The Indian cuisine
boasts of an immense variety not restricted to only
curry. An authentic Indian curry is an intricate
combination of a stir-fried Masala - a mixture of
onion, garlic, ginger, and tomatoes; various spices
and seasonings with which meat; poultry, vegetables
or fish is prepared to produce a stew-type dish.
Note: the word Masala also means spice.
Food in India is wide ranging in variety, taste and
flavour. Being so diverse geographically, each
region has its own cuisine and style of preparation.
Indian cuisine, renowned for its exotic gravies
seems complicated for any newcomer. The Mughlai
cuisine of North differs sharply from the
preparations of the south. The Wazwan style of
Kashmir is luxurious but the same can be said about
Bengal's Macher Jhol, Rajasthan's Dal Bati, Uttar
Pradesh's Kebabs and Punjab's Sarson Ka Saag and
Makki di Roti. In India, recipes are handed down
from generation to generation.
The unique and strong flavours in Indian cuisine are
derived from spices, seasonings and nutritious
ingredients such as leafy vegetables, grains,
fruits, and legumes. Most of the spices used in
Indian cooking were originally chosen thousands of
years ago for their medicinal qualities and not for
flavour. Many of them such as turmeric, cloves and
cardamoms are very antiseptic, others like ginger,
are carminative and good for the digestion. All
curries are made using a wide variety of spices.
In Indian cuisine, food is categorized into six
tastes - sweet, sour, salty, spicy, bitter and
astringent. A well-balanced Indian meal contains all
six tastes, not always can this be accomplished.
This principle explains the use of numerous spice
combinations and depth of flavour in Indian recipes.
Side dishes and condiments like chutneys, curries,
daals and Indian pickles contribute to and add to
the overall flavour and texture of a meal and
provide balance needed.