North Indian Food: what it represents
Those familiar with Indian cuisine will understand that unlike most nations wherein a few dishes are regarded as national favorites, no dish can singularly represent the eating preferences of all Indians. This is primarily because nearly every part of India has its own version of local delicacies. Further, the regional variations in some of the simplest dishes are also so extreme that the same parameter cannot be used to evaluate the same dish sourced from different parts of India. If a broad, categorization is made, Indian food can be easily divided into north Indian, south Indian, east and west-Indian food. Among these, north Indian food arguably has the maximum degree of global presence. So what is north Indian food all about? Are there any specific traits that define the north Indian palate?
Familiarize yourself with north Indian eating habits
Yes, North Indian cuisine is a bit distinct from its neighbors. Firstly, the concept of the gravy is at the core of every north Indian preparation. This essentially means an overdependence upon the typical Indian curry wherein onions, tomatoes, garlic and ginger are heated until they develop a semi-charred, brownish tinge. In contrast to other Indian cuisines, north Indian cuisine uses oil or ghee, more lavishly. The gravy is typically thicker and the abundance of red, spiced oil is visible, lined along the outer edge of the dishes.
Apart from the cooking habits, this preference for gravies is due to the fact that the accompanying Indian breads used in northern India are much thicker. The dishes are eaten with thick rotis, naans or paranthas that consist of multiple layers of dough. Since the dough has a remarkably neutral taste, every bite of it needs to be substantially dipped in the gravy. This mannerism of eating is different from other palates of the Indian subcontinent wherein the dishes have a soup-like consistency and rice forms an essential part of the food.
In terms of the chili factor, north Indian food is as daring as any other Indian cuisine. Further, there is a tendency to indulge in multiple spices at once. Thus, you can find black pepper, green chili and red chili being used together. The north Indian palate includes eating nearly every form of meat. However, this excludes the use of fish since fish aren't endemic to the northern parts of India. Chicken or the common, red meats form the main foods in this category. North Indian cuisine also includes use of milk products like cottage cheese, butter, cream and yogurt.