If you’re not an Indian (whether NRI or Resident Indian), we’re sure that you’ve experienced it: tasting Indian food, feeling like your insides have been set on fire, starting the next morning in the bathroom and spending the day eating foods to cool your tummy down. Yet, there is something enticing about Indian food that keeps bringing people back to it every time. In fact, Indian food with its intricate mix of ingredients and aromas, is desired all over the world.
What makes Indian food so different and special? What is it about cardamom, tamarind, saffron and other spices that can overwhelm people’s taste buds give them bouts of joy? Scientists have been conducting experiments and research since long and recently made their observations public.
Behind the appeal of Indian food is a stranger and subtler truth. A truth that suggests that the tantalizing flavors have something unique at molecular levels, and this is what makes them different from cuisines around the world.
Typically, western dishes display a not-too-surprising trend. A chart shared by Scientific American in 2013 shows which foods share flavor compounds. The logic driving Western cuisines is that foods with similar compounds in their ingredients be paired together.
In India, the opposite holds true. Research conducted at the Indian Institute for Technology (IIT) in Jodhpur suggested that Indian foods rarely shared flavor compounds. So while some flavor compounds are inevitably shared, it is significantly lesser than other destinations across the globe. For instance, onions and coconuts barely have any flavors in common, and that’s what makes them an ideal combination. Also, the foundation for all Indian curries is cayenne. And when a dish contains cayenne, the researchers noted, it is unlikely to share flavor compounds with other ingredients. The same holds true for green bell paper, coriander and garam masala, which are extremely popular in Indian dishes.
If you haven’t experienced authentic Indian cuisines, this post is one to convince you that you should. If you sample Indian foods in your country, the taste will probably be mellowed down to suit your taste buds. Instead, visit India and get a taste of the various cuisines that differ across the length and breadth of the country. Dishes and their tastes are distinct from Kashmir to Punjab to Karnataka, and each one is as good as the other.
When traveling to India, ensure that you purchase calling cards for cell phones. These calling cards for cell phones let you call overseas and stay in touch with family and friends for really low charges. Thus, you can keep in touch with the people who matter back home without burning a hole in your pocket. These calling cards are the best options to call overseas because they don’t rely on an internet connection and can be used on basic cell phones also.
So go on. Take that trip to India. November to March is a great time to visit the country of eclectic cultures since the weather is pleasant and not many tourists are around. Sample Indian food so that you can say that you have done it all. And don’t forget to carry calling cards along to stay connected to family and friends back home.