6 Interesting Facts About Indian Food That You Should Know
The vibrant and versatile Indian cuisine has earned its spot in the favorite cuisine list of many countries. There is a big fan base of Indian food globally and it is rightly so. India is a land of cultural diversity with so many different ethnic groups living in the country and this impacts the food scene as well. It is because of this diversity that you can observe such an extensive variety in the cuisine.
That being said, the diversity in the cuisine also makes it an all-inclusive one. People with different tastes and eating styles will find something for themselves in Indian food. If you love to dine with scrumptious Indian food in NYC to fulfill your gastronomical cravings, then here are some interesting facts about Indian food that you should know.
Land Of Spices
India is often referred to as the ‘Land Of Spices’ and it is rightly so. No country produces as many varieties of spices as India and as a matter of fact, India produces about 70% of the total spice production of the world. A significant portion of the Indian cuisine is made using a blend of various exotic spices. The natural spices used in the dishes combined with other ingredients is what brings out such palatable flavors in the dishes. There is no specific powder mix for the curries, all the seasonings used in the dishes are mixed fresh every time so that the food is always rich in flavor.
Six Distinct Flavors
Behind the lip-smacking dishes in Indian cuisine are the unique blend of six basic flavors. Indian food mainly has six distinct flavors, sweet, salty, sour, spicy, bitter, and astringent. Each dish is made keeping in mind these flavors and particular ingredients are used to bring out particular flavors, which contributes to the uniqueness in each food item. Say, for example, when you order Indian delivery in NYC for chickpea curry, you can find an interesting blend of these six flavors. The chickpeas and onions used in the curry impart a certain sweetness to it, the tomatoes land the sourness, salt for the salty flavor, chili for spice, cilantro for the bitter and ginger and garlic for the pungent taste, and turmeric often acts as an astringent, and these flavors used in definite degrees brings out a unique and savory taste in the food.
Rice Is A Staple Food
When you take a look at traditional Indian cuisine, you’ll notice that rice is a major staple. Every regional cuisine of Indian will have at least one rice dish. For, example, the Hyderabadi Biryani, Pulihora, etc. In fact, some traditional Indian desserts also use rice in their preparation. This is because rice cultivation is done in abundance in India along with wheat and other legumes and the practice of rice cultivation dates back to the ancient ages in India.
India has been a part of many global trade routes in ancient times and as a result, the Indian food map also has some external influences in its cuisine. From Persian to Arabian and Mediterranean influences, Indian cuisine has adopted many foreign practices. Saffron used in some of the Indian dishes were a result of the Greek and Arabian influences. Potatoes, chilis, and tomatoes are some staple ingredients used in Indian cuisine that was brought in by the Portuguese traders in the 15th and 16th century. The Portuguese also introduced the use of refined sugar as well.
Chutneys And Pickles
Chutneys and pickles are a big part of Indian cuisine and many dishes are accompanied by chutneys and pickles as a side. When you visit Indian restaurants in New York you can see that most traditional Indian meals are incomplete without chutneys or pickles. These condiments are made to enhance the taste of the dishes and can make even a regular meal quite savory. For example, when you order paratha it is often paired with a pickle or the masala dosa is often accompanied by coconut chutney. The purpose of this pickle and the chutney is to enhance the taste of the paratha and the dosa thereby making for a great food experience.
Traditional Eating Practice Involves Hand
The traditional way of eating Indian food is to make use of your hands. Whether it is a paratha that you’re eating or a dosa, the traditional practice involves you eating the food with your hands. Most of the dishes in the Indian culinary scene are made such that they are best enjoyed when eaten with hands.
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