Indian cuisine

Uses: fish, poultry, mutton, dishes consisting of rice, legumes, eggs, vegetables and fruit. The term Indian curry as well as the term Indian cuisine is so wide that if you ask a culinary expert from this part of the world, what the Indian cuisine actually is, he would not be able to answer.

It is a very general term, which would demand to say something that is not true. Indian cuisine has so many variations of dishes, differing on the Indian subcontinent by states and regions, which means that simple identification of its diversity is not possible to embrace.

Indian kitchen

For all the cuisines of colourful India it is typical to use a variety of fresh ingredients. We do not mean only the use of fresh vegetables in this case but also, for instance, fresh ginger, chillies, coriander leaves and leaves from the curry tree and of course freshly ground spices.

For obvious reasons it would be difficult to find all these exotic ingredients on our continent. These ingredients are substituted by a well-known curry; English uses the term curry powder. Some dishes are really hot and spicy but there are not many of those. It is quite a common perception on the European continent that Indian food is exclusively hot. Indians themselves say it is not quite so. Curry is far more typical nevertheless. The hotness of the dish depends greatly on the taste of the diners.

To achieve the hot taste the hot chillies are used, which are similar to chilli peppers, and the richness of the taste is enhanced by the use of ground cloves and cinnamon. In combination of the hot taste of peppers the dishes are enriched with irreplaceable “Indian” taste. Peppers in this part of the world were brought by the Portuguese when in the 16th century a part of India was colonized by them and since that time the peppers have gained great popularity. Other cultures have influenced the Indian cuisine dating back to the old times – since the medieval times it has been Persia in the north and when the Arabs reached the southern part of India in the 8th century, they also had some impact on the Indian cuisine.

Maybe you did not know

Maybe you did not know but curry together with tea belongs to one of few dishes that are actually Asian. Even though it is prepared in almost whole southern and eastern Asia, it originally comes from India. Most curry dishes belong to “eintopf”, which means that they are prepared in one pot. However, it is also a popular way of cooking when the individually prepared curry sauce is poured over grilled meat. The name of food and spices has its roots in Tamil, one of the many languages of India, where “kari” (as opposed to Slovak short i) refers to any food, especially meat and vegetables that are eaten with rice. Interestingly, not every meal known as curry is made from curry. That is why it is a bit difficult and confusing for us Europeans. The term “curry” is widely used in the southern regions of India, especially in the area where Tamil language is used. In the Hindi language and other north Indian languages as well as in Nepal the mixture of spices, elsewhere known as curry, is called galam masala or simply masala that consists mainly of yellow turmeric also known as curcuma. This term is used in whole India and it refers to spice that we call “karí” in Slovak.

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