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Runaway Delight

Indian Food History

 

The cuisine of India 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 its society. reastaurants have moved awat from classic dishes and Each family of Indian cuisine is characterized by a wide assortment of dishes and cooking techniques. As a consequence, it varies from region 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, India's cuisine has 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, 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.[15] By 3000 BC, turmeric, cardamom, black pepper and mustard were harvested in India.[16] 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.[17] Over time, some segments of the population embraced vegetarianism, due to ancient Hindu philosophy of ahimsa.[18] 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.

 

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 Runaway Delight

 

4, Hales St, Coventry, West Midlands CV1 1JD

 

Tel: 024 7767 9908

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