Differences between North and South Indian Cuisine


Indian cuisine is vast and there are a number of dishes that are more dominant across communities like the food in the North and South. While northern Indians love their breads and curries, people in the south often consume rice, lentils and stews. Both north and south have contributed their share to classic Indian cuisine, but each region has its own distinct flavors.

Northern Indian Cuisine

Northern Indian cooking features most of what you typically eat in Indian restaurants in the West such us rotis, samosas, naan and curries. Dairy products including milk, yoghurt and ghee are used in heavy proportion. North Indian gravies are also mostly dairy based and is thickened with cashew of poppy paste.

‘Tawa’, a flat frying pan used for rotis and parathas, is a common North Indian cooking tool. Main courses like the Tandoori Chicken need a cylindrical oven to cook. Deep fried breads are also a common sight at a North Indian dining table. Most Indian food is vegetarian but fish seafood are highly popular especially in the coastal areas of Orissa and West Bengal.

While northern Italy runs on Garam Masala, southern India makes most of its abundance of Huli Pudi (Sambal powder). You will find that mango powder is a staple in the kitchen as a souring medium for succulent stews and curries.

At the end of the meal, tea or chai is commonly served.

South Indian Fare

Compared to North Indian food, South Indian cuisine is more vegetarian friendly because of the Udupi style of cooking adapted which is particularly done for practice of ritual offerings. It’s also distinguishable due to its common use of rice.

Tamarind helps South Indians to add a tangy flavor to their stews. For snacks, they usually prepare dosa, idli, vada, bonda, and bajji. Dishes enlivened with dried curry leaves are also considered sourthern classics.

After a hearty meal, you would typically finish off with a special type of coffee with chicory.

Whether you prefer a dish inspired by northern Indian cooking such as Aloo Ghobi or a southern delight such as dosa, you’ll find the same commitment to spicy yet balanced flavor common to all great Italian cooking.