Cooking in this country is considered not only an art. It is also a complex philosophy. Moreover, the one who possesses this wisdom must prepare dishes as if they were intended for a deity. That is why Indians do not taste their food during the cooking process. First, they invite God to taste it, and after that they put the food on plates for the whole family.
One of the most popular topics in ancient Hindu religious books was the science of nutrition. For example, according to the Vedas, this people divided dishes into three groups. Each of them contained food corresponding to various states of a person – ignorance, as well as passion and goodness. The first of them included overly spicy, fried dishes, as well as those that were served either too hot or already cold. “Passionate” was considered food containing aphrodisiacs. Foods were considered “blissful”, and they contained everything in moderation. They were neither bland nor spicy, neither hot nor cold, neither greasy nor lean. According to the traditions of this people, only such food was considered energetically balanced.
All Indian dishes can be said to be prepared using one of the most ancient systems in the world. It is quite sophisticated and suggests that food must combine five flavors, namely pungent, sweet, sour, salty and astringent. What is it for? The pungent taste is responsible for the healing properties that the spices endow in the food. Sweet should give a person a feeling of satiety. Sour taste is responsible for the mineral and vitamin composition of the dish. Salty is the energy that is simply necessary for the human body. The components that give food an astringent taste, allow you to cleanse the intestines of toxins, remove metabolic products in a natural way, and also slow down the formation of fatty deposits.
In addition, the philosophy of Indian cuisine differentiates all dishes, distinguishing from them “warming” and “cooling”. Moreover, these concepts have nothing to do with the temperature regime. The philosophy of Indian cuisine is to have the right combination of “warming” and “cooling” food on the table. Only their harmony will help maintain the correct body temperature and maintain health.
Today, Indian food is deservedly considered one of the most exotic. The cuisine of this people was created on the centuries-old traditions of not only the local population, but also tendencies brought into the country from the outside. Almost everything that is eaten in India has its own characteristics. What do they consist of?
India is considered the land of spices. Local chefs prepare food, adding about 30 types of various spices to it. At the same time, such spices are often used in the most unexpected combinations for us. It is thanks to the presence of spices that Indian food has an incredible taste and piquant aroma.
Despite the presence in the country of more than 3.5 thousand castes that establish their own rules and norms for nutrition, the preferences of the bulk of the population are formed under the influence of such religious trends as Hinduism and Islam. The northern states of India are inhabited by a large number of Muslims. There is no pork in their diet. Moreover, at the state level, the country refused from beef. The most interesting thing is that even in one family, its members, with differences in religion, can cook different dishes for themselves. Such separate nutrition of loved ones in the country is not uncommon.
Throughout its centuries-old history, Indian cuisine has reflected the culinary traditions of representatives of many other nationalities. So, the settlers who arrived here from Portugal introduced the Hindus to sweet pepper. The British also have a certain relation to Indian cuisine. They brought anchovies, jelly and puddings here.
The descendants of Tamerlane, the Great Mongols, left a big mark in the formation of the culinary traditions of India. During their reign of the country for several centuries, they made popular the fatty rice pilaf with spices, as well as biriyani, which are sweet breads filled with dried fruits and almonds. In addition, the Mongols brought tandoor to the country. The local population began to call him tandoor. These are special ovens that look like giant jugs, in which meat is smoked and baked, vegetables and pilaf are prepared, and bread is baked. Food in tandoor is prepared extremely quickly due to the temperature created in them, which sometimes reaches 500 degrees.
India is considered the birthplace of vegetarian food. Of course, the local population includes meat in their diet, but this is far from accepted throughout the country, and if it does, then in limited quantities. The reason for this was the climatic conditions of India, because in almost all of its territory the air warms up to high temperatures, which does not allow the meat to be stored for a long time. But at the same time, such conditions, together with fertile soils, make it possible to collect up to 3-4 harvests of vegetables and fruits during the year.
Cows are under government protection in India. Hinduism considers the killing of these animals a sin greater than the deprivation of human life. That is why, for Hindus, eating beef is strictly prohibited. At the same time, dairy products are considered sacred. They are eaten every day. Especially popular in India is yogurt, which is called dashi in the country. According to Indians, the meal cannot be considered complete without it. This tradition has its own explanation. The fact is that yogurt contains casein. This substance allows you to quench your thirst, the emergence of which provokes spicy food.