Early Indians ate food that was easily available from nature. Fruits, wild berries, meat, fish, etc. were the main food items of the nomadic dwellers. With the advent of civilization, people settled and started to do farming. This led to the discovery of food crops, pulses, etc. Food in ancient India was cultivated in the fertile river valleys. Rice was their staple food that was eaten with cooked lentils, vegetables and meat.
Wheat was used to make flat breads known as "Chapatti". The
food habits of nearby countries also affected the food in ancient India.
Cooking of chicken came to India from Thailand and mutton came from West
Asia. The food pattern did not change with the arrival of the Aryans.
With complex religious rituals taking the center stage, animal
sacrifices peaked and more and more people turned vegetarians.
Milk and milk products came much into use during ancient times. Rice was
eaten with curd and yogurt. Cows were respected and worshipped hence
people stopped eating beef. Most people in India became vegetarians and
meat was consumed very rarely. Many spices were cultivated in India and
were used in cooking for aroma and flavor. India flourished in the
cultivation of spices and many of them were later exported to foreign