Indian food is globally recognised for its deliciously rich curries, its wide spectrum of herbs and spices, and its range of deep-fried sweets and snacks. India’s cuisine offers an astounding variety of vegetarian meals, hence considering cows as sacred animals and following Halal diet guidelines. The Indian cuisine between the North and South share many similarities such as using similar cooking techniques, but also differ largely from each other regarding spices and sources of proteins used.


North Indian main courses compared to South Indian main courses


In the Northern regions of India, chicken and lamb are common ingredients, used most in curries and kebabs. A popular favourite is Rogan Josh made with lamb, tomato, ginger, bay leaves and garlic. Whereas in Southern Indian regions, a larger majority of the population follows a vegetarian diet and therefore combines a lot of fresh vegetables into their curries. 


In terms of binding the curries together or marinating the ingredients, this is largely dependent on the climate conditions per region. In the South, coconuts are grown due to the warm, tropical climate as a result, coconut milk is commonly used in curries providing a sweeter and less spicy taste. However, in the North ghee butter, onions, tomatoes and coriander are widely used as a base per curry. Ghee butter is a yellow and brown substance, which provides a nutty flavour, overall the Northern dishes are spicier than the South.


North Indian herbs and spices compared to South Indian herbs and spices


Depending on the geographical location of each Indian region, different spices, herbs, vegetables and fruits will be used. As the Northern regions of India typically have a spicier cuisine they use a mixture of spices that combine well to provide a powerful spicy kick. Some of the popular herbs and spices used include turmeric, cumin, green cardamom and of course fresh Indian red chillies. 


South India largely focuses on incorporating rice and fruits into their coconutty curries and therefore uses more mild herbs and spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and clover. 


North Indian side dishes compared to South Indian side dishes


Sides are just as important as the main dish in Indian cuisine, again, depending on the climate and geographic position of each region, different ingredients are sources and therefore different sides are served. Sautéed vegetable and marinated meal dishes are popular sides, such as Bombay Potatoes – a generously seasoned portion of parboiled cubed potatoes. North India often serves a side of naan bread which is traditionally cooked in the tandoor at a high temperature for a crispy charcoal finish. 

Southern regions typically have sides of rice, lentils or poriyal – a fried vegetable dish. Biryani, beans poriyal and lentil daal are some of the Indian Southern regions’ favourites.

North Indian hot drinks compared to South Indian hot drinks


After a meal, Indians enjoy finishing with a warm, flavoursome drink. South India is home to some of the largest tea plantations in the world and as a result, India enjoys a comforting cup of tea as much as England does. North India combines herbs and spices such as cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg into their black tea to make masala chai tea, commonly served with milk and sugar. 


At Royal Mahal we are passionate about producing a feast for all your senses, our authentic Indian cuisine specialises in producing popular delicious dishes mainly originating from India. However, we incorporate a wide range of ingredients used nationally in India so you can fully indulge in Indian cuisine.