Culinary Journey: Joys of Curry

Is all Indian food curried? Yes, No, Maybe so!

Indians today have relocated to every nook and corner of the earth. Restaurateurs’ have followed suit. Aren’t we glad??!! No matter where you travel to, you can find an establishment serving naan and daal, thanks to enterprising Punjabis who have influenced cooking in a major way. Similarly, the caterers of South India have given many parts of the globe a taste of idlis and dosas.

Obviously, cross-fertilization between cuisines takes place and innovative chefs come up with new recipes to the delight of foodies! As with all cuisines, easy availability of local produce forms the base for use of various ingredients in cooking. Similarly, preferences of the palate differ between communities which influence cuisine. But the bottom line is the ‘masala’ or the ‘curry’ is what adds flavors to Indian cuisines. Even in pizzas, pastas and such!

An authentic Indian curry is a combination of onion, garlic, ginger and spices, seasonings. Turmeric, cloves and cardamoms. Coconut in the Southern delicacies.  Not all Indian food is spicy and salty. We’re major on sweets (Bengali ones are extremely popular) and a lot of these are made with jiggery, milk and ghee. Watch your calorie intake as you consume those! Side dishes and condiments like chutneys ad pickles add to the texture of a meal and provide balance.

As we witness Indian restaurants in abundance on our travels to different destinations, we notice that they’re very popular because of their opulent dishes. Snacks like ‘samosas’ and ‘kebabs’ have gained millions of fans everywhere! The paneer has got so many makeovers to cater to a wider audience. Indian spices have now made their way into the kitchens of fine dining, reflecting the soft power of this food!

Our curry has blended with Chinese, Italian, Mexican and multinational food chains serve ‘Hakka’ food, fancy tortilla wraps and other fusion food. The extent of experimentation is endless. In an increasingly global world, cultural boundaries for foods have become blurred. That’s what makes the curry so appealing – its use can be as diverse as the country itself.

Curry not only tastes awesome, it could be good for you as well, researchers claim. Out of the 381 cooking ingredients Indian food use 200! If you choose carefully – avoiding the creams then the medicinal effects of these spices are countless. The strong anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory properties, of turmeric help with digestion. The therapeutic benefits of eating a colorful, flavorful diet have been taught in ‘Ayurveda’ as well. Make optimal choices gives the wisdom, the mind-body connect!

For our food connoisseurs in the family, an important part of planning our trips is to check out the Indian joint/restaurant in that destination. Whether it’s Carnival Cruise, Hong Kong, and Rome or wherever we go – essentially at least one meal has to be ‘curried’ Weren’t we so glad to see the food truck at the foothills of Swiss Alps serving Chai and Dhoklas?

The joys of the curry! Add flavor to life and living!

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