9 Awesome Facts About Indian Food
India has a total of 28 states, with each region and state having special food items. It is a land filled with various cuisine choices, and each state has many different kinds of flavors to offer. In fact, it is a country where you can find innumerable different kinds of dishes, sometimes the same dish cooked in various styles, depending on the region you are in and the kind of spices found there.
Listed here are some awesome facts about Indian food that will give you a better perspective on why and how Indian meals are so vibrant and varied.
1. In most cultures, everything is either sweet or salty. However, in India, the food theory lists six different kinds of tastes – sweet, sour, salty, spicy, bitter and astringent. Each Indian meal usually tries to balance all these flavors, with one or two of them being dominant, but no one dish having all six of them.
2. India is popularly known as the ‘Land of Spices’, and rightly so, because it has the largest variety of spices in the world, owing to the different climatic conditions in various parts of the country. Vasco Da Gama took Indian spices to Europe for the taste, aroma and richness of the mineral content.
3. Most Indian sweets use sugar. However, it was the Portuguese who introduced refined sugar to India. Before that, only honey and fruits were used as sweeteners in Indian dishes. Ironically, the concept of crystallized sugar and making of sugar from sugarcane juice developed in India!
4. The Indian food system classifies food into three very interesting categories – Saatvic, Raajsic and Tamsic. Saatvic food consists of fresh juices and vegetables, and is said to lead to a higher state of consciousness. Raajsic category contains oily and spicy food, and is known to be the foundation of activity and motion. Taamsic food is said to bring out negative feelings, and consists of meat and liquor.
5. The ‘dum’ style of cooking originated in India. This happened once when the Nawab of Awadh was facing shortage of food, and he ordered for a lot of rice to be cooked for the poor people in ‘handis’. These earthen pots were covered with a lid and sealed with dough, leading to a new style of cooking called ‘dum’, which is now used to make ‘dum biryani’, ‘dum aloo’ and so on. It’s a cooking style that uses minimum resources and locks the flavor well in the food.