“Nothing Brings People Together Like Good Food”
India is all about food, and all its 29 states have their own delicacies and distinct style of cooking. And Wikipedia lists nearly 200 types of Indian desserts alone!
But before the involvement of food in art, in India, it was strictly about Rasas & Doshas. To put it simply, whatever one eats is the Cause and Cure of all ailments. As stated by Indian food theory, there are six different tastes: Sweet, Sour, Salty, Spicy, Bitter, and Astringent. They say, in a proper Indian meal, you should try to include and balance all the six tastes.
And somewhere as India having to do so much with food history and chemistry, there are sure to be Fun Facts about Indian cuisines. Therefore, we have some interesting Indian food facts for you.
India’s ancient medicinal system- Ayurveda classified the food in three types:
a. Satvic: Foods that are more nutritious and contain a high amount of micro-nutrients, which is good for mental- health.
b. Rajasic: It is originated from ‘Raja’ (King’s) Food, basically meals that are heavy and fresh-fit for royalties. They derive aggression and competition.
c. Tamasic: Tamas means darkness or dullness. They are hard to digest and have a negative impact on the body and mental- health. It includes overripe and underripe fruits’ n’ vegetables, fermented foods, and even leftovers.
In India, it’s a custom to eat with your hands. It also believed that eating with hands makes the food taste 10 times better. So, bye-bye spoons, forks and chopsticks.
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Most n’ All Vegetarian?
According to ‘Food and Agriculture Organization’ (FAO) of United States, and The Economists, worldwide meat consumption has been on the rise over the last 50 years. And India has the second-lowest percentage of meat consumption; nearly about 4.5 Kg per person. Though, according to the 2014 survey by the Register General of India, with approximately 400 million vegetarians, 71% of its population is primarily consuming meat.
According to ‘Food and Agriculture Organization’ of United States, India provides about 75% of all the world’s spices; and is known as the “Land of Spices”. Since it provides such a diverse range of spices, which makes our Indian cuisines flavorful and aromatic- A symphony of all tastes.
Do you love that satisfying crunch of samosas on the first bite? Yeah, me too. And it may come as a shock, but samosa is not an Indian delicacy. It is a fried/baked pastry, which is originally from the Middle East.
It is known as ‘Forbidden Rice’ in ancient China since only the upper class could afford it. But now there are several varieties of Black Rice available in the market and for everyone. Black Rice has been growing in India for centuries, it is mainly grown in the North-East region, in Chak-Hao, Manipur; and in Southern part, in Kavuni, Tamil Nadu.
The interesting fact about Black Rice is, when harvested, it is black, but it turns purple after being cooked. It also has a similar amount of fiber to brown rice and has a mild nutty taste.
A prominent ingredient in every dessert across the Globe. But did you know? Indians were the ones to discover the methods of turning sugarcane’s juice into crystallized cubes. Before this, fruits and honey were used as sweeteners.
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Speaking of sugar, local Indians called the crystallized sugar ‘Khanda’. Which is also the root word for today’s famous sweet ‘Candy’.
Glittering Gold Dosa
Yup, you heard right. It’s a Gold Dosa. A restaurant in Bangalore serves a glittering delicacy to their customers: A Gold plated Dosa, at a whopping price of Rs. 1,011. Yeah, I know it’s a lot. But don’t you worry; they also serve an in-budget Dosa of Rs. 151 with a Silver Plating.
Hmm! The famous and most delicious Indian curry. But Wait! It’s not actually an Indian dish? And they invented it in Glasgow, Scotland.
The most beloved partner of our curries. But it too is not an Indian originated. The Moghuls actually introduced it to us, thus having Persian roots.
Saffron is called “Red Gold” and is the most expensive and scarce spice. Since the Crocus only provides 2-3 strands of saffron per flower. The Greek, Roman, and Arabs introduced it to us.
Portuguese brought staple Ingredients like Tomatoes, Potatoes, and Chili into the Indian cooking.
An Indian meal/thali is incomplete without this delicious side dish. And did you know? Like us, the British too loved our chutney. They even named one of the chutneys as ‘Major Grey’s’, and they still sell it in India.
Mithai (Sweets) are the heart and soul of Indian Celebration, and it is a ‘must-have’ item in the Thalis. Payasam is one of the favourite desserts in South India. It is also a tradition to serve Payasam in South Indian weddings.
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It is a traditional Kashmiri dish, which reflects the strong Central Asian influence. What’s so unique thing about this dish? They boil the spices to enhance the taste, rather than having them fried.
South Indian Food
Coconut, Curry leaves, and Mustard Seeds are almost in every dish of South India. This makes their food savoury, as well as sweet.
India is home to Ghost Pepper- the world’s hottest chilli. It is grown in states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Nagaland, and Manipur.
Pepper is viewed as the ‘King of all Spices’. And combined with salt, it becomes the famous taste enhancer in any dish.
And finally, the classic dish Daal-Chawal is said to be originated in Nepal.
These were the random and interesting facts about Indian food, which ironically we learned are not actually Indian. But we love every food irrespective of its origin. Because we are all proud foodies and have been taught to value and respect, as well as accept every culture of food. Do share these Indian food facts with your Foodie Friends and let us know which of these astonished you the most.
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