South and North Indian cuisines are the two most predominant cuisines of Indian that include different Indian states with their unique preparations. They are all distinct for their taste and aroma of the foods
South Indian Cuisine
South Indian cuisine mainly includes the cuisines of five southern states of India and they are Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and the union territories of Lakshadweep, Pondicherry, Andaman and Nicobar Islands. This cuisine is consisted of both non-vegetarian and vegetarian dishes.
The similarities of these states in their dishes ate the usage of rice, lentils, spices, dried red chillies and fresh green chillies, coconut, native fruits and veggies like tamarind, garlic, ginger, snake gourd, plantain etc.
Kerala is popular for Malabar cooking which has tasty seafood dishes. Hyderabad is all about rich and flavourful Nizami food. Hyderabadi foods have a lot of nuts, dried fruits and exotic spices like saffron. Andhra Pradesh and Telangana cuisines are the spiciest ones on India and they use tamarind with chillies to give the foods a tangy and hot taste. Most of the dishes of these two cuisines are vegetable and lentil-based. Traditional foods of Karnataka are popular for its use of jaggery and palm sugar with a minimum amount of chilli powder to make it less spicy. Tamil Nadu uses rice as their staple food and they have both vegetarian and non-vegetarian foods in the cuisine.
Some of the most popular South Indian dishes are chicken chettinad, Masala dosa, Andhra style chicken curry, Meen Murringakka Curry, Paal Payasam, Hyderabadi Biryani, Gonguru mansam, Mysore pak, Pongal, Sambar, Pulihora, Upma, Appam, Idli and others.
North Indian Cuisine
North Indian cuisine includes all the Northern Indian states and they are Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Chandigarh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand. And the cuisines that constitute together to form the North Indian cuisine are Awadhi cuisine of Lucknow; Himachali cuisine of Himachal Pradesh; Kashmiri cuisine of Jammu and Kashmir; Mughlai cuisine; Kumauni cuisine of Uttarakhand; Punjabi cuisine; Rajasthani cuisine; cuisine of Uttar Pradesh etc. They all have a strong Central Asian influence in their preparations and cooking styles.
Among all these, the most prominent one is Awadhi cuisine that is native to the Awadh region of Lucknow. This region was highly influenced by Mughal cooking techniques and has some similarities with the preparations of Central Asia, Kashmir, Punjab and Hyderabad. The region of Awadh is also known for preparing delicious Nawabi foods.
Mughlai cuisine was actually developed by Mughal Emperor and it is the combination of Indian, Central Asian and Iranian cuisine styles. It was highly influenced by Turo-Persian cuisine of Central Asia from where the Mughal Emperors actually hailed from. Mughlai cuisine features a distinct aroma and flavour of the ground and whole spices.
Awadhi Biryani and Kebabs are the most popular dishes of this cuisine. Some others are butter chicken, Fish Amritsari, Lacha paratha, palak paneer, mutter paneer, Rajma dal, chole bhature, Dal bati, dal makhaani, Rogan josh, kheer, Nihari gosht, Dahi Bhalla, Rajasthani laal maas, Malai kulfi, naan, baigan bharta, Kashmiri dum aloo, Tandoori chicken, Sarso da saag, kadhi, rabri, ghewar and many more.