Indian food encompasses a wide variety of regional cuisines native to India. Given the range of diversity in soil type, climate and occupations, the food varies significantly from each other and use locally available spices, herbs, vegetables and fruits. Indian food is also heavily influenced by religious and cultural choices and traditions in particular by vegetarianism. There has also been Central Asian influence on North Indian cuisine from the years of Mughal and Turkic.
Historical incidents such as foreign invasions, trade relations and colonialism have also played a role in introducing certain foods to the country. For instance, potato, a staple of Indian diet was brought to India by the Portuguese, who also introduced chilies and breadfruit.
Each region of India has its own style of cooking and distinct flavors. The North is known for its Tandoori and Korma dishes; the South is famous for hot and spicy foods; the East specializes in chili curries; and the West uses coconut and seafood, whereas the Central part of India is a blend of all.
Breakfast is taken after the customary cup of tea or coffee which marks the beginning of the day. While breakfast in north India features rotis, parathas, a vegetable preparation, pickles and curd, in the southern belt it is idli or dosas accompanied by chutney and in the western region it comprises of dhokla and milk.
Lunch is an important meal of the day for Indians and usually comprises at least 2-3 vegetable dishes, curd, a variety of desserts and wrapped up with paan. The main dish during lunch varies from region to region but is usually either rice or roti or both. Indian food in the evenings consists of a cup of tea or coffee with some snacks while
Dinner serves the purpose of bringing together the family followed by desserts which may be traditional or fruit-based.