Indian food is world renowned for being aromatic and delicious. All Indian dishes are not hot as speculated. But being introduced to it for the first time, exert a little caution to what you eat until you develop a level of tolerance.
See Indian Cuisine
Delicious vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes are available almost every walk of life. As the Hindus do not eat beef and Muslims shun pork, you may not find both as a common dish. Buffalo meat is available and mutton mentioned in the menus is referring to lamb.
The basic Indian food will have dishes of vegetable, fish, chicken or mutton served with rice. In the north you will have a range of Indian breads to choose from. The food will be served with a number of vegetable side dishes and curd/yoghurt. There are regional specialities those will replace some of the dishes as thousands of variations are available across the country.
Broadly speaking there are three types of eating-establishments. The low-priced diner, where food is basic but often good, serves rice or Indian bread with dhal (lentil soup), vegetable side dishes and yoghurt. Sometimes meat or fish are also served as main dish.
The restaurants offer a wide choice of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. The quality and prices vary. Deluxe restaurants like those in star hotels can be very expensive to Indian standards. But they offer you genuine classic Indian dishes at a fraction of a price you pay at home.
The third type caters specially for foreign tourists. They are found in beach resorts, hill stations and tourist centres across India. They are expensive and serve pancakes and fritters, omelettes and toasts, fried prawns, chips and cereal.