Cooking Indian Food
Guide to Indian
Cooking with Spices
Indian food has evolved over centuries and has flourished under the many
rulers that India had. Chefs vied with one another to create exotic delicacies for their
rajah's. The result is centuries of patronage to the art of cooking and a large repertoire
of delicious recipes. We want to share the history and nuances of Indian cuisine so the
world may be more intimate with our cuisine.
The different aspects of Indian Cuisine
Indian Cuisine is becoming popular due to its exotic flavors and healthful
preparations. The repertoire of Indian Cuisine is vast and the following are interesting
aspects of the cuisine.
- Cooking according to tastes : There exists no written recipes in India and the individual is
encouraged to orchestrate a dish by using fresh, seasonal and local vegetables. We use
spices sparingly and our foods are not necessarily hot. Besides spices we use lots of
herbs and other natural seasonings to make our foods sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent
- Cultural Influences :. Many Indians are vegetarians having been influenced by Buddha
(Indian King and founder of Buddhism), Mahavir (founder of Jainism) and King Ashoka. Our
cuisine has been influenced by the Aryans settlers, the Arab and Chinese traders and
conquerors such as the Persians,
Mongolians, Turks, the British and the Portuguese.
- Ayurveda :
India's ancient science system, has given India a comprehensive system of health, diet and
nutrition. India's cuisine has been shaped by this science. Ayurveda is the common thread
that runs through the various sub cultures/regions of India. Otherwise, the cuisine can be
vastly different from region to region.
- Diversity:. India is a large country, almost the size of Europe, and has a greater
diversity of people, language, climate, cultures and religion than almost any country in
the world. Consequently, Indian cuisine is also diverse.
- Indian Restaurant Cuisine: Many Indian restaurants around the globe are influenced by North
Indian Cuisine. Indian restaurant cuisine has been influenced by Indian chefs that had
their culinary training in France. They created a fusion of the two great cuisine's by
adopting cream sauces in their Indian recipes.
- Royal Kitchens of India: Under the patronage of the rajahs of India the art of food was
elevated to a high level of advancement and professionalism. The royal chefs understood
the finer points of food, the art of presentation and created exquisite
Why Indian Cuisine?
Cooking Indian Food, Indian Food Recipes, Indian Food
Recepies, Indian Cooking, Indian Cuisines
Indian cuisine is gaining popularity around globe. It is easy to prepare,
tasty and it's mainstay is grains which is what people want today. They want meals that
are high in carbohydrates, have ample amounts of a variety of vegetables and contain
complete proteins and sparse amounts of Indian food provides this and more - it also has
the health promoting properties of various herbs, ginger and spices. Yogurt, an
accompaniment to Indian meals introduces good flora (acidophilus) into the digestive
system. Many of our menus are vegetarian, which tend to be more alkaline than
non-vegetarian menus. Fresh fruit follows Indian meals, which also contributes to an
Indian cuisine saves time. Many items can be cooked in crockpots, in a
pressure cooker or in electric pans. Lentils are easy to
cook. The whole wheat dough for
chappatis and rotis can be made ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator. Full menus can
be prepared within 30 minutes. Indian Cuisine is also very easy to prepare and we have
included many easy recipes.
Since traditionally we cook with tastes rather than with recipes, Indian
cuisine has very wholesome tastes designed to satisfy not only the taste buds but also the
Note: Lentils and beans combined with rice or wheat form complete proteins
that have all of the eight amino acids.
Aspects of Indian cuisine
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The hospitality of the Indians is legendary. In Sanskrit Literature the
three famous words 'Atithi Devo Bhava' or 'the guest is truly your god' are
a dictum of hospitality in India. Indians believe that they are honored if they share
their mealtimes with guests. Even the poorest look forward to guests and are willing to
share their meager food with guest. And of particular importance is the Indian host's
pride that they will not let a guest go away un-fed or unhappy from her home. Indians are
known for their incredible ability to serve food to their guests invited or uninvited.
Spices are an integral part of Indian food. This does not mean that Indian dishes
are always hot. It does mean that they are well seasoned and aromatic. There are some hot
dishes especially in the South of India, but, overall the dishes of India are skillfully
prepared with the cook having a mastery over the properties of spices and how they are
blended. The cook will use cooling spices as well as warming spices, bland spices as well
as pungent spices, sweet spices as well as hot spices. The cook will also use spices for
color and healthful properties. Most cooks in India also know how to use spices
seasonally. In everyday cooking in India spices are used very sparingly or the dishes are
seasoned with very few spices and are supplemented with fresh herbal seasonings.
In India, ghee
(clarified butter) is favored for frying and seasoning. This is because it can take
very high temperatures without becoming rancid unlike virgin oil or unrefined cooking
oils. Besides ghee, mustard oil is also used in Bengal and coconut oil is used in the
south. Sesame oil is also used especially in sweets.
Fresh herbal chutneys, dried fruit chutneys and hot pickles complement an Indian meal. These small additions to the meal take
the Indian menu to a higher level of taste experience. They lend strong flavor impact to
the meal. They also balance tastes as they are sweet, pungent, hot, and sour all at the
same time. the fresh herbal chutneys make the meal very fresh and tasty. Popular fresh
chutneys are cilantro, mint, amla, coconut chutneys and popular pickles include lime,
mango, and eggplant. Indian pickles are preserved in oil as opposed to vinegar.
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work is dedicated to my mother Shanta who taught me the tenants of Ayurvedic Cuisine and
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