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Everything You Need To Know About Indian Food


Modified: January 3, 2024

by Preeti Dhakappa

Indian Food
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Have you ever had lassi? What about chicken tikka masala, biryani, mango chutney, samosa, butter chicken or kachori? These are all delicious dishes coming from India. If you want to know more, let’s dive into the tasty universe of Indian food.


Indian food is an experience, quite like no other. To most, it may seem like life itself, a little bit of everything in one lifetime. Those that have never experienced Indian food, know not how taste impacts wellbeing. Those that like Indian food, know that some celebrations are quiet and inexplicable. 


Let’s uncover the magic that makes Indian food so unforgettable for a host of people, no matter where you travel to in India, be in Mumbai, Delhi or Bangalore. Indian food can charm you with its sheer diversity and uncompromising demeanour. If you’re a follower of Masterchef Australia, you already are aware of the position Indian cuisine holds in the world! But then again, the modesty of this supreme cuisine is in the act of eating with the hands. No fancy cutlery, no sophisticated tableware is ever mandatory whilst relishing Indian Food. 


Understanding India’s Diversity

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India is one of the oldest civilizations in the world. There is a millennium of history behind its present-day diversity. In addition, it is also the second most-populated country in the world. And it occupies a vast territory which spans various climates. Unsurprisingly, each region of India has its unique character. In no other country can you find so many ethnicities, religions, languages, and cultures so distinct from each other. Hindus, Sikhs, and Zoroastrians live alongside Muslims, Christians, and Buddhists.


Moreover, India has 23 official languages and countless unofficial dialects. With so many differences in traditions, customs, and languages, you can understand why India is such an incredibly vibrant place. The cultural makeup of India is truly astounding. Naturally, this comes with great benefits. If Indian people are so diverse, Indian food is the best reflection of this diversity. From the tiniest villages to the largest cities, Indian families are united by their appreciation for delicious food. A trip to India may get you into a food coma in the blink of an eye. India is one of the world’s top food travel destinations and for good reasons.


Why Indian Food Is Known To Be Unique

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In a country with so many ancient traditions and cultures, people have developed diverse culinary traditions as well. Different cuisines from various regions influenced each other constantly. For this reason, Indian food seems to be everything in one. There is no adjective that can sum it up.


Additionally, the culinary habits of Indians were influenced by neighbouring countries and cultures. A great example is a Mughlai food, a mix of Persian and Central Asian cuisines, which was adopted by Indians from the Islamic Mughal Empire. Mughlai food came into India with ingredients unknown to Indians such as dairy and various spices. The Portuguese also brought new ingredients to India, such as tomatoes, potatoes, white flour, and chilli peppers. This fusion of various cuisines explains the complexity of Indian food. Indians even have their own version of kebab.


The main merit of Indian chefs is that they know how to extract the most dazzling flavour from each ingredient. As a result, they have come up every time with a tasty fusion dish. It is no wonder that the whole world has fallen in love with Indian food. Here are a few reasons why Indian food is so popular:


India – The Land Of Spices

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Indian food recipes are anything but bland. Whatever Indian dish you may have in front of you, be sure that it would be flavorful and spicy. One of the reasons for this explosion of flavours is the use of unique spices, each carrying strong aromatic properties. Indians love to mix spices to enhance the aroma of a dish. The result is an amazing, unforgettable taste. Best Indian food includes masala, a handmade spice blend typical of India. The spice blends differ from region to region, and each family may use a different recipe. Usually, each dish is accompanied by a masala that best matches its taste. And Indians have a lot of spices to work with. Their country produces the largest quantities of spices in the world. Moreover, there are actually spices that are only used in Indian dishes. Some examples are turmeric, ginger, and tamarind.


Why India Loves Rice

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During your trip to India, you will notice the dominance of rice in Indian food recipes. That’s because rice is the most common food staple in India. It also comes in dozens of varieties such as brown, red or black rice. Indians use it in different types of dishes, including soups or desserts. Most of the time, rice is combined with vegetables. Whether a restaurant specializes in South Indian food or North Indian food, you can find excellent rice dishes such as northern dal makhani or southern chana masala.


Be Spoilt For Choice

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Indian food is comprised of a wide range of cuisines. Depending on their background, Indian people use different cooking methods to prepare a dish or a different recipe of the same dish.  On top of that, Indian food includes a large variety of sweet and salty dishes. No matter your preference, there is surely a tasty Indian dish for you. Next time you’re in an Indian restaurant, try some traditional dishes of India. Examples include biryani, naan, butter chicken, mango chutney, samosa or kachori. Remember that North Indian food differs from South Indian food so make sure to sample dishes from different regions.


A Vegetarian Cosmos

Indian food vegetarian

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Indians are so astute at extracting the most powerful aroma from each ingredient that vegetarian Indian dishes are hard to match. Since a third of Indian people are vegetarians, they have expanded their cuisine to include plenty of enticing vegetarian dishes. If you are a vegetarian looking to explore new cuisines, eating out at an Indian restaurant will open up a new world for you. Where else could you get a food coma as a vegan other than an Indian restaurant? Soon you will seek out Indian food recipes to replicate the dishes at home.


Indian Food in the World

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It’s almost impossible to cover the diversity, richness, and popularity of Indian food. Especially since it has long since moved past the borders of India. From the United States to Europe and Australia, Indian restaurants have achieved immense popularity. The British, for example, have widely and enthusiastically adopted Indian food. In fact, chicken tikka masala is almost considered a national dish in the UK. There is a chance one of the best restaurants in London can serve it to you. In the United States, the first Indian restaurant opened in the mid-1960s. Americans, however, loved Indian food so much that now there are approximately 80,000 Indian restaurants all across the US. So what if food travel excites you, but a flight to India is not in the cards yet? The answer is simple. You don’t have to take a trip to India to enjoy Indian food. There might be an excellent Indian restaurant nearby.


New to Indian Food?

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If you’re not familiar with Indian food, you can start by eating out at your local Indian restaurant. Start with a dish like chicken tikka masala, biryani, kebab, samosa, mango chutney, kachori, or tandoori chicken. For drinks, you can try lassi. Containing yoghurt and spices, lassi is a great beverage for the summer. You can also start with butter chicken or Indian kebab if you don’t want to venture outside your comfort zone too much. Any of these dishes will give you a good taste of the best Indian food. Although Indian restaurants are very common in most parts of the world, Indian cuisine doesn’t come cheap. The main reason is that most dishes are complex and require a lot of skill and attention from a dedicated cook. With recipes going back thousands of years, it is easy to understand that this type of magic takes talent and work. High prices are nothing but an indicator of excellence in cooking.