When the Mughal Empire invaded in the 16th century, they left a significant impression in Indian cuisine, according to Texas A&M University. Indian cuisine is also influenced by many other countries. It is known for its wide range of dishes and the generous use of herbs and spices. Cooking styles vary from region to region.
Wheat, basmati rice, and legumes with chana (Bengal gram) are important staple foods in the Indian diet. The food is rich in curries and spices, including ginger, cilantro, cardamom, turmeric, dried hot peppers, and cinnamon. Chutneys - thick spices and spreads made from various fruits and vegetables such as tamarind and tomatoes as well as mint, cilantro, and other herbs - are widely used in Indian cuisine.
Many Hindus are vegetarians, but lamb and chicken are common in non-vegetarian main dishes. The Guardian reports that between 20 and 40 percent of India's population is vegetarian.
Much of Indian food is eaten with fingers or bread as utensils. At mealtimes, there are a wide variety of breads available, including naan, a sour flatbread baked in the oven and bhatoora, a soft, fried flatbread that is common in northern India and eaten with chickpea curry.
Americans love a busy Thanksgiving table, the Chinese can't do without chopsticks, the British have formal culinary traditions, and the rest of the world has theirs - different cultures, cuisines and customs. With a rich heritage, the history of Indian cuisine is as old as our civilization. The Indian food label is based on traditions. And behind almost all traditions lie centuries of invasions, conquests, religious beliefs, political changes and social customs.
The people of the Indus Valley cooked with wild grains, herbs and plants. Most of them are staple foods today. The Mughals saw food as an art and familiarized us with the scent of rose water, the texture of yogurt and Desi Ghee, and the use of spices. They showed us that eating should be fun. The Chinese introduced the tea tradition, the Portuguese made chili peppers popular, and from the British we borrowed dinner as a preservative.
What is more interesting is how traditions have been shaped, developed and transformed over time. They vary mainly by region and religion. In a land of many rituals, offering food to deities has given birth too many traditions. Prasadsam, which is served in temples, Langar in Gurudwaras, or sumptuous Iftar meals reflect our ethnic diversity. These traditions have found their way into our cuisine and have influenced the way we view food - sacred and pure. In some cultures, for example, a prayer of thanks comes first and then you search for food by hand.
Eating is an elaborate ritual and certain traditions create our cultural identity. Here some ancient food traditions are examined, which form the basis of our culinary reputation and have significantly shaped our multicultural cuisine.
Eat with your hands
This tradition has its roots in Ayurveda. Eating is supposed to be a sensory experience and eating with your hands creates emotions and passion. According to Vedic wisdom, the hands are the most valuable organs of action. One of the Ayurvedic texts shows that each finger is an extension of the five elements. The space goes through the thumb, the air comes with the index finger, the middle finger is fire, the ring is finer water, and the little finger represents earth.
Eating with your fingers stimulates these five elements and helps produce digestive juices in the stomach. It is known that nerve endings at hand stimulate digestion. The feeling that you are eating tells your stomach that you are about to eat. You will become more aware of the taste, textures and aromas. Besides India, it is also common in parts of Africa and the Middle East.
The Twisted Indian focuses on taking cultural diversity and simplicity into account by offering the best Indian food that reflects the traditional cultural culinary values of India.