Gujarat's geographical position—on India's west coast, roughly halfway between the subcontinent's northern and southern tiers—places Gujarati cuisine at a crossroads. For eaters accustomed to the creamy, onion-infused curries of the northern Indian states of Punjab, Haryana, and Kashmir—comparatively lavish dishes, with clear roots in Mughal court cooking—the foods of Gujarat seem strikingly different at first glance. For one thing, quick cooking methods like stir-frying and steaming are dominant in Gujarat, yielding dishes with cleanly defined flavors and vibrant colors, as opposed to the slow-braised dishes typical of Mughal cooking. For another, warming spices like cloves and cardamom, so central to the flavor palate of Northern Indian cooking, are used sparingly by most Gujarati cooks. And yet, Gujarati cooking does bear a notable similarity to Punjabi cuisine: both food cultures rely heavily on flours made from pulses and cereal grains—in the north, for making breads, and in Gujarat for breads, in sweets, and as a thickener in curries.