Indian cuisine is the general name for foods of the Indian subcontinent, characterized by the extensive use of various spices, herbs, and other vegetables, and sometimes fruits grown in India and also for the widespread practice of vegetarianism in Indian society. Each family of Indian cuisine includes a wide assortment of dishes and cooking techniques. As a consequence, it varies from region to region, reflecting the varied demographics of the ethnically-diverse subcontinent.
Hindu beliefs and culture have played an influential role in the evolution of Indian cuisine. However, cuisine across India also evolved as a result of the subcontinent's large-scale cultural interactions with Mongols and Britain making it a unique blend of some various cuisines. The spice trade between India and Europe is often cited as the main catalyst for Europe's Age of Discovery. The colonial period introduced European cooking styles to India, adding to the flexibility and diversity of Indian cuisine. Indian cuisine has influenced cuisines across the world, especially those from Southeast Asia and the Caribbean.