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2014-Menu-January

Indian Food – A Journey….

With nearly 28 states, more than 50 languages and hundreds on ethnic groups located in different parts, India surely can be named country with most diverse cultures. Every state has its own history, traditions, culture and of course food. Every state have its own style of cooking, every home differs in way of preparing a certain dish making taste of Indian cuisine even more diverse. Surely, we are here to talk about Indian food, incredibly famous through out the world.
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of Indian food? Hot, spicy, oily, rich on fat, difficult and time-consuming to cook, etc…

Indian food, though hugely popular all around the globe, is highly misunderstood and has plenty of hidden facts that world needs to know about. Most of Indian kitchens have their own secret recipes, ingredients or way of preparing certain recipes which makes the dish complete unique in itself. Only that unifies Indian cuisine is spices that bring them their characteristic fragrance and flavor.

In Northern part of India, people tend to rely on red ‘n’ green chillies, saffron, yoghurt are among most commonly used ingredients. Ghee (clarified butter) is most essential ingredient of any north Indian dish which is full of fats but still considered healthy adding amazing taste to the food. Contrary to north India in the South, folks love black pepper, tamarind and coconut in their food. Coconut is most famous in all, being used in different forms such as coconut milk, oil, dried and grated.Those in the East love all things mustard and fish. West Indians who are known for their cosmopolitan lifestyle have adapted to different cuisines both national and international can quite easily be called multi-ethnic.

All around the world there are few common misconceptions about Indian cuisines such as Indian food is always hot and spicy, being high on fats, calories and unhealthy. Well, it’s is not always true. Common ingredients which would be part of any house hold dish for instances, spices, chillies, tamarind, pepper, coconut and even Ghee which is known to be high on fats, all have their own nutritive value which makes Indian food healthy to eat. While spices are used in Indian cooking, they are not what make food spicy.

As for chillies, they are a matter of preference and can be easily part of any dish or can be omitted if not desired. Not all Indian foods contain multiple different spices. Any of the world cuisine would offer different ways of preparing certain dish, which makes it matter of choice to make it healthy or otherwise. One can cook a dish with 6 tablespoons of oil or make do with 2 if that’s what you like. There are multiple dishes that don’t even require any oil at all! These dishes can are prepared by roasting, steaming, grilling, and boiling the ingredients. But most of ingredients in Indian cuisine are added to the dishes for their medicinal benefits apart from their amazing taste and flavor.

Talking on the health aspect, Indian vegetarian recipes are high on health benefits being high on nutrition, carbohydrates and proteins. Now take those vegetables, add medicinal spices and multiply them times hundred by cooking methods and what you have is delicious food that is also seriously healthy for anyone.

Another commonly heard misconception about Indian food is that it is difficult to cook. It is partially true but not fully, some of Indian recipes take good amount of time to cook, but with right preparation method they can be easily cooked.
Many shy away from trying Indian cooking thinking that their ingredients are hard to find. It could be a matter of concern in earlier decades, but this is no longer a problem since Indian spices are easily available in most supermarkets.

As with all other cuisines, Indian food is all about finding what works best for you. It is about experimenting with different spices and ingredients and to come up with your own secret recipes. Then just go for it, Enjoy!