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Indian Food History

The cuisine of Indian restaurants in Coventry is characterised by its use of various spices, herbs and other vegetables grown in India and also for the widespread practice of vegetarianism across some sections of the City. reastaurants have moved awaty from classic dishes and Each family of Indian restaurants is characterised by a wide assortment of dishes and cooking techniques, it varies from restaurant to region, reflecting the varied demographics of the ethnically diverse Indian subcontinent.

India's religious beliefs and culture have played an influential role in the evolution of its cuisine. However, India's cuisine also evolved with the subcontinent's cross-cultural interactions with the neighboring Middle East and Central Asia as well as the Mediterranean, making it a unique blend of various cuisines from across Asia.
 The spice trade between India and Europe is often cited as the main catalyst for Europe's Age of Discovery. The colonial period introduced European cooking styles to India adding to the flexibility and diversity of Indian cuisine. Indian cuisine has had a remarkable influence on cuisines across the world, especially those from Southeast Asia.
In particular, curry, which originated in India, is used to flavor food across Asia.
As a land that has experienced extensive immigration and intermingling through many millennia, Indian restaurants in Coventry have benefited from numerous food influences. The diverse climate in the region, ranging from deep tropical to alpine, has also helped considerably broaden the set of ingredients readily available to the many schools of cookery in India. In many cases, Indian food has become a marker of religious and social identity, with varying taboos and preferences (for instance, a segment of the Jain population will not consume any roots or subterranean vegetables; see Jain vegetarianism). One strong influence over Indian foods is the longstanding vegetarianism within sections of India's Hindu, Buddhist and Jain communities. People who follow a strict vegetarian diet make up 20–42% of the population in India, while less than 30% are regular meat-eaters.

 Masala dosa served in a restaurant in southern India. Indian cuisine is characterized by the widespread practice of vegetarianism across India's populace.Around 7000 BC, sesame, eggplant, and humped cattle had been domesticated in the Indus Valley.By 3000 BC, turmeric, cardamom, black pepper and mustard were harvested in India. Many recipes first emerged during the initial Vedic period, when India was still heavily forested and agriculture was complemented with game hunting and forest produce. In Vedic times, a normal diet consisted of fruit, vegetables, meat, grain, dairy products and honey.Over time, some segments of the population embraced vegetarianism, due to ancient Hindu philosophy of ahimsa.This practice gained more popularity following the advent of Buddhism and a cooperative climate where variety of fruits, vegetables, and grains could easily be grown throughout the year. A food classification system that categorised any item as saatvic, raajsic or taamsic developed in Ayurveda. Each was deemed to have a powerful effect on the body and the mind

Later, invasions from Central Asia, Arabia, the Mughal empire, and Persia, and others had a deep and fundamental effect on Indian cooking. Influence from traders such as the Arab and Portuguese diversified subcontinental tastes and meals. As with other cuisines, Indian cuisine has absorbed New World vegetables such as tomato, chilli, and potato, as staples. These are actually relatively recent additions.

Islamic rule introduced rich gravies, pilafs and non-vegetarian fare such as kebabs, resulting in Mughlai cuisine (Mughal in origin), as well as such fruits as apricots, melons, peaches, and plums. The Mughals were great patrons of cooking. Lavish dishes were prepared during the reigns of Jahangir and Shah Jahan. The Nizams of Hyderabad state meanwhile developed and perfected their own style of cooking with the most notable dish being the Biryani.

During this period the Portuguese and British introduced foods from the New World such as potatoes, tomatoes, squash, and chilies as well as cooking techniques like baking.

Indian restaurant and Food guide

Global Indian Cuisine

Indian cuisine is one of the most popular cuisines across the globe. The cuisine is popular not only among the large Indian diaspora but also among the mainstream population of North America and Europe. In 2003, there were as many as 10,000 restaurants serving Indian cuisine in England alone. A survey held in 2007 revealed that more than 1,200 Indian food products have been introduced in the United States since 2000. According to Britain's Food Standards Agency, the Indian food industry in the United Kingdom is worth £3.2 billion, accounts for two-thirds of all eating out and serves about 2.5 million British customers every week.

 
Butter Chicken, also known as Murgh Makhani, is a popular dish in Western countries and Arab worldApart from Europe and North America, Indian cuisine is popular in South East Asia too because of its strong historical influence on the region's local cuisines. Indian cuisine has had considerable influence on Malaysian cooking styles and also enjoys strong popularity in Singapore. Indian influence on Malay cuisine dates back to 19-century.Other cuisines which borrow Indian cooking styles include Vietnamese cuisine,Indonesian cuisine and Thai cuisine. The spread of vegetarianism in other parts of Asia is often credited to ancient Indian Buddhist practices.Indian cuisine is also fairly popular in the Arab world because of its similarity and influence on Arab cuisine.

The popularity of curry, which originated in India, across Asia has often led to the dish being labeled as the "pan-Asian" dish.Curry's international appeal has also been compared to that of pizza.Though the tandoor did not originate in India, Indian tandoori dishes, such as chicken tikka made with Indian ingredients, enjoy widespread popularity. Historically, Indian spices and herbs were one of the most sought after trade commodities. The spice trade between India and Europe led to the rise and dominance of Arab traders to such an extent that European explorers, such as Vasco da Gama and Christopher Columbus, set out to find new trade routes with India leading to the Age of Discovery
North Indian cuisine is distinguished by the proportionally high use of dairy products; milk, paneer, ghee (clarified butter), and yoghurt (yogurt, yoghourt) are all common ingredients. Gravies are typically dairy-based. Other common ingredients include chilies, saffron, and nuts.

North Indian cooking features the use of the "tawa" (griddle) for baking flat breads like roti and paratha, and "tandoor" (a large and cylindrical charcoal-fired oven) for baking breads such as naan, and kulcha; main courses like tandoori chicken also cook in the tandoor. Other breads like puri and bhatoora, which are deep fried in oil, are also common. Goat and lamb meats are favored ingredients of many northern Indian recipes.

The samosa is a popular North Indian snack, and now commonly found in other parts of India, Central Asia, North America, and the Middle East. A common variety is filled with boiled, fried, or mashed potato. Other fillings include minced meat, cheese (paneer), mushroom (khumbi), and chick pea.

Eastern
Nollen Sandesh, a popular sweet from West Bengal, India.East Indian cuisine is famous for its desserts, especially sweets such as rasagolla, chumchum, sandesh, rasabali, chhena poda, chhena gaja, chhena jalebi and kheeri. Many of the sweet dishes now popular in Northern India initially originated in the Bengal and Orissa regions. Apart from sweets, East India cuisine offers delights of posta (poppy seeds).

Traditional cuisines of Orissa, Bengal, and Assam are delicately spiced. General ingredients used in Oriya, Bengali, and Assamese curries are mustard seeds, cumin seeds, nigella, green chillies, cumin paste and the spice mix panch phoron or panch phutana. Mustard paste, curd, nuts, poppy seed paste and cashew paste are preferably cooked in mustard oil. Curries are classified into bata (paste), bhaja (fries), chochchoree (less spicy vapourized curries) and jhol (thin spicy curries).These are eaten with plain boiled rice or ghonto (spiced rice).

Southern
Idlis with coconut chutney, a well-known dish from southern India South Indian cuisine is distinguished by a greater emphasis on rice as the staple grain, the ubiquity of sambar and rasam (also called chaaru and rasam), a variety of pickles, and the liberal use of coconut and particularly coconut oil and curry leaves. Curries called Kozhambu are also popular and are typically vegetable stews cooked with spices, tamarind and other ingredients. The dosa, poori, idli, vada, bonda and bajji are typical South Indian favorites. These are generally consumed as part of breakfast. Other popular dishes include Kesaribath, Upma, Pulao, Puliyodharai and Thengai Sadham. Hyderabadi biryani, a popular type of biryani, reflects the diversity of south Indian cuisine. South Indian cuisine obtains its distinct flavours by the use of tamarind, coconuts, lentils, rice and a variety of vegetables. Udupi cuisine is one of the popular cuisine of South India

 North Eastern
See also: Cuisine of Assam, Naga cuisine, Sikkimese cuisine, and Tripuri cuisine
The food of the North East is very different from other parts of India. This area's cuisine is more influenced by its neighbours, namely Burma and the People's Republic of China. For example it uses less of the well known spices that are popular in other parts of India. Yak is a popular meat in this region of India.

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