Misconceptions About Indian Food

Authentic Indian food: butter chicken curry, lamb vindaloo, basmati rice, nan bread and yoghurt raita

Indian food, though hugely popular, is highly misunderstood. It’s easy to look at the country’s cuisine and assume that it’s always hot and spicy, or oily, rich, and fatty, so it’s unhealthy and bad for your diet. When browsing recipes with their sometimes long lists of ingredients, you might even get the impression that cooking Indian dishes is difficult and time-consuming. All of these are misconceptions, though.

Just like any other cuisine in the world, Indian food is diverse. You can find spicy recipes and pleasantly mild ones, complex dishes that take hours, and those that you can whip up within an hour. And, you don’t even need curry powder. Don’t go by hearsay and common opinion. Dive in and discover for yourself the amazing world of Indian cuisine. It is a journey you will never regret!

Indian Food Basics

There are a number of things that you might not know about Indian food, especially if your only experience with it has been at restaurants.

  • Indian food has evolved over thousands of years. It is the ultimate symbol of how Indian culture can absorb other influences yet hold its own.
  • Indian cooking has taken the delicate and sometimes intricate art of blending spices and honed it to perfection.
  • Indian food includes perhaps the most dazzling array of fresh vegetables and fruits cooked in a multitude of ways that help retain their freshness and nutrients.
  • Traditional Indian cooking almost always uses fresh ingredients and involves making dishes from scratch. This means fewer preservatives and healthier food.
  • Indian cooking uses spices like turmeric, ginger, garlic, and green chiles, which all have medicinal and healing properties.
  • A traditional Indian meal includes carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and fiber, all the elements you need to make a balanced meal.

Myth: All Indian Food Is Hot and Spicy

It is simply untrue that Indian food is always hot and spicy. While spices are used in Indian cooking, they are not what makes food spicy. As for chiles (which add the heat to a dish), they are a matter of preference and can easily be omitted from most recipes.

Secondly, not all Indian foods contain 10 (or even three, four, or five) different spices! Years of culinary evolution has created dishes in which the main ingredient is beautifully enhanced by just one key spice.

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