In India food is a gift of gods and it’s treated with respect. Based on pragmatic medical precepts evolved over centuries of experimentation and observation, Indian food is aimed at nourishing the body and is pleasing to the mind and eyes. Ingredients of each meal is based on six rasa or flavours – sweet, salty, bitter, astringent, sour and pungent – each ingredient believed to have particular physical benefit on application of the right proportionate use.
Indian cuisine is considered to be one of the three great distinctive cuisines of the World, the other two being the Chinese & the French. Indian cuisine aims to satisfy needs of the tongue & body, from sweet to sour bitter or hot, from heating to cooling foods, from food for the body to foods for the brain. Within these parameters, each region has nurtured its own culinary tastes using different combination of spices. No country in the World has developed such an elaborate and tasty range of vegetarian cuisine as India.
Characteristics of all Indian cooking are the inspired use of spices. Immense care is taken to ensure that spices enhance rather than dominate the basic flavour and they do not diminish nutritive value.
Indian curry contains pieces of mutton, chicken or fish in a sauce based on the famous onions, tomatoes, yogurt or coconut milk enriched by 03 or 12 condiments. Some of the more celebrated culinary traditions of India originated in the royal courts of the Mughals, in Avadh & Hyderabad. All the cuisines can be sampled at specialty restaurants as well as specially organized cooking sessions.
While mutton, chicken and fish are served throughout the country, the frequency with which they make their appearances differs. Of all coastal states in the country, Goa, Kerala & Bengal have culinary traditions with a preponderance of fish with Goa and Kerala making profuse use of coconuts. Goan seafood delights include Crab, lobsters, tiger prawns and shellfish, all accompanied by rice and washed down with excellent wine and wermouth of local manufacture. Kerala, as all other southern states, is noted for its variety of crisp Pancakes – Dosa and steamed rice cakes – Idli made from pounded rice.