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Indulge in Gluttony: 14 Surprising Facts that you never knew about Indian Food!

Facts about the origin and evolution of Indian food

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Indian Food, Wikimedia

October 16, 2016: Indian food is one of the most popular and loved forms of food across the globe. Be it the tangy, spicy curries and the heavenly sweet dishes, literally everyone loves the Indian cuisine. Here are some interesting facts on the original and evolution of Indian food.

  • India is known as The Land of Spices. No other country on the map produces as many types of spices as India does.
  • Indian cuisine in deeply influenced by the Greek, Roman and Arab.
  • The heavenly saffron was brought to India by Persian rulers around 500 BC.
  • The basic ingredients of Indian cuisine like tomato, chilli and potato are not even Indian and have a Portuguese origin.
  • It was also the Portuguese who gave us refined sugar. Before that, India depended on honey and fruits as sweeteners.

Indian Spices, Wikimedia
Indian Spices, Wikimedia

  • The very mouth-watering chicken tikka, that we are so proud of, is actually not ours. It was first cooked in Glasgow, Scotland.
  • There are currently more than 80,000 Indian restaurants in the US. The first one was opened in the 1960s.
  • The food and eating methods of the early Indian civilisation are still a secret, as their ancient language has not been understood yet.
  • Chutney is one of the best food inventions of India. The British loved it too and they named one of our chutneys as ‘Major Grey’s’. It is sold across India even today.
  • Payasam in a popular south Indian sweet dish. A south Indian wedding is incomplete until this dish is served!
  • Wazwan is a traditional Kashmiri dish in which the spices are boiled instead of being fried. This technique gives the dish a Central Asian touch.
  • Pepper is rightly called the king of spices as it tastes well with almost anything!
  • The ‘dum’ style of cooking has an interesting origin. The kingdom of Awadh was facing food shortage. To cook a large amount of food using minimal supplies, meals were cooked in big handis, sealed with dough. This is how dum pulao and dum biryani were invented.
  • Indian food is divided into 3 categories- Saatvic ( vegetables, fruits and juices), Raajsic (Oily,spicy food) and Taamsic ( Meat, liquor and also garlic and onion). Saatvic food is considered good for the body and mind as it leads to higher stages of consciousness. Raajsic food is related to activity. Taamsic food is considered bad for the mind as it has a negative influence.

–  by Pragya Arora of NewsGram. Twitter: @Wanderlust6400

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“Regionality is What Sets Indian Food Apart” from the Cuisines Across the World, says MasterChef Australia Judge Gary Mehigan

Gary Mehigan carries back inspiration from India to his kitchen from his each visit

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MasterChef Australia Judge Gary Mehigan
MasterChef Australia Judge Gary Mehigan. Twitter
  • Gary Mehigan said that Indian food is gaining deserved attention globally
  • We have many Indian chefs like Manish Mehrotra, Sanjeev Kapoor
  • The Chef expressed that food the world over has seen enormous changes driven by social media

August 27, 2017: Globally renowned English-Australian chef, television show host and restaurateur Gary Mehigan says he believes that “regionality is what sets Indian food apart” from the cuisines across the world.

In an email interview with IANS from Melbourne, Mehigan said that Indian food is gaining deserved attention globally. “We’re close to seeing India explore its intellectual property, namely food, properly. We have many Indian chefs like Manish Mehrotra, Sanjeev Kapoor and many other names from all over the world infiltrating the food scene in a big way.”

 “People still sometimes see Indian food as a homogeneous chicken tikka, rogan josh, chicken vindaloo cuisine, when we know it is far from the truth. Regionality is what sets Indian food apart. Regionality is what the world is going to appreciate when it starts to learn about Indian food,” Mehigan explained.

“I hope I’m a part of those who bring great Indian food to Australia,” said the chef, who is now the face of Fox Life’s “Food @ 9: India Special with Gary Mehigan”.

“There’s quite a bit of Australian talent we’re trying to showcase through the series. These shows get addictive and help us travel vicariously through our television sets,” he stated.

ALSO READ: Indulge in Gluttony: 14 Surprising Facts that you never knew about Indian Food!

Mehigan, who will be setting foot in India for the seventh time this November, said he carries back inspiration from the country to his kitchen from each visit.

“I love the country – something about the color, the chaos, the diversity and the originality of the food, it all gets under your skin. I carry home a few recipes and ideas each time I visit. It’s certainly changed the way I cook at home,” he said.

Known popularly for shows like “Far Flung with Gary Mehigan”, and for his presence as a judge on “MasterChef Australia”, the Chef expressed that food the world over has seen enormous changes driven by social media.

“I’m loving where food is at the moment. Ideas are being shared so quickly through social media — whether it’s Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. I can browse through my Instagram and look at what some of my most favorite restaurants in the world are serving for lunch.

“The frame of reference for younger cooks is much bigger. They are able to browse through how a matcha ice-cream is made in Tokyo, or how funky desserts are made in Parisian cafes,” Mehigan said.

All in all, it’s a great thing for food with awareness growing, he opined. “This global club of foodies is only expanding. It’s a great thing for food, our health, and our planet too if we care about where our food comes from.”

Social media is also one of his ways to keep reinventing his food, said the chef, who has been in the industry for nearly three decades.

“Social media is there to keep my imagination going. I’m food obsessed. I go on holidays because of food. I think I’ve never been in love with food more than I am now,” Mehigan said, signing off. (IANS)

 

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Indian Cuisine touted as the ‘Big Trend’ of 2017: Spicing Up San Francisco with Indian Cuisine

Whether you're craving for home-style recipes or inventive modern twists, San Francisco's Indian restaurants have lots to offer.

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Indian dishes and their unique spices
Indian spices and flavors. Wikimedia
  • Indian cuisine is touted as the ‘big trend’ of 2017
  • Authentic Indian flavors with contemporary cooking styles and presentation are hitting all the right spots with the West

San Francisco, August 15, 2017: Exotic cocktails made with Indian spices and elixirs. And dishes that have such diverse, unique and bold flavors that the staff actually has to guide diners, particularly in situations where many might not be familiar with the authentic dishes made and served with a contemporary style. A modern dining experience overlooked by industry veterans from India. And an ambitious menu in equally ambitious restaurants- Indian dining chains are currently having a wild moment in San Francisco.

Indian food accounts for less than two percent of the ethnic food market in the United States, but it still has the fastest growing rate. Courtesy, its aromatic, flavorful and un-parallel combination of food.

Indian cuisine, which remained largely ignored for decades is now being touted as the ‘next-big-thing’ with studies pointing that Indian food is potentially going to be one of the biggest trends throughout 2017.

An increasing number of Americans on Quora have shared that quality Indian food requires fine culinary skills, which makes it an expensive affair for an average American. But despite this, Indian food remains an unshakable indulgence and has finally engaged mainstream tastes.

People of non-Indian backgrounds are popularly indulging in Indian food.
Indian food is hitting all the right spots with the Western palates. Quora

In an article published in 2012 for Wall Street Journal, “Is Indian Cuisine Coming of Age in America?” the author Visi R. Tilak explored the reason why Indian food was becoming increasingly popular in the West. According to him, it was because of the expanding American palate, which was only becoming bolder.

Indian food’s fast growing popularity can be attributed to the cuisine’s unique flavors that are hard to replicate. After all, there are not many other cultures that use the same combination of herbs and spices that can be found in a typical Indian dish.

And at the hub of this entire extravaganza is the city of San Francisco!

From upscale joints, to major food chains and small cafes- they are all dwelling in authentic Indian dishes, but with a contemporary twist!

ALSO READ Indulge in Gluttony: 14 Surprising Facts that you never knew about Indian Food!

Whether you’re craving for home-style recipes or inventive modern twists, San Francisco’s Indian restaurants have lots to offer. With veterans from the industry in India overlooking everything that goes out, their chefs have trained in the North and South and all other parts of India, at Michelin-starred restaurants, at tiny local cafes and big industry names and of course, their grandmother’s kitchens.

Irrespective of the style you prefer, Indian food is having a bit of a renaissance in San Francisco.

“We deep dived into Bengali recipes recently that my grandmother had passed down via my mother. This to me is far more interesting than fine-dining meals over multiple courses”, said Anjan Mitra of Dosa.

Regional Indian cuisines comprise an early trend that is yet to establish deep ground, which is why ventures like Dosa attract an ever-expanding crowd. And the fact that South Indian cuisine remained largely unexplored till a few years back works well to their advantage!

Anjan believes the underlying strength of Indian food is to expose foreign cultures to the wonderful diversity of the Indian culinary landscape.

Dosa has established a niche by serving Indian food made with high quality ingredients. With dishes like Quinoa Uthappam and paler cauliflower rice, their impressive menu caters to gluten-free, nut-free and other dietary requirements. Anjan believes in the simple philosophy that delicious and healthy food finds an audience.

Dosa ia a South Indian restaurant venture by Anjan Mitra
Dosa has established a niche space among the SF city diners. Quora

Of late, Anjan Mitra and his team have planned a trip for 20 San Franciscans to dwell in the regional Indian cuisine. Calling it The Great South India Food Journey, the 10 day trip will commence from November 25 and will cover Mumbai, Kochi, Periyar and Kumarakom. “There are plans to get the traveler exposed to local restaurants, but also to home cooking. Liam Mayclem (the Emmy Award winning radio and TV star) who I have known via the food scene in SF for many years will join us,” he said, as reported by the Hindu.

With popular names like Aslam’s Rasoi, Roti Indian Bistro, Babu Ji and Udupi Palace among many others, the city offers a multitude of graciously-spiced, slow simmered deliciousness spanning across the extreme corners of the city of hills.

Chef Sujan Sarkar, of Rooh, continues to charm the vibrant palate of San Franciscans with his progressive style of Indian cuisine, using a wide variety of local produce to his advantage. Upon being asked what’s next, he added “Possible rabbit. And I want to use Bamboo rice which is healthy, with no starch. Black garlic is trending. I enjoy using it and activated charcoal in my experiments.”

The chef, familiar to many for his leading role in Delhi’s Olive Bar and Kitchen, offers a new interpretation of Indian Cuisine using ingredients one would not imagine, like ramps that are smaller in size than scallions and have a mild onion flavor.

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Chef Sujan has previously worked magic in London (where Madonna dined thrice at his former restaurant, Almada), India and now San Francisco, is trained in modern European and French cuisine, the techniques for which hold strong in his culinary expression. His dishes “enjoy fresh ingredients and creativity on the plate. Rooh celebrates the innovative spirit of modern India”, he told the Hindu.

 


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Looking for Best Healthy Snack Ideas For Tea-Break? Here is a List!

An array of best healthy snack ideas are here to cheer you up

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Healthy Snacks, tea
Best Healthy Snack Ideas For Tea-Break. Pixabay

New Delhi, July 31, 2017: A tea break is imperative for every Indian. Equally significant is to have the best healthy snack ideas to accompany your favorite cuppa. Be it crispy, sweet, fried or spicy we all look for easy to make snack ideas to add some more delight to our chai-break!

Here are some of the best healthy snack ideas to implement in your tea break. Deck up your tea time with some of the most awesome nutritious snacks. Get a glimpse here of some of the snack ingredients and try them out-

  • Kaju Kothimbir Vadi is very popular among the Maharashtrians. With cashew nuts you add up its nutrient level. also, it is an amazing admixture of crisp and soft. The best part is, you can finish cooking them within 10 minutes.

Roadside snack vendor. Pixabay

  • There is Mirchi Bajji, a spicy recipe made with green chillies, tamarind and coconut. It is best served hot with some chopped onions. If you are looking for something sweet and spicy, treat yourself with Aloo Boonda – a spicy potato filling tastes best when served with coriander chutney.

 

Mirchi Bajji. Wikimedia

  • The variety largely depends on which part of India you are in. For example, if you happen to be in U.P or Bengal, make sure to have some Khasta Kochuri. It is made with flour and moong daal stuffing. It tastes palatable when deep fried. You can also have it with tamarind chutney to make it all the more delicious.

Kochuri served with curry. Wikimedia

ALSO READ: Prolonged Depression can change the structure of the brain 

  • There is again Murukku, all the way from South. Thanks to the diversity of Indian cuisine. Murukku is basically fried lentil snack. It is considered one of the most nutritious snack in Tamil Nadu. Murukku is best if you are considering something crispy and crunchy with tea.

Murukku. Wikimedia

 

  • If you are urging for something sweeter, Pinaca is a very traditional sweet and is filled with the goodness of coconut. Pinaca, a sweet dish hailing from Goa, is also known by the name Pinagr or Pinac. You can enjoy its flavor by storing them in a jar for upto a week.

Pinaca. Youtube

  • Nimki, last but not the least is a Bengali dish. It is quite simple and convenient to prepare, made with a mix of wheat flour and maida and Carom seeds.

Fried nimki. Wikimedia

The list is for you to treat your taste buds while sipping tea and trust me, you will never run out of choices!

–  by Puja Sinha of NewsGram. Twitter @pujas1994