In England it is now known as a national dish.Indian food is the most ordered takeaway , and there are more Indian restaurants in England now than there are any other type. Indian food further bifurcates into regional foods which are very different from Curry ...Curry is surely their USP but Indian food is much more than that ...and curry would be just an aspect
Indian cuisine is probably the most diverse cuisine in the world but sadly the perception is that Indian food is just “curry”. The antiquated heritage of Indian cuisine goes back thousands of years and boasts of an assorted menu of cuisines and not just one cuisine. This includes a whopping 300 ways of cooking a potato. While “Indian food" is synonymous with ‘curry, naan bread and pappadoms’, there is certainly more to it. Today’s era of cultural understanding requires a better awareness of authentic Indian food which is more than just curry!!!
For many a folks, Indian food means just “curry & spices” as if all Indians just munch curry every day. The ‘curry-muncher‘tag for Indians is just too stereotypical. It’s like saying the Japanese are sushi-munchers and Italians are pasta-munchers. It is unfortunate that the image of Indian food has got pigeon-holed into a masala dabba. This perception is so engrained that every time the Indian opens a lunch box, he/she gets asked ‘Is it curry?’
So what is Curry? Curry is generally referred as a spiced gravy-based side dish which is based on a standard curry powder. Go to a grocery store and you will find atleast 30 odd different types of the so-called ‘curry powder’. The assumption that all curries are made of a standard ‘curry powder’ is far from the truth.
Ask an Indian in India where you can have curry and in all likelihood, he/she would give you a blank look as this strange word ‘curry’ is not found in Indian vocabulary. In fact only NRIs are familiar with this stereotyped word. The closest word is ‘kari’ in Tamil. The general perception of Indian food comes from the takeaway curry in Indian restaurants or food courts. But what is not known is that these popular takeaway foods are generally the ones reserved for special occasions.
Anyway, here is a diversity test on Indian food. How many of us know about the ‘Idiappam’ and ‘Puttu’ from South India or the Maharashtrian ‘Bhaakhar vadi’, ‘Ussal Vadaa’ and ‘Pitla’ or the Bengali ‘Macher Jol’ or ‘Bangla Kichudi’. Tried the Gujarati ‘Ponk’ or ‘Jowar Kichu’? How about a Kashmiri ‘Kahwa’ or the Garhwali ‘Fanna’? What about the Kumouni ‘Mandua ki Roti’, the Konkani ‘Garadudde Paayas’, the Odiya ‘Jahni Posta’ or the Himachali ‘Channa Madra’? Because India is such a diverse country, even we Indians might not know some of these recipes. “Tell me what you eat, and I’ll tell you who you are” once said the renowned French gastronome Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin. Not sure how Brillat-Savarin would have fared in this test.
Indian cuisine is plausibly the most varied food culture in the world that even within a state, there are different cuisines and food combinations. For example: in the stage of Gujarat, we have different cuisines that of Kathiawād, Kutch and Saurashtra. This is so complex that it’s difficult to define Indian cuisine. In fact, Indian cuisine is a misnomer as there is no such thing as one Indian cuisine. Watch India’s culinary journey in Vinod Dua’s popular TV show “Zaika India ka” on NDTV India to get an idea of the complex regional Indian smorgasbord.
While the popular Chicken tikka masalas and the Nana