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India

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Why Cook Indian?
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Culinary History of India

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The Origins of Indian Cuisine lie with the ancient Indian civilization   of India that was called Harappa and Mohenjodaro.    The Dravidians or inhabitants of these civilization were urban and not agrarian.   They had huge granaries to store grain, houses with a drainage system, pathways or roads and public baths.  They sowed the seeds of Ayurveda, or Life Sciences, which is the foundation of Indian cuisine. This system was derived after studying the physical needs, mental needs and needs of our psychology and spirituality.

The people of Mohenjodaro and Harrapa were pushed to the South part of India be the invasion of the Aryans who came from Europe or Asia Minor.  It is not very clear where the Aryans originated from but Aryans are to be found in Europe, Persia and India.     (In fact the Swastika - a good luck symbol of the Aryan culture is still very prevalent in India).  The ideas of Ayurveda were developed further by the Aryans   Many of the texts on this subject were written in the Aryan period.

Influences from subsequent conquests on the Indian sub-continent
1. The Aryans
During the Aryan period the cuisine the Great Hindu Empires  concentrated on the fine aspects of food and to understand its essence and how it contributed to the development of mind, body and spirit.  After this period the cuisine was influenced by the following conquests from other cultures.
2. Mongolians (hot pot cooking)
3. Persians
The most notable was the influence of Persian rulers who established the Mughal Rule in India.  (click here for more about Mughal cuisine)
4. Turks
5. Greeks (Alexander the great)
6. Chinese (from trading and cultural and educational exchanges with them)
7. Arabs (traders)
8. Portuguese (the Indian Vindaloo dish is a result of the Portuguese)
9. British (Indian Ketchup, tea)

A Special Mention

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One of the greatest influences on India’s cuisine occurred in the 2nd century B.C. The powerful and benevolent and popular Emperor Ashoka of that time popularized a vegetarian cuisine. Even today a majority of Indians are vegetarian. The two other individuals that helped make India vegetarian are Mahavir and Buddha. (Also the ancient, urban Dravidian civilization may have been vegetarian.)

Ashoka was also the first statesman in recorded history that had an environmental department in his administration. This department set environmental laws, posted these laws on stone billboards and had an environmental enforcement program.

Home Store- the best online grocery store for Indian food 
Indian Cook Books and their Reviews
Back to the main menu on Indian Cuisine

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Chinese Cuisine
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Chinese Restaurant Guide
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Thai Cuisine
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Thai Restaurant Guide
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Thai Recipes
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Japanese Cuisine
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Japanese Restaurant Guide
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Iranian Foods
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Persian or Iranian Recipes
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About Persia
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Persian Food
, - Persian New Year
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Persian Cooking 
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About Eastern Beauty