India is a large and diverse country, and the food and beverages of the cuisine reflect that. There are some differences in the food from north to south. However, the majority of staple foods in India are the similar throughout the country. There are a multitude of vegetarian options in Indian food. South India tends to have more in terms of vegetarian food than does North India. The staple foods of India are those that are fundamental to Indian cuisine. They are enhanced by the plethora of spices available.
Rice is a staple food throughout all of India. It is used more as a staple in the south, though, as it's a stronger crop in that region. Most meals use rice as their base, with other foods accompanying it. The rice is generally the plain white variety. Other types of rice include pulau and byriani.
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Roti is the general name used for different types of bread. It's generally unleavened and whole wheat bread. Naan bread is eaten often and is cooked in a tandoor oven. Papadum is another type of bread that is a staple in Indian cuisine. It's a deep-fried, crispy flat bread. These breads, or roti, can be served plain or spruced up with garlic or paneer.
Paneer cheese is another food that is a part of many Indian dishes, such as palak paneer and saag paneer. It is farmer cheese that is made from curdled milk and lemon juice. It has a texture that is similar to tofu.
Potatoes are also a staple ingredient in Indian foods. They are a part of many dishes, such as samosas, pakoras, bajhi, aloo paneer and stuffed paratha. One reason that they play such a large component in Indian cuisine is that potatoes are a vegetarian option and also a good filler starch.