Indian cuisine is mostly renowned for using all kinds of flavors together, you get the spicy with the sweet and sour, and almost all of it is hot hot hot! Treating cooking as form of creating art, most dishes in Indian cuisine take a lot of preparation and use a whole lot of ingredients. That is why the they all have this distinctive layered taste. Many restaurants in other countries claim to serve Indian cuisine when in fact all you get is food that is too spicy to eat. That is why many people are afraid to try the real deal. True Indian food is not just hot, it combines a world of flavor in each and every bite, creating a delicious festival in your mouth. Let’s take a toothsome tour through the magic land of spices, and learn about authentic Indian cuisine and its most famous dishes.
BiriyaniIndia is mostly renowned for Mughlai cuisine, which developed during the reign of the Mughals between the 15th and the 19th century. The Mughals excelled in the art of cooking because they loved and appreciated tasty food. They introduced several recipes to the Indian cuisine, such as Pilaf, kebabs and Biryani. Perhaps the most iconic Indian dish, Biryani is not an easy dish to make, you cannot whip up a plate of Biryani, this is a dish that takes time and preparation. The toothsome result makes the effort more than worth it though. This fabulous dish is usually made of long-grained basmati rice layered with vegetables as well as your choice of lamb, chicken or fish. It is flavored with strong spices, such as saffron, cinnamon and cardamom and is often served with a thick tomato based gravy. If you travel to India you absolutely have to try the traditional Biryani, you will find that it is served almost everywhere there, with different variations of the dish.
Dal MakhaniThis vegetarian dish may just be the absolute best way to cook black lentils, it is thick, creamy, heart warming and utterly delicious! Dal Makhani originated in the Western part of Punjab, which is now in Pakistan. The original Dal was simply made by simmering whole lentils in a clay pot for long stretches of time, it was often let to cook overnight. It was usually served with a flat bread called Roti. The current version of this blissful dish though was invented in the 40s when a restaurant owner decided to add pureed tomatoes and dollops of cream and butter to his ancestor’s Dal, and what a brilliant idea that was! If you haven’t tried Dal Makhani before you have to, you will thank us later.
KeemaThe word keema means minced meat, however, it is commonly used to refer to an age old Indian dish made of minced meat and vegetables. The basic recipe for Keema comprises cooking the minced meat with potatoes or peas in a thick sauce made of tomatoes and ghee. It is usually eaten with any type of bread, with a side of vinegared onions or chutney. Many Indian restaurants around the world serve this popular dish for breakfast, but it can be eaten for any meal of the day if you ask us! For the best Keema, do not try eating it in a fine dining Indian restaurant, Keema is a popular street food and should always be eaten from small shops and food trucks!
Palak PaneerIndian paneer is a very simple cheese that is often homemade. An acid such as lemon juice, or curd is added to simmering milk until milk separates into cheese and a transparent liquid. The cheese is then strained through a cheesecloth and pressed with a weight to remove excess moisture. The paneer is said to have been discovered by accident, when people were carrying milk in leather bags and moving from one place to another in the hot Indian weather. It was incorporated into Indian foods during the days of the Mughal empire. This cheese is used to replace meat and chicken in many vegetarian dishes, it tastes amazing when cooked with different sauces and stews. One of the most globally renowned Paneer dishes is Palak Paneer. It is comprised of fried Paneer cheese cooked in a thick spinach puree.
Masala ChaiThis renowned Indian tea is very popular throughout the world. The name masala chai means spiced tea, and that is what it is in its simplest form, tea brewed with spices. One of the most widespread stories about the origins of this tea says that it was invented as a way of budget control. This theory says that black tea was mainly for export and was very expensive in India, and that is why tea vendors used milk, sugar, and spices to keep their brews flavorful while using less tea and cutting on costs. Maybe we should thank them for that! Currently the popular version of Masala Chai is made by brewing black tea with a mixture of spices then adding some sweetened condensed milk.
To read more about authentic cuisines see also: