India

By: Alexis Bishop and Halle Skelton

Geography and Climate

India is located on the southern peninsula of southern Asia. The Himalayan Mountains are located in India. These mountains form a natural barrier from the rest of Asia. Beneath the mountains lay forests or grazing land. Rivers such as the Indus, Ganges, and Brahmaputra also flow through India and provide rich soil to plant crops each year. A large plateau called the Deccan covers most of the peninsula that India rests on. Agriculture is possible in this area due to rain and irrigation systems providing enough moisture to the soil.India has a tropical climate. Cooler temperatures last from December to around March. The Monsoon season lasts from June to September. Without moist soil, irrigation systems, and average climate, many dishes that are prepared in India would not be possible.

Crops and Livestock

Over 70% of Indian people are farmers. India’s major crop is rice, other important crops include chickpeas, beans, peas, and other legumes. Indians raise more cattle than any other type of livestock. Although cows produce milk they are mostly used as work animals. The Indian people also raise small amount of goats, hogs, sheep, and water buffalo. In order to produce as many raw materials as possible, people use irrigatation systems, the help of livestock and the help of others. With the variety of raw materials being produced, Indian's food variety ranges.


Culture

Indian people belong to a number of races and speak a number of languages. Along with a number of races and languages, there are also a number of religions in India. Some of these religions include Christians, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Hindu, Muslims, and Parsees. Many iof these religions have different beliefs. With these beliefs comes different responsabilities. Some of these responsabilities include eating different types of food.

One influence of religion on the Indian culture is the observance of the caste system. This is an ancient social system that divided people into groups. These groups include priests, warriors, farmers, and laborers. Below the laborers were outcasts that were forced to live away from the rest of the people. Today, this system has been relaxed and many of its rules are relaxed.



Types of Foods

As a whole, Indian cuisine receives a high rating on the nutrition scale. Most Indian dishes are vegetarian and contain a number of vitamins and minerals. Along with a number of vitamins, Indian dishes also contain a variety of seasonings. Many of these seasonings contain numerous health benefits. Some traditional foods consumed in India include momos, idli, and rajma. Popular foods in India include Bonda, Alu Gubi, and Barfi.

Breakfast in India is very simmilar to lunch and dinner. Some popularbreakfast foods include Dosas and Idlis. Many popular lunch and dinner foods include Urlai Roast and Masala Bhindi.

Curry, Naan, and Lamb Vindaloo are all popular Indian foods served in the U.S. that originated from India.

Diwali

Diwali is a five day festival that represents the start of a new Hindu year. At the celebration, firework displays light up the sky. During the festival many sweets are served. Some of these include Jalebi, Ras Malai, and Peda.

Dish Characteristics

In India, spices, seasonings, and legumes play a huge role in many dishes. One dish that contains many of these ingredients is Indian Street Corn Salad

Ingredients

3 large ears corn, husks and silk removed

Olive oil

Dressing:

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Big pinch ground cardamom

Big pinch chaat masala

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup halved cherry or sugarplum tomatoes

1 or 2 sprigs fresh mint, leaves thinly sliced

Small handful fresh cilantro, leaves and soft stems rustically ripped into bite-size pieces


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