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History of Indian Food

The history of Indian food can be traced back to the ancient days when the culture of preparing food with proper methods was introduced by the two ancient Indian civilizations – The Harappa and the Mohenjadaro. The first preparation of food included a number of cereals and pulses. Gradually, the ancient Indian civilization moved towards perfection. This was noticed during the Vedic period, which defined better forms of cooking with innovative recipes. In this period of time, a regular diet consisted of vegetables, fruits, grains, meat, honey, dairy products, beverages and special kind of spices.

The Aryans who travelled from Central Asia introduced a number of cuisines, which complemented the Vedic food culture. Food in ancient India further faced massive changes during the rule of Maurya and Gupta Empires. During these periods of time, the consumption of meat was strictly condemned due to some sacred beliefs. Most of the people remained vegetarian due to the influence of religion. Overall the food during ancient period significantly contributed to the development of body, mind and spirit which eventually reflected the growing changes of Indian food habits.

During Medieval period, the food habits underwent changes with the introduction of the most popular Mughal cuisine by the Muslims from Central Asia. They brought various kinds of fruits and flat breads among Indians. Sumptuous dishes were prepared during the rule of Shah Jahan and Jahangir. Next, the Nizams and the Portuguese developed their own style of cooking with the notable dishes like Biryani and Indian Vindaloo dish respectively. This was followed by the Chinese, British and Anglo-Indian influence on Indian food. This continued in modern days as well.

In modern India, the history of Indian food mainly carried the traditional trends of Indian cuisines including the Hindu vegetarian food, Mughal delicacies, Chinese and other foreign delicacies. Sweets became the major attraction not just during Indian festivals but also during special occasions. People in India enjoy all kinds of delicacies. Idli, Paratha or different types of Dosa for breakfast, proper meals for lunch and delicious food for dinner, this is how Indians enjoy their food. As such in the way of highlighting Unity in Diversity, the Indian food history has been an amalgamation of all cultures that inhabit India.

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