What are the first words which come to your mind when you hear the word Indian cuisine? Spicy and vegetarian food or curry and chicken tikka? Well, these generic statements cannot cover the diverse cuisines which the country has to offer. Many of these statements are a result of generalization, as people tend to associate their personal experiences with the object itself, without exploring the different variations and diversity. There are tons of different cultures in India, and all of the regions having totally different or adding specific touch to the particular cuisines. So, let us bust some myths about Indian food.
The king of spices
It is not totally incorrect that Indians use much more spices in their food as compared to Europeans or Americans, but the same isn’t true for all Indian cuisines. Many cuisines like Jain, Gujarati and South Indian food items may also be little bland and sometimes sweet too. So, if you have a sensitive tongue, you could opt for cuisines like Gujarati or Kashmiri which are usually less spicy and hot.
Run out of choices
Many people believe that Indian cuisines don’t offer many choices and many dishes overlap with others. While the truth is that the diverse culture, religion, ethnicities and areas don’t only offer various different cuisines ranging from Kashmiri, Punjabi, Mughlai, South Indian, Andhra, Chettinad, Marwari and North-eastern but also each state has its own version of cuisines. Indian cuisines without any doubt are one of the most diverse with different meat, daals (pulses), sabzi (vegetables) and Rotis (breads).
The tikkas rule
If you have ever tried Indian cuisines, chances are you have had Chicken or Paneer tikkas which are specially roasted in Tandoor. The origin of the dish can be traced back to Persia, and Indians were innovative enough to give their authentic spicy touch to the dish. Although widely popular both in India and abroad, this is not the only dish which is common. Many other dishes, gives it tough competition in its homeland. Although the restaurants in other countries have adopted them to be essentials, but surely India has much more to offer than the Chicken tikkas.
Eating with hands
The North Indian breads like Roti can only be eaten by hands, and Indians also prefer eating with their hands. But, it is also pretty common to eat with forks and spoons. All the vegetables and pulses are eaten with a spoon. Indians usually use both hands and spoons to eat.
Heaven for vegetarians
India has one of the largest population of vegetarians which is related to the Hindu and Jain belief of not eating meat. To cater to such a large population, many restaurants and street food centers in India provide a wide variety of vegetarian food and some of them are restricted to only vegetarian dishes. But the vegetarian cuisines aren’t as boring as they may sound elsewhere, with a rich blend of tastes and spices, you sure are going to enjoy the food.
Many sub-sects of Hindus have started eating non-vegetarian cuisines and have been eating it for decades. Chicken is the most common and popular meet. You may also cherish a wide variety of sea food which is present in the coastal regions. But, beef might not be available everywhere, as the cow is considered sacred by Hindus. So, if you are a meat lover, you will surely not go home hungry.