Laying ground rules: The Indian Cuisine

India, a country that has not invaded any country in its 10,000 year history. As unique that fact is its food is as diverse, something that i don’ have to say (but if you don’t know you will come to know don’t worry).

Now the picture that conjures up in your mind when I say Indian food, is fiery spices and curries with a layer of fat floating, well thats not exactly it, atleast not always ;). Indian cuisine is rich but not always at fats.

The diversity in Indian food essentially arises due to intra and inter cultural interaction. Then there is also the influence of British, Portuguese and most importantly the Mughals especially in the strongholds of these foreign powers. Also the economic conditions effect the cuisine. Eg: Awadhi Biryani (Biryani is an Indian dish made with highly seasoned rice and meat or fish or vegetables and Awadh is a place, but please let me warn you in advance there are many types of biryani that you will actually just understand from my example and yes i will tell about them to you in the later posts). During the British the Nawab (A native governor during the time of the Mogul empire) was deposed to Bengal (you can refer http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bengal) the people did not have enough money to buy meat to please the Nawab so what the people did is, they made biryani with potatoes creating a new variation and a delicacy.

Now you need to first understand that India has been a highly philosophical country (now don’t you dare ask me about that). And, the old guys said that to be pure throughly you need to eat a saatvik aahar (saatvik means For an object or food to be sāttvika, it must be uncontaminated and should not spread evil or disease in the world. On the contrary its presence must purify the surroundings.and aahar means food as a whole). And how can we expect our poor non veg food to be purifying? 😀 Non veg is uncouth and the cattle is sacred.

But still meat (chicken,fish pork etc.) forms a very integral part of Indian food HOW?

There are a few simple reasons for it:

  1. Where the environmental conditions are extremely cold, the fats in the meat act as an insulator for the body.
  2. In areas close to the sea, its easily available and cheap.
  3. Effect of the foreign powers
  4. Some gods and goddesses take offerings of meat.
  5. You just can’t forget KFC
  6. And some of them do have it because they like it come on.

Now the amount of spices and the thickness of the layer of fats might differ from region to region, I mean in a place where dialects change every 25 km, probably food might change in even less :O.

Also locally available spices and the most abundant crop affect the food. Eg: Curry leaves find a lot of use in the south of India but not much in the other parts. Or, coconut and bananas that grow in abundance in the south of India, every part of these trees find a use in the dishes there but coconut is more of a garnishing and an offering to gods in the rest of the country and banana ofcourse, my fav fruit.

Well that should be it. Now I will be taking up the influence of British, then Portuguese and then Mughals. Now Mughals is gonna be a big section guys so look out for that.

PS: I really want to have your feedback guys and please if you don’t understand some word please tell me, I will surely get back to you.

Any James Bond fan out there, I know its not my subject but please let me know.

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