Holi and bhang dining area

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Holi and Bhang manager serving customers

Culinary Influences

With over 5,000 years of history, India has welcomed a multitude of cultures and beliefs including culinary influences. To understand the evolution of Indian cuisine, one must celebrate that this country is anything but homogenous. Regions and religions make up a large portion of the cultural fabric of the food. With a population of over one billion, the diversity of its food is as diverse as its people.

North, East, South and West are the four different main regional styles in Indian cooking. North India was influenced by the Mogul dynasty that ruled India for three centuries. Saffron and rich gravies made of pureed nuts and cream were all derived from the Moghuls. Naan bread, made in a tandoor, is not indigenously Indian, it is the everyday bread of the Afghani and Pakistani population.

South Indian food is the antithesis of Northern Indian food. their distinctive rice crepes and steamed rice cake have been a favourite amongst Southern Indians. Rice is eaten at all meals.

Hindus are divided into meat and non-meat eaters. Their common thread in the Southern region of Kerala is coconut, the culinary mascot of the state.

The Western states of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Goa all have unique food experiences. Gujarat is mostly Muslim, Parsis, Hindu and Jains, each having their own method to cooking. Parsis have a rich diet of chicken and seafood, unlike Jains, who are strictly vegetarian for religious reasons. Gujaratis are also predominately vegetarians and Gujarat is celebrated for being one of the best places to eat vegetarian food. Maharashtra is a huge state with its famed capital Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay) known for its variety of seafood dishes with a slash of red chillies and a healthy helping of coconut.

Eastern states such as West Bengal, Orissa, Bihar and Jharkhand are quite different from each other. Bengali cuisine can be described as delicate and subtle, with fish and rice at the centre of the diet, beginning with a mixed vegetable dish with a bitter flavour and ending with rich milk-based sweet dessert that Bengal and Bangladesh is famous for. Orissa is known for squash blossoms dipped in a paste made with rice and deep-fried or made into patties. Bihar and Jharkhand enjoy their vegetables and beans, with Western/UK overtones within their diet including beef, pork, goat and chicken.

At Holi and Bhang restaurant, we celebrate 5,000 years of historic authentic and traditional Indian cuisine which we now describe as "Indian" although originating from all the corners of India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and so many other places of the world.

Enjoy our traditional Indian culinary cuisine in our restaurant or from your home.

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