Central India – Home of Rajput food, Kebab, Biryani, and Dum Pukht cooking

Cities in Central India do not have their own food and tradition, however, they blend the food tradition from neighboring cities.

Photo from Flickr

In Rajasthan, most people are Rajputs. They were Hindus, who often went hunting with their Mughal friends. They learned the Mughal cooking and used it in their Hindu meal preparations. Due to Rajasthan’s high heat and scarcity of water, they use less water but instead cook more with yogurt, milk and buttermilk so that the food can last long in the hot weather.

Due to the geographical location of Rajasthan, availability of sea food is limited, instead of sea food they supplement it with chicken, lamb, and some times camel. Non vegetarian food is prepared with spices, dry fruits and nuts similar to Mughal food preparation.

People in Rajasthan often use gram flour in their cooking. Dishes like gatte ki sabji (gram flour dumplings curry) and pakodi (gram flour and seasoned vegetable fry) are popular dishes. Rajasthan is also popular for sweets like churma and lapsi that are made with wheat, gee, and sugar.

Uttar Pradesh has the perfect blend of Muslim and Hindu cooking- the city of Lucknow has a significant Muslim population and Benares (Varanasi) is the holy place for Hindus. These two cities gave a unique cooking style for the entire Uttar Pradesh region.

Some of the popular dishes from Muslim tradition are kebab and biryani (made with rice and various spices). A popular tradition of cooking is called dum pukht in which the food is cooked with various spices in a sealed container for a long time so that the spices will blend with the food in slow cooking. Many Hindu vegetarian foods like kulchas and rumali roti (thin bread) are prepared that can go with various vegetarian dishes.


I love to read and write about various aspects of India, people, culture, history, tradition, food, etc. My goal for this web site is to help westerns understand India that are not generally available in other web sites.


  1. good info says:

    Now Biryani is popular all over India, in south Hyderabadi Biryani is very popular. In Tamil Nadu Ambur Biryani is popular too.

  2. Swati Jaiswal says:

    Is there any difference in Biryani served here in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi and Hyderabadi Biryani?


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