The world’s fascination with Indian food and spices goes back to ancient times. It is known that spices were being exported from India to Russia around 77 C.E. Before the beginning of the common era, Arab traders were importing spices from India and Indian had already become very popular by the middle ages. Active spice trades were maintained with Indi by all major kingdoms in Asia and Europe. In fact one of the primary reasons why British visited India before colonizing it was the Indian spices and condiments.
REASONS FOR POPULARITY OF INDIAN CUISINE:
Indian recipes have been popular for a cooking style which is simple to cook, retains nutritional value of the food and has aromatic flavours due to the use of spices or masalas. Pickles and salads along with the main dish are a concept that originated in India. These were served as an appetizer for stimulating the taste buds along with the main dish.
India is a large country made up of diverse regions, and each of these regions has a local traditions and cultures along with flavours of food. In North India, wheat is a staple food whereas in Southern and Eastern parts of India, rice is an indispensable part of the daily diet. Fish recipes and other seafood are popular in coastal regions whereas vegetarian dishes are more popular in Central India. The different food cultures are also shared by the people amongst themselves as people in India exchange food with neighbours and friends especially during festivals thus spreading the popularity of regional dishes in various parts of the country.
Festivals also play an important role in the food culture in India. Makar Sakaranti is a festival celebrated in the month of January mainly in the state of Maharashtra. During this festival, bajra rotis(pearl millet breads) and sweets made of jiggery and til (mol) are generally eaten. All of these items are known to keep the body temperature warmer during the winter. As Indian festivals have become popular in the world, so have the food cultures along with them.
Ayurveda is an Indian medical science which is known for its easy and natural ways f treatment and it draws its base from Indian foods and herbs. Along with this Yoga is a physical and mental fitness exercise which is fast becoming popular in the world. And since Indian food and cooking draw a lot from yogic philosophy of cooking and eating, they are becoming popular along with the spread of ayurveda and yoga.
Indian cuisine was well known in many parts of Europe and Middle East but it modern times it is largely due to Indian expats all over the world especially in the UK and North America who have popularized Indian food. These days countries like the US, UK, Canada and Australia all have plenty of Indian restaurants and hotels serving Indian cuisine.
With many cooking shows on television and websites, blogs and cooking shows on the internet, Indian recipes are becoming more and more popular. With a perfect blend of nutrition, flavour and variety, Indian food has become well-known all over the world.
The Chutney restaurant is an award-winning restaurant in Kelowna that serves authentic Indian cuisine cooked to perfection.