Indian cuisine encompasses a wide variety of regional cuisines native to India. Given the range of diversity in soil type, climate, culture, ethnic group and occupations, these cuisines vary significantly from each other and use locally available spices, herbs, vegetables and fruits. Indian food is also heavily influenced by religious and cultural choices and traditions.
The development of these cuisines have been shaped by religious beliefs. Many Indian dishes are cooked in vegetable oil, but peanut oil is popular in northern and western India, mustard oil in eastern India, and coconut oil along the western coast, especially in Kerala. Gingelly (sesame) oil is common in the south since it imparts a fragrant nutty aroma.In recent decades, sunflower and soybean oils have become popular across India
One popular spice mix is garam masala, a powder that typically includes five or more dried spices, especially cardamom, cinnamon (dalchini), and clove.Many Indian sweets, or mithai, are fried foods made with sugar, milk or condensed milk. Ingredients vary by region.
Tea is a staple beverage throughout India, since the country is one of the largest producers of tea in the world.Coffee is another popular beverage, but more popular in South India. Lassi, Sharbat, Badam Doodh, Tender Coconut are some of the common beverages.
Traditionally, meals in India were eaten while seated either on the floor or on very low stools or cushions. Food is most often eaten with the right hand rather than cutlery. Traditional serving styles vary regionally throughout India.