Contra Costa County, California is a great place to explore the diverse and regional cuisines of India. From Lotus Cuisine of India to Essence Indian Cuisine, Bel King, Zaiqa Indian and Pakistan Cuisine, and India Palace, there is no shortage of delicious dishes to try. Whether you're looking for curry, naan, regional revelations or jewel-toned cocktails, you'll find it all in Contra Costa County. Indian cuisine is incredibly varied and regionally specific.
While it's common for Indian restaurants to present their dishes as part of a uniform and nationalized cuisine, the reality is that each region has its own unique flavors and ingredients. Curry is a popular sauce similar to a stew or sauce with meat, vegetables or cheese, but the particular spice blends, degree of liquidity and ingredients vary depending on the region. In addition to curried dishes, South Indian cuisine is known for its tasty fried or grilled snacks. Desserts are also a favorite in other regions of India and are often found in Indian restaurants due to their light sweetness.
The Bay Area is even known for its Indian pizza! Ayurvedic dietary norms are a common influence throughout Indian cuisine, though the ways in which they are applied vary depending on religion and regional culture. North Indian cuisine reflects a strong Mughal influence and is the most common cooking style outside of India. Western concepts of Indian “curry” come from the British interpretation of Indian cuisine. South Indian cuisine is not usually found on the menus of many Indian restaurants and differs greatly from that of other regions. However, there are some South Indian dishes that can be found in certain restaurants such as pappAdams, a crispy fried rice cracker that is normally seasoned with black peppercorns. If you're looking to explore the regional cuisines of India, Contra Costa County is the perfect place to start.
With plenty of restaurants from Palo Alto to Santa Clara, as well as food trucks in the South and East Bay, you'll be sure to find something new and exciting. A little knowledge about the commonalities and differences between India's regional cuisines can turn your next meal into an adventure.