Indian food is amongst one of the most loved and savored cuisines in the world. Regardless of whether you are fond of creamy curries, spicy specials or delicious desserts, you can enjoy a perfect medley of all of these gourmet specials in the world famous Indian cuisine.
Indian food is not just about chilies, chutneys, and tikkas as most people seem to believe. There’s far more to Indian food that you may have imagined. In this edition, Jusbuzz is here to reveal the top nine secrets about Indian food and cuisine…
Indian food is as diverse as the culture and lifestyle of the 29 different states of India. Each of these regions has its own set of commonly used spices, ingredients and cooking methods to feel proud of!!
The cuisine in Northern India is less spicy and mostly consists of ghee, and green/red chilies. Southern India, on the other hand, is famous for its hot and spicy preparations with generous use of tamarind, coconut, and black pepper.
Curry is a word that today has become synonymous with Indian food and is commonly used even in other parts of the world. For those who are not sure about the meaning of curry, it’s merely a balanced blend of spices & ingredients including cinnamon, garam masala, cumin, cloves, cardamom and black pepper and usually containing tamarind. The secret behind preparing the perfect curry is the addition of all of these spices and ingredients in the right proportion.
A famous Indian gourmet dish that has also attained wide international popularity is the Chicken Tikka Masala. In fact, it is amongst the top 7 curries served at the restaurants of UK and is the most famous Indian curry dish. Though it is believed by most that Chicken Tikka Masala has its roots in India, it is found to have originated in Glasgow Scotland!!
The Ghost Pepper
If you thought Tabasco Sauce was the hottest thing you may have tasted, then here is a spicy surprise for you. The bhut jolokia or the “ghost chili” grown in the Nagaland, Assam and Manipur states of India is one of the hottest chilies in the world. In fact, it is almost 400 times hotter and spicier than the famous Tabasco Sauce.
One of the most popular spices in the world is the, and interestingly, India is the world’s largest producer of chili peppers. However, unlike the widespread belief that chilies formerly belonged to India, these were introduced by the Portuguese in India way back in the 15th century.
The Six Flavors
Most Indian dishes are prepared with the idea to offer the perfect balance of six different flavors – sweet, spicy, salty, sour, sharp and bitter. It is this medley of perfectly balanced flavors that has primarily contributed to the widespread popularity of Indian food across the globe.
The Naan Love
One Indian food item that can make you instantly fall in love with the Indian food is the Naan. Usually served hot generously brushed with butter or ghee, the naan bread can either be used to wrap and plop dry veggies and curries or be served with a stuffed filling. While the Peshwari Naan is a delicacy and comes with a sweet mixture of raisins and nuts, the non-vegetarian Keema Naan comes stuffed with a generous mixture of minced meat.
The Three Categories
Indian food is primarily classified into three prominent categories – Saatvic (fruits and vegetables), Rajasic (spicy and oily food) and Tamasic (non-veg and liquor). The Saatvic food is believed to lead to a higher state of consciousness. Rajasic or the spicy food forms the foundation of motion and activity. The Tamasic food is considered to bring out and eliminate all negative feelings.
Kashmir forms the crown of India. There is one unique thing about the traditional cooking style “Wazwan” of Kashmir. Unlike most Indian states where spices are fried for attaining the right flavors, in Kashmiri cooking the spices are boiled. It is considered to generate a distinctive aroma and flavor.