Indian food recipes encapsulate a broad array of regional cuisine and dishes. It also inherits aspects of religions, cultures and ethnic diversity. The Indian subcontiment is huge, with great variations in soil types, rainfalls & temperature profiles, slope, aspect and drainage. Thus, crops are equally diverse, with variations in availability across regions. Recipes also use locally available spices, herbs, vegetables, and fruits. Added to that, recipes are influenced by religious and cultural nuances.
Foods have been melded by Hindu and Jain beliefs. A good example of which is vegetarianism, popular in Indian society.
Islamic influences date back to Mughal and Delhi Sultanate rulers. Persian (Syrian) trade and interactions impacted on both North Indian and Deccani cuisine forms.
Over the centuries, foreign invaders, traders and colonial rulers resulted in the introduction of new food types and eating habits. The staple potato, an essential ingredient in many northern Indian recipes, came via the Portuguese. Indian cuisine has also shaped history. The spice trade to Europe is frequently quoted as the root cause of Europe's Age of Discovery. Indian food forms have had an impact across Southeast Asia.