Indian cuisine is all about exotic flavours and vibrant colours. It is also widely known for dishes which are packed with heat.
But there are more interesting things about this Asian cuisine that a lot of people do not know. Want to find out what these are? Below, we’ve listed 5 surprising facts about dishes from India.
Six Different Tastes in Indian Food
Most people say that dishes from this South Asian continent taste spicy – as in flaming hot. While this is a prevalent and age-old notion, it is not a very accurate description.
According to food experts, authentic Indian dishes feature a balance of six different tastes – sweet (madhura), sour (amala), salty (lavana), bitter (tikta), pungent (katu), and astringent (kasya). Out of these six flavours, at least two stand out.
So, next time, closely pay attention to what you are tasting. Try to decipher what flavour profiles are present.
Naan – Not the Only Type of Bread
When it comes to bread, naan is perhaps the most popular. This leavened, fluffy flatbread is best paired with dry food like tandoori.
The thing is that this ethnic cuisine doesn’t just offer naan. Its bread selection is as diverse as its meat and non-meat fare. It has chapati, paratha, parotta, puri and bhatura, to name but a few.
Chutneys and Pickles on the Side
Chutneys and pickles are an integral part of Indian food. If you’ve noticed, almost all dishes are served with these on the side.
Just a reminder – chutneys are condiments and not dips. They are meant to enrich the flavour of the dish.
Furthermore, they come in a lot of varieties – mint, beetroot, tamarind, dohi, tomato, etc. Each flavour is best paired with a certain food, i.e., beetroot chutney with samosa.
Three Categories of Indian Food
Food in this cuisine can be categorised into three: Saatvic, Raajsic and Taamsic. Each of these affect the body in different ways.
Saatvic is the category for minimally-processed or natural food like vegetables, fruits and juices. These are good for your body as they have calming and purifying effects.
Rajasic is for salty, oily and spicy items. These are necessary for increased activity or motion.
Meanwhile, tamasic is the group for meat, liquor and for anything that is overly processed. Food under this category should be eaten sparingly because too much of it can bring out negative feelings and harm the body.
Spicy Not Equal to High Heat Level
As mentioned earlier, dishes in this cuisine are often said to be spicy. This leads most people to conclude that all items on the menu are flaming hot.
To clarify, spices are generously used in every dish. Each recipe includes at least five spices. But this does not mean that all the dishes pack heat.
Remember, there are spices that do not “burn” just like cinnamon, nutmeg and anise. Moreover, as we’ve stated above, these spices mesh perfectly resulting in a dish with a diverse flavour.
There is no denying that this South Asian ethnic cuisine is as interesting as it is flavourful. It is a reflection of a diverse culture, one that’s a seamless confluence of local and regional culinary traditions as well as foreign influences.
Craving for authentic Indian food? Dine at Royal Spice for delicious dishes and exceptional service. Call us now on 056 7786010 or visit our website to make a reservation.