Indian Cuisine

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Indian Cuisine

Think of India and one of the first things that come to mind is its diversity. A large populous country divided into many states; each with its own unique traditions and gastronomic fare. Indian cooking is one of the most popular cuisines across the globe. Not only is it popular among the large Indian diaspora but also among the mainstream population of North America and Europe. For the uninitiated, Indian food may seem foreign, scary, spicy and not for the faint of heart. This paper aims to explore many of the facets that make up Indian cuisine and hopefully allay any misconceptions or fears that may exist. The chapters are categorized under the following sections: 1. The Evolution of Indian Cooking 2. Geographical Variation 3. Dietary Customs in India 4. The Story of Spices 5. Curry: What is it? 6. Indian Dining Etiquette

The Evolution Of Indian Cooking Indian cuisine derives from a 4000 year timeline. It has significantly evolved as a result of the various influences introduced into the country by many travelers and rulers. Despite this evolution, it has not lost its original identity, but rather became richer with the assimilation of theses varied influences. The following historical timeline (Bhattacharya, n.d.) of how Indian gastronomy evolved will help shape our understanding and appreciation of this cooking style. 2000 BC and earlier. Most people believe that the origins of Indian history, and therefore the cuisine, dates back to Mohenjedaro and Harrapan civilizations. It is understood that the Ayurvedic tradition of cooking, which is a complete holistic approach to cooking, evolved at this point in time. 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 the ancient Hindu philosophy of ahimsa. 1000 BC. At this point we see the first influx of outsiders into the country. The Mohenjodaro people



References: Bhattacharya , R (n.d) History of Indian Cooking: A Historical Perspective on Indian Cooking. Retrieved November 25, 2009, from http://www.inmamaskitchen.com/Indian_Cooking/history_Indian_food_cooking.html Cook, S (2008) Curry. Retrieved October 15, 2009 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/curry Indian Cuisine - Origins and Indian Culinary History Indian Cuisine. Retrieved October 25, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_cuisine Janjira, M (2009) Leong, K (n.d). The Health Benefits of Indian Food. Retrieved October 15, 2009 from http://www.associatedcontent.com/pop_print.shtml?content_type=article&content_ty peid=1829365 Parbhoo, R Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL) (September 30th 2008). APA Formatting and Style Guide. Retrieved November 17, 2009, from http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/ Sarkar, P (n.d) Smith, D (1998). Definition and History of Curry. Retrieved September 24, 2009 from http://www.curryhouse.co.uk/faq/define.htm

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