The flavour, flame and colour of Indian cuisine is famous the world over. With Indian locals emigrating all over the world, the acquired taste as well as the availability of Indian food has grown exponentially over the last few decades. There are, of course, several things everyone adores about Indian food, and these make it one of the most popular cuisine choices in the world.

Great Flavours: Indian food is known to be rich, spicy and hot. It is considered to be the ultimate pampering your taste buds deserve, and is a festival of diverse flavours, tastes and spices. Hot, tangy, sweet or mild, you will definitely find an Indian dish to suit your palette.

Tremendous Diversity: There is a huge range of vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian food available at Indian restaurants. You are free to choose whichever dish you want, open to experimentation, with the assurance that you will enjoy it no matter what. Every dish celebrates a whole new angle to food as we know it, a melange of different flavours exploding in your mouth.

Indian food in itself is a misnomer, as there are scores of different divisions within India itself, each region with its distinctive palette. Punjabi, Goan, Rajasthani, Bengali, South Indian and Gujrati food are among the more popular, while Indian street food hits like rolls, chaats, and paani-puris are going great as well. Some more adventurous vendors have come up with hybrid street food concepts like chapatti tacos, and naanwiches, which are great. Of the 28 states in India, each region has a distinctive cuisine, as follows.

North Indian

Famously rich, hot food, North Indian cuisine is resplendent with ghee, oil, butter, cream and curd. Chillies, coriander, onion, ginger and other spices are used in these dishes. Rice takes a backseat in North Indian food, as rotis, naans, kulchas, lachhas and parathas are preferred with the rich gravies and curries. The concept of tandoori- or clay-oven baked- food came from North India, as did foods like Biryani and tikka masalas. Tawa-cooked or pan-fried food is also popular here.

East-Indian

Rice is preferred over breads, usually, and steamed or slow-cooked dishes are eaten. Fish and seafood are staples, and they are steamed, fried and cooked in several different ways. The sweets of this region stand out as the most fantastic across the country.

West-Indian

This is a primarily vegetarian area, with special dishes like gatte ki roti, dhokla, khakra, poha and khandvi quite popular.

South Indian

South Indian food is very focused on a blend of flavours and tastes, and South Indians use both seafood and veggies. Specialties include dosas, idlis, appams, puttu, pathri, pappadam, rasam, kesari bath, ragi roti and many more. Dosas, appams and uttapams are served with coconut chutney and sambar. Non-vegetarian food here can be flavourful mutton, chicken or seafood, or be a fiery chicken, lamb or beef vindaloo as well.

Each of these distinctive cuisines can be found in a restaurant or family joint if you look hard enough. Indian food has grown and evolved over the years to an extent that it is among the most popular gastronomic delights in the world. Head over to any Indian restaurant South Yarra and try it for yourself. Be it authentic Indian dishes, or local hybrids, you really cannot go wrong with the flavoursome, rich food the subcontinent has to offer.