, garlic, ginger, cumin, garam masala, salt, turmeric, tomatoes sauteed in mustard oil. Tandoori food is a Punjabi specialty. Common meat dishes in this region are Bhakra curry (Goat) and fish dishes Dairy products are commonly consumed and usually accompany main meals in the form of dahi, milk, and milk derived products such as lassi, paneer, etc. Punjab consists of a high number of people following the Sikh religion who traditionally follow a vegetarian diet (which includes plant derived foods, milk, and milk by-products. See diet in Sikhism) in accordance to their beliefs.

 

No description of Punjabi cuisine is complete without the myriad of famous desserts, such as kheer, gajar ka halwa, sooji (cream of wheat) halwa, rasmalai, gulab jamun and jalebi. Most desserts are ghee or dairy-based, use nuts such as almonds, walnuts, pistachios, cashews, and, raisins.

 

Many of the most popular elements of Anglo-Indian cuisine, such as tandoori foods, naan, pakoras and vegetable dishes with paneer, are derived from Punjabi styles. Punjabi food is well liked in the world for its flavors, spices, and, versatile use of produce; and hence it is one of the most popular cuisine's from the sub continent. And last but not least is the Chhole Bhature and Chhole Kulche which are famous all over the north India.

 

RAJASTHAN

Cooking in Rajasthan, an arid region, has been strongly shaped by the availability of ingredients. Food is generally cooked in milk or ghee, making it quite rich. Gram flour is a mainstay of Marwari food mainly due to the scarcity of vegetables in the area.

 

Historically, food that could last for several days and be eaten without heating was preferred. Major dishes of a Rajasthani meal may include daal-baati, tarfini, raabdi, Ghevar, bail-gatte, panchkoota, chaavadi, laapsi, kadhi and boondi. Typical snacks include bikaneri bhujia, mirchi bada, Pyaaj Kachori, and Dal Kachori.

 

Daal-baati is the most popular dish prepared in the state. It is usually supplemented with choorma, a mixture of finely ground baked rotis, sugar and ghee.

 

Rajasthan is also influenced by the Rajput community who have liking for meat dishes.Their diet consisted of game meat and gave birth to dishes like laal maas, safed maas, khad khargosh and jungli maas.

 

SIKKIM

In Sikkim, various ethnic groups such as the Nepalese, Bhutias, and Lepchas have their own distinct cuisines. Nepalese cuisine is very popular in this area. Rice is the staple food of the area, and meat and dairy products are also widely consumed. For centuries, traditional fermented foods and beverages have constituted about 20 percent of the local diet. Depending on altitudinal variation, finger millet, wheat, buckwheat, barley, vegetables, potatoes, and soybeans are grown. Dhindo, Daal bhat, Gundruk, Momo, gya thuk, ningro, phagshapa, and sel roti are some of the local dishes. Alcoholic drinks are consumed by both men and women. Beef is eaten by the Bhutias.

 

SINDH

Sindhi cuisine refers to the native cuisine of the Sindhi people from the Sindh region, now in Pakistan. While Sindh is not geographically a part of modern India, its culinary traditions persist, due to the sizeable number of Hindu Sindhis who migrated to India following the independence of Pakistan in 1947, especially in Sindhi enclaves such as Ulhasnagar and Gandhidam. A typical meal in most Sindhi households consists of wheat-based flatbread (phulka) and rice accompanied by two dishes, one with gravy and one dry. Lotus stem (known as kamal kakri) is also used in Sindhi dishes. Cooking vegetables by deep frying is a common practice that is followed. Some common Sindhi dishes are Sindhi Kadhi, Sai Bhaji, Koki and Besan Bhaji. Some common ingredients used are mango powder, tamarind, kokum flowers, and dried pomegranate seeds.

 

TAMIL NADU

Tamil Nadu is noted for its deep belief that serving food to others is a service to humanity, as is common in many regions of India. The region has a rich cuisine involving both traditional non-vegetarian and vegetarian dishes. Tamil food is characterised by its use of rice, legumes, and lentils, along with distinct aromas and flavours achieved by the blending of spices such as mustard, curry leaves, tamarind, coriander, ginger, garlic, chili pepper, cinnamon, clove, cardamom, cumin, nutmeg, coconut and rose water. The traditional way of eating a meal involves being seated on the floor, having the food served on a plantain leaf, and using the right hand to eat. After the meal the plantain leaf is discarded but becomes food for free-ranging cattle and goats. A meal (called Saapadu) consists of rice with other typical Tamil dishes on a plantain leaf. A typical Tamilian would eat on a plantain leaf as it is believed to give a different flavour and taste to food. Also growing in popularity are stainless steel trays – plates with a selection of different dishes in small bowls.

 

Tamil food is characterized by tiffin, which is a light food taken for breakfast or dinner, and meals which are usually taken during lunch. The word "curry" is derived from the Tamil kari, meaning something similar to "sauce". The southern regions such as Tirunelveli, Madurai, Paramakudi, Karaikudi, and Chettinad,Kongu Nadu are noted for their spicy non-vegetarian dishes. Dosa, idli, pongal and Biryani are some of the popular dishes that are eaten with chutney and sambar. Fish and other seafoods are also very popular, because the state is located on the coast. Chicken and goat meat are the predominantly consumed meats in Tamil Nadu.

 

Many Tamilians are vegetarian, however, and the typical meal is heavily dependent on rice, vegetables and lentil preparations such as rasam and sambar. There are further variations of Tamil vegetarian dishes. They have influenced Kerala as well in their Kootu, Arachi vitta sambhar and molagootals. As mentioned above, the Chettinad variety of food uses lots of strong spices, such as pepper, garlic, fennel seeds and onions. Tamil food tends to be spicy compared to other parts of India so there is a tradition of finishing the meal with dahi (yogurt) is considered a soothing end to the meal.

 

Notably, Tamil Brahmin cuisine, the food of the Iyers and Iyengar community, is characterized by slightly different meal times and meal structures compared to other communities within the state. Historically vegetarian, the cuisine is renown for its milder flavor and avoidance of onion and garlic (although this practice appears to be disappearing with time). After a light morning meal of filter coffee and different varieties of porridges (oatmeal and janata kanji are immensely popular), the main meal of the day, lunch/brunch is usually at 11 am and typically follows a two-three course meal structure. Steamed rice is the main dish, and is always accompanied by a seasonally steamed/sauteed vegetable (poriyal), and two or three types of tamarind stews, the most popular being sambhar and rasam. The meal typically ends with thair sadham (rice with yogurt), usually served with pickled mangoes or lemons. Tiffin is the second meal of the day and features several breakfast favorites such as idli, rava idli, upma, dosa varieties, vada and is usually accompanied by chai. Dinner is the simplest meal of the day, typically involving leftovers from either lunch or tiffin. Fresh seasonal fruit consumed in the state include bananas, papaya, honeydew and canteloupe melons, jackfruit, mangos, apples, kasturi oranges, pomegranates, and nongu (hearts of palm).

 

TELANGANA

The cuisine of Telangana consists of the Telugu cuisine, of Telangana's Telugu people as well as Hyderabadi cuisine (also known as Nizami cuisine), of Telangana's Hyderabadi Muslim community. Hyderabadi food is based heavily on non-vegetarian ingredients, while Telugu food is a mix of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian ingredients. Telugu food is rich in spices and chillies are abundantly used. The food also generally tends to be more on the tangy side with tamarind and lime juice both used liberally as souring agents. Rice is the staple food of Telugu people. Starch is consumed with a variety of curries and lentil soups or broths. Vegetarian and non-vegetarian foods are both popular. Hyderabadi cuisine includes popular delicacies such as Biryani, Haleem, Baghara baingan and Kheema, while Hyderabadi day to day dishes see some commonalities with Telanganite Telugu food, with its use of tamarind, rice, and lentils, along with meat. Dahi (yogurt) is a common addition to meals, as a way of tempering spiciness.

 

TRIPURA

The Tripuri people are the original inhabitants of the state of Tripura in northeast India. Today, they comprise the communities of Tipra, Reang, Jamatia, Noatia, and Uchoi, among others. The Tripuri are non-vegetarian, although they have a minority of Vaishnavite vegetarians. The major ingredients of Tripuri cuisine include vegetables, herbs, pork, chicken, mutton, fishes, turtle, shrimps, crabs, freshwater mussels, periwinkles, edible freshwater snails and frogs.

 

UTTAR PRADESH

Traditionally, Uttar Pradeshi cuisine consists of Awadhi and Mughlai cuisine, though a vast majority of the state is vegetarian, preferring dal, roti, sabzi, and rice. Pooris and kachoris are eaten on special occasions. Chaat, samosa, and pakora, among the most popular snacks in India, originate from Uttar Pradesh. Well known dishes include kebabs, dum biryani, and various mutton recipes. Sheer Qorma, Ghevar, Gulab jamun, Kheer, and Ras malai are some of the popular desserts in this region.

 

Awadhi cuisine (Hindi: अवधी खाना) is from the city of Lucknow, which is the capital of the state of Uttar Pradesh in Central-South Asia and Northern India, and the cooking patterns of the city are similar to those of Central Asia, the Middle East, and other parts of Northern India. The cuisine consists of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. Awadh has been greatly influenced by Mughal cooking techniques, and the cuisine of Lucknow bears similarities to those of Central Asia, Kashmir, Punjab and Hyderabad. The city is also known for its Nawabi foods. The bawarchis and rakabdars of Awadh gave birth to the dum style of cooking or the art of cooking over a slow fire, which has become synonymous with Lucknow today. Their spread consisted of elaborate dishes like kebabs, kormas, biryani, kaliya, nahari-kulchas, zarda, sheermal, roomali rotis, and warqi parathas. The richness of Awadh cuisine lies not only in the variety of cuisine but also in the ingredients used like mutton, paneer, and rich spices, including cardamom and saffron.

 

Mughlai cuisine is a style of cooking developed in the Indian subcontinent by the imperial kitchens of the Mughal Empire. It represents the cooking styles used in North India (especially Uttar Pradesh). The cuisine is strongly influenced by the Central Asian cuisine, the region where the Chagatai-Turkic Mughal rulers originally hailed from, and it has in turn strongly influenced the regional cuisines of Kashmir and the Punjab region. The tastes of Mughlai cuisine vary from extremely mild to spicy, and is often associated with a distinctive aroma and the taste of ground and whole spices. A Mughlai course is an elaborate buffet of main course dishes with a variety of accompaniments.

 

UTTARKHAND

The food from Uttrakhand is known to be healthy and wholesome to suit the high-energy necessities of the cold, mountainous region. It is a high protein diet that makes heavy use of pulses and vegetables. Traditionally it is cooked over wood or charcoal fire mostly in iron utensils. While also making use of condiments such as jeera, haldi and rai common in other Indian cuisines, Uttarakhand cuisine uses some exotic condiments like jambu, timmer, ghandhraini and bhangira. Similarly, although the people in Uttarakhand also prepare the dishes common in other parts of northern India, several preparations are unique to Uttarakhand tradition such as rus, chudkani, dubuk, chadanji, jholi, kapa, etc. Among dressed salads and sauces, kheere ka raita, nimbu mooli ka raita, daarim ki khatai and aam ka fajitha necessarily deserve a mention. The cuisine mainly consists of food from two different sub regions - Garhwal and Kumaon - though their basic ingredients are the same. Both the Kumaoni and Garhwali styles make liberal use of ghee, lentils or pulses, vegetables and bhaat (rice). They also use Badi (sun-dried Urad Dal balls) and Mungodi (sun-dried Moong Dal balls) as substitutes for vegetables at times. During festivals and other celebrations, the people of Uttarakhand prepare special refreshments which include both salty preparations such as bada and sweet preparations such as pua and singal. Uttarakhand also has several sweets (mithai) such as singodi, bal-mithai, malai laddu, etc. native to its tradition.

 

WEST BENGAL

During the 19th century, many Odia-speaking cooks were employed in Bengal, which led to the transfer of several food items between the two regions. Bengali cuisine is the only traditionally developed multi-course tradition from the Indian subcontinent that is analogous in structure to the modern service à la russe style of French cuisine, with food served course-wise rather than all at once[citation needed]. Bengali cuisine differs according to regional tastes, such as the emphasis on the use of chilli pepper in the Chittagong district of Bangladesh However, across all its varieties, there is predominant use of mustard oil along with large amounts of spices. The cuisine is known for subtle flavours with an emphasis on fish, meat, vegetables, lentils, and rice. Bread is not a common dish in Bengali cuisine, but a deep fried version called luchi is popular. Fresh sweetwater fish is one of its most distinctive features; Bengalis prepare fish in many ways, such as steaming, braising, or stewing in vegetables and sauces based on coconut milk or mustard. East Bengali food, which has a high presence in West Bengal and Bangladesh, is much spicier than the West Bengali cuisine, and tends to use high amounts of chilli, and is one of the spiciest cuisines in India and the World. Shondesh and Rasgulla are popular sweet dishes made of sweetened, finely ground fresh cheese. The "Jaggery Rasgullas" are even more famous. The rasgulla originated in Bengal. and later became popular in erstwhile Odisha. The government of west Bengal has recently acquired the GI status of rasgulla after citing proof in court.

 

The cuisine is also found in the state of Tripura and the Barak Valley of Assam.

 

DIASPORA AND FUSION CUISINE

The interaction of various Indian diaspora communities with the native cultures of their domiciles have resulted in the creation of many fusion cuisines, which blend aspects of Indian and foreign cuisines. These cuisines tend to adapt Indian seasoning and cooking techniques to foreign dishes.

 

INDIAN CHINESE CUISINE

Indian Chinese cuisine, also known as Indo-Chinese cuisine originated in the 19th century among the Chinese community of Calcutta, during the immigration of Hakka Chinese from Canton (present-day Guangzhou) seeking to escape the First and Second Opium Wars and political instability in the region. Upon exposure to local Indian cuisine, they incorporated many spices and cooking techniques into their own cuisine, thus creating a unique fusion of Indian and Chinese cuisine. After 1947, many Cantonese immigrants fleeing political repression under Mao Zedong, opened their own restaurants in Calcutta, whose dishes combined aspects of Indian cuisine with Cantonese cuisine. While Indian Chinese cuisine is heavily derived from traditional Chinese cuisine, it bears little resemblance to its Chinese counterpart. The dishes tend to be flavoured with cumin, coriander seeds, and turmeric, which with a few regional exceptions, are not traditionally associated with Chinese cuisine. Chilli, ginger, garlic and dahi (yogurt) are also frequently used in dishes.

 

Popular dishes include Chicken Manchurian, Chicken lollipop, Chilli chicken, Hakka noodles, Hunan chicken, Chow mein, and Szechwan fried rice. Soups such as Manchow soup and Sweet corn soup are very popular, whereas desserts include ice cream on honey-fried noodles and date pancakes. Chow mein is now known as one of the most favorite Chinese dishes in India. Especially in West Bengal, it is one of the most loved street foods.

 

MALAYSIAN INDIAN CUISINE

INDIAN SINGAPOREAN CUISIBE

Indian Singaporean cuisine refers to foods and beverages produced and consumed in Singapore that are derived, wholly or in part, from South Asian culinary traditions. The great variety of Singaporean food includes Indian food, which tends to be Tamil cuisine, especially local Tamil Muslim cuisine, although North Indian food has become more visible recently. Indian dishes have become modified to different degrees, after years of contact with other Singaporean cultures, and in response to locally available ingredients, as well as changing local tastes.

 

INDIAN INDONESIAN CUISINE

Indian-Indonesian cuisine refers to food and beverages in Indonesian cuisine that are have influenced of Indian cuisine - especially from Tamil, Punjabi, and Gujarati cuisine. These dishes are well integrated.

 

ANGLO-INDIAN CUISINE

Anglo-Indian cuisine is the cuisine that developed during the British Raj in India, as the British wives interacted with their Indian cooks. Well-known Anglo-Indian dishes include chutneys, salted beef tongue, kedgeree, ball curry, fish rissoles, and mulligatawny soup.

 

DESSERTS

Many Indian desserts, or mithai, are fried foods made with sugar, milk or condensed milk. Ingredients and preferred types of dessert vary by region. In the eastern part of India, for example, most are based on milk products. Many are flavoured with almonds and pistachios, spiced with cardamon, nutmeg, cloves and black pepper, and decorated with nuts, or with gold or silver leaf. Popular Indian desserts include Rasogolla, gulab jamun, jalebi, laddu, peda etc.

 

BEVERAGES

NON-ALCÄOHOLIC BEVERAGES

Tea is a staple beverage throughout India, since the country is one of the largest producers of tea in the world. The most popular varieties of tea grown in India include Assam tea, Darjeeling tea and Nilgiri tea. It is prepared by boiling the tea leaves in a mix of water, milk, and spices such as cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger. In India, tea is often enjoyed with snacks like biscuits and pakoda.

 

Coffee is another popular beverage, but more popular in South India. Coffee is also cultivated in some parts of India. There are two varieties of coffee popular in India, which include Indian filter coffee and instant coffee.

 

Lassi is a traditional dahi (yogurt)-based drink in India. It is made by blending yogurt with water or milk and spices. Salted lassi is more common in villages of Punjab and in Porbandar, Gujarat. Traditional lassi is sometimes flavoured with ground roasted cumin. Lassi can also be flavoured with ingredients such as sugar, rose water, mango, lemon, strawberry, and saffron.

 

Sharbat is a sweet cold beverage prepared from fruits or flower petals. It can be served in concentrate form and eaten with a spoon, or diluted with water to create a drink. Popular sharbats are made from plants such as rose, sandalwood, bel, gurhal (hibiscus), lemon, orange, pineapple, sarasaparilla and falsa (Grewia asiatica). In Ayurveda, sharbats are believed to hold medicinal value.

 

Other beverages include nimbu pani (lemonade), chaas, badam doodh (almond milk with nuts and cardamom), and coconut water. Cold drinks unique to southern India include beverages, such as "Panner Soda" or "Gholi Soda", which is a mixture of carbonated water, rose water, rose milk, and sugar. "Narenga Soda", a mixture of carbonated water, salt and lemon juice and "Soda Nannari Sharbat", a mixture of sarasaparilla Sharbat with carbonated water are most popular non alcoholic beverages in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Street shops in Central Kerala and Madurai region of Tamil Nadu are most popular for these drinks which are also called 'Kulukki Sharbats' in Kerala

 

ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES

BEER

Most beers in India are either lagers (4.8 percent alcohol) or strong lagers (8.9 percent). The Indian beer industry has witnessed steady growth of 10–17 percent per year over the last ten years. Production exceeded 170 million cases during the 2008–2009 financial year. With the average age of the population decreasing and income levels on the rise, the popularity of beer in the country continues to increase.

 

OTHERS

Other popular alcoholic drinks in India include fenny, a Goan liquor made from either coconut or the juice of the cashew apple. The state of Goa has registered for a geographical indicator to allow its fenny distilleries to claim exclusive rights to production of liquor under the name "fenny."

 

Hadia is a rice beer, created by mixing herbs with boiled rice and leaving the mixture to ferment for around a week. It is served cold and is less alcoholic than other Indian liquors. Chuak is a similar drink from Tripura. Palm wine, locally known as Neera, is a sap extracted from inflorescences of various species of toddy palms. Chhaang is consumed by the people of Sikkim and the Darjeeling Himalayan hill region of West Bengal. It is drunk cold or at room temperature in summer, and often hot during cold weather. Chhaang is similar to traditional beer, brewed from barley, millet, or rice. Kallu(Chetthu Kallu) is a popular natural alcohol extracted from coconut and pine trees in Kerala. It is sold in local Kallu shops and is consumed with fried fish and chicken. Its alcoholic content is increased by addition of alcoholic additives.

 

EATING HABITS

Indians consider a healthy breakfast important. They generally prefer to drink tea or coffee with breakfast, though food preferences vary regionally. North Indian people prefer roti, parathas, and a vegetable dish accompanied by achar (a pickle) and some curd. Various types of packaged pickles are available in the market. One of the oldest pickle-making companies in India is Harnarains, which had started in the 1860s in Old Delhi. People of Gujarat prefer dhokla and milk, while south Indians prefer idli and dosa, generally accompanied by sambhar or sagu and various chutneys.

 

Traditional lunch in India usually consists of a main dish of rice in the south and the east, and whole wheat rotis in the north. It typically includes two or three kinds of vegetables, and sometimes items such as kulcha, naan, or parathas. Paan (stuffed, spiced and folded betel leaves) which aids digestion is often eaten after lunch and dinner in many parts of India. Apart from that, many households, specially those in north and central India, prefer having sweets after the dinner (similar like the western concept of dessert after meals).

 

Indian families often gather for "evening snack time", similar to tea time to talk and have tea and snacks. Dinner is considered the main meal of the day.

 

DIETARY RESTRITIONS

In India people often follow dietary restrictions based on their religion or faith:

 

Hindu communities consider beef taboo since it is believed that Hindu scriptures condemn cow slaughter. Cow slaughter has been banned in many states of India.

Vaishnavism followers generally do not eat garlic and onions because they are advised against it in the Bhagavad Gita.

Jains follow a strict form of vegetarianism, known as Jain vegetarianism, which in addition to being completely vegetarian, also excludes potatoes and other root vegetables because when the root is pulled up, organisms that live around the root also die.

Muslims do not eat pork or pork products.

 

ETIQUETTE

Traditionally, meals in India were eaten while seated either on the floor or on very low stools or mattress. Food is most often eaten with the hands rather than cutlery. Often roti is used to scoop curry without allowing it to touch the hand. In the wheat-producing north, a piece of roti is gripped with the thumb and middle finger and ripped off while holding the roti down with the index finger. A somewhat different method is used in the south for the dosai, the adai, and the uththappam, where the middle finger is pressed down to hold the crepe down and the forefinger and thumb used to grip and separate a small part. Traditional serving styles vary regionally throughout India.

 

Contact with other cultures has affected Indian dining etiquette. For example, the Anglo-Indian middle class commonly uses spoons and forks, as is traditional in Western culture.

 

In South India, cleaned banana leaves, which can be disposed of after meals, are used for serving food. When hot food is served on banana leaves, the leaves add distinctive aromas and taste to the food. Leaf plates are less common today, except on special occasions.

 

OUTSIDE INDIA

Indian migration has spread the culinary traditions of the subcontinent throughout the world. These cuisines have been adapted to local tastes, and have also affected local cuisines. Curry's international appeal has been compared to that of pizza. Indian tandoor dishes such as chicken tikka enjoy widespread popularity.

 

CANADA

As in the United Kingdom and the United States, Indian cuisine is widely available in Canada, especially in the cities of Toronto, Vancouver, and Ottawa where the majority of Canadians of South Asian heritage live.

 

CHINA

Indian food is gaining popularity in China, where there are many Indian restaurants in Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen. Hong Kong alone has more than 50 Indian restaurants, some of which date back to the 1980s. Most of the Indian restaurants in Hong Kong are in Tsim Sha Tsui.

 

MIDDLE EAST

The Indian culinary scene in the Middle East has been influenced greatly by the large Indian diaspora in these countries. Centuries of trade relations and cultural exchange resulted in a significant influence on each region's cuisines. The use of the tandoor, which originated in northwestern India, is an example. The large influx of Indian expatriates into the Middle Eastern countries during the 1970s and 1980s led to the booming of Indian restaurants to cater to this population and was also widely influenced by the local and international cuisines.

 

NEPAL

Indian cuisine is available in the streets of Nepalese cities, including Kathmandu and Janakpur.

 

SOUTHEAST ASIA

Indian cuisine is very popular in Southeast Asia, due to the strong Hindu and Buddhist cultural influence in the region. Indian cuisine has had considerable influence on Malaysian cooking styles and also enjoys popularity in Singapore. There are numerous North and South Indian restaurants in Singapore, mostly in Little India. Singapore is also known for fusion cuisine combining traditional Singaporean cuisine with Indian influences. Fish head curry, for example, is a local creation. Indian influence on Malay cuisine dates to the 19th century. Other cuisines which borrow inspiration from Indian cooking styles include Cambodian, Lao, Filipino, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Thai, and Burmese cuisines. The spread of vegetarianism in other parts of Asia is often credited to Hindu and Buddhist practices.

 

UNITED KINGDOM

The UK's first Indian restaurant, the Hindoostanee Coffee House, opened in 1810. By 2003, there were as many as 10,000 restaurants serving Indian cuisine in England and Wales alone. According to Britain's Food Standards Agency, the Indian food industry in the United Kingdom is worth 3.2 billion pounds, accounts for two-thirds of all eating out and serves about 2.5 million customers every week.

 

One of the best known examples of British Indian restaurant cuisine is Chicken tikka masala, which has also been called "a true British national dish."

 

IRELAND

Ireland's first Indian restaurant, the Indian Restaurant and Tea Rooms, opened in 1908 on Sackville Street, now O'Connell Street, in Dublin. Today, Indian restaurants are commonplace in most Irish cities and towns. Non-Chinese Asians are the fastest growing ethnic group in Ireland.

 

UNITED STATES

A survey by The Washington Post in 2007 stated that more than 1,200 Indian food products had been introduced into the United States since 2000. There are numerous Indian restaurants across the US, which vary based on regional culture and climate. North Indian and South Indian cuisines are especially well represented. Most Indian restaurants in the United States serve Americanized versions of North Indian food, which is generally less spicy than its Indian equivalents.

 

At sit-down restaurants with North Indian cuisine (the most common), complimentary papadum is served with three dipping sauces − typically hari chutney (mint and cilantro), imli chutney (taramind), and a spicy red chili or onion chutney − in place of European-style bread before the meal.

 

WIKIPEDIA

Indian cuisine consists of a wide variety of regional and traditional cuisines native to the Indian subcontinent. Given the range of diversity in soil type, climate, culture, ethnic groups, and occupations, these cuisines vary substantially from each other and use locally available spices, herbs, vegetables, and fruits. Indian food is also heavily influenced by religion, in particular Hindu, cultural choices and traditions. The cuisine is also influenced by centuries of Islamic rule, particularly the Mughal rule. Samosas and pilafs can be regarded as examples.

 

Historical events such as foreign invasions, trade relations, and colonialism have played a role in introducing certain foods to this country. For instance, potato, a staple of the diet in some regions of India, was brought to India by the Portuguese, who also introduced chillies and breadfruit. Indian cuisine has shaped the history of international relations; the spice trade between India and Europe was the primary catalyst for Europe's Age of Discovery. Spices were bought from India and traded around Europe and Asia. Indian cuisine has influenced other cuisines across the world, especially those from Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, the British Isles, Fiji, and the Caribbean.

 

HISTORY

Indian cuisine reflects an 8,000-year history of various groups and cultures interacting with the Indian subcontinent, leading to diversity of flavours and regional cuisines found in modern-day India. Later, trade with British and Portuguese influence added to the already diverse Indian cuisine.

 

ANTIQUITY

Early diet in India mainly consisted of legumes, vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy products, and honey. Staple foods eaten today include a variety of lentils (dal), whole-wheat flour (aṭṭa), rice, and pearl millet (bājra), which has been cultivated in the Indian subcontinent since 6200 BCE. Over time, segments of the population embraced vegetarianism during the Śramaṇa movement while an equitable climate permitted a variety of fruits, vegetables, and grains to be grown throughout the year. A food classification system that categorised any item as saatvic, raajsic, or taamsic developed in Yoga tradition. The Bhagavad Gita proscribes certain dietary practices (chapter 17, verses 8–10). Consumption of beef is taboo, due to cows being considered sacred in Hinduism. Beef is generally not eaten by Hindus in India except for Kerala, parts of southern Tamil Nadu and the north east.

 

FOODS MENTIONED IN ANCIENT INDIAN SCRIPTURE

While many Ancient Indian recipes have been lost one can look at ancient texts to see what was eaten in Ancient and pre historic India.

 

Rice

Rice Cake

Curd

Sugar

Ghee

Cashew nut

Bread Fruit

Pomegranate

Mango

Rose Apple

Sweet Potato

Barley

Mustard

Figs

Betel Leaves

Honey

Salt

Saffron

Sesame Oil

Grape Wine

Turmeric

 

MIDDLED AGES TO THE 16TH CENTURIES

During the Middle Ages, several Indian dynasties were predominant, including the Gupta dynasty. Travel to India during this time introduced new cooking methods and products to the region, including tea. India was later invaded by tribes from Central Asian cultures, which led to the emergence of Mughlai cuisine, a mix of Indian and Central Asian cuisine. Hallmarks include seasonings such as saffron.

 

INGREDIENTS

Staple foods of Indian cuisine include pearl millet (bājra), rice, whole-wheat flour (aṭṭa), and a variety of lentils, such as masoor (most often red lentils), tuer (pigeon peas), urad (black gram), and moong (mung beans). Lentils may be used whole, dehusked - for example, dhuli moong or dhuli urad - or split. Split lentils, or dal, are used extensively. Some pulses, such as channa or cholae (chickpeas), rajma (kidney beans), and lobiya (black-eyed peas) are very common, especially in the northern regions. Channa and moong are also processed into flour (besan). Many Indian dishes are cooked in vegetable oil, but peanut oil is popular in northern and western India, mustard oil in eastern India, and coconut oil along the western coast, especially in Kerala and parts of southern Tamil Nadu. Gingelly (sesame) oil is common in the south since it imparts a fragrant, nutty aroma. In recent decades, sunflower, safflower, cottonseed, and soybean oils have become popular across India. Hydrogenated vegetable oil, known as Vanaspati ghee, is another popular cooking medium. Butter-based ghee, or deshi ghee, is used frequently, though less than in the past. Many types of meat are used for Indian cooking, but chicken and mutton tend to be the most commonly consumed meats. Fish and beef consumption are prevalent in some parts of India, but they are not widely consumed except for coastal areas, as well as the north east.The most important and frequently used spices and flavourings in Indian cuisine are whole or powdered chilli pepper (mirch, introduced by the Portuguese from Mexico in the 16th century), black mustard seed (sarso), cardamom (elaichi), cumin (jeera), turmeric (haldi), asafoetida (hing), ginger (adrak), coriander (dhania), and garlic (lasoon). One popular spice mix is garam masala, a powder that typically includes seven dried spices in a particular ratio, including black cardamom, cinnamon (dalchini), clove (laung), cumin (jeera), black peppercorns, coriander seeds and anise star. Each culinary region has a distinctive garam masala blend - individual chefs may also have their own. Goda masala is a comparable, though sweet, spice mix popular in Maharashtra. Some leaves commonly used for flavouring include bay leaves (tejpat), coriander leaves, fenugreek leaves, and mint leaves. The use of curry leaves and roots for flavouring is typical of Gujarati and South Indian cuisine. Sweet dishes are often seasoned with cardamom, saffron, nutmeg, and rose petal essences.

 

REGIONAL CUISINES

Cuisine differs across India's diverse regions as a result of variation in local culture, geographical location (proximity to sea, desert, or mountains), and economics. It also varies seasonally, depending on which fruits and vegetables are ripe.

 

ANDAMAN AND NICOBAR ISLAND

Seafood plays a major role in the cuisine of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Staples of the diet of the Indigenous Andamanese traditionally included roots, honey, fruits, meat, and fish, which were obtained by hunting and gathering. Some insects were also eaten as delicacies. Immigration from mainland of India, however, has resulted in variations in the cuisine.

 

ANDHRA PRADESH

The cuisine of Andhra Pradesh belongs to the two Telugu-speaking regions of Rayalaseema and Coastal Andhra and is part of Telugu cuisine. The food of Andhra Pradesh is known for its heavy use of spices, and the use of tamarind. Seafood is common in the coastal region of the state. Rice is the staple food (as is with all South Indian states) eaten with lentil preparations such as pappu (lentils) and pulusu (stew) and spicy vegetables or curries. In Andhra, leafy greens or vegetables such as bottle-gourd and eggplant are usually added to dal. Pickles are an essential part of the local cuisine; popular among those are mango-based pickles such as avakaya and maagaya, gongura (a pickle made from Kenaf leaves), usirikaya (gooseberry or amla), nimmakaya (lime), and tomato pickle. Dahi (yogurt) is a common addition to meals, as a way of tempering spiciness. Breakfast items include dosa, pesarattu (mung bean dosa), vada, and idli.

 

ARUNACHAL PRADESH

The staple food of Arunachal Pradesh is rice, along with fish, meat, and leaf vegetables. Many varieties of rice are used. Lettuce is the most common vegetable, usually prepared by boiling with ginger, coriander, and green chillies. Boiled rice cakes wrapped in leaves are a popular snack. Thukpa is a kind of noodle soup common among the Monpa tribe of the region. Native tribes of Arunachal are meat eaters and use fish, eggs, beef, chicken, pork, and mutton to make their dishes. Apong or rice beer made from fermented rice or millet is a popular beverage in Arunachal Pradesh and is consumed as a refreshing drink.

 

ASSAM

Assamese cuisine is a mixture of different indigenous styles, with considerable regional variation and some external influences. Although it is known for its limited use of spices, Assamese cuisine has strong flavours from its use of endemic herbs, fruits, and vegetables served fresh, dried, or fermented. Rice is the staple food item and a huge variety of endemic rice varieties, including several varieties of sticky rice are a part of the cuisine in Assam. Fish, generally freshwater varieties, are widely eaten. Other nonvegetarian items include chicken, duck, squab, snails, silkworms, insects, goat, pork, venison, turtle, monitor lizard, etc. The region's cuisine involves simple cooking processes, mostly barbecuing, steaming, or boiling. Bhuna, the gentle frying of spices before the addition of the main ingredients, generally common in Indian cooking, is absent in the cuisine of Assam. A traditional meal in Assam begins with a khar, a class of dishes named after the main ingredient and ends with a tenga, a sour dish. Homebrewed rice beer or rice wine is served before a meal. The food is usually served in bell metal utensils. Paan, the practice of chewing betel nut, generally concludes a meal.

 

BIHAR

Bihari cuisine may include litti chokha, a baked salted wheat-flour cake filled with sattu (baked chickpea flour) and some special spices, which is served with baigan bharta, made of roasted eggplant (brinjal) and tomatoes. Among meat dishes, meat saalan is a popular dish made of mutton or goat curry with cubed potatoes in garam masala. Dalpuri is another popular dish in Bihar. It is salted wheat-flour bread, filled with boiled, crushed, and fried gram pulses. Malpua is a popular sweet dish of Bihar, prepared by a mixture of maida, milk, bananas, cashew nuts, peanuts, raisins, sugar, water, and green cardamom. Another notable sweet dish of Bihar is balushahi, which is prepared by a specially treated combination of maida and sugar along with ghee, and the other worldwide famous sweet, khaja, also very popular, is made from flour, vegetable fat, and sugar, which is mainly used in weddings and other occasions. Silav near Nalanda is famous for its production. During the festival of Chhath, thekua, a sweet dish made of ghee, jaggery, and whole-meal flour, flavoured with aniseed, is made.

 

CHANDIGARH

Chandigarh, the capital of Punjab and Haryana is a city of 20th century origin with a cosmopolitan food culture mainly involving North Indian cuisine.

 

People enjoy home-made recipes such as parantha, especially at breakfast, and other Punjabi foods like roti which is made from wheat, corn, or other glutenous flour with cooked vegetables or beans. Sarson da saag and dal makhani are well-known dishes among others. Popular snacks include gol gappa (known as panipuri in other places). It consists of a round, hollow puri, fried crisp and filled with a mixture of flavoured water, boiled and cubed potatoes, bengal gram beans, etc.

 

CHHATTISGARH

Chhattisgarh cuisine is unique in nature and not found in the rest of India, although the staple food is rice, like in much of the country. Many Chhattisgarhi people drink liquor brewed from the mahuwa flower palm wine (tadi in rural areas). The tribal people of the Bastar region of Chhattisgarh eat ancestral dishes such as mushrooms, bamboo pickle, bamboo vegetables, etc.

 

DADRA AND NAGAR HAVELI

The local cuisine resembles the cuisine of Gujarat. Ubadiyu is a local delicacy made of vegetables and beans with herbs. The common foods include rice, roti, vegetables, river fish, and crab. People also enjoy buttermilk and chutney made of different fruits and herbs.

 

DAMAN AND DIU

Daman and Diu is a union territory of India which, like Goa, was a former colonial possession of Portugal. Consequently, both native Gujarati food and traditional Portuguese food are common. Being a coastal region, the communities are mainly dependent on seafood. Normally, rotli and tea are taken for breakfast, rotla and saak for lunch, and chokha along with saak and curry are taken for dinner. Some of the dishes prepared on festive occasions include puri, lapsee, potaya, dudh-plag, and dhakanu. While alcohol is prohibited in the neighbouring state of Gujarat, drinking is common in Daman and Diu. Better known as the “pub” of Gujarat. All popular brands of alcohol are readily available.

 

DELHI

Delhi was once the capital of the Mughal empire, and it became the birthplace of Mughlai cuisine. Delhi is noted for its street food. The Paranthewali Gali in Chandani Chowk is just one of the culinary landmarks for stuffed flatbread (paranthas). Delhi has people from different parts of India, thus the city has different types of food traditions; its cuisine is influenced by the various cultures. Punjabi cuisine is common, due to the dominance of Punjabi communities. Delhi cuisine is actually an amalgam of different Indian cuisines modified in unique ways. This is apparent in the different types of street food available. Kababs, kachauri, chaat, Indian sweets, Indian ice cream (commonly called kulfi), and even western food items like sandwiches and patties, are prepared in a style unique to Delhi and are quite popular.

 

GOA

The area has a tropical climate, which means the spices and flavours are intense. Use of kokum is a distinct feature of the region's cuisine. Goan cuisine is mostly seafood and meat-based; the staple foods are rice and fish. Kingfish (vison or visvan) is the most common delicacy, and others include pomfret, shark, tuna, and mackerel; these are often served with coconut milk. Shellfish, including crabs, prawns, tiger prawns, lobster, squid, and mussels, are commonly eaten. The cuisine of Goa is influenced by its Hindu origins, 400 years of Portuguese colonialism, and modern techniques. Bread, introduced by the Portuguese, is very popular, and is an important part of goan breakfast. Frequent tourism in the area gives Goan food an international aspect. Vegetarianism is equally popular.[

 

GUJARAT

Gujarati cuisine is primarily vegetarian. The typical Gujarati thali consists of roti (rotlii in Gujarati), daal or kadhi, rice, sabzi/shaak, papad and chaas (buttermilk). The sabzi is a dish of different combinations of vegetables and spices which may be stir fried, spicy or sweet. Gujarati cuisine can vary widely in flavour and heat based on personal and regional tastes. North Gujarat, Kathiawad, Kachchh, and South Gujarat are the four major regions of Gujarati cuisine. Many Gujarati dishes are simultaneously sweet, salty (like vegetable Handvo), and spicy. In mango season, keri no ras (fresh mango pulp) is often an integral part of the meal. Spices also vary seasonally. For example, garam masala is used much less in summer. Few of Gujarati Snacks like Sev Khamani, Khakhra, Dal Vada, Methi na Bhajiya, Khaman, Bhakharwadi etc. Regular fasting, with diets limited to milk, dried fruit, and nuts, is a common practice.

 

HARYANA

Cattle being common in Haryana, dairy products are a common component of its cuisine. Specific dishes include kadhi, pakora, besan masala roti, bajra aloo roti, churma, kheer, bathua raita, methi gajar, singri ki sabzi, and tamatar chutney. In the olden days, its staple diet included, bajra khichdi, rabdi, onion chutney, milet roti and bajra roti. In the non-veg cuisine it includes kukad kadhai and masala gravy chicken. Lassi, sharbat, nimbu pani and "labsi(which is a mixture of bajra flour and lassi) are three popular nonalcoholic beverages in Haryana. Liquor stores are common there, which cater to a large number of truck drivers.

 

HIMACHAL PRADESH

The daily diet of Himachal people is similar to that of the rest of North India, including lentils, broth, rice, vegetables, and bread, although nonvegetarian cuisine is preferred. Some of the specialities of Himachal include sidu, patande, chukh, rajmah, and til chutney.

 

JAMMU AND KASHMIR

The cuisine of Jammu and Kashmir is from three regions of the state: Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh. Kashmiri cuisine has evolved over hundreds of years. Its first major influence was the food of the Kashmiri Hindus and Buddhists. The cuisine was later influenced by the cultures which arrived with the invasion of Kashmir by Timur from the area of modern Uzbekistan. Subsequent influences have included the cuisines of Central Asia and the North Indian plains. The most notable ingredient in Kashmiri cuisine is mutton, of which over 30 varieties are known. Wazwan is a multicourse meal in the Kashmiri tradition, the preparation of which is considered an art.

 

Kashmiri Pandit food is elaborate, and an important part of the Pandits' ethnic identity. Kashmiri Pandit cuisine usually uses dahi (yogurt), oil, and spices such as turmeric, red chilli, cumin, ginger, and fennel, though they do not use onion and garlic. Also, birayanis are quite popular here. They are the speciality of Kashmir.

 

The Jammu region is famous for its Sund Panjeeri, Patisa, Rajma ( Kidney Beans) with rice and Kalari cheese. Dogri food includes ambal (sour pumpkin dish), khatta meat, Kulthein (Macrotyloma uniflorum) di dal, dal chawal, maa da madra and Uriya. Many types of pickles are made including mango, kasrod, and girgle. Street food is also famous which include various types of chaats, specially Gol Gappas, Gulgule, Chole Bhature, Rajma Kulcha and Dahi Bhalla.

 

JHARKHAND

Staple food in Jharkhand are rice, dal and vegetable. Famous dishes include Chirka roti, Pittha, Malpua, Dhuska, Arsa roti and Litti Chokha. Local alcoholic drinks include Handia a rice beer and Mahua daru, made from flowers of the "Mahua" tree (Madhuca longifolia).

 

KARNATAKA

A number of dishes, such as idli, rava idli, Mysore masala dosa, etc. were invented here and have become popular beyond the state of Karnataka. Equally, varieties in the cuisine of Karnataka have similarities with its three neighbouring South Indian states, as well as the states of Maharashtra and Goa to its north. It is very common for the food to be served on a banana leaf, especially during festivals and functions.

 

Karnataka cuisine can be very broadly divided into: 1) Mysore/Bangalore cuisine, 2) North Karnataka cuisine, 3) Udupi cuisine, 4) Kodagu/Coorg cuisine, and 5) Karavali/coastal cuisine. The cuisine covers a wide spectrum of food from pure vegetarian and vegan to meats like pork, and from savouries to sweets. Typical dishes include bisi bele bath, jolada rotti, badanekai yennegai, Holige, Kadubu, chapati, idli vada, ragi rotti, akki rotti, saaru, huli, kootu, vangibath, khara bath, kesari bhath, sajjige, neer dosa, mysoore, haal bai, chiroti, benne dose, ragi mudde, and uppittu.

 

The Kodagu district is known for spicy pork curries, while coastal Karnataka specialises in seafood. Although the ingredients differ regionally, a typical Kannadiga oota (Kannadiga meal) is served on a banana leaf. The coastal districts of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi have slightly varying cuisines, which make extensive use of coconut in curries and frequently include seafood.

 

KERALA

Traditional food of Kerala Hindus is vegetarian[citation needed], with regional exceptions such as the food of the Malabar area. It includes Kerala sadhya, which is an elaborate vegetarian banquet prepared for festivals and ceremonies. Contemporary Kerala food also includes nonvegetarian dishes. A full-course sadya, which consists of rice with about 20 different accompaniments and desserts is the ceremonial meal, eaten usually on celebrations such as marriages, Onam, Vishu, etc. and is served on a plantain leaf.

 

Fish and seafood play a major role in Kerala cuisine, as Kerala is a coastal state. An everyday Kerala meal in most households consists of rice with fish curry made of sardines, mackerel, seer fish, king fish, pomfret, prawns, shrimp, sole, anchovy, parrotfish, etc. (mussels, oysters, crabs, squid, scallops etc. are not rare), vegetable curry and stir-fried vegetables with or without coconut traditionally known as thoran or mizhukkupiratti. As Kerala has large inland water bodies, freshwater fish are abundant, and constitute regular meals.

 

It is common in Kerala to have a breakfast with nonvegetarian dishes in restaurants, in contrast to other states in India. Chicken/mutton stews, lamb/chicken/beef/pork/egg curry, fish curry with tapioca for breakfast are common. A wide range of breakfast with non-vegetarian is common in Malabar and in Central Kerala.

 

Kerala cuisine reflects its rich trading heritage. Over time, various cuisines have blended with indigenous dishes, while foreign ones have been adapted to local tastes. Significant Arab, Syrian, Portuguese, Dutch, Jewish, and Middle Eastern influences exist in this region's cuisine, through ancient trade routes via the Arabian Sea and through Arab traders who settled here, contributed to the evolution of kozhikodan halwa along with other dishes like Thalassery biryani.

 

Coconuts grow in abundance in Kerala, so grated coconut and coconut milk are commonly used for thickening and flavouring. Kerala's long coastline and numerous rivers have led to a strong fishing industry in the region, making seafood a common part of the meal. Rice is grown in abundance, along with tapioca. It is the main starch ingredient used in Kerala's food.

 

Having been a major production area of spices for thousands of years, the region makes frequent use of black pepper, cardamom, clove, ginger, and cinnamon. Most of Kerala's Hindus, except its Brahmin community, eat fish, chicken, beef, pork, eggs, and mutton. The Brahmin is famed for its vegan cuisine, especially varieties of sambar and rasam. A thick vegetable stew popular in South and Central India called avial is believed to have originated in southern Kerala. Avial is a widely eaten vegetarian dish in the state and plays a major role in sadya.

 

In most Kerala households, a typical meal consists of rice and vegetables. Kerala also has a variety of breakfast dishes like idli, dosa, appam, idiyappam, puttu, and pathiri. The Muslim community of Kerala blend Arabian, North Indian, and indigenous Malabari cuisines, using chicken, eggs, beef, and mutton. Thalassery biryani is the only biryani variant, which is of Kerala origin having originated in Talassery, in Malabar region. The dish is significantly different from other biryani variants.

 

The Pathanamthitta region is known for raalan and fish curries. Appam along with wine and curries of cured beef and pork are popular among Syrian Christians in Central Kerala.

 

Popular desserts are payasam and halwa. The Hindu community's payasams, especially those made at temples, like the Ambalappuzha temple, are famous for their rich taste. Halva is one of the most commonly found or easily recognised sweets in bakeries throughout Kerala, and Kozhikode is famous for its unique and exotic haluva, which is popularly known as Kozhikodan haluva. Europeans used to call the dish "sweetmeat" due to its texture, and a street in Kozhikode where became named Sweet Meat Street during colonial rule. Kozhikodan haluva is mostly made from maida (highly refined wheat), and comes in various flavours, such as banana, ghee or coconut. However, karutha haluva (black haluva) made from rice is also very popular. Many Muslim families in the region are famed for their traditional karutha haluva.

 

LAKSHADWEEP

The cuisine of Lakshadweep prominently features seafood and coconut. Local food consists of spicy nonvegetarian and vegetarian dishes. The culinary influence of Kerala is quite evident in the cuisines of Lakshadweep, since the island lies in close proximity to Kerala. Coconut and sea fish serve as the foundations of most of the meals. The people of Lakshadweep drink large amounts of coconut water, which is the most abundant aerated drink on the island. Coconut milk is the base for most of the curries. All the sweet or savory dishes have a touch of famous Malabar spices. Local people also prefer to have dosa, idlis, and various rice dishes.

 

MAGHYA PRADESH

The cuisine in Madhya Pradesh varies regionally. Wheat and meat are common in the north and west of the state, while the wetter south and east are dominated by rice and fish. Milk is a common ingredient in Gwalior and Indore. The street food of Indore is renowned, with shops that have been active for generations. Bhopal is known for meat and fish dishes such as rogan josh, korma, qeema, biryani, pilaf, and kebabs. On a street named Chatori Gali in old Bhopal, one can find traditional Muslim nonvegetarian fare such as paya soup, bun kabab, and nalli-nihari as some of the specialties.

 

Dal bafla is a common meal in the region and can be easily found in Indore and other nearby regions, consisting of a steamed and grilled wheat cake dunked in rich ghee, which is eaten with daal and ladoos. The culinary specialty of the Malwa and Indore regions of central Madhya Pradesh is poha (flattened rice); usually eaten at breakfast with jalebi. Beverages in the region include lassi, beer, rum and sugarcane juice. A local liquor is distilled from the flowers of the mahua tree. Date palm toddy is also popular. In tribal regions, a popular drink is the sap of the sulfi tree, which may be alcoholic if it has fermented.

 

MAHARASHTRA

Maharashtrian cuisine is an extensive balance of many different tastes. It includes a range of dishes from mild to very spicy tastes. Bajri, wheat, rice, jowar, vegetables, lentils, and fruit form important components of the Maharashtrian diet. Popular dishes include puran poli, ukdiche modak, batata wada, sabudana khichdi, masala bhat, pav bhaji, and wada pav. Poha or flattened rice is also usually eaten at breakfast. Kanda poha and aloo poha are some of the dishes cooked for breakfast and snacking in evenings. Popular spicy meat dishes include those that originated in the Kolhapur region. These are the Kolhapuri Sukka mutton, pandhra rassa, and tabmda rassa. Shrikhand, a sweet dish made from strained yogurt, is a main dessert of Maharashtrian cuisine. The cuisine of Maharashtra can be divided into two major sections—the coastal and the interior. The Konkan, on the coast of the Arabian Sea, has its own type of cuisine, a homogeneous combination of Malvani, Goud Saraswat Brahmin, and Goan cuisine. In the interior of Maharashtra, the Paschim Maharashtra, Khandesh, Vidarbha and Marathwada areas have their own distinct cuisines. The cuisine of Vidarbha uses groundnuts, poppy seeds, jaggery, wheat, jowar, and bajra extensively. A typical meal consists of rice, roti, poli, or bhakar, along with varan and aamtee - lentils and spiced vegetables. Cooking is common with different types of oil. Savji food from Vidarbha is well known all over Maharashtra. Savji dishes are very spicy and oily. Savji mutton curries are very famous.

 

POHA - A POPULAR MAHARASHTRIAN BREAKFAST DISH

Like other coastal states, an enormous variety of vegetables, fish, and coconuts exists, where they are common ingredients. Peanuts and cashews are often served with vegetables. Grated coconuts are used to flavour many types of dishes, but coconut oil is not widely used; peanut oil is preferred. Kokum, most commonly served chilled, in an appetiser-digestive called sol kadhi, is prevalent. During summer, Maharashtrians consume panha, a drink made from raw mango.

 

MALWANI

Malwani cuisine is a specialty of the tropical area which spans from the shore of Deogad Malwan to the southern Maharashtrian border with Goa. The unique taste and flavor of Malwani cuisine comes from Malwani masala and use of coconut and kokam. The staple foods are rice and fish. Various kinds of red and green fish, prawns, crab, and shellfish curries (also called mashacha sar in the Malwani language) are well known, along with kombadi (chicken) wade and mutton prepared Malwani style. Mohari mutton is also one of the distinct delicacies of Malwani cuisine.

 

A large variety of fish is available in the region, which include surmai, karali, bangada, bombil(Bombay duck), paplet (pompret), halwa, tarali, suandale, kolambi (prawns), tisari (shell fish), kalwa (stone fish) and kurli (crab).

 

All these fish are available in dried form, including prawns, which are known as sode. Local curries and chatanis are also prepared with dried fish.

 

Different types of rice breads and pancakes add to the variety of Malwani cuisine and include tandlachi bhakari, ghawane, amboli, patole, appe, tandalachi and shavai (rice noodles). These rice breads can be eaten specially flavored with coconut milk, fish curries, and chicken or mutton curries.

 

Sole kadi made from kokam and coconut milk is a signature appetizer drink . For vegetarians, Malwani delicacies include alloochi bhaji, alloochi gathaya, kalaya watanyacha, and sambara(black gram stew).

 

The sweets and desserts include ukadiche modak, Malawani khaje, khadakahde kundiche ladu, shegdanyache ladu, tandalchi kheer, and tandalachi shavai ani ras (specially flavored with coconut milk).

 

MANIPUR

Manipuri cuisine is represented by the cuisine of the Meitei people who form the majority population in the central plain. Meitei food are simple, tasty, organic and healthy. Rice with local seasonal vegetables and fish form the main diet. Most of the dishes are cooked like vegetable stew, flavored with either fermented fish called ngari, or dried and smoked fish. The most popular manipuri dish is the Eromba; it's a preparation of boiled and mashed vegetables, often including potatoes or beans, mixed with chilli and roasted fermented fish. Another popular dish is the savory cake called Paknam, made of a base of lentil flour stuffed with various ingredients such as banana inflorescence, mushrooms, fish, vegetables etc., and baked covered in turmeric leaves. Along with spicy dishes, a mild side dish of steamed or boiled sweet vegetables are often served in the daily meals. The manipuri salad dish called singju, made of finely julienned cabbage, green papaya, and other vegetables, and garnished with local herbs, toasted sesame powder and lentil flour is extremely popular locally, and often found sold in small street side vendors. Singju is often served with bora which are fritters of various kinds, and also kanghou, or oil fried spicy veggies. Cooked and fermented soybean is a popular condiment in all manipuri kitchens. The staple diet of Manipur consists of rice, fish, large varieties of leafy vegetables (of both aquatic and terrestrial). Manipuris typically raise vegetables in a kitchen garden and rear fishes in small ponds around their house. Since the vegetables are either grown at home or obtained from local market, the cuisines are very seasonal, each season having its own special vegetables and preparations. The taste is very different from mainland Indian cuisines because of the use of various aromatic herbs and roots that are peculiar to the region. They are however very similar to the cuisines of Southeast/East/Central Asia, Siberia, Micronesia and Polynesia.

 

MEGHALAYA

Meghalayan cuisine is unique and different from other Northeastern Indian states. Spiced meat is common, from goats, pigs, fowl, ducks, chickens, and cows. In the Khasi and Jaintia Hills districts, common foods include jadoh, ki kpu, tung-rymbai, and pickled bamboo shoots. Other common foods in Meghalaya include minil songa (steamed sticky rice), sakkin gata, and momo dumplings. Like other tribes in the northeast, the Garos ferment rice beer, which they consume in religious rites and secular celebrations.

 

MIZORAM

The cuisine of Mizoram differs from that of most of India, though it shares characteristics to other regions of Northeast India and North India. Rice is the staple food of Mizoram, while Mizos love to add non-vegetarian ingredients in every dish. Fish, chicken, pork and beef are popular meats among Mizos. Dishes are served on fresh banana leaves. Most of the dishes are cooked in mustard oil. Meals tend to be less spicy than in most of India. Mizos love eating boiled vegetables along with rice. A popular dish is bai, made from boiling vegetables (spinach, eggplant, beans, and other leafy vegetables) with bekang fermented soya beans or Sa-um, a fermented pork and served with rice. Sawhchiar is another common dish, made of rice and cooked with pork or chicken.

 

NAGALAND

The cuisine of Nagaland reflects that of the Naga people. It is known for exotic pork meats cooked with simple and flavourful ingredients, like the extremely hot Bhut jolokia pepper, fermented bamboo shoots and akhuni or fermented soya beans. Another unique and strong ingredient used by the Naga people, is the fermented fish known as ngari. Fresh herbs and other local greens also feature prominently in the Naga cuisine. The Naga use oil sparingly, preferring to ferment, dry, and smoke their meats and fish. Traditional homes in Nagaland have external kitchens that serve as smokehouses.

 

A typical meal consists of rice, meat, a chutney, a couple of stewed or steamed vegetable dishes – flavored with ngari or akhuni. Desserts usually consist of fresh fruits.

 

ODISHA

The cuisine of Odisha relies heavily on local ingredients. Flavours are usually subtle and delicately spiced, unlike the spicy curries typically associated with Indian cuisine. Fish and other seafood, such as crab and shrimp, are very popular, and chicken and mutton are also consumed. Panch phutana, a mix of cumin, mustard, fennel, fenugreek and kalonji (nigella), is widely used for flavouring vegetables and dals, while garam masala and turmeric are commonly used for meat-based curries. Pakhala, a dish made of rice, water, and dahi (yogurt), that is fermented overnight, is very popular in summer in rural areas. Oriyas are very fond of sweets, so dessert follows most meals.

 

Few popular Oriya cuisines, Anna, Kanika, Dalma, Khata (Tamato & Oou), Dali (Different types of lentils, i.e. Harada (Red Gram), known as Arhar in Hindi), Muga (Moong), Kolatha (Horsegram), etc. And many more varieties both in Veg. (Niramisha) & Non-Veg. (Aamisha). Saga ( spinach and other green leaves) and Alu-bharta(mashed potato) along with Pakhala are popular dishes(lunch) in rural Odisha.

 

Odisha is well known for its milk-based sweets. Among the many Rasagula which originated in Odisha, Chhena poda, Chhena gaja, Chhena jhili, and Rasabali are very famous.

 

PUDUCHERRY

The union territory of Puducherry was a French colony for around 200 years, making French cuisine a strong influence on the area. Tamil cuisine is eaten by the territory's Tamil majority. The influence of the neighbouring areas, such as Andhra Pradesh and Kerala, is also visible on the territory's cuisine. Some favourite dishes include coconut curry, tandoori potato, soya dosa, podanlangkai, curried vegetables, stuffed cabbage, and baked beans.

 

PUNJAB

The cuisine of Punjab is known for its diverse range of dishes.The cuisine is closely related to the cuisine of the neighbouring Punjab province of Pakistan. The state, being an agriculture center, is abundant with whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. Home-cooked and restaurant Punjabi cuisine can vary significantly. Restaurant-style Punjabi cooking puts emphasis on creamy textured foods by using ghee, butter and cream while, home-cooked meals center around whole wheat, rice, and other ingredients flavored with various kinds of masalas. Common dishes cooked at home are roti with daal and dahi (yogurt) with a side chutney and salad that includes raw onion, tomato, cucumber, etc. The meals are also abundant of local and seasonal vegetables usually sautéed with spices such as cumin, dried coriander, red chili powder, turmeric, black cloves, etc. Masala Chai is a favorite drink and is consumed in everyday life and at special occasions. Many regional differences exist in the Punjabi cuisine based on traditional variations in cooking similar dishes, food combinations, preference of spice combination, etc. Is it apparent that "the food is simple, robust, and closely linked to the land." Certain dishes exclusive to Punjab, such as makki di roti and sarson da saag, dal makhani, etc. are a favorite of many. The masala in a Punjabi dish traditionally consists of onion, garlic, ginger, cumin, garam masala, salt, turmeric, tomatoes sauteed in mustard oil. Tandoori food is a Punjabi specialty. Common meat dishes in this region are Bhakra curry (Goat) and fish dishes Dairy products are commonly consumed and usually accompany main meals in the form of dahi, milk, and milk derived products such as lassi, paneer, etc. Punjab consists of a high number of people following the Sikh religion who traditionally follow a vegetarian diet (which includes plant derived foods, milk, and milk by-products. See diet in Sikhism) in accordance to their beliefs.

 

No description of Punjabi cuisine is complete without the myriad of famous desserts, such as kheer, gajar ka halwa, sooji (cream of wheat) halwa, rasmalai, gulab jamun and jalebi. Most desserts are ghee or dairy-based, use nuts such as almonds, walnuts, pistachios, cashews, and, raisins.

 

Many of the most popular elements of Anglo-Indian cuisine, such as tandoori foods, naan, pakoras and vegetable dishes with paneer, are derived from Punjabi styles. Punjabi food is well liked in the world for its flavors, spices, and, versatile use of produce; and hence it is one of the most popular cuisine's from the sub continent. And last but not least is the Chhole Bhature and Chhole Kulche which are famous all over the north India.

 

RAJASTHAN

Cooking in Rajasthan, an arid region, has been strongly shaped by the availability of ingredients. Food is generally cooked in milk or ghee, making it quite rich. Gram flour is a mainstay of Marwari food mainly due to the scarcity of vegetables in the area.

 

Historically, food that could last for several days and be eaten without heating was preferred. Major dishes of a Rajasthani meal may include daal-baati, tarfini, raabdi, Ghevar, bail-gatte, panchkoota, chaavadi, laapsi, kadhi and boondi. Typical snacks include bikaneri bhujia, mirchi bada, Pyaaj Kachori, and Dal Kachori.

 

Daal-baati is the most popular dish prepared in the state. It is usually supplemented with choorma, a mixture of finely ground baked rotis, sugar and ghee.

 

Rajasthan is also influenced by the Rajput community who have liking for meat dishes.Their diet consisted of game meat and gave birth to dishes like laal maas, safed maas, khad khargosh and jungli maas.

 

SIKKIM

In Sikkim, various ethnic groups such as the Nepalese, Bhutias, and Lepchas have their own distinct cuisines. Nepalese cuisine is very popular in this area. Rice is the staple food of the area, and meat and dairy products are also widely consumed. For centuries, traditional fermented foods and beverages have constituted about 20 percent of the local diet. Depending on altitudinal variation, finger millet, wheat, buckwheat, barley, vegetables, potatoes, and soybeans are grown. Dhindo, Daal bhat, Gundruk, Momo, gya thuk, ningro, phagshapa, and sel roti are some of the local dishes. Alcoholic drinks are consumed by both men and women. Beef is eaten by the Bhutias.

 

SINDH

Sindhi cuisine refers to the native cuisine of the Sindhi people from the Sindh region, now in Pakistan. While Sindh is not geographically a part of modern India, its culinary traditions persist, due to the sizeable number of Hindu Sindhis who migrated to India following the independence of Pakistan in 1947, especially in Sindhi enclaves such as Ulhasnagar and Gandhidam. A typical meal in most Sindhi households consists of wheat-based flatbread (phulka) and rice accompanied by two dishes, one with gravy and one dry. Lotus stem (known as kamal kakri) is also used in Sindhi dishes. Cooking vegetables by deep frying is a common practice that is followed. Some common Sindhi dishes are Sindhi Kadhi, Sai Bhaji, Koki and Besan Bhaji. Some common ingredients used are mango powder, tamarind, kokum flowers, and dried pomegranate seeds.

 

TAMIL NADU

Tamil Nadu is noted for its deep belief that serving food to others is a service to humanity, as is common in many regions of India. The region has a rich cuisine involving both traditional non-vegetarian and vegetarian dishes. Tamil food is characterised by its use of rice, legumes, and lentils, along with distinct aromas and flavours achieved by the blending of spices such as mustard, curry leaves, tamarind, coriander, ginger, garlic, chili pepper, cinnamon, clove, cardamom, cumin, nutmeg, coconut and rose water. The traditional way of eating a meal involves being seated on the floor, having the food served on a plantain leaf, and using the right hand to eat. After the meal the plantain leaf is discarded but becomes food for free-ranging cattle and goats. A meal (called Saapadu) consists of rice with other typical Tamil dishes on a plantain leaf. A typical Tamilian would eat on a plantain leaf as it is believed to give a different flavour and taste to food. Also growing in popularity are stainless steel trays – plates with a selection of different dishes in small bowls.

 

Tamil food is characterized by tiffin, which is a light food taken for breakfast or dinner, and meals which are usually taken during lunch. The word "curry" is derived from the Tamil kari, meaning something similar to "sauce". The southern regions such as Tirunelveli, Madurai, Paramakudi, Karaikudi, and Chettinad,Kongu Nadu are noted for their spicy non-vegetarian dishes. Dosa, idli, pongal and Biryani are some of the popular dishes that are eaten with chutney and sambar. Fish and other seafoods are also very popular, because the state is located on the coast. Chicken and goat meat are the predominantly consumed meats in Tamil Nadu.

 

Many Tamilians are vegetarian, however, and the typical meal is heavily dependent on rice, vegetables and lentil preparations such as rasam and sambar. There are further variations of Tamil vegetarian dishes. They have influenced Kerala as well in their Kootu, Arachi vitta sambhar and molagootals. As mentioned above, the Chettinad variety of food uses lots of strong spices, such as pepper, garlic, fennel seeds and onions. Tamil food tends to be spicy compared to other parts of India so there is a tradition of finishing the meal with dahi (yogurt) is considered a soothing end to the meal.

 

Notably, Tamil Brahmin cuisine, the food of the Iyers and Iyengar community, is characterized by slightly different meal times and meal structures compared to other communities within the state. Historically vegetarian, the cuisine is renown for its milder flavor and avoidance of onion and garlic (although this practice appears to be disappearing with time). After a light morning meal of filter coffee and different varieties of porridges (oatmeal and janata kanji are immensely popular), the main meal of the day, lunch/brunch is usually at 11 am and typically follows a two-three course meal structure. Steamed rice is the main dish, and is always accompanied by a seasonally steamed/sauteed vegetable (poriyal), and two or three types of tamarind stews, the most popular being sambhar and rasam. The meal typically ends with thair sadham (rice with yogurt), usually served with pickled mangoes or lemons. Tiffin is the second meal of the day and features several breakfast favorites such as idli, rava idli, upma, dosa varieties, vada and is usually accompanied by chai. Dinner is the simplest meal of the day, typically involving leftovers from either lunch or tiffin. Fresh seasonal fruit consumed in the state include bananas, papaya, honeydew and canteloupe melons, jackfruit, mangos, apples, kasturi oranges, pomegranates, and nongu (hearts of palm).

 

TELANGANA

The cuisine of Telangana consists of the Telugu cuisine, of Telangana's Telugu people as well as Hyderabadi cuisine (also known as Nizami cuisine), of Telangana's Hyderabadi Muslim community. Hyderabadi food is based heavily on non-vegetarian ingredients, while Telugu food is a mix of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian ingredients. Telugu food is rich in spices and chillies are abundantly used. The food also generally tends to be more on the tangy side with tamarind and lime juice both used liberally as souring agents. Rice is the staple food of Telugu people. Starch is consumed with a variety of curries and lentil soups or broths. Vegetarian and non-vegetarian foods are both popular. Hyderabadi cuisine includes popular delicacies such as Biryani, Haleem, Baghara baingan and Kheema, while Hyderabadi day to day dishes see some commonalities with Telanganite Telugu food, with its use of tamarind, rice, and lentils, along with meat. Dahi (yogurt) is a common addition to meals, as a way of tempering spiciness.

 

TRIPURA

The Tripuri people are the original inhabitants of the state of Tripura in northeast India. Today, they comprise the communities of Tipra, Reang, Jamatia, Noatia, and Uchoi, among others. The Tripuri are non-vegetarian, although they have a minority of Vaishnavite vegetarians. The major ingredients of Tripuri cuisine include vegetables, herbs, pork, chicken, mutton, fishes, turtle, shrimps, crabs, freshwater mussels, periwinkles, edible freshwater snails and frogs.

 

UTTAR PRADESH

Traditionally, Uttar Pradeshi cuisine consists of Awadhi and Mughlai cuisine, though a vast majority of the state is vegetarian, preferring dal, roti, sabzi, and rice. Pooris and kachoris are eaten on special occasions. Chaat, samosa, and pakora, among the most popular snacks in India, originate from Uttar Pradesh. Well known dishes include kebabs, dum biryani, and various mutton recipes. Sheer Qorma, Ghevar, Gulab jamun, Kheer, and Ras malai are some of the popular desserts in this region.

 

Awadhi cuisine (Hindi: अवधी खाना) is from the city of Lucknow, which is the capital of the state of Uttar Pradesh in Central-South Asia and Northern India, and the cooking patterns of the city are similar to those of Central Asia, the Middle East, and other parts of Northern India. The cuisine consists of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. Awadh has been greatly influenced by Mughal cooking techniques, and the cuisine of Lucknow bears similarities to those of Central Asia, Kashmir, Punjab and Hyderabad. The city is also known for its Nawabi foods. The bawarchis and rakabdars of Awadh gave birth to the dum style of cooking or the art of cooking over a slow fire, which has become synonymous with Lucknow today. Their spread consisted of elaborate dishes like kebabs, kormas, biryani, kaliya, nahari-kulchas, zarda, sheermal, roomali rotis, and warqi parathas. The richness of Awadh cuisine lies not only in the variety of cuisine but also in the ingredients used like mutton, paneer, and rich spices, including cardamom and saffron.

 

Mughlai cuisine is a style of cooking developed in the Indian subcontinent by the imperial kitchens of the Mughal Empire. It represents the cooking styles used in North India (especially Uttar Pradesh). The cuisine is strongly influenced by the Central Asian cuisine, the region where the Chagatai-Turkic Mughal rulers originally hailed from, and it has in turn strongly influenced the regional cuisines of Kashmir and the Punjab region. The tastes of Mughlai cuisine vary from extremely mild to spicy, and is often associated with a distinctive aroma and the taste of ground and whole spices. A Mughlai course is an elaborate buffet of main course dishes with a variety of accompaniments.

 

UTTARKHAND

The food from Uttrakhand is known to be healthy and wholesome to suit the high-energy necessities of the cold, mountainous region. It is a high protein diet that makes heavy use of pulses and vegetables. Traditionally it is cooked over wood or charcoal fire mostly in iron utensils. While also making use of condiments such as jeera, haldi and rai common in other Indian cuisines, Uttarakhand cuisine uses some exotic condiments like jambu, timmer, ghandhraini and bhangira. Similarly, although the people in Uttarakhand also prepare the dishes common in other parts of northern India, several preparations are unique to Uttarakhand tradition such as rus, chudkani, dubuk, chadanji, jholi, kapa, etc. Among dressed salads and sauces, kheere ka raita, nimbu mooli ka raita, daarim ki khatai and aam ka fajitha necessarily deserve a mention. The cuisine mainly consists of food from two different sub regions - Garhwal and Kumaon - though their basic ingredients are the same. Both the Kumaoni and Garhwali styles make liberal use of ghee, lentils or pulses, vegetables and bhaat (rice). They also use Badi (sun-dried Urad Dal balls) and Mungodi (sun-dried Moong Dal balls) as substitutes for vegetables at times. During festivals and other celebrations, the people of Uttarakhand prepare special refreshments which include both salty preparations such as bada and sweet preparations such as pua and singal. Uttarakhand also has several sweets (mithai) such as singodi, bal-mithai, malai laddu, etc. native to its tradition.

 

WEST BENGAL

During the 19th century, many Odia-speaking cooks were employed in Bengal, which led to the transfer of several food items between the two regions. Bengali cuisine is the only traditionally developed multi-course tradition from the Indian subcontinent that is analogous in structure to the modern service à la russe style of French cuisine, with food served course-wise rather than all at once[citation needed]. Bengali cuisine differs according to regional tastes, such as the emphasis on the use of chilli pepper in the Chittagong district of Bangladesh However, across all its varieties, there is predominant use of mustard oil along with large amounts of spices. The cuisine is known for subtle flavours with an emphasis on fish, meat, vegetables, lentils, and rice. Bread is not a common dish in Bengali cuisine, but a deep fried version called luchi is popular. Fresh sweetwater fish is one of its most distinctive features; Bengalis prepare fish in many ways, such as steaming, braising, or stewing in vegetables and sauces based on coconut milk or mustard. East Bengali food, which has a high presence in West Bengal and Bangladesh, is much spicier than the West Bengali cuisine, and tends to use high amounts of chilli, and is one of the spiciest cuisines in India and the World. Shondesh and Rasgulla are popular sweet dishes made of sweetened, finely ground fresh cheese. The "Jaggery Rasgullas" are even more famous. The rasgulla originated in Bengal. and later became popular in erstwhile Odisha. The government of west Bengal has recently acquired the GI status of rasgulla after citing proof in court.

 

The cuisine is also found in the state of Tripura and the Barak Valley of Assam.

 

DIASPORA AND FUSION CUISINE

The interaction of various Indian diaspora communities with the native cultures of their domiciles have resulted in the creation of many fusion cuisines, which blend aspects of Indian and foreign cuisines. These cuisines tend to adapt Indian seasoning and cooking techniques to foreign dishes.

 

INDIAN CHINESE CUISINE

Indian Chinese cuisine, also known as Indo-Chinese cuisine originated in the 19th century among the Chinese community of Calcutta, during the immigration of Hakka Chinese from Canton (present-day Guangzhou) seeking to escape the First and Second Opium Wars and political instability in the region. Upon exposure to local Indian cuisine, they incorporated many spices and cooking techniques into their own cuisine, thus creating a unique fusion of Indian and Chinese cuisine. After 1947, many Cantonese immigrants fleeing political repression under Mao Zedong, opened their own restaurants in Calcutta, whose dishes combined aspects of Indian cuisine with Cantonese cuisine. While Indian Chinese cuisine is heavily derived from traditional Chinese cuisine, it bears little resemblance to its Chinese counterpart. The dishes tend to be flavoured with cumin, coriander seeds, and turmeric, which with a few regional exceptions, are not traditionally associated with Chinese cuisine. Chilli, ginger, garlic and dahi (yogurt) are also frequently used in dishes.

 

Popular dishes include Chicken Manchurian, Chicken lollipop, Chilli chicken, Hakka noodles, Hunan chicken, Chow mein, and Szechwan fried rice. Soups such as Manchow soup and Sweet corn soup are very popular, whereas desserts include ice cream on honey-fried noodles and date pancakes. Chow mein is now known as one of the most favorite Chinese dishes in India. Especially in West Bengal, it is one of the most loved street foods.

 

MALAYSIAN INDIAN CUISINE

INDIAN SINGAPOREAN CUISIBE

Indian Singaporean cuisine refers to foods and beverages produced and consumed in Singapore that are derived, wholly or in part, from South Asian culinary traditions. The great variety of Singaporean food includes Indian food, which tends to be Tamil cuisine, especially local Tamil Muslim cuisine, although North Indian food has become more visible recently. Indian dishes have become modified to different degrees, after years of contact with other Singaporean cultures, and in response to locally available ingredients, as well as changing local tastes.

 

INDIAN INDONESIAN CUISINE

Indian-Indonesian cuisine refers to food and beverages in Indonesian cuisine that are have influenced of Indian cuisine - especially from Tamil, Punjabi, and Gujarati cuisine. These dishes are well integrated.

 

ANGLO-INDIAN CUISINE

Anglo-Indian cuisine is the cuisine that developed during the British Raj in India, as the British wives interacted with their Indian cooks. Well-known Anglo-Indian dishes include chutneys, salted beef tongue, kedgeree, ball curry, fish rissoles, and mulligatawny soup.

 

DESSERTS

Many Indian desserts, or mithai, are fried foods made with sugar, milk or condensed milk. Ingredients and preferred types of dessert vary by region. In the eastern part of India, for example, most are based on milk products. Many are flavoured with almonds and pistachios, spiced with cardamon, nutmeg, cloves and black pepper, and decorated with nuts, or with gold or silver leaf. Popular Indian desserts include Rasogolla, gulab jamun, jalebi, laddu, peda etc.

 

BEVERAGES

NON-ALCÄOHOLIC BEVERAGES

Tea is a staple beverage throughout India, since the country is one of the largest producers of tea in the world. The most popular varieties of tea grown in India include Assam tea, Darjeeling tea and Nilgiri tea. It is prepared by boiling the tea leaves in a mix of water, milk, and spices such as cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger. In India, tea is often enjoyed with snacks like biscuits and pakoda.

 

Coffee is another popular beverage, but more popular in South India. Coffee is also cultivated in some parts of India. There are two varieties of coffee popular in India, which include Indian filter coffee and instant coffee.

 

Lassi is a traditional dahi (yogurt)-based drink in India. It is made by blending yogurt with water or milk and spices. Salted lassi is more common in villages of Punjab and in Porbandar, Gujarat. Traditional lassi is sometimes flavoured with ground roasted cumin. Lassi can also be flavoured with ingredients such as sugar, rose water, mango, lemon, strawberry, and saffron.

 

Sharbat is a sweet cold beverage prepared from fruits or flower petals. It can be served in concentrate form and eaten with a spoon, or diluted with water to create a drink. Popular sharbats are made from plants such as rose, sandalwood, bel, gurhal (hibiscus), lemon, orange, pineapple, sarasaparilla and falsa (Grewia asiatica). In Ayurveda, sharbats are believed to hold medicinal value.

 

Other beverages include nimbu pani (lemonade), chaas, badam doodh (almond milk with nuts and cardamom), and coconut water. Cold drinks unique to southern India include beverages, such as "Panner Soda" or "Gholi Soda", which is a mixture of carbonated water, rose water, rose milk, and sugar. "Narenga Soda", a mixture of carbonated water, salt and lemon juice and "Soda Nannari Sharbat", a mixture of sarasaparilla Sharbat with carbonated water are most popular non alcoholic beverages in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Street shops in Central Kerala and Madurai region of Tamil Nadu are most popular for these drinks which are also called 'Kulukki Sharbats' in Kerala

 

ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES

BEER

Most beers in India are either lagers (4.8 percent alcohol) or strong lagers (8.9 percent). The Indian beer industry has witnessed steady growth of 10–17 percent per year over the last ten years. Production exceeded 170 million cases during the 2008–2009 financial year. With the average age of the population decreasing and income levels on the rise, the popularity of beer in the country continues to increase.

 

OTHERS

Other popular alcoholic drinks in India include fenny, a Goan liquor made from either coconut or the juice of the cashew apple. The state of Goa has registered for a geographical indicator to allow its fenny distilleries to claim exclusive rights to production of liquor under the name "fenny."

 

Hadia is a rice beer, created by mixing herbs with boiled rice and leaving the mixture to ferment for around a week. It is served cold and is less alcoholic than other Indian liquors. Chuak is a similar drink from Tripura. Palm wine, locally known as Neera, is a sap extracted from inflorescences of various species of toddy palms. Chhaang is consumed by the people of Sikkim and the Darjeeling Himalayan hill region of West Bengal. It is drunk cold or at room temperature in summer, and often hot during cold weather. Chhaang is similar to traditional beer, brewed from barley, millet, or rice. Kallu(Chetthu Kallu) is a popular natural alcohol extracted from coconut and pine trees in Kerala. It is sold in local Kallu shops and is consumed with fried fish and chicken. Its alcoholic content is increased by addition of alcoholic additives.

 

EATING HABITS

Indians consider a healthy breakfast important. They generally prefer to drink tea or coffee with breakfast, though food preferences vary regionally. North Indian people prefer roti, parathas, and a vegetable dish accompanied by achar (a pickle) and some curd. Various types of packaged pickles are available in the market. One of the oldest pickle-making companies in India is Harnarains, which had started in the 1860s in Old Delhi. People of Gujarat prefer dhokla and milk, while south Indians prefer idli and dosa, generally accompanied by sambhar or sagu and various chutneys.

 

Traditional lunch in India usually consists of a main dish of rice in the south and the east, and whole wheat rotis in the north. It typically includes two or three kinds of vegetables, and sometimes items such as kulcha, naan, or parathas. Paan (stuffed, spiced and folded betel leaves) which aids digestion is often eaten after lunch and dinner in many parts of India. Apart from that, many households, specially those in north and central India, prefer having sweets after the dinner (similar like the western concept of dessert after meals).

 

Indian families often gather for "evening snack time", similar to tea time to talk and have tea and snacks. Dinner is considered the main meal of the day.

 

DIETARY RESTRITIONS

In India people often follow dietary restrictions based on their religion or faith:

 

Hindu communities consider beef taboo since it is believed that Hindu scriptures condemn cow slaughter. Cow slaughter has been banned in many states of India.

Vaishnavism followers generally do not eat garlic and onions because they are advised against it in the Bhagavad Gita.

Jains follow a strict form of vegetarianism, known as Jain vegetarianism, which in addition to being completely vegetarian, also excludes potatoes and other root vegetables because when the root is pulled up, organisms that live around the root also die.

Muslims do not eat pork or pork products.

 

ETIQUETTE

Traditionally, meals in India were eaten while seated either on the floor or on very low stools or mattress. Food is most often eaten with the hands rather than cutlery. Often roti is used to scoop curry without allowing it to touch the hand. In the wheat-producing north, a piece of roti is gripped with the thumb and middle finger and ripped off while holding the roti down with the index finger. A somewhat different method is used in the south for the dosai, the adai, and the uththappam, where the middle finger is pressed down to hold the crepe down and the forefinger and thumb used to grip and separate a small part. Traditional serving styles vary regionally throughout India.

 

Contact with other cultures has affected Indian dining etiquette. For example, the Anglo-Indian middle class commonly uses spoons and forks, as is traditional in Western culture.

 

In South India, cleaned banana leaves, which can be disposed of after meals, are used for serving food. When hot food is served on banana leaves, the leaves add distinctive aromas and taste to the food. Leaf plates are less common today, except on special occasions.

 

OUTSIDE INDIA

Indian migration has spread the culinary traditions of the subcontinent throughout the world. These cuisines have been adapted to local tastes, and have also affected local cuisines. Curry's international appeal has been compared to that of pizza. Indian tandoor dishes such as chicken tikka enjoy widespread popularity.

 

CANADA

As in the United Kingdom and the United States, Indian cuisine is widely available in Canada, especially in the cities of Toronto, Vancouver, and Ottawa where the majority of Canadians of South Asian heritage live.

 

CHINA

Indian food is gaining popularity in China, where there are many Indian restaurants in Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen. Hong Kong alone has more than 50 Indian restaurants, some of which date back to the 1980s. Most of the Indian restaurants in Hong Kong are in Tsim Sha Tsui.

 

MIDDLE EAST

The Indian culinary scene in the Middle East has been influenced greatly by the large Indian diaspora in these countries. Centuries of trade relations and cultural exchange resulted in a significant influence on each region's cuisines. The use of the tandoor, which originated in northwestern India, is an example. The large influx of Indian expatriates into the Middle Eastern countries during the 1970s and 1980s led to the booming of Indian restaurants to cater to this population and was also widely influenced by the local and international cuisines.

 

NEPAL

Indian cuisine is available in the streets of Nepalese cities, including Kathmandu and Janakpur.

 

SOUTHEAST ASIA

Indian cuisine is very popular in Southeast Asia, due to the strong Hindu and Buddhist cultural influence in the region. Indian cuisine has had considerable influence on Malaysian cooking styles and also enjoys popularity in Singapore. There are numerous North and South Indian restaurants in Singapore, mostly in Little India. Singapore is also known for fusion cuisine combining traditional Singaporean cuisine with Indian influences. Fish head curry, for example, is a local creation. Indian influence on Malay cuisine dates to the 19th century. Other cuisines which borrow inspiration from Indian cooking styles include Cambodian, Lao, Filipino, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Thai, and Burmese cuisines. The spread of vegetarianism in other parts of Asia is often credited to Hindu and Buddhist practices.

 

UNITED KINGDOM

The UK's first Indian restaurant, the Hindoostanee Coffee House, opened in 1810. By 2003, there were as many as 10,000 restaurants serving Indian cuisine in England and Wales alone. According to Britain's Food Standards Agency, the Indian food industry in the United Kingdom is worth 3.2 billion pounds, accounts for two-thirds of all eating out and serves about 2.5 million customers every week.

 

One of the best known examples of British Indian restaurant cuisine is Chicken tikka masala, which has also been called "a true British national dish."

 

IRELAND

Ireland's first Indian restaurant, the Indian Restaurant and Tea Rooms, opened in 1908 on Sackville Street, now O'Connell Street, in Dublin. Today, Indian restaurants are commonplace in most Irish cities and towns. Non-Chinese Asians are the fastest growing ethnic group in Ireland.

 

UNITED STATES

A survey by The Washington Post in 2007 stated that more than 1,200 Indian food products had been introduced into the United States since 2000. There are numerous Indian restaurants across the US, which vary based on regional culture and climate. North Indian and South Indian cuisines are especially well represented. Most Indian restaurants in the United States serve Americanized versions of North Indian food, which is generally less spicy than its Indian equivalents.

 

At sit-down restaurants with North Indian cuisine (the most common), complimentary papadum is served with three dipping sauces − typically hari chutney (mint and cilantro), imli chutney (taramind), and a spicy red chili or onion chutney − in place of European-style bread before the meal.

 

WIKIPEDIA

Documenting the best & the most popular 100 food of my city 'Mumbai' be it from Restaurants, Stalls or Street & presenting the Malpua NO.1 'Super Deluxe Malpua from National Dairy & Sweet' in Mumbai as 6th in the series.

 

Shot with Sony A7s with Sigma 16mm f/1.4 DC DN

Sowcarpet, Chennai

 

Holi is a religious spring festival celebrated by Hindus. Holi is also known as festival of Colours.

 

Origin

Though there have been references to a festival like this in Sanskrit texts like ratnavali where people sprayed coloured waters using bamboo syringes,the origin of the modern Holi festival has been traced to ancient Bengal. It was a Gaudiya Vaishnav festival, in accordance to Vaishnaviya Tantra. People went to Krishna temples, applied red colour to the icon and then distributed the red coloured powder or Abir along with malpua prasad to family and friends. Red signified the colour of passion and Lord Krishna is the king of desires. The ritual signified that all our desires should be diverted for the attainment of Krishna and for the well being of society.

In some cultures though,the ritual of burning wood and leaves on the full moon night already existed. This ritual was to signify the end of winter and full advent of spring. Old wood and leaves that had fallen were burnt to signify that it is time for new leaves and flowers.People later smeared their bodies with ash. Later, however, the story of Holika Dahan has been associated with this ritual.

The legend on King Hiranyakashipu is one of the explanations Hindus look back to. The King condemned his son, Prahlad, from worshipping the god Vishnu. However, he continued to pray to him. Filled with anger, the King made a challenge to his son. He was to sit on a pyre along with his aunt Holika, believed to be unharmed by fire. The son accepted the challenge, praying to Vishnu to protect him. As the fire began, Holika was burnt to a crisp but Prahlad lived and was unharmed. This burning of Holika is the reason why Holi exists.

Sowcarpet, Chennai

 

Holi is a religious spring festival celebrated by Hindus. Holi is also known as festival of Colours.

 

Origin

Though there have been references to a festival like this in Sanskrit texts like ratnavali where people sprayed coloured waters using bamboo syringes,the origin of the modern Holi festival has been traced to ancient Bengal. It was a Gaudiya Vaishnav festival, in accordance to Vaishnaviya Tantra. People went to Krishna temples, applied red colour to the icon and then distributed the red coloured powder or Abir along with malpua prasad to family and friends. Red signified the colour of passion and Lord Krishna is the king of desires. The ritual signified that all our desires should be diverted for the attainment of Krishna and for the well being of society.

In some cultures though,the ritual of burning wood and leaves on the full moon night already existed. This ritual was to signify the end of winter and full advent of spring. Old wood and leaves that had fallen were burnt to signify that it is time for new leaves and flowers.People later smeared their bodies with ash. Later, however, the story of Holika Dahan has been associated with this ritual.

The legend on King Hiranyakashipu is one of the explanations Hindus look back to. The King condemned his son, Prahlad, from worshipping the god Vishnu. However, he continued to pray to him. Filled with anger, the King made a challenge to his son. He was to sit on a pyre along with his aunt Holika, believed to be unharmed by fire. The son accepted the challenge, praying to Vishnu to protect him. As the fire began, Holika was burnt to a crisp but Prahlad lived and was unharmed. This burning of Holika is the reason why Holi exists.

Malpua is a famous dish during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Muslim families across India, as well as Pakistan prepare malpuas for iftar (meal to break the fast). This malpua includes maida, rawa, and khoya/

mawa (milk solids), and is deep fried to take the shape of a pancake. In some recipes, malpuas are dipped in

sugar syrup before serving.

 

shot with Nikon D90 @ Tokina 100mm

 

Camera Nikon D90

Exposure 0.006 sec (1/160)

Aperture f/3.0

Focal Length 100 mm

ISO Speed 400

HOLI - FESTIVAL OF COLOURS

Holi (English pronunciation: /ˈhoʊliː/) (Sanskrit: होली) is a spring festival also known as the festival of colours or the festival of love. It is an ancient Hindu religious festival which has become popular with non-Hindus in many parts of South Asia, as well as people of other communities outside Asia.

 

It is primarily observed in India, Nepal, and other regions of the world with significant populations of Hindus or people of Indian origin. The festival has, in recent times, spread to parts of Europe and North America as a spring celebration of love, frolic, and colours.

 

Holi celebrations start with a Holika bonfire on the night before Holi where people gather, sing and dance. The next morning is a free-for-all carnival of colours, where participants play, chase and colour each other with dry powder and coloured water, with some carrying water guns and coloured water-filled balloons for their water fight. Anyone and everyone is fair game, friend or stranger, rich or poor, man or woman, children and elders. The frolic and fight with colours occurs in the open streets, open parks, outside temples and buildings. Groups carry drums and musical instruments, go from place to place, sing and dance. People move and visit family, friends and foes, first play with colours on each other, laugh and chit-chat, then share Holi delicacies, food and drinks. Some drinks are intoxicating. For example, Bhang, an intoxicating ingredient made from cannabis leaves, is mixed into drinks and sweets and consumed by many. In the evening, after sobering up, people dress up, visit friends and family.

 

Holi is celebrated at the approach of vernal equinox, on the Phalguna Purnima (Full Moon). The festival date varies every year, per the Hindu calendar, and typically comes in March, sometimes February in the Gregorian Calendar. The festival signifies the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring, end of winter, and for many a festive day to meet others, play and laugh, forget and forgive, and repair ruptured relationships.

 

SIGNIFICANCE

There is a symbolic legend to explain why holi is well celebrated as a colour fest. The word "Holi" originates from "Holika", the evil sister of demon king Hiranyakashipu. King Hiranyakashipu had earned a boon that made him virtually indestructible. The special powers blinded him, he grew arrogant, thought he was God, and demanded that everyone worshiped only him.

 

Hiranyakashipu's own son, Prahlada, however, disagreed. He was and remained devoted to Vishnu. This infuriated Hiranyakashipu. He subjected Prahlada to cruel punishments, none of which affected the boy or his resolve to do what he thought was right. Finally, Holika - Prahlada's evil aunt - tricked him into sitting on a pyre with her. Holika was wearing a cloak (shawl) that made her immune to injury from fire, while Prahlada was not. As the fire roared, the cloak flew from Holika and encased Prahlada. Holika burned, Prahlada survived. Vishnu appeared and killed Hiranyakashipu. The bonfire is a reminder of the symbolic victory of good over evil, of Prahlada over Hiranyakashipu, of fire that burned Holika. The day after Holika bonfire is celebrated as Holi.

 

In Braj region of India, where Krishna grew up, the festival is celebrated for 16 days (until Rangpanchmi) in commemoration of the divine love of Radha for Krishna, a Hindu deity. The festivities officially usher in spring, with Holi celebrated as festival of love. There is a symbolic myth behind commemorating Krishna as well. Baby Krishna transitioned into his characteristic dark blue skin colour because a she demon Putana poisoned him with her breast milk. In his youth, Krishna despairs whether fair skinned Radha and other Gopikas (girls) will like him because of his skin colour. His mother, tired of the desperation, asks him to approach Radha and colour her face in any colour he wanted. This he does, and Radha and Krishna became a couple. The playful colouring of the face of Radha has henceforth been commemorated as Holi. Beyond India, these legends to explain the significance of Holi (Phagwah) are common in some Caribbean and South American communities of Indian origin such as Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago.

 

Holi festival has other cultural significance. It is the festive day to end and rid oneself of past errors, end conflicts by meeting others, a day to forget and forgive. People pay or forgive debts, as well as deal anew with those in their lives. Holi also marks the start of spring, and for many the start of new year.

 

DESCRIPTION

Holi is an important festival to Hindus. It is celebrated at the end of the winter season on the last full moon day of the lunar month Phalgun (February/March), (Phalgun Purnima), which usually falls in March, sometimes in late February.

 

The festival has many purposes; most prominently, it celebrates the beginning of Spring. In 17th century literature, it was identified as a festival that celebrated agriculture, commemorated good spring harvests and the fertile land. Hindus believe it is a time of enjoying spring's abundant colours and saying farewell to winter. Holi festivities mark the beginning of new year to many Hindus, as well as a justification to reset and renew ruptured relationships, end conflicts and accumulated emotional impurities from past.

 

It also has a religious purpose, symbolically signified by the legend of Holika. The night before Holi, bonfires are lit, in a ceremony known as Holika Dahan (burning of Holika) or Little Holi. People gather near fires, sing and dance. The next day, Holi, also known as Dhuli in Sanskrit, or Dhulheti, Dhulandi or Dhulendi, is celebrated. Children and youth spray coloured powder solutions (Gulal) at each other, laugh and celebrate, while elders tend to smear dry coloured powder (Abir) on each other's face. Visitors to homes are first teased with colours, then served with Holi delicacies, desserts and drinks. After playing with colours, and cleaning up, people bathe, put on clean clothes, visit friends and family.

 

Like Holika Dahan, Kama Dahanam is celebrated in some parts of India. The festival of colours in these parts is called Rangapanchami, and occurs on fifth day after Poornima (full moon).

 

HISTORY & RITUALS

Holi is an ancient Hindu festival with its cultural rituals. It is mentioned in the Puranas, Dasakumara Charita, and by the poet Kālidāsa during the 4th century reign of Chandragupta II. The celebration of Holi is also mentioned in the 7th-century Sanskrit drama, Ratnavali. The festival of Holi caught the fascination of European traders and British colonial staff by the 17th century. Various old editions of Oxford English Dictionary mention it, but with varying, phonetically derived spellings: Houly (1687), Hooly (1698), Huli (1789), Hohlee (1809), Hoolee (1825) and Holi in editions published after 1910.

 

There are several cultural rituals associated with Holi:

 

PREPARE HOLIKA PYRE FOR BONFIRE

Days before the festival people start gathering wood and combustible materials for the bonfire in parks, community centers, near temples and other open spaces. On top of the pyre is an effigy to signify Holika who tricked Prahalad into the fire. Inside homes, people stock up on colour pigments, food, party drinks and festive seasonal foods such as gujiya, mathri, malpuas and other regional delicacies.

 

HOLIKA DAHAN

On the eve of Holi, typically at or after sunset, the pyre is lit, signifying Holika Dahan. The ritual symbolises the victory of good over evil. People gather around the fire, sing and dance.

 

PLAY WITH COLOURS

Holi frolic and celebrations begin the morning after Holika bonfire. There is no tradition of holding puja (prayer), and the day is for partying and pure enjoyment. Children and youth groups form armed with dry colours, coloured solution, means to fill and spray others with coloured solution (pichkaris), balloons that can hold coloured water, and other creative means to colour their targets.

 

Traditionally, washable natural plant-derived colours such as turmeric, neem, dhak, kumkum were used; but water-based commercial pigments are increasingly used. All colours are used. Everyone in open areas such as streets and parks are game. Inside homes or at doorways though, only dry powder is used to smear each other's face. People throw colours, and get their targets completely coloured up. It is like a water fight, but where the water is coloured. People take delight in spraying coloured water on each other. By late morning, everyone looks like a canvas of colours. This is why Holi is given the name “Festival of Colours.”

 

Groups sing and dance, some playing drums and dholak. After each stop of fun and play with colours, people offer gujiya, mathri, malpuas and other traditional delicacies. Chilled drinks, including adult drinks based on local intoxicating herbs, is also part of the Holi festivity.

 

OTHER VARIATIONS

In Braj region around Mathura, in north India, the festivities may last more than week. The rituals go beyond playing with colours, and include a day where men go around with shields and women have the right to playfully beat them on their shields with sticks.

 

In south India, some worship and make offerings to Kaamadeva, the love god of Indian mythology, on Holi.

 

THE AFTER PARTY

After a day of play with colours, people clean up, wash and bathe, sober and dress up in the evening and greet friends and relatives by visiting them and exchange sweets. Holi is also a festival of forgiveness and new starts, which ritually aims to generate harmony in the society.

 

REGIONAL NAMES, RITUALS & CELEBRATIONS

Holi (Hindi: होली, Nepali: होली, Punjabi: ਹੋਲੀ) is also known as Phakuwa or Phagwah (Assamese: ফাকুৱা), Festival of Colours, or Doḷajātra in Odisha, and as Dol Jatra (Assamese: দ’ল যাত্ৰা) or Basantotsav ("spring festival") in West Bengal and Assam. The customs and celebrations vary between regions of India.

 

Holi is of particular significance in the Braj region, which includes locations traditionally connected to the Lord Krishna: Mathura, Vrindavan, Nandgaon, Uttar Pradesh, and Barsana, which become tourist destinations during the season of Holi.

 

Outside India, Holi is observed by the minority Hindus in Bangladesh, Pakistan as well in countries with large Indian subcontinent diaspora populations such as Suriname, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, South Africa, Malaysia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Mauritius, and Fiji. The Holi rituals and customs outside South Asia also vary with local adaptations.

 

INDIA

GUJARAT

In Gujarat, Holi is two day festival. On the evening of the first day people lit the bonfire. People offer raw coconut, corn to the fire. The second day is the festival of colour or "Dhuleti", celebrated by sprinkling coloured water and applying colours to each other. Dwarka, a coastal city of Gujarat, celebrates Holi at the Dwarkadheesh temple and city wide comedy and music festivities.

 

The Holi celebration has its celebrative origins in Gujarat, particularly with dance, food, music, and coloured powder to offer a spring parallel of Navratri, Gujarat's Hindu festival celebrated in the fall. Falling in the Hindu month of Phalguna, Holi marks the agricultural season of the Rabi crop.

 

In Western India, Ahmedabad in Gujarat, a pot of buttermilk is hung high on the streets and young boys try to reach it and break it by making human pyramids. The girls try to stop them by throwing coloured water on them to commemorate the pranks of Krishna and cowherd boys to steal butter and "gopis" while trying to stop the girls. The boy who finally manages to break the pot is crowned the Holi King. Afterwards, the men, who are now very colourful men, go out in a large procession to "alert" people of the Krishna's possible appearance to steal butter from their homes.

 

In some places, there is a custom in the undivided Hindu families that the women of the families beat their brother-in-law with her sari rolled up into a rope in a mock rage as they try to drench them with colours, and in turn, the brothers-in-law bring sweets (Indian desserts) to her in the evening.

 

UTTAR PRADESH

Barsana, a town near Mathura in Braj region of Uttar Pradesh, celebrates Lath mar Holi in the sprawling compound of the Radha Rani temple. Thousands gather to witness the Lath Mar holi when women beat up men with sticks as those on the sidelines become hysterical, sing Holi Songs and shout Sri Radhey or Sri Krishna. The Holi songs of Braj mandal are sung in pure Braj, the local language. Holi celebrated at Barsana is unique in the sense that here women chase men away with sticks. Males also sing provocative songs in a bid to invite the attention of women. Women then go on the offensive and use long staves called lathis to beat men folk who protect themselves with shields.

 

Mathura, in the Braj region, is the birthplace of Lord Krishna, and in Vrindavan this day is celebrated with special puja and the traditional custom of worshipping Lord Krishna, here the festival lasts for sixteen days. All over the Braj region and its nearby places like Hathras, Aligarh, Agra the Holi is celebrated in more or less same way as in Mathura, Vrindavan and Barsana.

 

Outside Braj, in Kanpur area, Holi lasts seven days with colour. On the last day, a grand fair called Ganga Mela or the Holi Mela is celebrated. This Mela (fair) was started by freedom fighters who fought British rule in the First Indian War of Independence in 1857 under the leadership of Nana Saheb. The Mela is held at various Ghats along the banks of River Ganga in Kanpur, to celebrate Hindus and the Muslims who together resisted the British forces in the city in 1857. On the eve of Ganga Mela, all Government offices, shops, Courts generally remain closed. The Ganga Mela marks the official end of "The Festival of Colours" or Holi in Kanpur.

 

In Gorakhpur, the northeast district of Uttar Pradesh, this day starts with a special puja in the morning of Holi day. This day is considered to be the most colourful day of the year promoting the brotherhood among the people. This is known as "Holi Milan" in which people visit every house and sing holi song and express their gratitude by applying coloured powder (Abeer). Holi is also considered as the beginning of the year as it occurs on the first day of new Hindu calendar year (Panchang).

 

UTTARAKHAND

Kumaoni Holi in Uttarakhand includes a musical affair. It takes different forms such as the Baithki Holi, the Khari Holi and the Mahila Holi. In Baithki Holi and Khari Holi, people sing songs with a touch of melody, fun and spiritualism. These songs are essentially based on classical ragas. Baithki Holi (बैठकी होली), also known as Nirvan Ki Holi begins from the premises of temples, where Holiyars (होल्यार) sing Holi songs, people gather to participate, along with playing classical music. The songs are sung in a particular sequence depending on the time of day; for instance, at noon the songs based on Peelu, Bhimpalasi and Sarang ragas, while evening songs are based on the ragas such as Kalyan, Shyamkalyan and Yaman. The Khari Holi (खड़ी होली) is mostly celebrated in the rural areas of Kumaon. The songs of the Khari Holi are sung by the people, who, sporting traditional white churidar payajama and kurta, dance in groups to the tune of ethnic musical instruments such as the Dhol and Hurka.

 

In Kumaon region, the Holika pyre is known as Cheer (चीर,) which is ceremonically made in a ceremony known as Cheer Bandhan (चीर बंधन) fifteen days before Dulhendi. The Cheer is a bonfire with a green Paiya tree branch in the middle. The Cheer of every village and neighborhood is rigorously guarded as rival mohallas try to playfully steal the other's cheer.

 

The colours used on Holi are derived from natural sources. Dulhendi, known as Charadi (छरड़ी) (from Chharad (छरड़)), is made from flower extracts, ash and water. Holi is celebrated with great gusto much in the same way as all across North India.

 

BIHAR

Holi is known as Phaguwa in the local Bhojpuri dialect. In this region as well, the legend of Holika is prevalent. On the eve of Phalgun Poornima, people light bonfires. They put dried cow dung cakes, wood of Araad or Redi tree and Holika tree, grains from the fresh harvest and unwanted wood leaves in the bonfire. At the time of Holika people assemble near the fire. The eldest member of the gathering or a purohit initiates the lighting. He then smears others with colour as a mark of greeting. Next day the festival is celebrated with colours and lot of frolic. Traditionally, people also clean their houses to mark the festival.

 

Holi Milan, is also observed in Bihar where family members and well wishers visit each other's family, apply colours (abeer) on each other's faces, and on feet, if elderly. Usually this takes place on the evening of Holiday after Holi with wet colours is played in the morning through afternoon. Due to large scale internal migration issues faced by the people, recently this tradition has slowly begun to transform. It is common to have Holi Milan on an entirely different day either before or after the actual day of Holi.

 

Children and youths take extreme delight in the festival. Though the festival is usually celebrated with colours, in some places people also enjoy celebrating Holi with water solutions of mud or clay. Folk songs are sung at high pitch and people dance to the tune of dholak and the spirit of Holi. Intoxicating bhang, made from cannabis, milk and spices, is consumed with a variety of mouth-watering delicacies, such as pakoras and thandai, to enhance the mood of the festival.

 

BENGAL

In West Bengal region, Holi is known by the name of "Dol Jatra", "Dol Purnima" or the "Swing Festival". The festival is celebrated in a dignified manner by placing the icons of Krishna and Radha on a picturesquely decorated palanquin which is then taken round the main streets of the city or the village. On the Dol Purnima day in the early morning, the students dress up in saffron-coloured or pure white clothes and wear garlands of fragrant flowers. They sing and dance to the accompaniment of musical instruments like ektara, dubri, veena, etc. The devotees take turns to swing them while women dance around the swing and sing devotional songs. During these activities, the men keep spraying coloured water and coloured powder, abir, at them.

 

The head of the family observes a fast and prays to Lord Krishna and Agnidev. After all the traditional rituals are over, he smears Krishna's icon with gulal and offers "bhog" to both Krishna and Agnidev. In Shantiniketan, Holi has a special musical flavour. Visitors on Holi are offered traditional dishes that include malpoa, kheer sandesh, basanti sandesh (saffron), saffron milk, payash, and related foods.

 

ODISHA

The people of Odisha celebrate Holi as rest of India, but here the icons of Jagannath, the deity of the Jagannath Temple of Puri, replace the icons of Krishna and Radha.

 

ASSAM

Holi, also called Phakuwa (ফাকুৱা) in Assamese, is celebrated all over Assam. Locally called Dol Jatra, associated with Satras of Barpeta, Holi is celebrated over two days. On the first day, the burning of clay huts are seen in Barpeta and lower Assam which signifies the legends of Holika. On the second day of it, Holi is celebrated with colour powders. The Holi songs in chorus devoted to Lord Krishna are also sung in the regions of Barpeta.

 

GOA

Holi is a part of Goan or Konkani spring festival known as Śigmo or शिगमो in Koṅkaṇī or Śiśirotsava and lasts for about a month. The colour festival or Holi is a part of longer, more extensive spring festival celebrations. Holi festivities (but not Śigmo festivities) include: Holika Puja and Dahan, Dhulvad or Dhuli vandan, Haldune or offering yellow and saffron colour or Gulal to the deity.

 

MAHARASHTRA

In Maharashtra, Holi Purnima is also celebrated as Shimga, festivities that last 5 to 7 days. A week before the festival, youngsters go around the community, collecting firewood and money. On the day of Shimga, the firewood is a huge pile in neighborhoods. In the evening, the fire is lit. Every household brings a meal and dessert, in the honour of the fire god. Puran Poli is the main delicacy and children shout "Holi re Holi puranachi poli". Shimga celebrates the elimination of all evil. The colour celebrations here traditionally take place on the day of Rangapanchami, five days after Shimga. During this festival, people are supposed to forget and forgive any rivalries and start new healthy relations with all.

 

MANIPUR

Manipuris celebrate Holi for 6 days. Here, this holiday merges with the festival of Yaosang. Traditionally, the festival commences with the burning of a thatched hut of hay and twigs. Young children go from house to house to collect money, locally known as nakadeng (or nakatheng), as gifts on the first two days. The youths at night perform a group folk dance called Thabal chongba on the full moon night of Lamta (Phalgun) along with folk songs and rhythmic beats of the indigenous drum. However, this moonlight party now has modern bands and fluorescent lamps. In Krishna temples, devotees sing devotional songs, perform dances and celebrate with aber (gulal) wearing traditional white and yellow turbans. On the last day of the festival, large processions are taken out to the main Krishna temple near Imphal where several cultural activities are held. In recent decades, Yaoshang, a type of Indian sport, has become common in many places of the valley, where people of all ages come out to participate in a number of sports that are somewhat altered for the holiday.

 

KERALA

Holi is locally called Ukkuli in Konkani or Manjal Kuli in Malayalam. It is celebrated around the Konkani temple called Gosripuram Thirumala temple.

 

KARNATAKA

Traditionally, in rural Karnataka children collect money and wood in the weeks prior to Holi, and on "Kamadahana" night all the wood is put together and lit. The festival is celebrated for two days. People in north Karnataka prepare special food on this day.

 

In Sirsi, Karnataka, Holi is celebrated with a unique folk dance called “Bedara Vesha”, which is performed during the nights beginning five days before the actual festival day. The festival is celebrated every alternate year in the town, which attracts a large number of tourists from different parts of the India.

 

TELANGANA

As in other parts of India, in rural Telangana region, children celebrate kamuda and collect money, rice, Mokkajonna and wood for weeks prior to Holi, and on Kamadhana night all the wood is put together and set on fire.

 

ANDRA PRADESH

In Andhra Pradesh Holi is celebrated along with Basanta Panchami. Holi is a major festival, and the festivities and colour start appearing at least a day before the actual holiday.

 

JAMMU & KASHMIR

In Jammu & Kashmir, Muslims and Hindus alike celebrate Holi. Holi celebrations here are much in line with the general definition of Holi celebrations: a high-spirited festival to mark the beginning of the harvesting of the summer crop, with the throwing of coloured water and powder and singing and dancing.

 

MADHYA PRADESH

In western Madhya Pradesh, Bhil tribesmen who have held on to many of the pre-Hindu customs celebrate it in a special way.

 

HARYANA & WESTERN UTTAR PRADESH

This region has its own variety of Holi. The Holi celebration in Dhampur is famous throughout the whole of Western UP.

 

TAMIL NADU

In the Phalguna Poornima is Panguni Uthram (Meena Uttara-phalguni in Sanskrit). It is special because of the star "Uthiram" and "Pournami" occurring together, is the marriage anniversary of many mythological figures and deities. On this day Goddess Mahalakshmi incarnated on earth from the ocean of milk (after the ocean was churned by the gods and the demons). Holi is celebrated as Vasanthosavam and all temples start their Utsavams with decorations and music, dance festivals, Pravachans and Harikathas. The colours are also popular, and celebrate divine love and welcoming of spring.

 

NEPAL

In Nepal, Holi celebrated in Hills is remarkably different from Madhesh, even the festival is celebrated on two different days. Holi is celebrated in the month of Falgun and is also called as the "Fagu/Phaguwa" and is celebrated on the full moon day (in hills) and the day after (in Madhesh) in the month of February. The word "Fagu/Phaguwa" (Devanagari:फागु/फगुआ) represents the month of Falgun and the day is called the "Fagu Poornima" (Devanagari:फागु पुर्णीमा) which means (full moon day in the Falgun).

 

In Nepal Holi is regarded as one of the greatest festivals as important as Dashain (also known as Dussehra in Madhesh) and Tihar or Dipawali (also known as Diwali in Madhesh). Since more than 80% of people in Nepal are Hindus, Holi, along with many other Hindu festivals, is celebrated in Nepal as a national festival and almost everyone celebrates it regardless of their religion, e.g., even Muslims celebrate it. Christians may also join in, although since Holi falls during Lent, many would not join in the festivities. The day of Holi is also a national holiday in Nepal.

 

People walk down their neighbourhoods to celebrate Holi by exchanging colours and spraying coloured water on one another. A popular activity is the throwing of water balloons at one another, sometimes called lola (meaning water balloon). Also a lot of people mix bhang in their drinks and food, as is also done during Shivaratri. It is believed that the combination of different colours at this festival take all the sorrow away and make life itself more colourful.

 

INDIAN DIASPORA

Over the years, Holi has become an important festival in many regions wherever Indian diaspora were either taken as indentured laborers during colonial era, or where they emigrated on their own, and are now present in large numbers such as in Africa, North America, Europe, Latin America, and parts of Asia such as Fiji.

 

SURINAME

Holi is a national holiday in Suriname. It is called Phagwa festival, and is celebrated to mark the beginning of spring and Hindu mythology. In Suriname, Holi Phagwa is a festival of colour. It is customary to wear old white clothes on this day, be prepared to get them dirty and join in the colour throwing excitement and party.

 

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO

Phagwa is normally celebrated in Trinidad and Tobago on the Sunday closest to the actual date of Phagwa. It is celebrated with a lot of colour and splendour, along with the singing on traditional Phagwa songs or Chowtaal (ganna).

 

GUYANA

Phagwah is a national holiday in Guyana, and peoples of all races and religions participate in the celebrations. The main celebration in Georgetown is held at the Mandir in Prashad Nagar.

 

FIJI

Indo-Fijians celebrate Holi as festival of colours, folksongs and dances. The folksongs sung in Fiji during Holi season are called phaag gaaian. Phagan, also written as Phalgan, is the last month of the Hindu calendar. Holi is celebrated at the end of Phagan. Holi marks the advent of spring and ripening of crops in Northern India. Not only it is a season of romance and excitement, folk songs and dances, it is also an occasion of playing with powder, perfumes and colours. Many of the Holi songs in Fiji are around the theme of love-relationship between Radha and Krishna.

 

MAURITIUS

Holi in Mauritius comes close on the heels of Shivaratri. It celebrates the beginning of spring, commemorating good harvests and the fertile land. Hindus believe it is a time of enjoying spring’s abundant colours and saying farewell to winter. It is considered one of the most exhilarating religious holidays in existence. During this event, participants hold a bonfire, throw coloured powder at each other, and celebrate wildly.

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TRADITIONAL HOLI

The spring season, during which the weather changes, is believed to cause viral fever and cold. The playful throwing of natural coloured powders has a medicinal significance: the colours are traditionally made of Neem, Kumkum, Haldi, Bilva, and other medicinal herbs prescribed by Āyurvedic doctors.

 

Many colours are obtained by mixing primary colours. Artisans produce and sell many of the colours from natural sources in dry powder form, in weeks and months preceding Holi. Some of the traditional natural plant based sources of colours are:

 

ORANGE & RED

The flowers of palash or tesu tree, also called the flame of the forest, are typical source of bright red and deep orange colours. Powdered fragrant red sandal wood, dried hibiscus flowers, madder tree, radish and pomegranate are alternate sources and shades of red. Mixing lime with turmeric powder creates an alternate source of orange powder, as does boiling saffron (kesar) in water.

 

GREEN

Mehendi and dried leaves of gulmohur tree offer a source of green colour. In some areas, the leaves of spring crops and herbs have been used as source of green pigment.

 

YELLOW

Haldi (turmeric) powder is the typical source of yellow colour. Sometimes this is mixed with chickpeas, gram or other flour to get the right shade. Bael fruit, amaltas, species of chrysanthemums, and species of marigold are alternate sources of yellow.

 

BLUE

Indigo, Indian berries, species of grapes, blue hibiscus and jacaranda flowers are traditional sources of blue colour for Holi.

 

MAGENTA & PURPLE

Beetroot is the traditional source of magenta and purple colour. Often these are directly boiled in water to prepare coloured water.

 

BROWN

Dried tea leaves offer a source of brown coloured water. Certain clays are alternate source of brown.

 

BLACK

Species of grapes, fruits of amla (gooseberry) and vegetable carbon (charcoal) offer gray to black colours.

 

MODERN ISSUES

SYNTHETIC COLOURS

Natural colours were used in the past to celebrate Holi safely by applying turmeric, sandalwood paste, extracts of flowers and leaves. As the spring-blossoming trees that once supplied the colours used to celebrate Holi have become more rare, chemically produced industrial dyes have been used to take their place in almost all of urban India. Due to the commercial availability of attractive pigments, slowly the natural colours are replaced by synthetic colours. As a result it has caused mild to severe symptoms of skin irritation and inflammation. Lack of control over the quality and content of these colours is a problem, as they are frequently sold by vendors who do not know their origin.

 

A 2007 study found that Malachite green, a synthetic bluish-green dye used in some colours during Holi festival, as responsible for severe eye irritation in Delhi, if eyes were not washed upon exposure. Though the study found that the pigment did not penetrate through the cornea, malachite green is of concern and needs further study.

 

Another 2009 study reports that some colours produced and sold in India contain metal-based industrial dyes, causing an increase in cutaneous problems to some people in the days following Holi. These colours are produced in India, particularly by small informal businesses, without any quality checks and are sold freely in the market. The colours are sold without labeling, and the consumer lacks information about the source of the colours, their contents, and possible toxic effects. In recent years, several nongovernmental organisations have started campaigning for safe practices related to the use of colours. Some are producing and marketing ranges of safer colours derived from natural sources such as vegetables and flowers.

 

These reports have galvanised a number of groups into promoting more natural celebrations of Holi. Development Alternatives, Delhi and Kalpavriksh, Pune, The CLEAN India campaign, and Society for Child Development, through its Avacayam Cooperative Campaign have launched campaigns to help children learn to make their own colours for Holi from safer, natural ingredients. Meanwhile, some commercial companies such as the National Botanical Research Institute have begun to market "herbal" dyes, though these are substantially more expensive than the dangerous alternatives. However, it may be noted that many parts of rural India have always resorted to natural colours (and other parts of festivities more than colours) due to availability.

 

In urban areas, some people wear nose mask and sun glasses to avoid inhaling pigments and to prevent chemical exposure to eyes.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

An alleged environmental issue related to the celebration of Holi is the traditional Holika bonfire, which is believed to contribute to deforestation. Activists estimate Holika causes 30,000 bonfires each burning approximately 100 kilograms of wood every year. This represents less than 0.0001% of 350 million tons of wood India consumes every year, as one of the traditional fuels for cooking and other uses. Methods to further reduce wood consumption during Holika have been proposed, including the replacement of wood with waste material or lighting of a single fire per community, rather than multiple smaller fires. However, the idea of lighting waste material antagonises large sections of a certain community, who take it as an attack to their cultures and traditions citing several examples of similar festivities elsewhere.

 

The use of heavy metal-based pigments during Holi is also reported to cause temporary wastewater pollution, with the water systems recovering to pre-festival levels within 5 days.

 

INFLUENCE ON OTHER CULTURES

The Color Run, Run or Dye, Color in Motion, Color Me Rad, The Graffiti Run, and other runs are starting to spread over the United States. They combine the bright colours of Holi with the intensity of a 5K race. Runners show up wearing white running outfits and every kilometer they run, they are doused in a different colour. Holi is also celebrated in a non-sporting format, as a social event in parts of the United States. For example, at Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple in Spanish Fork, Utah Holi is celebrated as the Festival of Color, where thousands of people gather from all over the United States, play and mingle.

 

Similarly in Europe and elsewhere, several groups such as Holi Festival of Colours,[8] Holi One, and Colors Festival have been organising Holi as a social and partying event, to celebrate amity and togetherness, in various cities around the world. In 2013, Holi Festival of Colours hosted nearly 250,000 participants at venues all over the world. Instead of coinciding with the date when Holi is celebrated in India, these Holi-inspired festivals are typically adapted to local weather and holiday schedules. The organisers claim thousands of people join in to celebrate and experience the festivities. Critics claim these Holi-themed events are a for-profit commercial twist with ticket sales and may be a fad that lacks the traditional breadth and depth of Holi, while supporters claim the ticket prices cover the cost of safe colours they provide, space, clean up, music and general security.

 

In the music video for their song "The Catalyst", American rock band Linkin Park incorporated scenes of band members throwing powdered colour at one another. The director, band turntablist Joe Hahn, identifies Holi as a direct influence on the visual style of the video. Hahn states that "... the inspiration for the colors came from the Color Festival in India called Holi." He further elaborates on the religious significance of the colours: "People collect these pigments throughout the year to release them in this festival as a celebration of life and tribute to Vishnu."

 

South Africa-based electro-swing dance group Goodluck released a song "The Vision" wherein Holi is seen as an influence.

 

The Holi festival was featured as a RoadBlock challenge in the popular CBS reality television show The Amazing Race 13, episode 7.

 

The Ke$ha music video for the song "Take It Off" features powdered coloured dyes similar to those used to celebrate Holi.

 

The music video for Regina Spektor's song "Fidelity" depicts a couple in an achromatic set throwing and celebrating in powdered pigments.

 

The 2006 independent film Outsourced details the story of Todd Anderson, an American call center novelty products salesman (Josh Hamilton) as he heads to India to train his replacement after his entire department is outsourced to a new, much cheaper call centre in Gharapuri. Todd soon discovers that to successfully train his new charges, he must learn about their culture. A Holi celebration is the catalyst for this change in his attitude.

 

On September 18, 2009, in an episode of the USA Network series Psych entitled "Bollywood Homicide," Holi is first depicted on an American network television. Shawn is distracted by someone throwing red powder at him.

 

The March 17, 2011 episode of the NBC series based on the film of the same name, Outsourced, titled "Todd's Holi War," takes a more sitcom-oriented approach to the holiday, marking Holi's second appearance on American network television.

 

The music video Behind the Cow, which appears to be set in India, by the band Scooter features a final scene with everyone throwing coloured powder at one another.

 

In the British TV show An Idiot Abroad, episode 2 has host Karl Pilkington take a trip through Delhi, India where he experiences Holi as locals cover him with coloured powder and paint.

 

Keith Olbermann shows clips from Holi festivals every year on the "Time Marches On" portion of his nightly Countdown news show.

 

The music video for the song "The City" by French DJ Madeon centres on a full-out colour war between two factions of youngsters. In it, the powders are packed in plastic bags for a longer throw.

 

The short film/music video for Up In The Air by Thirty Seconds to Mars features the use of powdered colors for a fight during the film.

 

WIKIPEDIA

HOLI - FESTIVAL OF COLOURS

Holi (English pronunciation: /ˈhoʊliː/) (Sanskrit: होली) is a spring festival also known as the festival of colours or the festival of love. It is an ancient Hindu religious festival which has become popular with non-Hindus in many parts of South Asia, as well as people of other communities outside Asia.

 

It is primarily observed in India, Nepal, and other regions of the world with significant populations of Hindus or people of Indian origin. The festival has, in recent times, spread to parts of Europe and North America as a spring celebration of love, frolic, and colours.

 

Holi celebrations start with a Holika bonfire on the night before Holi where people gather, sing and dance. The next morning is a free-for-all carnival of colours, where participants play, chase and colour each other with dry powder and coloured water, with some carrying water guns and coloured water-filled balloons for their water fight. Anyone and everyone is fair game, friend or stranger, rich or poor, man or woman, children and elders. The frolic and fight with colours occurs in the open streets, open parks, outside temples and buildings. Groups carry drums and musical instruments, go from place to place, sing and dance. People move and visit family, friends and foes, first play with colours on each other, laugh and chit-chat, then share Holi delicacies, food and drinks. Some drinks are intoxicating. For example, Bhang, an intoxicating ingredient made from cannabis leaves, is mixed into drinks and sweets and consumed by many. In the evening, after sobering up, people dress up, visit friends and family.

 

Holi is celebrated at the approach of vernal equinox, on the Phalguna Purnima (Full Moon). The festival date varies every year, per the Hindu calendar, and typically comes in March, sometimes February in the Gregorian Calendar. The festival signifies the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring, end of winter, and for many a festive day to meet others, play and laugh, forget and forgive, and repair ruptured relationships.

 

SIGNIFICANCE

There is a symbolic legend to explain why holi is well celebrated as a colour fest. The word "Holi" originates from "Holika", the evil sister of demon king Hiranyakashipu. King Hiranyakashipu had earned a boon that made him virtually indestructible. The special powers blinded him, he grew arrogant, thought he was God, and demanded that everyone worshiped only him.

 

Hiranyakashipu's own son, Prahlada, however, disagreed. He was and remained devoted to Vishnu. This infuriated Hiranyakashipu. He subjected Prahlada to cruel punishments, none of which affected the boy or his resolve to do what he thought was right. Finally, Holika - Prahlada's evil aunt - tricked him into sitting on a pyre with her. Holika was wearing a cloak (shawl) that made her immune to injury from fire, while Prahlada was not. As the fire roared, the cloak flew from Holika and encased Prahlada. Holika burned, Prahlada survived. Vishnu appeared and killed Hiranyakashipu. The bonfire is a reminder of the symbolic victory of good over evil, of Prahlada over Hiranyakashipu, of fire that burned Holika. The day after Holika bonfire is celebrated as Holi.

 

In Braj region of India, where Krishna grew up, the festival is celebrated for 16 days (until Rangpanchmi) in commemoration of the divine love of Radha for Krishna, a Hindu deity. The festivities officially usher in spring, with Holi celebrated as festival of love. There is a symbolic myth behind commemorating Krishna as well. Baby Krishna transitioned into his characteristic dark blue skin colour because a she demon Putana poisoned him with her breast milk. In his youth, Krishna despairs whether fair skinned Radha and other Gopikas (girls) will like him because of his skin colour. His mother, tired of the desperation, asks him to approach Radha and colour her face in any colour he wanted. This he does, and Radha and Krishna became a couple. The playful colouring of the face of Radha has henceforth been commemorated as Holi. Beyond India, these legends to explain the significance of Holi (Phagwah) are common in some Caribbean and South American communities of Indian origin such as Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago.

 

Holi festival has other cultural significance. It is the festive day to end and rid oneself of past errors, end conflicts by meeting others, a day to forget and forgive. People pay or forgive debts, as well as deal anew with those in their lives. Holi also marks the start of spring, and for many the start of new year.

 

DESCRIPTION

Holi is an important festival to Hindus. It is celebrated at the end of the winter season on the last full moon day of the lunar month Phalgun (February/March), (Phalgun Purnima), which usually falls in March, sometimes in late February.

 

The festival has many purposes; most prominently, it celebrates the beginning of Spring. In 17th century literature, it was identified as a festival that celebrated agriculture, commemorated good spring harvests and the fertile land. Hindus believe it is a time of enjoying spring's abundant colours and saying farewell to winter. Holi festivities mark the beginning of new year to many Hindus, as well as a justification to reset and renew ruptured relationships, end conflicts and accumulated emotional impurities from past.

 

It also has a religious purpose, symbolically signified by the legend of Holika. The night before Holi, bonfires are lit, in a ceremony known as Holika Dahan (burning of Holika) or Little Holi. People gather near fires, sing and dance. The next day, Holi, also known as Dhuli in Sanskrit, or Dhulheti, Dhulandi or Dhulendi, is celebrated. Children and youth spray coloured powder solutions (Gulal) at each other, laugh and celebrate, while elders tend to smear dry coloured powder (Abir) on each other's face. Visitors to homes are first teased with colours, then served with Holi delicacies, desserts and drinks. After playing with colours, and cleaning up, people bathe, put on clean clothes, visit friends and family.

 

Like Holika Dahan, Kama Dahanam is celebrated in some parts of India. The festival of colours in these parts is called Rangapanchami, and occurs on fifth day after Poornima (full moon).

 

HISTORY & RITUALS

Holi is an ancient Hindu festival with its cultural rituals. It is mentioned in the Puranas, Dasakumara Charita, and by the poet Kālidāsa during the 4th century reign of Chandragupta II. The celebration of Holi is also mentioned in the 7th-century Sanskrit drama, Ratnavali. The festival of Holi caught the fascination of European traders and British colonial staff by the 17th century. Various old editions of Oxford English Dictionary mention it, but with varying, phonetically derived spellings: Houly (1687), Hooly (1698), Huli (1789), Hohlee (1809), Hoolee (1825) and Holi in editions published after 1910.

 

There are several cultural rituals associated with Holi:

 

PREPARE HOLIKA PYRE FOR BONFIRE

Days before the festival people start gathering wood and combustible materials for the bonfire in parks, community centers, near temples and other open spaces. On top of the pyre is an effigy to signify Holika who tricked Prahalad into the fire. Inside homes, people stock up on colour pigments, food, party drinks and festive seasonal foods such as gujiya, mathri, malpuas and other regional delicacies.

 

HOLIKA DAHAN

On the eve of Holi, typically at or after sunset, the pyre is lit, signifying Holika Dahan. The ritual symbolises the victory of good over evil. People gather around the fire, sing and dance.

 

PLAY WITH COLOURS

Holi frolic and celebrations begin the morning after Holika bonfire. There is no tradition of holding puja (prayer), and the day is for partying and pure enjoyment. Children and youth groups form armed with dry colours, coloured solution, means to fill and spray others with coloured solution (pichkaris), balloons that can hold coloured water, and other creative means to colour their targets.

 

Traditionally, washable natural plant-derived colours such as turmeric, neem, dhak, kumkum were used; but water-based commercial pigments are increasingly used. All colours are used. Everyone in open areas such as streets and parks are game. Inside homes or at doorways though, only dry powder is used to smear each other's face. People throw colours, and get their targets completely coloured up. It is like a water fight, but where the water is coloured. People take delight in spraying coloured water on each other. By late morning, everyone looks like a canvas of colours. This is why Holi is given the name “Festival of Colours.”

 

Groups sing and dance, some playing drums and dholak. After each stop of fun and play with colours, people offer gujiya, mathri, malpuas and other traditional delicacies. Chilled drinks, including adult drinks based on local intoxicating herbs, is also part of the Holi festivity.

 

OTHER VARIATIONS

In Braj region around Mathura, in north India, the festivities may last more than week. The rituals go beyond playing with colours, and include a day where men go around with shields and women have the right to playfully beat them on their shields with sticks.

 

In south India, some worship and make offerings to Kaamadeva, the love god of Indian mythology, on Holi.

 

THE AFTER PARTY

After a day of play with colours, people clean up, wash and bathe, sober and dress up in the evening and greet friends and relatives by visiting them and exchange sweets. Holi is also a festival of forgiveness and new starts, which ritually aims to generate harmony in the society.

 

REGIONAL NAMES, RITUALS & CELEBRATIONS

Holi (Hindi: होली, Nepali: होली, Punjabi: ਹੋਲੀ) is also known as Phakuwa or Phagwah (Assamese: ফাকুৱা), Festival of Colours, or Doḷajātra in Odisha, and as Dol Jatra (Assamese: দ’ল যাত্ৰা) or Basantotsav ("spring festival") in West Bengal and Assam. The customs and celebrations vary between regions of India.

 

Holi is of particular significance in the Braj region, which includes locations traditionally connected to the Lord Krishna: Mathura, Vrindavan, Nandgaon, Uttar Pradesh, and Barsana, which become tourist destinations during the season of Holi.

 

Outside India, Holi is observed by the minority Hindus in Bangladesh, Pakistan as well in countries with large Indian subcontinent diaspora populations such as Suriname, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, South Africa, Malaysia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Mauritius, and Fiji. The Holi rituals and customs outside South Asia also vary with local adaptations.

 

INDIA

GUJARAT

In Gujarat, Holi is two day festival. On the evening of the first day people lit the bonfire. People offer raw coconut, corn to the fire. The second day is the festival of colour or "Dhuleti", celebrated by sprinkling coloured water and applying colours to each other. Dwarka, a coastal city of Gujarat, celebrates Holi at the Dwarkadheesh temple and city wide comedy and music festivities.

 

The Holi celebration has its celebrative origins in Gujarat, particularly with dance, food, music, and coloured powder to offer a spring parallel of Navratri, Gujarat's Hindu festival celebrated in the fall. Falling in the Hindu month of Phalguna, Holi marks the agricultural season of the Rabi crop.

 

In Western India, Ahmedabad in Gujarat, a pot of buttermilk is hung high on the streets and young boys try to reach it and break it by making human pyramids. The girls try to stop them by throwing coloured water on them to commemorate the pranks of Krishna and cowherd boys to steal butter and "gopis" while trying to stop the girls. The boy who finally manages to break the pot is crowned the Holi King. Afterwards, the men, who are now very colourful men, go out in a large procession to "alert" people of the Krishna's possible appearance to steal butter from their homes.

 

In some places, there is a custom in the undivided Hindu families that the women of the families beat their brother-in-law with her sari rolled up into a rope in a mock rage as they try to drench them with colours, and in turn, the brothers-in-law bring sweets (Indian desserts) to her in the evening.

 

UTTAR PRADESH

Barsana, a town near Mathura in Braj region of Uttar Pradesh, celebrates Lath mar Holi in the sprawling compound of the Radha Rani temple. Thousands gather to witness the Lath Mar holi when women beat up men with sticks as those on the sidelines become hysterical, sing Holi Songs and shout Sri Radhey or Sri Krishna. The Holi songs of Braj mandal are sung in pure Braj, the local language. Holi celebrated at Barsana is unique in the sense that here women chase men away with sticks. Males also sing provocative songs in a bid to invite the attention of women. Women then go on the offensive and use long staves called lathis to beat men folk who protect themselves with shields.

 

Mathura, in the Braj region, is the birthplace of Lord Krishna, and in Vrindavan this day is celebrated with special puja and the traditional custom of worshipping Lord Krishna, here the festival lasts for sixteen days. All over the Braj region and its nearby places like Hathras, Aligarh, Agra the Holi is celebrated in more or less same way as in Mathura, Vrindavan and Barsana.

 

Outside Braj, in Kanpur area, Holi lasts seven days with colour. On the last day, a grand fair called Ganga Mela or the Holi Mela is celebrated. This Mela (fair) was started by freedom fighters who fought British rule in the First Indian War of Independence in 1857 under the leadership of Nana Saheb. The Mela is held at various Ghats along the banks of River Ganga in Kanpur, to celebrate Hindus and the Muslims who together resisted the British forces in the city in 1857. On the eve of Ganga Mela, all Government offices, shops, Courts generally remain closed. The Ganga Mela marks the official end of "The Festival of Colours" or Holi in Kanpur.

 

In Gorakhpur, the northeast district of Uttar Pradesh, this day starts with a special puja in the morning of Holi day. This day is considered to be the most colourful day of the year promoting the brotherhood among the people. This is known as "Holi Milan" in which people visit every house and sing holi song and express their gratitude by applying coloured powder (Abeer). Holi is also considered as the beginning of the year as it occurs on the first day of new Hindu calendar year (Panchang).

 

UTTARAKHAND

Kumaoni Holi in Uttarakhand includes a musical affair. It takes different forms such as the Baithki Holi, the Khari Holi and the Mahila Holi. In Baithki Holi and Khari Holi, people sing songs with a touch of melody, fun and spiritualism. These songs are essentially based on classical ragas. Baithki Holi (बैठकी होली), also known as Nirvan Ki Holi begins from the premises of temples, where Holiyars (होल्यार) sing Holi songs, people gather to participate, along with playing classical music. The songs are sung in a particular sequence depending on the time of day; for instance, at noon the songs based on Peelu, Bhimpalasi and Sarang ragas, while evening songs are based on the ragas such as Kalyan, Shyamkalyan and Yaman. The Khari Holi (खड़ी होली) is mostly celebrated in the rural areas of Kumaon. The songs of the Khari Holi are sung by the people, who, sporting traditional white churidar payajama and kurta, dance in groups to the tune of ethnic musical instruments such as the Dhol and Hurka.

 

In Kumaon region, the Holika pyre is known as Cheer (चीर,) which is ceremonically made in a ceremony known as Cheer Bandhan (चीर बंधन) fifteen days before Dulhendi. The Cheer is a bonfire with a green Paiya tree branch in the middle. The Cheer of every village and neighborhood is rigorously guarded as rival mohallas try to playfully steal the other's cheer.

 

The colours used on Holi are derived from natural sources. Dulhendi, known as Charadi (छरड़ी) (from Chharad (छरड़)), is made from flower extracts, ash and water. Holi is celebrated with great gusto much in the same way as all across North India.

 

BIHAR

Holi is known as Phaguwa in the local Bhojpuri dialect. In this region as well, the legend of Holika is prevalent. On the eve of Phalgun Poornima, people light bonfires. They put dried cow dung cakes, wood of Araad or Redi tree and Holika tree, grains from the fresh harvest and unwanted wood leaves in the bonfire. At the time of Holika people assemble near the fire. The eldest member of the gathering or a purohit initiates the lighting. He then smears others with colour as a mark of greeting. Next day the festival is celebrated with colours and lot of frolic. Traditionally, people also clean their houses to mark the festival.

 

Holi Milan, is also observed in Bihar where family members and well wishers visit each other's family, apply colours (abeer) on each other's faces, and on feet, if elderly. Usually this takes place on the evening of Holiday after Holi with wet colours is played in the morning through afternoon. Due to large scale internal migration issues faced by the people, recently this tradition has slowly begun to transform. It is common to have Holi Milan on an entirely different day either before or after the actual day of Holi.

 

Children and youths take extreme delight in the festival. Though the festival is usually celebrated with colours, in some places people also enjoy celebrating Holi with water solutions of mud or clay. Folk songs are sung at high pitch and people dance to the tune of dholak and the spirit of Holi. Intoxicating bhang, made from cannabis, milk and spices, is consumed with a variety of mouth-watering delicacies, such as pakoras and thandai, to enhance the mood of the festival.

 

BENGAL

In West Bengal region, Holi is known by the name of "Dol Jatra", "Dol Purnima" or the "Swing Festival". The festival is celebrated in a dignified manner by placing the icons of Krishna and Radha on a picturesquely decorated palanquin which is then taken round the main streets of the city or the village. On the Dol Purnima day in the early morning, the students dress up in saffron-coloured or pure white clothes and wear garlands of fragrant flowers. They sing and dance to the accompaniment of musical instruments like ektara, dubri, veena, etc. The devotees take turns to swing them while women dance around the swing and sing devotional songs. During these activities, the men keep spraying coloured water and coloured powder, abir, at them.

 

The head of the family observes a fast and prays to Lord Krishna and Agnidev. After all the traditional rituals are over, he smears Krishna's icon with gulal and offers "bhog" to both Krishna and Agnidev. In Shantiniketan, Holi has a special musical flavour. Visitors on Holi are offered traditional dishes that include malpoa, kheer sandesh, basanti sandesh (saffron), saffron milk, payash, and related foods.

 

ODISHA

The people of Odisha celebrate Holi as rest of India, but here the icons of Jagannath, the deity of the Jagannath Temple of Puri, replace the icons of Krishna and Radha.

 

ASSAM

Holi, also called Phakuwa (ফাকুৱা) in Assamese, is celebrated all over Assam. Locally called Dol Jatra, associated with Satras of Barpeta, Holi is celebrated over two days. On the first day, the burning of clay huts are seen in Barpeta and lower Assam which signifies the legends of Holika. On the second day of it, Holi is celebrated with colour powders. The Holi songs in chorus devoted to Lord Krishna are also sung in the regions of Barpeta.

 

GOA

Holi is a part of Goan or Konkani spring festival known as Śigmo or शिगमो in Koṅkaṇī or Śiśirotsava and lasts for about a month. The colour festival or Holi is a part of longer, more extensive spring festival celebrations. Holi festivities (but not Śigmo festivities) include: Holika Puja and Dahan, Dhulvad or Dhuli vandan, Haldune or offering yellow and saffron colour or Gulal to the deity.

 

MAHARASHTRA

In Maharashtra, Holi Purnima is also celebrated as Shimga, festivities that last 5 to 7 days. A week before the festival, youngsters go around the community, collecting firewood and money. On the day of Shimga, the firewood is a huge pile in neighborhoods. In the evening, the fire is lit. Every household brings a meal and dessert, in the honour of the fire god. Puran Poli is the main delicacy and children shout "Holi re Holi puranachi poli". Shimga celebrates the elimination of all evil. The colour celebrations here traditionally take place on the day of Rangapanchami, five days after Shimga. During this festival, people are supposed to forget and forgive any rivalries and start new healthy relations with all.

 

MANIPUR

Manipuris celebrate Holi for 6 days. Here, this holiday merges with the festival of Yaosang. Traditionally, the festival commences with the burning of a thatched hut of hay and twigs. Young children go from house to house to collect money, locally known as nakadeng (or nakatheng), as gifts on the first two days. The youths at night perform a group folk dance called Thabal chongba on the full moon night of Lamta (Phalgun) along with folk songs and rhythmic beats of the indigenous drum. However, this moonlight party now has modern bands and fluorescent lamps. In Krishna temples, devotees sing devotional songs, perform dances and celebrate with aber (gulal) wearing traditional white and yellow turbans. On the last day of the festival, large processions are taken out to the main Krishna temple near Imphal where several cultural activities are held. In recent decades, Yaoshang, a type of Indian sport, has become common in many places of the valley, where people of all ages come out to participate in a number of sports that are somewhat altered for the holiday.

 

KERALA

Holi is locally called Ukkuli in Konkani or Manjal Kuli in Malayalam. It is celebrated around the Konkani temple called Gosripuram Thirumala temple.

 

KARNATAKA

Traditionally, in rural Karnataka children collect money and wood in the weeks prior to Holi, and on "Kamadahana" night all the wood is put together and lit. The festival is celebrated for two days. People in north Karnataka prepare special food on this day.

 

In Sirsi, Karnataka, Holi is celebrated with a unique folk dance called “Bedara Vesha”, which is performed during the nights beginning five days before the actual festival day. The festival is celebrated every alternate year in the town, which attracts a large number of tourists from different parts of the India.

 

TELANGANA

As in other parts of India, in rural Telangana region, children celebrate kamuda and collect money, rice, Mokkajonna and wood for weeks prior to Holi, and on Kamadhana night all the wood is put together and set on fire.

 

ANDRA PRADESH

In Andhra Pradesh Holi is celebrated along with Basanta Panchami. Holi is a major festival, and the festivities and colour start appearing at least a day before the actual holiday.

 

JAMMU & KASHMIR

In Jammu & Kashmir, Muslims and Hindus alike celebrate Holi. Holi celebrations here are much in line with the general definition of Holi celebrations: a high-spirited festival to mark the beginning of the harvesting of the summer crop, with the throwing of coloured water and powder and singing and dancing.

 

MADHYA PRADESH

In western Madhya Pradesh, Bhil tribesmen who have held on to many of the pre-Hindu customs celebrate it in a special way.

 

HARYANA & WESTERN UTTAR PRADESH

This region has its own variety of Holi. The Holi celebration in Dhampur is famous throughout the whole of Western UP.

 

TAMIL NADU

In the Phalguna Poornima is Panguni Uthram (Meena Uttara-phalguni in Sanskrit). It is special because of the star "Uthiram" and "Pournami" occurring together, is the marriage anniversary of many mythological figures and deities. On this day Goddess Mahalakshmi incarnated on earth from the ocean of milk (after the ocean was churned by the gods and the demons). Holi is celebrated as Vasanthosavam and all temples start their Utsavams with decorations and music, dance festivals, Pravachans and Harikathas. The colours are also popular, and celebrate divine love and welcoming of spring.

 

NEPAL

In Nepal, Holi celebrated in Hills is remarkably different from Madhesh, even the festival is celebrated on two different days. Holi is celebrated in the month of Falgun and is also called as the "Fagu/Phaguwa" and is celebrated on the full moon day (in hills) and the day after (in Madhesh) in the month of February. The word "Fagu/Phaguwa" (Devanagari:फागु/फगुआ) represents the month of Falgun and the day is called the "Fagu Poornima" (Devanagari:फागु पुर्णीमा) which means (full moon day in the Falgun).

 

In Nepal Holi is regarded as one of the greatest festivals as important as Dashain (also known as Dussehra in Madhesh) and Tihar or Dipawali (also known as Diwali in Madhesh). Since more than 80% of people in Nepal are Hindus, Holi, along with many other Hindu festivals, is celebrated in Nepal as a national festival and almost everyone celebrates it regardless of their religion, e.g., even Muslims celebrate it. Christians may also join in, although since Holi falls during Lent, many would not join in the festivities. The day of Holi is also a national holiday in Nepal.

 

People walk down their neighbourhoods to celebrate Holi by exchanging colours and spraying coloured water on one another. A popular activity is the throwing of water balloons at one another, sometimes called lola (meaning water balloon). Also a lot of people mix bhang in their drinks and food, as is also done during Shivaratri. It is believed that the combination of different colours at this festival take all the sorrow away and make life itself more colourful.

 

INDIAN DIASPORA

Over the years, Holi has become an important festival in many regions wherever Indian diaspora were either taken as indentured laborers during colonial era, or where they emigrated on their own, and are now present in large numbers such as in Africa, North America, Europe, Latin America, and parts of Asia such as Fiji.

 

SURINAME

Holi is a national holiday in Suriname. It is called Phagwa festival, and is celebrated to mark the beginning of spring and Hindu mythology. In Suriname, Holi Phagwa is a festival of colour. It is customary to wear old white clothes on this day, be prepared to get them dirty and join in the colour throwing excitement and party.

 

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO

Phagwa is normally celebrated in Trinidad and Tobago on the Sunday closest to the actual date of Phagwa. It is celebrated with a lot of colour and splendour, along with the singing on traditional Phagwa songs or Chowtaal (ganna).

 

GUYANA

Phagwah is a national holiday in Guyana, and peoples of all races and religions participate in the celebrations. The main celebration in Georgetown is held at the Mandir in Prashad Nagar.

 

FIJI

Indo-Fijians celebrate Holi as festival of colours, folksongs and dances. The folksongs sung in Fiji during Holi season are called phaag gaaian. Phagan, also written as Phalgan, is the last month of the Hindu calendar. Holi is celebrated at the end of Phagan. Holi marks the advent of spring and ripening of crops in Northern India. Not only it is a season of romance and excitement, folk songs and dances, it is also an occasion of playing with powder, perfumes and colours. Many of the Holi songs in Fiji are around the theme of love-relationship between Radha and Krishna.

 

MAURITIUS

Holi in Mauritius comes close on the heels of Shivaratri. It celebrates the beginning of spring, commemorating good harvests and the fertile land. Hindus believe it is a time of enjoying spring’s abundant colours and saying farewell to winter. It is considered one of the most exhilarating religious holidays in existence. During this event, participants hold a bonfire, throw coloured powder at each other, and celebrate wildly.

_____________

 

TRADITIONAL HOLI

The spring season, during which the weather changes, is believed to cause viral fever and cold. The playful throwing of natural coloured powders has a medicinal significance: the colours are traditionally made of Neem, Kumkum, Haldi, Bilva, and other medicinal herbs prescribed by Āyurvedic doctors.

 

Many colours are obtained by mixing primary colours. Artisans produce and sell many of the colours from natural sources in dry powder form, in weeks and months preceding Holi. Some of the traditional natural plant based sources of colours are:

 

ORANGE & RED

The flowers of palash or tesu tree, also called the flame of the forest, are typical source of bright red and deep orange colours. Powdered fragrant red sandal wood, dried hibiscus flowers, madder tree, radish and pomegranate are alternate sources and shades of red. Mixing lime with turmeric powder creates an alternate source of orange powder, as does boiling saffron (kesar) in water.

 

GREEN

Mehendi and dried leaves of gulmohur tree offer a source of green colour. In some areas, the leaves of spring crops and herbs have been used as source of green pigment.

 

YELLOW

Haldi (turmeric) powder is the typical source of yellow colour. Sometimes this is mixed with chickpeas, gram or other flour to get the right shade. Bael fruit, amaltas, species of chrysanthemums, and species of marigold are alternate sources of yellow.

 

BLUE

Indigo, Indian berries, species of grapes, blue hibiscus and jacaranda flowers are traditional sources of blue colour for Holi.

 

MAGENTA & PURPLE

Beetroot is the traditional source of magenta and purple colour. Often these are directly boiled in water to prepare coloured water.

 

BROWN

Dried tea leaves offer a source of brown coloured water. Certain clays are alternate source of brown.

 

BLACK

Species of grapes, fruits of amla (gooseberry) and vegetable carbon (charcoal) offer gray to black colours.

 

MODERN ISSUES

SYNTHETIC COLOURS

Natural colours were used in the past to celebrate Holi safely by applying turmeric, sandalwood paste, extracts of flowers and leaves. As the spring-blossoming trees that once supplied the colours used to celebrate Holi have become more rare, chemically produced industrial dyes have been used to take their place in almost all of urban India. Due to the commercial availability of attractive pigments, slowly the natural colours are replaced by synthetic colours. As a result it has caused mild to severe symptoms of skin irritation and inflammation. Lack of control over the quality and content of these colours is a problem, as they are frequently sold by vendors who do not know their origin.

 

A 2007 study found that Malachite green, a synthetic bluish-green dye used in some colours during Holi festival, as responsible for severe eye irritation in Delhi, if eyes were not washed upon exposure. Though the study found that the pigment did not penetrate through the cornea, malachite green is of concern and needs further study.

 

Another 2009 study reports that some colours produced and sold in India contain metal-based industrial dyes, causing an increase in cutaneous problems to some people in the days following Holi. These colours are produced in India, particularly by small informal businesses, without any quality checks and are sold freely in the market. The colours are sold without labeling, and the consumer lacks information about the source of the colours, their contents, and possible toxic effects. In recent years, several nongovernmental organisations have started campaigning for safe practices related to the use of colours. Some are producing and marketing ranges of safer colours derived from natural sources such as vegetables and flowers.

 

These reports have galvanised a number of groups into promoting more natural celebrations of Holi. Development Alternatives, Delhi and Kalpavriksh, Pune, The CLEAN India campaign, and Society for Child Development, through its Avacayam Cooperative Campaign have launched campaigns to help children learn to make their own colours for Holi from safer, natural ingredients. Meanwhile, some commercial companies such as the National Botanical Research Institute have begun to market "herbal" dyes, though these are substantially more expensive than the dangerous alternatives. However, it may be noted that many parts of rural India have always resorted to natural colours (and other parts of festivities more than colours) due to availability.

 

In urban areas, some people wear nose mask and sun glasses to avoid inhaling pigments and to prevent chemical exposure to eyes.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

An alleged environmental issue related to the celebration of Holi is the traditional Holika bonfire, which is believed to contribute to deforestation. Activists estimate Holika causes 30,000 bonfires each burning approximately 100 kilograms of wood every year. This represents less than 0.0001% of 350 million tons of wood India consumes every year, as one of the traditional fuels for cooking and other uses. Methods to further reduce wood consumption during Holika have been proposed, including the replacement of wood with waste material or lighting of a single fire per community, rather than multiple smaller fires. However, the idea of lighting waste material antagonises large sections of a certain community, who take it as an attack to their cultures and traditions citing several examples of similar festivities elsewhere.

 

The use of heavy metal-based pigments during Holi is also reported to cause temporary wastewater pollution, with the water systems recovering to pre-festival levels within 5 days.

 

INFLUENCE ON OTHER CULTURES

The Color Run, Run or Dye, Color in Motion, Color Me Rad, The Graffiti Run, and other runs are starting to spread over the United States. They combine the bright colours of Holi with the intensity of a 5K race. Runners show up wearing white running outfits and every kilometer they run, they are doused in a different colour. Holi is also celebrated in a non-sporting format, as a social event in parts of the United States. For example, at Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple in Spanish Fork, Utah Holi is celebrated as the Festival of Color, where thousands of people gather from all over the United States, play and mingle.

 

Similarly in Europe and elsewhere, several groups such as Holi Festival of Colours,[8] Holi One, and Colors Festival have been organising Holi as a social and partying event, to celebrate amity and togetherness, in various cities around the world. In 2013, Holi Festival of Colours hosted nearly 250,000 participants at venues all over the world. Instead of coinciding with the date when Holi is celebrated in India, these Holi-inspired festivals are typically adapted to local weather and holiday schedules. The organisers claim thousands of people join in to celebrate and experience the festivities. Critics claim these Holi-themed events are a for-profit commercial twist with ticket sales and may be a fad that lacks the traditional breadth and depth of Holi, while supporters claim the ticket prices cover the cost of safe colours they provide, space, clean up, music and general security.

 

In the music video for their song "The Catalyst", American rock band Linkin Park incorporated scenes of band members throwing powdered colour at one another. The director, band turntablist Joe Hahn, identifies Holi as a direct influence on the visual style of the video. Hahn states that "... the inspiration for the colors came from the Color Festival in India called Holi." He further elaborates on the religious significance of the colours: "People collect these pigments throughout the year to release them in this festival as a celebration of life and tribute to Vishnu."

 

South Africa-based electro-swing dance group Goodluck released a song "The Vision" wherein Holi is seen as an influence.

 

The Holi festival was featured as a RoadBlock challenge in the popular CBS reality television show The Amazing Race 13, episode 7.

 

The Ke$ha music video for the song "Take It Off" features powdered coloured dyes similar to those used to celebrate Holi.

 

The music video for Regina Spektor's song "Fidelity" depicts a couple in an achromatic set throwing and celebrating in powdered pigments.

 

The 2006 independent film Outsourced details the story of Todd Anderson, an American call center novelty products salesman (Josh Hamilton) as he heads to India to train his replacement after his entire department is outsourced to a new, much cheaper call centre in Gharapuri. Todd soon discovers that to successfully train his new charges, he must learn about their culture. A Holi celebration is the catalyst for this change in his attitude.

 

On September 18, 2009, in an episode of the USA Network series Psych entitled "Bollywood Homicide," Holi is first depicted on an American network television. Shawn is distracted by someone throwing red powder at him.

 

The March 17, 2011 episode of the NBC series based on the film of the same name, Outsourced, titled "Todd's Holi War," takes a more sitcom-oriented approach to the holiday, marking Holi's second appearance on American network television.

 

The music video Behind the Cow, which appears to be set in India, by the band Scooter features a final scene with everyone throwing coloured powder at one another.

 

In the British TV show An Idiot Abroad, episode 2 has host Karl Pilkington take a trip through Delhi, India where he experiences Holi as locals cover him with coloured powder and paint.

 

Keith Olbermann shows clips from Holi festivals every year on the "Time Marches On" portion of his nightly Countdown news show.

 

The music video for the song "The City" by French DJ Madeon centres on a full-out colour war between two factions of youngsters. In it, the powders are packed in plastic bags for a longer throw.

 

The short film/music video for Up In The Air by Thirty Seconds to Mars features the use of powdered colors for a fight during the film.

 

WIKIPEDIA

View On Black

 

Profile of Suleman Mithaiwala:

www.sulemanmithaiwala.com

 

Suleman, who was a traditional baker of great repute, set up Suleman Mithaiwala about 80 years ago at Minara Masjid, Mohamed Ali Road, Mumbai. This outlet was then developed further by his son, Abdul Latif who was later assisted by his three sons Suleman, Irfan and Abdulla.

 

Special occasions and festive sweets are our main forte. We have dozens of varieties of sweets for each occasion. Our product line also has year round delights which really do not require any celebration but merely the joy of relishing the best sweets that are available in the market.

 

We have also added to our long list of mouth watering sweets, Cakes, Farsan, Bengali Sweets, North Indian Sweets, Chocolate Puddings, and Deserts, which are widely relished in Europe, which are renown for high nutrition and low fat.

 

Tastes are kept in mind of clients in Europe, America, Middle East and even the Far East. This resulted in a relationship of trust and has now created a world wide demand for some of our most exotic sweets, which were relished by people of all walks of life.

 

We have also come out with innovations in season and gift packing. Special attention is paid to Customer Satisfaction. We take stringent measures in maintaining the highest quality of hygiene right up from the initial stages in production till the time they are packed and delivered.

HOLI - FESTIVAL OF COLOURS

Holi (English pronunciation: /ˈhoʊliː/) (Sanskrit: होली) is a spring festival also known as the festival of colours or the festival of love. It is an ancient Hindu religious festival which has become popular with non-Hindus in many parts of South Asia, as well as people of other communities outside Asia.

 

It is primarily observed in India, Nepal, and other regions of the world with significant populations of Hindus or people of Indian origin. The festival has, in recent times, spread to parts of Europe and North America as a spring celebration of love, frolic, and colours.

 

Holi celebrations start with a Holika bonfire on the night before Holi where people gather, sing and dance. The next morning is a free-for-all carnival of colours, where participants play, chase and colour each other with dry powder and coloured water, with some carrying water guns and coloured water-filled balloons for their water fight. Anyone and everyone is fair game, friend or stranger, rich or poor, man or woman, children and elders. The frolic and fight with colours occurs in the open streets, open parks, outside temples and buildings. Groups carry drums and musical instruments, go from place to place, sing and dance. People move and visit family, friends and foes, first play with colours on each other, laugh and chit-chat, then share Holi delicacies, food and drinks. Some drinks are intoxicating. For example, Bhang, an intoxicating ingredient made from cannabis leaves, is mixed into drinks and sweets and consumed by many. In the evening, after sobering up, people dress up, visit friends and family.

 

Holi is celebrated at the approach of vernal equinox, on the Phalguna Purnima (Full Moon). The festival date varies every year, per the Hindu calendar, and typically comes in March, sometimes February in the Gregorian Calendar. The festival signifies the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring, end of winter, and for many a festive day to meet others, play and laugh, forget and forgive, and repair ruptured relationships.

 

SIGNIFICANCE

There is a symbolic legend to explain why holi is well celebrated as a colour fest. The word "Holi" originates from "Holika", the evil sister of demon king Hiranyakashipu. King Hiranyakashipu had earned a boon that made him virtually indestructible. The special powers blinded him, he grew arrogant, thought he was God, and demanded that everyone worshiped only him.

 

Hiranyakashipu's own son, Prahlada, however, disagreed. He was and remained devoted to Vishnu. This infuriated Hiranyakashipu. He subjected Prahlada to cruel punishments, none of which affected the boy or his resolve to do what he thought was right. Finally, Holika - Prahlada's evil aunt - tricked him into sitting on a pyre with her. Holika was wearing a cloak (shawl) that made her immune to injury from fire, while Prahlada was not. As the fire roared, the cloak flew from Holika and encased Prahlada. Holika burned, Prahlada survived. Vishnu appeared and killed Hiranyakashipu. The bonfire is a reminder of the symbolic victory of good over evil, of Prahlada over Hiranyakashipu, of fire that burned Holika. The day after Holika bonfire is celebrated as Holi.

 

In Braj region of India, where Krishna grew up, the festival is celebrated for 16 days (until Rangpanchmi) in commemoration of the divine love of Radha for Krishna, a Hindu deity. The festivities officially usher in spring, with Holi celebrated as festival of love. There is a symbolic myth behind commemorating Krishna as well. Baby Krishna transitioned into his characteristic dark blue skin colour because a she demon Putana poisoned him with her breast milk. In his youth, Krishna despairs whether fair skinned Radha and other Gopikas (girls) will like him because of his skin colour. His mother, tired of the desperation, asks him to approach Radha and colour her face in any colour he wanted. This he does, and Radha and Krishna became a couple. The playful colouring of the face of Radha has henceforth been commemorated as Holi. Beyond India, these legends to explain the significance of Holi (Phagwah) are common in some Caribbean and South American communities of Indian origin such as Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago.

 

Holi festival has other cultural significance. It is the festive day to end and rid oneself of past errors, end conflicts by meeting others, a day to forget and forgive. People pay or forgive debts, as well as deal anew with those in their lives. Holi also marks the start of spring, and for many the start of new year.

 

DESCRIPTION

Holi is an important festival to Hindus. It is celebrated at the end of the winter season on the last full moon day of the lunar month Phalgun (February/March), (Phalgun Purnima), which usually falls in March, sometimes in late February.

 

The festival has many purposes; most prominently, it celebrates the beginning of Spring. In 17th century literature, it was identified as a festival that celebrated agriculture, commemorated good spring harvests and the fertile land. Hindus believe it is a time of enjoying spring's abundant colours and saying farewell to winter. Holi festivities mark the beginning of new year to many Hindus, as well as a justification to reset and renew ruptured relationships, end conflicts and accumulated emotional impurities from past.

 

It also has a religious purpose, symbolically signified by the legend of Holika. The night before Holi, bonfires are lit, in a ceremony known as Holika Dahan (burning of Holika) or Little Holi. People gather near fires, sing and dance. The next day, Holi, also known as Dhuli in Sanskrit, or Dhulheti, Dhulandi or Dhulendi, is celebrated. Children and youth spray coloured powder solutions (Gulal) at each other, laugh and celebrate, while elders tend to smear dry coloured powder (Abir) on each other's face. Visitors to homes are first teased with colours, then served with Holi delicacies, desserts and drinks. After playing with colours, and cleaning up, people bathe, put on clean clothes, visit friends and family.

 

Like Holika Dahan, Kama Dahanam is celebrated in some parts of India. The festival of colours in these parts is called Rangapanchami, and occurs on fifth day after Poornima (full moon).

 

HISTORY & RITUALS

Holi is an ancient Hindu festival with its cultural rituals. It is mentioned in the Puranas, Dasakumara Charita, and by the poet Kālidāsa during the 4th century reign of Chandragupta II. The celebration of Holi is also mentioned in the 7th-century Sanskrit drama, Ratnavali. The festival of Holi caught the fascination of European traders and British colonial staff by the 17th century. Various old editions of Oxford English Dictionary mention it, but with varying, phonetically derived spellings: Houly (1687), Hooly (1698), Huli (1789), Hohlee (1809), Hoolee (1825) and Holi in editions published after 1910.

 

There are several cultural rituals associated with Holi:

 

PREPARE HOLIKA PYRE FOR BONFIRE

Days before the festival people start gathering wood and combustible materials for the bonfire in parks, community centers, near temples and other open spaces. On top of the pyre is an effigy to signify Holika who tricked Prahalad into the fire. Inside homes, people stock up on colour pigments, food, party drinks and festive seasonal foods such as gujiya, mathri, malpuas and other regional delicacies.

 

HOLIKA DAHAN

On the eve of Holi, typically at or after sunset, the pyre is lit, signifying Holika Dahan. The ritual symbolises the victory of good over evil. People gather around the fire, sing and dance.

 

PLAY WITH COLOURS

Holi frolic and celebrations begin the morning after Holika bonfire. There is no tradition of holding puja (prayer), and the day is for partying and pure enjoyment. Children and youth groups form armed with dry colours, coloured solution, means to fill and spray others with coloured solution (pichkaris), balloons that can hold coloured water, and other creative means to colour their targets.

 

Traditionally, washable natural plant-derived colours such as turmeric, neem, dhak, kumkum were used; but water-based commercial pigments are increasingly used. All colours are used. Everyone in open areas such as streets and parks are game. Inside homes or at doorways though, only dry powder is used to smear each other's face. People throw colours, and get their targets completely coloured up. It is like a water fight, but where the water is coloured. People take delight in spraying coloured water on each other. By late morning, everyone looks like a canvas of colours. This is why Holi is given the name “Festival of Colours.”

 

Groups sing and dance, some playing drums and dholak. After each stop of fun and play with colours, people offer gujiya, mathri, malpuas and other traditional delicacies. Chilled drinks, including adult drinks based on local intoxicating herbs, is also part of the Holi festivity.

 

OTHER VARIATIONS

In Braj region around Mathura, in north India, the festivities may last more than week. The rituals go beyond playing with colours, and include a day where men go around with shields and women have the right to playfully beat them on their shields with sticks.

 

In south India, some worship and make offerings to Kaamadeva, the love god of Indian mythology, on Holi.

 

THE AFTER PARTY

After a day of play with colours, people clean up, wash and bathe, sober and dress up in the evening and greet friends and relatives by visiting them and exchange sweets. Holi is also a festival of forgiveness and new starts, which ritually aims to generate harmony in the society.

 

REGIONAL NAMES, RITUALS & CELEBRATIONS

Holi (Hindi: होली, Nepali: होली, Punjabi: ਹੋਲੀ) is also known as Phakuwa or Phagwah (Assamese: ফাকুৱা), Festival of Colours, or Doḷajātra in Odisha, and as Dol Jatra (Assamese: দ’ল যাত্ৰা) or Basantotsav ("spring festival") in West Bengal and Assam. The customs and celebrations vary between regions of India.

 

Holi is of particular significance in the Braj region, which includes locations traditionally connected to the Lord Krishna: Mathura, Vrindavan, Nandgaon, Uttar Pradesh, and Barsana, which become tourist destinations during the season of Holi.

 

Outside India, Holi is observed by the minority Hindus in Bangladesh, Pakistan as well in countries with large Indian subcontinent diaspora populations such as Suriname, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, South Africa, Malaysia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Mauritius, and Fiji. The Holi rituals and customs outside South Asia also vary with local adaptations.

 

INDIA

GUJARAT

In Gujarat, Holi is two day festival. On the evening of the first day people lit the bonfire. People offer raw coconut, corn to the fire. The second day is the festival of colour or "Dhuleti", celebrated by sprinkling coloured water and applying colours to each other. Dwarka, a coastal city of Gujarat, celebrates Holi at the Dwarkadheesh temple and city wide comedy and music festivities.

 

The Holi celebration has its celebrative origins in Gujarat, particularly with dance, food, music, and coloured powder to offer a spring parallel of Navratri, Gujarat's Hindu festival celebrated in the fall. Falling in the Hindu month of Phalguna, Holi marks the agricultural season of the Rabi crop.

 

In Western India, Ahmedabad in Gujarat, a pot of buttermilk is hung high on the streets and young boys try to reach it and break it by making human pyramids. The girls try to stop them by throwing coloured water on them to commemorate the pranks of Krishna and cowherd boys to steal butter and "gopis" while trying to stop the girls. The boy who finally manages to break the pot is crowned the Holi King. Afterwards, the men, who are now very colourful men, go out in a large procession to "alert" people of the Krishna's possible appearance to steal butter from their homes.

 

In some places, there is a custom in the undivided Hindu families that the women of the families beat their brother-in-law with her sari rolled up into a rope in a mock rage as they try to drench them with colours, and in turn, the brothers-in-law bring sweets (Indian desserts) to her in the evening.

 

UTTAR PRADESH

Barsana, a town near Mathura in Braj region of Uttar Pradesh, celebrates Lath mar Holi in the sprawling compound of the Radha Rani temple. Thousands gather to witness the Lath Mar holi when women beat up men with sticks as those on the sidelines become hysterical, sing Holi Songs and shout Sri Radhey or Sri Krishna. The Holi songs of Braj mandal are sung in pure Braj, the local language. Holi celebrated at Barsana is unique in the sense that here women chase men away with sticks. Males also sing provocative songs in a bid to invite the attention of women. Women then go on the offensive and use long staves called lathis to beat men folk who protect themselves with shields.

 

Mathura, in the Braj region, is the birthplace of Lord Krishna, and in Vrindavan this day is celebrated with special puja and the traditional custom of worshipping Lord Krishna, here the festival lasts for sixteen days. All over the Braj region and its nearby places like Hathras, Aligarh, Agra the Holi is celebrated in more or less same way as in Mathura, Vrindavan and Barsana.

 

Outside Braj, in Kanpur area, Holi lasts seven days with colour. On the last day, a grand fair called Ganga Mela or the Holi Mela is celebrated. This Mela (fair) was started by freedom fighters who fought British rule in the First Indian War of Independence in 1857 under the leadership of Nana Saheb. The Mela is held at various Ghats along the banks of River Ganga in Kanpur, to celebrate Hindus and the Muslims who together resisted the British forces in the city in 1857. On the eve of Ganga Mela, all Government offices, shops, Courts generally remain closed. The Ganga Mela marks the official end of "The Festival of Colours" or Holi in Kanpur.

 

In Gorakhpur, the northeast district of Uttar Pradesh, this day starts with a special puja in the morning of Holi day. This day is considered to be the most colourful day of the year promoting the brotherhood among the people. This is known as "Holi Milan" in which people visit every house and sing holi song and express their gratitude by applying coloured powder (Abeer). Holi is also considered as the beginning of the year as it occurs on the first day of new Hindu calendar year (Panchang).

 

UTTARAKHAND

Kumaoni Holi in Uttarakhand includes a musical affair. It takes different forms such as the Baithki Holi, the Khari Holi and the Mahila Holi. In Baithki Holi and Khari Holi, people sing songs with a touch of melody, fun and spiritualism. These songs are essentially based on classical ragas. Baithki Holi (बैठकी होली), also known as Nirvan Ki Holi begins from the premises of temples, where Holiyars (होल्यार) sing Holi songs, people gather to participate, along with playing classical music. The songs are sung in a particular sequence depending on the time of day; for instance, at noon the songs based on Peelu, Bhimpalasi and Sarang ragas, while evening songs are based on the ragas such as Kalyan, Shyamkalyan and Yaman. The Khari Holi (खड़ी होली) is mostly celebrated in the rural areas of Kumaon. The songs of the Khari Holi are sung by the people, who, sporting traditional white churidar payajama and kurta, dance in groups to the tune of ethnic musical instruments such as the Dhol and Hurka.

 

In Kumaon region, the Holika pyre is known as Cheer (चीर,) which is ceremonically made in a ceremony known as Cheer Bandhan (चीर बंधन) fifteen days before Dulhendi. The Cheer is a bonfire with a green Paiya tree branch in the middle. The Cheer of every village and neighborhood is rigorously guarded as rival mohallas try to playfully steal the other's cheer.

 

The colours used on Holi are derived from natural sources. Dulhendi, known as Charadi (छरड़ी) (from Chharad (छरड़)), is made from flower extracts, ash and water. Holi is celebrated with great gusto much in the same way as all across North India.

 

BIHAR

Holi is known as Phaguwa in the local Bhojpuri dialect. In this region as well, the legend of Holika is prevalent. On the eve of Phalgun Poornima, people light bonfires. They put dried cow dung cakes, wood of Araad or Redi tree and Holika tree, grains from the fresh harvest and unwanted wood leaves in the bonfire. At the time of Holika people assemble near the fire. The eldest member of the gathering or a purohit initiates the lighting. He then smears others with colour as a mark of greeting. Next day the festival is celebrated with colours and lot of frolic. Traditionally, people also clean their houses to mark the festival.

 

Holi Milan, is also observed in Bihar where family members and well wishers visit each other's family, apply colours (abeer) on each other's faces, and on feet, if elderly. Usually this takes place on the evening of Holiday after Holi with wet colours is played in the morning through afternoon. Due to large scale internal migration issues faced by the people, recently this tradition has slowly begun to transform. It is common to have Holi Milan on an entirely different day either before or after the actual day of Holi.

 

Children and youths take extreme delight in the festival. Though the festival is usually celebrated with colours, in some places people also enjoy celebrating Holi with water solutions of mud or clay. Folk songs are sung at high pitch and people dance to the tune of dholak and the spirit of Holi. Intoxicating bhang, made from cannabis, milk and spices, is consumed with a variety of mouth-watering delicacies, such as pakoras and thandai, to enhance the mood of the festival.

 

BENGAL

In West Bengal region, Holi is known by the name of "Dol Jatra", "Dol Purnima" or the "Swing Festival". The festival is celebrated in a dignified manner by placing the icons of Krishna and Radha on a picturesquely decorated palanquin which is then taken round the main streets of the city or the village. On the Dol Purnima day in the early morning, the students dress up in saffron-coloured or pure white clothes and wear garlands of fragrant flowers. They sing and dance to the accompaniment of musical instruments like ektara, dubri, veena, etc. The devotees take turns to swing them while women dance around the swing and sing devotional songs. During these activities, the men keep spraying coloured water and coloured powder, abir, at them.

 

The head of the family observes a fast and prays to Lord Krishna and Agnidev. After all the traditional rituals are over, he smears Krishna's icon with gulal and offers "bhog" to both Krishna and Agnidev. In Shantiniketan, Holi has a special musical flavour. Visitors on Holi are offered traditional dishes that include malpoa, kheer sandesh, basanti sandesh (saffron), saffron milk, payash, and related foods.

 

ODISHA

The people of Odisha celebrate Holi as rest of India, but here the icons of Jagannath, the deity of the Jagannath Temple of Puri, replace the icons of Krishna and Radha.

 

ASSAM

Holi, also called Phakuwa (ফাকুৱা) in Assamese, is celebrated all over Assam. Locally called Dol Jatra, associated with Satras of Barpeta, Holi is celebrated over two days. On the first day, the burning of clay huts are seen in Barpeta and lower Assam which signifies the legends of Holika. On the second day of it, Holi is celebrated with colour powders. The Holi songs in chorus devoted to Lord Krishna are also sung in the regions of Barpeta.

 

GOA

Holi is a part of Goan or Konkani spring festival known as Śigmo or शिगमो in Koṅkaṇī or Śiśirotsava and lasts for about a month. The colour festival or Holi is a part of longer, more extensive spring festival celebrations. Holi festivities (but not Śigmo festivities) include: Holika Puja and Dahan, Dhulvad or Dhuli vandan, Haldune or offering yellow and saffron colour or Gulal to the deity.

 

MAHARASHTRA

In Maharashtra, Holi Purnima is also celebrated as Shimga, festivities that last 5 to 7 days. A week before the festival, youngsters go around the community, collecting firewood and money. On the day of Shimga, the firewood is a huge pile in neighborhoods. In the evening, the fire is lit. Every household brings a meal and dessert, in the honour of the fire god. Puran Poli is the main delicacy and children shout "Holi re Holi puranachi poli". Shimga celebrates the elimination of all evil. The colour celebrations here traditionally take place on the day of Rangapanchami, five days after Shimga. During this festival, people are supposed to forget and forgive any rivalries and start new healthy relations with all.

 

MANIPUR

Manipuris celebrate Holi for 6 days. Here, this holiday merges with the festival of Yaosang. Traditionally, the festival commences with the burning of a thatched hut of hay and twigs. Young children go from house to house to collect money, locally known as nakadeng (or nakatheng), as gifts on the first two days. The youths at night perform a group folk dance called Thabal chongba on the full moon night of Lamta (Phalgun) along with folk songs and rhythmic beats of the indigenous drum. However, this moonlight party now has modern bands and fluorescent lamps. In Krishna temples, devotees sing devotional songs, perform dances and celebrate with aber (gulal) wearing traditional white and yellow turbans. On the last day of the festival, large processions are taken out to the main Krishna temple near Imphal where several cultural activities are held. In recent decades, Yaoshang, a type of Indian sport, has become common in many places of the valley, where people of all ages come out to participate in a number of sports that are somewhat altered for the holiday.

 

KERALA

Holi is locally called Ukkuli in Konkani or Manjal Kuli in Malayalam. It is celebrated around the Konkani temple called Gosripuram Thirumala temple.

 

KARNATAKA

Traditionally, in rural Karnataka children collect money and wood in the weeks prior to Holi, and on "Kamadahana" night all the wood is put together and lit. The festival is celebrated for two days. People in north Karnataka prepare special food on this day.

 

In Sirsi, Karnataka, Holi is celebrated with a unique folk dance called “Bedara Vesha”, which is performed during the nights beginning five days before the actual festival day. The festival is celebrated every alternate year in the town, which attracts a large number of tourists from different parts of the India.

 

TELANGANA

As in other parts of India, in rural Telangana region, children celebrate kamuda and collect money, rice, Mokkajonna and wood for weeks prior to Holi, and on Kamadhana night all the wood is put together and set on fire.

 

ANDRA PRADESH

In Andhra Pradesh Holi is celebrated along with Basanta Panchami. Holi is a major festival, and the festivities and colour start appearing at least a day before the actual holiday.

 

JAMMU & KASHMIR

In Jammu & Kashmir, Muslims and Hindus alike celebrate Holi. Holi celebrations here are much in line with the general definition of Holi celebrations: a high-spirited festival to mark the beginning of the harvesting of the summer crop, with the throwing of coloured water and powder and singing and dancing.

 

MADHYA PRADESH

In western Madhya Pradesh, Bhil tribesmen who have held on to many of the pre-Hindu customs celebrate it in a special way.

 

HARYANA & WESTERN UTTAR PRADESH

This region has its own variety of Holi. The Holi celebration in Dhampur is famous throughout the whole of Western UP.

 

TAMIL NADU

In the Phalguna Poornima is Panguni Uthram (Meena Uttara-phalguni in Sanskrit). It is special because of the star "Uthiram" and "Pournami" occurring together, is the marriage anniversary of many mythological figures and deities. On this day Goddess Mahalakshmi incarnated on earth from the ocean of milk (after the ocean was churned by the gods and the demons). Holi is celebrated as Vasanthosavam and all temples start their Utsavams with decorations and music, dance festivals, Pravachans and Harikathas. The colours are also popular, and celebrate divine love and welcoming of spring.

 

NEPAL

In Nepal, Holi celebrated in Hills is remarkably different from Madhesh, even the festival is celebrated on two different days. Holi is celebrated in the month of Falgun and is also called as the "Fagu/Phaguwa" and is celebrated on the full moon day (in hills) and the day after (in Madhesh) in the month of February. The word "Fagu/Phaguwa" (Devanagari:फागु/फगुआ) represents the month of Falgun and the day is called the "Fagu Poornima" (Devanagari:फागु पुर्णीमा) which means (full moon day in the Falgun).

 

In Nepal Holi is regarded as one of the greatest festivals as important as Dashain (also known as Dussehra in Madhesh) and Tihar or Dipawali (also known as Diwali in Madhesh). Since more than 80% of people in Nepal are Hindus, Holi, along with many other Hindu festivals, is celebrated in Nepal as a national festival and almost everyone celebrates it regardless of their religion, e.g., even Muslims celebrate it. Christians may also join in, although since Holi falls during Lent, many would not join in the festivities. The day of Holi is also a national holiday in Nepal.

 

People walk down their neighbourhoods to celebrate Holi by exchanging colours and spraying coloured water on one another. A popular activity is the throwing of water balloons at one another, sometimes called lola (meaning water balloon). Also a lot of people mix bhang in their drinks and food, as is also done during Shivaratri. It is believed that the combination of different colours at this festival take all the sorrow away and make life itself more colourful.

 

INDIAN DIASPORA

Over the years, Holi has become an important festival in many regions wherever Indian diaspora were either taken as indentured laborers during colonial era, or where they emigrated on their own, and are now present in large numbers such as in Africa, North America, Europe, Latin America, and parts of Asia such as Fiji.

 

SURINAME

Holi is a national holiday in Suriname. It is called Phagwa festival, and is celebrated to mark the beginning of spring and Hindu mythology. In Suriname, Holi Phagwa is a festival of colour. It is customary to wear old white clothes on this day, be prepared to get them dirty and join in the colour throwing excitement and party.

 

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO

Phagwa is normally celebrated in Trinidad and Tobago on the Sunday closest to the actual date of Phagwa. It is celebrated with a lot of colour and splendour, along with the singing on traditional Phagwa songs or Chowtaal (ganna).

 

GUYANA

Phagwah is a national holiday in Guyana, and peoples of all races and religions participate in the celebrations. The main celebration in Georgetown is held at the Mandir in Prashad Nagar.

 

FIJI

Indo-Fijians celebrate Holi as festival of colours, folksongs and dances. The folksongs sung in Fiji during Holi season are called phaag gaaian. Phagan, also written as Phalgan, is the last month of the Hindu calendar. Holi is celebrated at the end of Phagan. Holi marks the advent of spring and ripening of crops in Northern India. Not only it is a season of romance and excitement, folk songs and dances, it is also an occasion of playing with powder, perfumes and colours. Many of the Holi songs in Fiji are around the theme of love-relationship between Radha and Krishna.

 

MAURITIUS

Holi in Mauritius comes close on the heels of Shivaratri. It celebrates the beginning of spring, commemorating good harvests and the fertile land. Hindus believe it is a time of enjoying spring’s abundant colours and saying farewell to winter. It is considered one of the most exhilarating religious holidays in existence. During this event, participants hold a bonfire, throw coloured powder at each other, and celebrate wildly.

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TRADITIONAL HOLI

The spring season, during which the weather changes, is believed to cause viral fever and cold. The playful throwing of natural coloured powders has a medicinal significance: the colours are traditionally made of Neem, Kumkum, Haldi, Bilva, and other medicinal herbs prescribed by Āyurvedic doctors.

 

Many colours are obtained by mixing primary colours. Artisans produce and sell many of the colours from natural sources in dry powder form, in weeks and months preceding Holi. Some of the traditional natural plant based sources of colours are:

 

ORANGE & RED

The flowers of palash or tesu tree, also called the flame of the forest, are typical source of bright red and deep orange colours. Powdered fragrant red sandal wood, dried hibiscus flowers, madder tree, radish and pomegranate are alternate sources and shades of red. Mixing lime with turmeric powder creates an alternate source of orange powder, as does boiling saffron (kesar) in water.

 

GREEN

Mehendi and dried leaves of gulmohur tree offer a source of green colour. In some areas, the leaves of spring crops and herbs have been used as source of green pigment.

 

YELLOW

Haldi (turmeric) powder is the typical source of yellow colour. Sometimes this is mixed with chickpeas, gram or other flour to get the right shade. Bael fruit, amaltas, species of chrysanthemums, and species of marigold are alternate sources of yellow.

 

BLUE

Indigo, Indian berries, species of grapes, blue hibiscus and jacaranda flowers are traditional sources of blue colour for Holi.

 

MAGENTA & PURPLE

Beetroot is the traditional source of magenta and purple colour. Often these are directly boiled in water to prepare coloured water.

 

BROWN

Dried tea leaves offer a source of brown coloured water. Certain clays are alternate source of brown.

 

BLACK

Species of grapes, fruits of amla (gooseberry) and vegetable carbon (charcoal) offer gray to black colours.

 

MODERN ISSUES

SYNTHETIC COLOURS

Natural colours were used in the past to celebrate Holi safely by applying turmeric, sandalwood paste, extracts of flowers and leaves. As the spring-blossoming trees that once supplied the colours used to celebrate Holi have become more rare, chemically produced industrial dyes have been used to take their place in almost all of urban India. Due to the commercial availability of attractive pigments, slowly the natural colours are replaced by synthetic colours. As a result it has caused mild to severe symptoms of skin irritation and inflammation. Lack of control over the quality and content of these colours is a problem, as they are frequently sold by vendors who do not know their origin.

 

A 2007 study found that Malachite green, a synthetic bluish-green dye used in some colours during Holi festival, as responsible for severe eye irritation in Delhi, if eyes were not washed upon exposure. Though the study found that the pigment did not penetrate through the cornea, malachite green is of concern and needs further study.

 

Another 2009 study reports that some colours produced and sold in India contain metal-based industrial dyes, causing an increase in cutaneous problems to some people in the days following Holi. These colours are produced in India, particularly by small informal businesses, without any quality checks and are sold freely in the market. The colours are sold without labeling, and the consumer lacks information about the source of the colours, their contents, and possible toxic effects. In recent years, several nongovernmental organisations have started campaigning for safe practices related to the use of colours. Some are producing and marketing ranges of safer colours derived from natural sources such as vegetables and flowers.

 

These reports have galvanised a number of groups into promoting more natural celebrations of Holi. Development Alternatives, Delhi and Kalpavriksh, Pune, The CLEAN India campaign, and Society for Child Development, through its Avacayam Cooperative Campaign have launched campaigns to help children learn to make their own colours for Holi from safer, natural ingredients. Meanwhile, some commercial companies such as the National Botanical Research Institute have begun to market "herbal" dyes, though these are substantially more expensive than the dangerous alternatives. However, it may be noted that many parts of rural India have always resorted to natural colours (and other parts of festivities more than colours) due to availability.

 

In urban areas, some people wear nose mask and sun glasses to avoid inhaling pigments and to prevent chemical exposure to eyes.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

An alleged environmental issue related to the celebration of Holi is the traditional Holika bonfire, which is believed to contribute to deforestation. Activists estimate Holika causes 30,000 bonfires each burning approximately 100 kilograms of wood every year. This represents less than 0.0001% of 350 million tons of wood India consumes every year, as one of the traditional fuels for cooking and other uses. Methods to further reduce wood consumption during Holika have been proposed, including the replacement of wood with waste material or lighting of a single fire per community, rather than multiple smaller fires. However, the idea of lighting waste material antagonises large sections of a certain community, who take it as an attack to their cultures and traditions citing several examples of similar festivities elsewhere.

 

The use of heavy metal-based pigments during Holi is also reported to cause temporary wastewater pollution, with the water systems recovering to pre-festival levels within 5 days.

 

INFLUENCE ON OTHER CULTURES

The Color Run, Run or Dye, Color in Motion, Color Me Rad, The Graffiti Run, and other runs are starting to spread over the United States. They combine the bright colours of Holi with the intensity of a 5K race. Runners show up wearing white running outfits and every kilometer they run, they are doused in a different colour. Holi is also celebrated in a non-sporting format, as a social event in parts of the United States. For example, at Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple in Spanish Fork, Utah Holi is celebrated as the Festival of Color, where thousands of people gather from all over the United States, play and mingle.

 

Similarly in Europe and elsewhere, several groups such as Holi Festival of Colours,[8] Holi One, and Colors Festival have been organising Holi as a social and partying event, to celebrate amity and togetherness, in various cities around the world. In 2013, Holi Festival of Colours hosted nearly 250,000 participants at venues all over the world. Instead of coinciding with the date when Holi is celebrated in India, these Holi-inspired festivals are typically adapted to local weather and holiday schedules. The organisers claim thousands of people join in to celebrate and experience the festivities. Critics claim these Holi-themed events are a for-profit commercial twist with ticket sales and may be a fad that lacks the traditional breadth and depth of Holi, while supporters claim the ticket prices cover the cost of safe colours they provide, space, clean up, music and general security.

 

In the music video for their song "The Catalyst", American rock band Linkin Park incorporated scenes of band members throwing powdered colour at one another. The director, band turntablist Joe Hahn, identifies Holi as a direct influence on the visual style of the video. Hahn states that "... the inspiration for the colors came from the Color Festival in India called Holi." He further elaborates on the religious significance of the colours: "People collect these pigments throughout the year to release them in this festival as a celebration of life and tribute to Vishnu."

 

South Africa-based electro-swing dance group Goodluck released a song "The Vision" wherein Holi is seen as an influence.

 

The Holi festival was featured as a RoadBlock challenge in the popular CBS reality television show The Amazing Race 13, episode 7.

 

The Ke$ha music video for the song "Take It Off" features powdered coloured dyes similar to those used to celebrate Holi.

 

The music video for Regina Spektor's song "Fidelity" depicts a couple in an achromatic set throwing and celebrating in powdered pigments.

 

The 2006 independent film Outsourced details the story of Todd Anderson, an American call center novelty products salesman (Josh Hamilton) as he heads to India to train his replacement after his entire department is outsourced to a new, much cheaper call centre in Gharapuri. Todd soon discovers that to successfully train his new charges, he must learn about their culture. A Holi celebration is the catalyst for this change in his attitude.

 

On September 18, 2009, in an episode of the USA Network series Psych entitled "Bollywood Homicide," Holi is first depicted on an American network television. Shawn is distracted by someone throwing red powder at him.

 

The March 17, 2011 episode of the NBC series based on the film of the same name, Outsourced, titled "Todd's Holi War," takes a more sitcom-oriented approach to the holiday, marking Holi's second appearance on American network television.

 

The music video Behind the Cow, which appears to be set in India, by the band Scooter features a final scene with everyone throwing coloured powder at one another.

 

In the British TV show An Idiot Abroad, episode 2 has host Karl Pilkington take a trip through Delhi, India where he experiences Holi as locals cover him with coloured powder and paint.

 

Keith Olbermann shows clips from Holi festivals every year on the "Time Marches On" portion of his nightly Countdown news show.

 

The music video for the song "The City" by French DJ Madeon centres on a full-out colour war between two factions of youngsters. In it, the powders are packed in plastic bags for a longer throw.

 

The short film/music video for Up In The Air by Thirty Seconds to Mars features the use of powdered colors for a fight during the film.

 

WIKIPEDIA

Mr. Farukh is in service with 'Suleman Mithaiwala' and making Malpuas from past 2 decades now.

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Mr. Suleman, who was a traditional baker of great repute, set up Suleman Mithaiwala about 80 years ago at Minara Masjid, Mohamed Ali Road, Mumbai. This outlet was then developed further by his son, Abdul Latif who was later assisted by his three sons Suleman, Irfan and Abdulla. Suleman Mithawala needs no introduction as the shop is world wide popular for its delicious sweets.

 

the outlet:

www.flickr.com/photos/humayunnapeerzaada/3915148734/

 

Malpua is Ramzan speciality and is available only in the month of Ramzan at Suleman Mithaiwala.

Malpuas are rich, soft filigreed pancakes. The pancake (malpua) batter can be sweetened as in this recipe or the fried malpuas can be soaked in a saffron flavored syrup.

It is served as a dessert or snack in the Indian subcontinent. These are highly popular in Bangladesh, West Bengal and Maharashtra.

In contrast to the rich chicken tangdis, kebabs, cutlets, malpuas and the phirnis there also are some local food joints in and around Mohd Ali rd, Bhendi Bazaar, and Dongri who feed the poor and the needy with minimum dal and chapatis in the month of Ramadan. They charge a bare minimum amount.

 

Shot with Nikon D90 @ Nikon 35mm f/1.8G

HOLI - FESTIVAL OF COLOURS

Holi (English pronunciation: /ˈhoʊliː/) (Sanskrit: होली) is a spring festival also known as the festival of colours or the festival of love. It is an ancient Hindu religious festival which has become popular with non-Hindus in many parts of South Asia, as well as people of other communities outside Asia.

 

It is primarily observed in India, Nepal, and other regions of the world with significant populations of Hindus or people of Indian origin. The festival has, in recent times, spread to parts of Europe and North America as a spring celebration of love, frolic, and colours.

 

Holi celebrations start with a Holika bonfire on the night before Holi where people gather, sing and dance. The next morning is a free-for-all carnival of colours, where participants play, chase and colour each other with dry powder and coloured water, with some carrying water guns and coloured water-filled balloons for their water fight. Anyone and everyone is fair game, friend or stranger, rich or poor, man or woman, children and elders. The frolic and fight with colours occurs in the open streets, open parks, outside temples and buildings. Groups carry drums and musical instruments, go from place to place, sing and dance. People move and visit family, friends and foes, first play with colours on each other, laugh and chit-chat, then share Holi delicacies, food and drinks. Some drinks are intoxicating. For example, Bhang, an intoxicating ingredient made from cannabis leaves, is mixed into drinks and sweets and consumed by many. In the evening, after sobering up, people dress up, visit friends and family.

 

Holi is celebrated at the approach of vernal equinox, on the Phalguna Purnima (Full Moon). The festival date varies every year, per the Hindu calendar, and typically comes in March, sometimes February in the Gregorian Calendar. The festival signifies the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring, end of winter, and for many a festive day to meet others, play and laugh, forget and forgive, and repair ruptured relationships.

 

SIGNIFICANCE

There is a symbolic legend to explain why holi is well celebrated as a colour fest. The word "Holi" originates from "Holika", the evil sister of demon king Hiranyakashipu. King Hiranyakashipu had earned a boon that made him virtually indestructible. The special powers blinded him, he grew arrogant, thought he was God, and demanded that everyone worshiped only him.

 

Hiranyakashipu's own son, Prahlada, however, disagreed. He was and remained devoted to Vishnu. This infuriated Hiranyakashipu. He subjected Prahlada to cruel punishments, none of which affected the boy or his resolve to do what he thought was right. Finally, Holika - Prahlada's evil aunt - tricked him into sitting on a pyre with her. Holika was wearing a cloak (shawl) that made her immune to injury from fire, while Prahlada was not. As the fire roared, the cloak flew from Holika and encased Prahlada. Holika burned, Prahlada survived. Vishnu appeared and killed Hiranyakashipu. The bonfire is a reminder of the symbolic victory of good over evil, of Prahlada over Hiranyakashipu, of fire that burned Holika. The day after Holika bonfire is celebrated as Holi.

 

In Braj region of India, where Krishna grew up, the festival is celebrated for 16 days (until Rangpanchmi) in commemoration of the divine love of Radha for Krishna, a Hindu deity. The festivities officially usher in spring, with Holi celebrated as festival of love. There is a symbolic myth behind commemorating Krishna as well. Baby Krishna transitioned into his characteristic dark blue skin colour because a she demon Putana poisoned him with her breast milk. In his youth, Krishna despairs whether fair skinned Radha and other Gopikas (girls) will like him because of his skin colour. His mother, tired of the desperation, asks him to approach Radha and colour her face in any colour he wanted. This he does, and Radha and Krishna became a couple. The playful colouring of the face of Radha has henceforth been commemorated as Holi. Beyond India, these legends to explain the significance of Holi (Phagwah) are common in some Caribbean and South American communities of Indian origin such as Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago.

 

Holi festival has other cultural significance. It is the festive day to end and rid oneself of past errors, end conflicts by meeting others, a day to forget and forgive. People pay or forgive debts, as well as deal anew with those in their lives. Holi also marks the start of spring, and for many the start of new year.

 

DESCRIPTION

Holi is an important festival to Hindus. It is celebrated at the end of the winter season on the last full moon day of the lunar month Phalgun (February/March), (Phalgun Purnima), which usually falls in March, sometimes in late February.

 

The festival has many purposes; most prominently, it celebrates the beginning of Spring. In 17th century literature, it was identified as a festival that celebrated agriculture, commemorated good spring harvests and the fertile land. Hindus believe it is a time of enjoying spring's abundant colours and saying farewell to winter. Holi festivities mark the beginning of new year to many Hindus, as well as a justification to reset and renew ruptured relationships, end conflicts and accumulated emotional impurities from past.

 

It also has a religious purpose, symbolically signified by the legend of Holika. The night before Holi, bonfires are lit, in a ceremony known as Holika Dahan (burning of Holika) or Little Holi. People gather near fires, sing and dance. The next day, Holi, also known as Dhuli in Sanskrit, or Dhulheti, Dhulandi or Dhulendi, is celebrated. Children and youth spray coloured powder solutions (Gulal) at each other, laugh and celebrate, while elders tend to smear dry coloured powder (Abir) on each other's face. Visitors to homes are first teased with colours, then served with Holi delicacies, desserts and drinks. After playing with colours, and cleaning up, people bathe, put on clean clothes, visit friends and family.

 

Like Holika Dahan, Kama Dahanam is celebrated in some parts of India. The festival of colours in these parts is called Rangapanchami, and occurs on fifth day after Poornima (full moon).

 

HISTORY & RITUALS

Holi is an ancient Hindu festival with its cultural rituals. It is mentioned in the Puranas, Dasakumara Charita, and by the poet Kālidāsa during the 4th century reign of Chandragupta II. The celebration of Holi is also mentioned in the 7th-century Sanskrit drama, Ratnavali. The festival of Holi caught the fascination of European traders and British colonial staff by the 17th century. Various old editions of Oxford English Dictionary mention it, but with varying, phonetically derived spellings: Houly (1687), Hooly (1698), Huli (1789), Hohlee (1809), Hoolee (1825) and Holi in editions published after 1910.

 

There are several cultural rituals associated with Holi:

 

PREPARE HOLIKA PYRE FOR BONFIRE

Days before the festival people start gathering wood and combustible materials for the bonfire in parks, community centers, near temples and other open spaces. On top of the pyre is an effigy to signify Holika who tricked Prahalad into the fire. Inside homes, people stock up on colour pigments, food, party drinks and festive seasonal foods such as gujiya, mathri, malpuas and other regional delicacies.

 

HOLIKA DAHAN

On the eve of Holi, typically at or after sunset, the pyre is lit, signifying Holika Dahan. The ritual symbolises the victory of good over evil. People gather around the fire, sing and dance.

 

PLAY WITH COLOURS

Holi frolic and celebrations begin the morning after Holika bonfire. There is no tradition of holding puja (prayer), and the day is for partying and pure enjoyment. Children and youth groups form armed with dry colours, coloured solution, means to fill and spray others with coloured solution (pichkaris), balloons that can hold coloured water, and other creative means to colour their targets.

 

Traditionally, washable natural plant-derived colours such as turmeric, neem, dhak, kumkum were used; but water-based commercial pigments are increasingly used. All colours are used. Everyone in open areas such as streets and parks are game. Inside homes or at doorways though, only dry powder is used to smear each other's face. People throw colours, and get their targets completely coloured up. It is like a water fight, but where the water is coloured. People take delight in spraying coloured water on each other. By late morning, everyone looks like a canvas of colours. This is why Holi is given the name “Festival of Colours.”

 

Groups sing and dance, some playing drums and dholak. After each stop of fun and play with colours, people offer gujiya, mathri, malpuas and other traditional delicacies. Chilled drinks, including adult drinks based on local intoxicating herbs, is also part of the Holi festivity.

 

OTHER VARIATIONS

In Braj region around Mathura, in north India, the festivities may last more than week. The rituals go beyond playing with colours, and include a day where men go around with shields and women have the right to playfully beat them on their shields with sticks.

 

In south India, some worship and make offerings to Kaamadeva, the love god of Indian mythology, on Holi.

 

THE AFTER PARTY

After a day of play with colours, people clean up, wash and bathe, sober and dress up in the evening and greet friends and relatives by visiting them and exchange sweets. Holi is also a festival of forgiveness and new starts, which ritually aims to generate harmony in the society.

 

REGIONAL NAMES, RITUALS & CELEBRATIONS

Holi (Hindi: होली, Nepali: होली, Punjabi: ਹੋਲੀ) is also known as Phakuwa or Phagwah (Assamese: ফাকুৱা), Festival of Colours, or Doḷajātra in Odisha, and as Dol Jatra (Assamese: দ’ল যাত্ৰা) or Basantotsav ("spring festival") in West Bengal and Assam. The customs and celebrations vary between regions of India.

 

Holi is of particular significance in the Braj region, which includes locations traditionally connected to the Lord Krishna: Mathura, Vrindavan, Nandgaon, Uttar Pradesh, and Barsana, which become tourist destinations during the season of Holi.

 

Outside India, Holi is observed by the minority Hindus in Bangladesh, Pakistan as well in countries with large Indian subcontinent diaspora populations such as Suriname, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, South Africa, Malaysia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Mauritius, and Fiji. The Holi rituals and customs outside South Asia also vary with local adaptations.

 

INDIA

GUJARAT

In Gujarat, Holi is two day festival. On the evening of the first day people lit the bonfire. People offer raw coconut, corn to the fire. The second day is the festival of colour or "Dhuleti", celebrated by sprinkling coloured water and applying colours to each other. Dwarka, a coastal city of Gujarat, celebrates Holi at the Dwarkadheesh temple and city wide comedy and music festivities.

 

The Holi celebration has its celebrative origins in Gujarat, particularly with dance, food, music, and coloured powder to offer a spring parallel of Navratri, Gujarat's Hindu festival celebrated in the fall. Falling in the Hindu month of Phalguna, Holi marks the agricultural season of the Rabi crop.

 

In Western India, Ahmedabad in Gujarat, a pot of buttermilk is hung high on the streets and young boys try to reach it and break it by making human pyramids. The girls try to stop them by throwing coloured water on them to commemorate the pranks of Krishna and cowherd boys to steal butter and "gopis" while trying to stop the girls. The boy who finally manages to break the pot is crowned the Holi King. Afterwards, the men, who are now very colourful men, go out in a large procession to "alert" people of the Krishna's possible appearance to steal butter from their homes.

 

In some places, there is a custom in the undivided Hindu families that the women of the families beat their brother-in-law with her sari rolled up into a rope in a mock rage as they try to drench them with colours, and in turn, the brothers-in-law bring sweets (Indian desserts) to her in the evening.

 

UTTAR PRADESH

Barsana, a town near Mathura in Braj region of Uttar Pradesh, celebrates Lath mar Holi in the sprawling compound of the Radha Rani temple. Thousands gather to witness the Lath Mar holi when women beat up men with sticks as those on the sidelines become hysterical, sing Holi Songs and shout Sri Radhey or Sri Krishna. The Holi songs of Braj mandal are sung in pure Braj, the local language. Holi celebrated at Barsana is unique in the sense that here women chase men away with sticks. Males also sing provocative songs in a bid to invite the attention of women. Women then go on the offensive and use long staves called lathis to beat men folk who protect themselves with shields.

 

Mathura, in the Braj region, is the birthplace of Lord Krishna, and in Vrindavan this day is celebrated with special puja and the traditional custom of worshipping Lord Krishna, here the festival lasts for sixteen days. All over the Braj region and its nearby places like Hathras, Aligarh, Agra the Holi is celebrated in more or less same way as in Mathura, Vrindavan and Barsana.

 

Outside Braj, in Kanpur area, Holi lasts seven days with colour. On the last day, a grand fair called Ganga Mela or the Holi Mela is celebrated. This Mela (fair) was started by freedom fighters who fought British rule in the First Indian War of Independence in 1857 under the leadership of Nana Saheb. The Mela is held at various Ghats along the banks of River Ganga in Kanpur, to celebrate Hindus and the Muslims who together resisted the British forces in the city in 1857. On the eve of Ganga Mela, all Government offices, shops, Courts generally remain closed. The Ganga Mela marks the official end of "The Festival of Colours" or Holi in Kanpur.

 

In Gorakhpur, the northeast district of Uttar Pradesh, this day starts with a special puja in the morning of Holi day. This day is considered to be the most colourful day of the year promoting the brotherhood among the people. This is known as "Holi Milan" in which people visit every house and sing holi song and express their gratitude by applying coloured powder (Abeer). Holi is also considered as the beginning of the year as it occurs on the first day of new Hindu calendar year (Panchang).

 

UTTARAKHAND

Kumaoni Holi in Uttarakhand includes a musical affair. It takes different forms such as the Baithki Holi, the Khari Holi and the Mahila Holi. In Baithki Holi and Khari Holi, people sing songs with a touch of melody, fun and spiritualism. These songs are essentially based on classical ragas. Baithki Holi (बैठकी होली), also known as Nirvan Ki Holi begins from the premises of temples, where Holiyars (होल्यार) sing Holi songs, people gather to participate, along with playing classical music. The songs are sung in a particular sequence depending on the time of day; for instance, at noon the songs based on Peelu, Bhimpalasi and Sarang ragas, while evening songs are based on the ragas such as Kalyan, Shyamkalyan and Yaman. The Khari Holi (खड़ी होली) is mostly celebrated in the rural areas of Kumaon. The songs of the Khari Holi are sung by the people, who, sporting traditional white churidar payajama and kurta, dance in groups to the tune of ethnic musical instruments such as the Dhol and Hurka.

 

In Kumaon region, the Holika pyre is known as Cheer (चीर,) which is ceremonically made in a ceremony known as Cheer Bandhan (चीर बंधन) fifteen days before Dulhendi. The Cheer is a bonfire with a green Paiya tree branch in the middle. The Cheer of every village and neighborhood is rigorously guarded as rival mohallas try to playfully steal the other's cheer.

 

The colours used on Holi are derived from natural sources. Dulhendi, known as Charadi (छरड़ी) (from Chharad (छरड़)), is made from flower extracts, ash and water. Holi is celebrated with great gusto much in the same way as all across North India.

 

BIHAR

Holi is known as Phaguwa in the local Bhojpuri dialect. In this region as well, the legend of Holika is prevalent. On the eve of Phalgun Poornima, people light bonfires. They put dried cow dung cakes, wood of Araad or Redi tree and Holika tree, grains from the fresh harvest and unwanted wood leaves in the bonfire. At the time of Holika people assemble near the fire. The eldest member of the gathering or a purohit initiates the lighting. He then smears others with colour as a mark of greeting. Next day the festival is celebrated with colours and lot of frolic. Traditionally, people also clean their houses to mark the festival.

 

Holi Milan, is also observed in Bihar where family members and well wishers visit each other's family, apply colours (abeer) on each other's faces, and on feet, if elderly. Usually this takes place on the evening of Holiday after Holi with wet colours is played in the morning through afternoon. Due to large scale internal migration issues faced by the people, recently this tradition has slowly begun to transform. It is common to have Holi Milan on an entirely different day either before or after the actual day of Holi.

 

Children and youths take extreme delight in the festival. Though the festival is usually celebrated with colours, in some places people also enjoy celebrating Holi with water solutions of mud or clay. Folk songs are sung at high pitch and people dance to the tune of dholak and the spirit of Holi. Intoxicating bhang, made from cannabis, milk and spices, is consumed with a variety of mouth-watering delicacies, such as pakoras and thandai, to enhance the mood of the festival.

 

BENGAL

In West Bengal region, Holi is known by the name of "Dol Jatra", "Dol Purnima" or the "Swing Festival". The festival is celebrated in a dignified manner by placing the icons of Krishna and Radha on a picturesquely decorated palanquin which is then taken round the main streets of the city or the village. On the Dol Purnima day in the early morning, the students dress up in saffron-coloured or pure white clothes and wear garlands of fragrant flowers. They sing and dance to the accompaniment of musical instruments like ektara, dubri, veena, etc. The devotees take turns to swing them while women dance around the swing and sing devotional songs. During these activities, the men keep spraying coloured water and coloured powder, abir, at them.

 

The head of the family observes a fast and prays to Lord Krishna and Agnidev. After all the traditional rituals are over, he smears Krishna's icon with gulal and offers "bhog" to both Krishna and Agnidev. In Shantiniketan, Holi has a special musical flavour. Visitors on Holi are offered traditional dishes that include malpoa, kheer sandesh, basanti sandesh (saffron), saffron milk, payash, and related foods.

 

ODISHA

The people of Odisha celebrate Holi as rest of India, but here the icons of Jagannath, the deity of the Jagannath Temple of Puri, replace the icons of Krishna and Radha.

 

ASSAM

Holi, also called Phakuwa (ফাকুৱা) in Assamese, is celebrated all over Assam. Locally called Dol Jatra, associated with Satras of Barpeta, Holi is celebrated over two days. On the first day, the burning of clay huts are seen in Barpeta and lower Assam which signifies the legends of Holika. On the second day of it, Holi is celebrated with colour powders. The Holi songs in chorus devoted to Lord Krishna are also sung in the regions of Barpeta.

 

GOA

Holi is a part of Goan or Konkani spring festival known as Śigmo or शिगमो in Koṅkaṇī or Śiśirotsava and lasts for about a month. The colour festival or Holi is a part of longer, more extensive spring festival celebrations. Holi festivities (but not Śigmo festivities) include: Holika Puja and Dahan, Dhulvad or Dhuli vandan, Haldune or offering yellow and saffron colour or Gulal to the deity.

 

MAHARASHTRA

In Maharashtra, Holi Purnima is also celebrated as Shimga, festivities that last 5 to 7 days. A week before the festival, youngsters go around the community, collecting firewood and money. On the day of Shimga, the firewood is a huge pile in neighborhoods. In the evening, the fire is lit. Every household brings a meal and dessert, in the honour of the fire god. Puran Poli is the main delicacy and children shout "Holi re Holi puranachi poli". Shimga celebrates the elimination of all evil. The colour celebrations here traditionally take place on the day of Rangapanchami, five days after Shimga. During this festival, people are supposed to forget and forgive any rivalries and start new healthy relations with all.

 

MANIPUR

Manipuris celebrate Holi for 6 days. Here, this holiday merges with the festival of Yaosang. Traditionally, the festival commences with the burning of a thatched hut of hay and twigs. Young children go from house to house to collect money, locally known as nakadeng (or nakatheng), as gifts on the first two days. The youths at night perform a group folk dance called Thabal chongba on the full moon night of Lamta (Phalgun) along with folk songs and rhythmic beats of the indigenous drum. However, this moonlight party now has modern bands and fluorescent lamps. In Krishna temples, devotees sing devotional songs, perform dances and celebrate with aber (gulal) wearing traditional white and yellow turbans. On the last day of the festival, large processions are taken out to the main Krishna temple near Imphal where several cultural activities are held. In recent decades, Yaoshang, a type of Indian sport, has become common in many places of the valley, where people of all ages come out to participate in a number of sports that are somewhat altered for the holiday.

 

KERALA

Holi is locally called Ukkuli in Konkani or Manjal Kuli in Malayalam. It is celebrated around the Konkani temple called Gosripuram Thirumala temple.

 

KARNATAKA

Traditionally, in rural Karnataka children collect money and wood in the weeks prior to Holi, and on "Kamadahana" night all the wood is put together and lit. The festival is celebrated for two days. People in north Karnataka prepare special food on this day.

 

In Sirsi, Karnataka, Holi is celebrated with a unique folk dance called “Bedara Vesha”, which is performed during the nights beginning five days before the actual festival day. The festival is celebrated every alternate year in the town, which attracts a large number of tourists from different parts of the India.

 

TELANGANA

As in other parts of India, in rural Telangana region, children celebrate kamuda and collect money, rice, Mokkajonna and wood for weeks prior to Holi, and on Kamadhana night all the wood is put together and set on fire.

 

ANDRA PRADESH

In Andhra Pradesh Holi is celebrated along with Basanta Panchami. Holi is a major festival, and the festivities and colour start appearing at least a day before the actual holiday.

 

JAMMU & KASHMIR

In Jammu & Kashmir, Muslims and Hindus alike celebrate Holi. Holi celebrations here are much in line with the general definition of Holi celebrations: a high-spirited festival to mark the beginning of the harvesting of the summer crop, with the throwing of coloured water and powder and singing and dancing.

 

MADHYA PRADESH

In western Madhya Pradesh, Bhil tribesmen who have held on to many of the pre-Hindu customs celebrate it in a special way.

 

HARYANA & WESTERN UTTAR PRADESH

This region has its own variety of Holi. The Holi celebration in Dhampur is famous throughout the whole of Western UP.

 

TAMIL NADU

In the Phalguna Poornima is Panguni Uthram (Meena Uttara-phalguni in Sanskrit). It is special because of the star "Uthiram" and "Pournami" occurring together, is the marriage anniversary of many mythological figures and deities. On this day Goddess Mahalakshmi incarnated on earth from the ocean of milk (after the ocean was churned by the gods and the demons). Holi is celebrated as Vasanthosavam and all temples start their Utsavams with decorations and music, dance festivals, Pravachans and Harikathas. The colours are also popular, and celebrate divine love and welcoming of spring.

 

NEPAL

In Nepal, Holi celebrated in Hills is remarkably different from Madhesh, even the festival is celebrated on two different days. Holi is celebrated in the month of Falgun and is also called as the "Fagu/Phaguwa" and is celebrated on the full moon day (in hills) and the day after (in Madhesh) in the month of February. The word "Fagu/Phaguwa" (Devanagari:फागु/फगुआ) represents the month of Falgun and the day is called the "Fagu Poornima" (Devanagari:फागु पुर्णीमा) which means (full moon day in the Falgun).

 

In Nepal Holi is regarded as one of the greatest festivals as important as Dashain (also known as Dussehra in Madhesh) and Tihar or Dipawali (also known as Diwali in Madhesh). Since more than 80% of people in Nepal are Hindus, Holi, along with many other Hindu festivals, is celebrated in Nepal as a national festival and almost everyone celebrates it regardless of their religion, e.g., even Muslims celebrate it. Christians may also join in, although since Holi falls during Lent, many would not join in the festivities. The day of Holi is also a national holiday in Nepal.

 

People walk down their neighbourhoods to celebrate Holi by exchanging colours and spraying coloured water on one another. A popular activity is the throwing of water balloons at one another, sometimes called lola (meaning water balloon). Also a lot of people mix bhang in their drinks and food, as is also done during Shivaratri. It is believed that the combination of different colours at this festival take all the sorrow away and make life itself more colourful.

 

INDIAN DIASPORA

Over the years, Holi has become an important festival in many regions wherever Indian diaspora were either taken as indentured laborers during colonial era, or where they emigrated on their own, and are now present in large numbers such as in Africa, North America, Europe, Latin America, and parts of Asia such as Fiji.

 

SURINAME

Holi is a national holiday in Suriname. It is called Phagwa festival, and is celebrated to mark the beginning of spring and Hindu mythology. In Suriname, Holi Phagwa is a festival of colour. It is customary to wear old white clothes on this day, be prepared to get them dirty and join in the colour throwing excitement and party.

 

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO

Phagwa is normally celebrated in Trinidad and Tobago on the Sunday closest to the actual date of Phagwa. It is celebrated with a lot of colour and splendour, along with the singing on traditional Phagwa songs or Chowtaal (ganna).

 

GUYANA

Phagwah is a national holiday in Guyana, and peoples of all races and religions participate in the celebrations. The main celebration in Georgetown is held at the Mandir in Prashad Nagar.

 

FIJI

Indo-Fijians celebrate Holi as festival of colours, folksongs and dances. The folksongs sung in Fiji during Holi season are called phaag gaaian. Phagan, also written as Phalgan, is the last month of the Hindu calendar. Holi is celebrated at the end of Phagan. Holi marks the advent of spring and ripening of crops in Northern India. Not only it is a season of romance and excitement, folk songs and dances, it is also an occasion of playing with powder, perfumes and colours. Many of the Holi songs in Fiji are around the theme of love-relationship between Radha and Krishna.

 

MAURITIUS

Holi in Mauritius comes close on the heels of Shivaratri. It celebrates the beginning of spring, commemorating good harvests and the fertile land. Hindus believe it is a time of enjoying spring’s abundant colours and saying farewell to winter. It is considered one of the most exhilarating religious holidays in existence. During this event, participants hold a bonfire, throw coloured powder at each other, and celebrate wildly.

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TRADITIONAL HOLI

The spring season, during which the weather changes, is believed to cause viral fever and cold. The playful throwing of natural coloured powders has a medicinal significance: the colours are traditionally made of Neem, Kumkum, Haldi, Bilva, and other medicinal herbs prescribed by Āyurvedic doctors.

 

Many colours are obtained by mixing primary colours. Artisans produce and sell many of the colours from natural sources in dry powder form, in weeks and months preceding Holi. Some of the traditional natural plant based sources of colours are:

 

ORANGE & RED

The flowers of palash or tesu tree, also called the flame of the forest, are typical source of bright red and deep orange colours. Powdered fragrant red sandal wood, dried hibiscus flowers, madder tree, radish and pomegranate are alternate sources and shades of red. Mixing lime with turmeric powder creates an alternate source of orange powder, as does boiling saffron (kesar) in water.

 

GREEN

Mehendi and dried leaves of gulmohur tree offer a source of green colour. In some areas, the leaves of spring crops and herbs have been used as source of green pigment.

 

YELLOW

Haldi (turmeric) powder is the typical source of yellow colour. Sometimes this is mixed with chickpeas, gram or other flour to get the right shade. Bael fruit, amaltas, species of chrysanthemums, and species of marigold are alternate sources of yellow.

 

BLUE

Indigo, Indian berries, species of grapes, blue hibiscus and jacaranda flowers are traditional sources of blue colour for Holi.

 

MAGENTA & PURPLE

Beetroot is the traditional source of magenta and purple colour. Often these are directly boiled in water to prepare coloured water.

 

BROWN

Dried tea leaves offer a source of brown coloured water. Certain clays are alternate source of brown.

 

BLACK

Species of grapes, fruits of amla (gooseberry) and vegetable carbon (charcoal) offer gray to black colours.

 

MODERN ISSUES

SYNTHETIC COLOURS

Natural colours were used in the past to celebrate Holi safely by applying turmeric, sandalwood paste, extracts of flowers and leaves. As the spring-blossoming trees that once supplied the colours used to celebrate Holi have become more rare, chemically produced industrial dyes have been used to take their place in almost all of urban India. Due to the commercial availability of attractive pigments, slowly the natural colours are replaced by synthetic colours. As a result it has caused mild to severe symptoms of skin irritation and inflammation. Lack of control over the quality and content of these colours is a problem, as they are frequently sold by vendors who do not know their origin.

 

A 2007 study found that Malachite green, a synthetic bluish-green dye used in some colours during Holi festival, as responsible for severe eye irritation in Delhi, if eyes were not washed upon exposure. Though the study found that the pigment did not penetrate through the cornea, malachite green is of concern and needs further study.

 

Another 2009 study reports that some colours produced and sold in India contain metal-based industrial dyes, causing an increase in cutaneous problems to some people in the days following Holi. These colours are produced in India, particularly by small informal businesses, without any quality checks and are sold freely in the market. The colours are sold without labeling, and the consumer lacks information about the source of the colours, their contents, and possible toxic effects. In recent years, several nongovernmental organisations have started campaigning for safe practices related to the use of colours. Some are producing and marketing ranges of safer colours derived from natural sources such as vegetables and flowers.

 

These reports have galvanised a number of groups into promoting more natural celebrations of Holi. Development Alternatives, Delhi and Kalpavriksh, Pune, The CLEAN India campaign, and Society for Child Development, through its Avacayam Cooperative Campaign have launched campaigns to help children learn to make their own colours for Holi from safer, natural ingredients. Meanwhile, some commercial companies such as the National Botanical Research Institute have begun to market "herbal" dyes, though these are substantially more expensive than the dangerous alternatives. However, it may be noted that many parts of rural India have always resorted to natural colours (and other parts of festivities more than colours) due to availability.

 

In urban areas, some people wear nose mask and sun glasses to avoid inhaling pigments and to prevent chemical exposure to eyes.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

An alleged environmental issue related to the celebration of Holi is the traditional Holika bonfire, which is believed to contribute to deforestation. Activists estimate Holika causes 30,000 bonfires each burning approximately 100 kilograms of wood every year. This represents less than 0.0001% of 350 million tons of wood India consumes every year, as one of the traditional fuels for cooking and other uses. Methods to further reduce wood consumption during Holika have been proposed, including the replacement of wood with waste material or lighting of a single fire per community, rather than multiple smaller fires. However, the idea of lighting waste material antagonises large sections of a certain community, who take it as an attack to their cultures and traditions citing several examples of similar festivities elsewhere.

 

The use of heavy metal-based pigments during Holi is also reported to cause temporary wastewater pollution, with the water systems recovering to pre-festival levels within 5 days.

 

INFLUENCE ON OTHER CULTURES

The Color Run, Run or Dye, Color in Motion, Color Me Rad, The Graffiti Run, and other runs are starting to spread over the United States. They combine the bright colours of Holi with the intensity of a 5K race. Runners show up wearing white running outfits and every kilometer they run, they are doused in a different colour. Holi is also celebrated in a non-sporting format, as a social event in parts of the United States. For example, at Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple in Spanish Fork, Utah Holi is celebrated as the Festival of Color, where thousands of people gather from all over the United States, play and mingle.

 

Similarly in Europe and elsewhere, several groups such as Holi Festival of Colours,[8] Holi One, and Colors Festival have been organising Holi as a social and partying event, to celebrate amity and togetherness, in various cities around the world. In 2013, Holi Festival of Colours hosted nearly 250,000 participants at venues all over the world. Instead of coinciding with the date when Holi is celebrated in India, these Holi-inspired festivals are typically adapted to local weather and holiday schedules. The organisers claim thousands of people join in to celebrate and experience the festivities. Critics claim these Holi-themed events are a for-profit commercial twist with ticket sales and may be a fad that lacks the traditional breadth and depth of Holi, while supporters claim the ticket prices cover the cost of safe colours they provide, space, clean up, music and general security.

 

In the music video for their song "The Catalyst", American rock band Linkin Park incorporated scenes of band members throwing powdered colour at one another. The director, band turntablist Joe Hahn, identifies Holi as a direct influence on the visual style of the video. Hahn states that "... the inspiration for the colors came from the Color Festival in India called Holi." He further elaborates on the religious significance of the colours: "People collect these pigments throughout the year to release them in this festival as a celebration of life and tribute to Vishnu."

 

South Africa-based electro-swing dance group Goodluck released a song "The Vision" wherein Holi is seen as an influence.

 

The Holi festival was featured as a RoadBlock challenge in the popular CBS reality television show The Amazing Race 13, episode 7.

 

The Ke$ha music video for the song "Take It Off" features powdered coloured dyes similar to those used to celebrate Holi.

 

The music video for Regina Spektor's song "Fidelity" depicts a couple in an achromatic set throwing and celebrating in powdered pigments.

 

The 2006 independent film Outsourced details the story of Todd Anderson, an American call center novelty products salesman (Josh Hamilton) as he heads to India to train his replacement after his entire department is outsourced to a new, much cheaper call centre in Gharapuri. Todd soon discovers that to successfully train his new charges, he must learn about their culture. A Holi celebration is the catalyst for this change in his attitude.

 

On September 18, 2009, in an episode of the USA Network series Psych entitled "Bollywood Homicide," Holi is first depicted on an American network television. Shawn is distracted by someone throwing red powder at him.

 

The March 17, 2011 episode of the NBC series based on the film of the same name, Outsourced, titled "Todd's Holi War," takes a more sitcom-oriented approach to the holiday, marking Holi's second appearance on American network television.

 

The music video Behind the Cow, which appears to be set in India, by the band Scooter features a final scene with everyone throwing coloured powder at one another.

 

In the British TV show An Idiot Abroad, episode 2 has host Karl Pilkington take a trip through Delhi, India where he experiences Holi as locals cover him with coloured powder and paint.

 

Keith Olbermann shows clips from Holi festivals every year on the "Time Marches On" portion of his nightly Countdown news show.

 

The music video for the song "The City" by French DJ Madeon centres on a full-out colour war between two factions of youngsters. In it, the powders are packed in plastic bags for a longer throw.

 

The short film/music video for Up In The Air by Thirty Seconds to Mars features the use of powdered colors for a fight during the film.

 

WIKIPEDIA