Spicy, rich in flavor and diverse; are the terms that are generally used to describe Indian cuisine. A specialty about Indian food is that it is made up of a wide array of local regional cuisines that come from various parts of India.
The varied culture of food is influenced by the differences in climate and soil conditions. In regional dishes, each region has made the use of their locally grown herbs, spices and ingredients. The regional traditions and culture also play significant roles in influencing the cuisines and diets of the Indians.
The North Indian Food and South Indian Food
Non-Indians often get intrigued about the vast differences in flavors of North and South. The north Indian food is known for its wholesome flavors and spice element called “Punjabi tadka”; on the other hand, the south Indian food can leave you craving for more with its savory curries and rice dishes.
Some of the common items consumed in daily meals by North Indians are tandoor oven cooked meat roast preparations. The popular rice dish called “Biryani” adds to the native flavor of north Indian cuisine. North Indian food also serves different types of flat breads called “chapati” and “poori” to accompany with thick curry dishes. Since North India produces wheat in abundance, they incorporate it in their dishes.
The Indian food originated from south of India is known for its tangy and spicy flavor profile. South India is a producer of rice so here localities consume curries and veggies with rice. South Indians also serve rice-based dishes in many different forms like dosa, idli and uttapam. The south Indian curries differ in consistency from north Indian curries. The south Indian curries are relatively soupier when compared to the richer and thicker north Indian curries.
Indian food gained prominence in the post-1960s era of immigration. A lot of Indo-Canadian dishes like kedgeree and some chutneys came from Anglo-Indian cuisine that stems from Britain’s colonial rule of the subcontinent.
Indian food in Culinary scenes of Canada
The most recent addition to the culinary scene of Canada is Indian food from southern India. Indian food plays much around with the combinations of sour and spicy, with the use of tamarind and chillies to a greater extent. The south Indian meals are generally based around rice rather than bread, although these both are offered at North Indian restaurants in Vancouver. They also feature lentils and stews as the most common elements in dishes.
Typical south Indian restaurants in Vancouver bc might feature dosa (a crepe made of rice flour), idli (steamed rice cakes) and sambhar (lentil and vegetable stew). Most of the dishes contain coconut and coconut milk usually.
Early Indian restaurants in Canada
Indian food in Canada pretty much follows patterns established in Britain but with some added quirks specific to the history of South Asian immigration. A lot of Indian immigrants (especially the ones from south) to Canada were single male migrants, who lived and worked in camp settings in the canning and logging industries. Since the camps were semi-permanent and isolated, no separate catering industry was accustomed to them, their diets were based on commissary stores run by the logging companies or other similar arrangements.
During the 1960s and 1970s, emigration from South Asia seemed to increase and then started appearing the first groceries and restaurants run by Sikhs and other Indians. Indian restaurants in Vancouver, bc or entire Canada retained a heavy emphasis on North Indian cuisine due to the majority of Punjabi immigrants, other Indian communities then diversified the offering.
Craving Indian food already? Savor a few mouth-watering selections of Indian dishes at Sula Indian Restaurant, in Vancouver, BC. Find the variety of authentic Indian dishes from North and South India served in a playful Indian inspired indoor garden-style seating.