India is the second most populous country in the world and highly diverse, and Indian food reflects that diversity. India is also one of the most unequal countries in the world, meaning that while some people are extremely rich, many others are extremely poor. Indian food varies between rich and poor people, as well as among different regions in India. Many Indians are vegetarian, and others do not eat beef or pork. Lentils and other beans provide protein when meat is not eaten. Vegetable and meat dishes are commonly served with rice, especially in the south, or flat bread such as naan or chapati, especially in the north. Indian cuisine uses many spices, often toasted whole and then ground. The lentil recipe below is simplified for American cooks.
Authentic Mexican food is different from what you can eat at most Mexican restaurants in the United States. The cuisine varies from region to region, but most Mexicans eat beans, rice, fresh fruit, spicy homemade salsas, and beef, pork, and chicken, often cooked in chili sauces. Corn tortillas are eaten at almost every meal. A popular drink is water flavored with fruit, such as lime, melon, or guava, and sweetened with sugar. Some Mexican foods may seem strange to Americans, such as cactus, squash blossoms, corn smut (a fungus that grows on corn), and grasshoppers, though not all Mexicans eat these foods. While delicious, Mexican food is often high in fat, and many Mexican people are overweight. The recipes below are among the healthier options.
Moroccan food is best known for tagine, a kind of stew cooked slowly in a
special clay pot, and couscous, which is similar to a small pasta shape. Ingredients commonly used by Moroccan cooks include many spices, a variety of meats such as beef and chicken, vegetables, dried fruits, olives, and lemon. To drink, Moroccans like green tea with mint. In recent years, couscous has become popular in many parts of the world besides Morocco, but it is often not prepared the same way. Moroccans steam their couscous rather than boiling it, giving the couscous a fluffier texture.
Spanish cuisine is famous, but the Spanish food of 5 star restaurants differs from the simpler fare most Spanish people eat every day. Popular foods include seafood, cured meats and sausages, sandwiches, olives, and gazpacho (cold vegetable soup). Spanish people like to stay out late and socialize, often over a drink and tapas. In Spain, tapas are snacks or a light meal that come with a drink. Typical tapas are olives, Spanish tortilla (a potato and egg dish similar to an omelet), and toast topped with ham, cheese, or vegetables.
Tortilla Espanola (Spanish Potato Omelet)