5 Facts About Indian Cuisine You Should Know
Indian cuisine is one-of-a-kind. It is known – and beloved – throughout the world for its bold flavours and spicy dishes. Due to the variety and vastness of recipes, though, it is almost impossible to know everything there is to know about Indian food! However, here at Spice Lounge Kitchen, we can tell you a little bit more about this delicious cuisine:
70% of the World’s Spices Come from India
No other country in the world produces as many varieties of spices as this subcontinent does. Different climates in different regions of India create a large selection of spices, while others are imported from other countries. Spices are used in different forms, such as whole, chopped, ground and fried.
Popular Indian spices used in both savoury and sweet dishes include coriander, cardamom, fennel and star anise.
Staple Ingredients Did Not Originate in India
Contrary to what you may think, ingredients such as potato, tomato, chilli and squash, which are absolutely essential in Indian cuisine, are not Indian in origin. They were introduced by the Portuguese during the Discoveries and infused in the subcontinent’s culture throughout the years. The strongest Portuguese influence can be found in Goa, which was under Portugal rule until 1961, with Goan Catholic cuisine being especially similar.
Indian Food Theory and Its Six Flavours
Indian meals are famously known for a tasty balance of flavours, with only one or two standing out. According to Indian Food Theory, food has six different flavours: sweet, bitter, salty, sour, spicy and astringent. A proper (and perfect) Indian dish will have a combination of all six.
Most Indians are Vegetarian
According to research, India has the lowest rate of meat consumption in the world, with only under 30% of Indians being meat eaters. 35% of the population is vegetarian. Indians differentiate between non-vegetarian, vegetarian and pure vegetarian, the latter of which being someone who doesn’t consume any animal ingredients, not even milk or eggs. It’s mandatory for vegetarian products to have a green mark that distinguishes them from others that contain animal products in some form.
Food System Classification
Indian food is also categorised in a different way than western cuisine. The food system in the subcontinent is split into three different categories:
- Sattvic – this food group includes anything that is pure, essential and clean, and emphasises regional and seasonal products, such as nuts, seeds, vegetables, legumes, grains and non-meat proteins. A sattvic diet is supposed to lead you into a higher state of consciousness.
- Rajasic – this category refers to foods that neither harm nor benefit the mind and body; the ingredients in this group are stimulant and considered the foundation of activity and motion, like caffeine, chocolate, salt and energy drinks.
- Tamasic – tamasic foods, on the contrary, are considered to bring out negative feelings and to be harmful to both the body and the mind. They include meat and alcohol, as well as fish, blue cheese and stale food.
Indian cuisine is incredibly varied and complex, so it might be impossible to learn everything there is to know about it. Still, that doesn’t stop us from trying! Book your reservation with us now and enjoy the delicious and multi-layered flavours that Indian food has to offer.