According to Aman Kumar, chef de cuisine at Amala restaurant in the Jumeirah Zabeel Saray the extent of variation in India's regional cuisines is 'unquantifiable – as if the variety were from different countries. 'Each region has its own flavour, style of cooking preparation and ingredients. The ingredients used in each region are very often matched to its availability in that area and the seasonal produce that is farmed.' Here's Aman's guide to India's regional cuisines:
Punjab: Wheat and butter are key ingredients and popular dishes include roti and sarson ka sarg. Tandoori is also a popular cooking technique.
Rajasthan: Influenced by Marwari food, which is vegetarian, this region uses plenty of green vegetables and flour made from chickpeas.
Gujarat: Vegetarian and also Jain food are most common in this region. The cooking is marked by a balance of sweet, salty and spicy flavours.
Goa: Situated on India’s west coast, by the Arabian Sea, popular ingredients include rice, seafood, kokum and coconut milk.
Kerala: The cuisine’s distinct flavour comes from the use of curry leaves, tamarind, coconut oil and coconut milk.
Awadhi: Dum, which means slow cooking, is a dominant technique and popular dishes include biryani, dahl and kebab.
Hyderabad: An amalgamation of Mughlai, Turkish and Arabic cooking, with influences from the native Telugu and Marathwada cuisines. Hyderabadi cuisine features the skilled use of various spices and herbs and is known to be quite fiery.
Mughlai: Originating from North India, this cuisine is influenced by Persian cooking. It varies from mild to spicy and is popular worldwide.