In India, every festival is about food – there are sweets, savories, indulgences and traditional preparations for every big or small occasion. From Diwali to next year’s Dusshehra, our customary celebrations ensure that there’s a grand menu planned for us for all fiestas.
At Holachef, we are celebrating the 69th Independence Day, a national festival, with regional Indian food. What better way to rejoice 68 glorious years of freedom than with a glorious variety of cuisines that our country has!
So while we were planning the menu for this day and organizing the rest of it, we thought we should also share with you some fun facts about various Indian cuisines. So here is a quick list of little known trivia about some popular gastronomical fares of our country:
1. Tandoori was not always our go-to food in the name of Punjabi cuisine. It was actually brought to India from Afghanistan by some refugees. Like everything else, we later Indianised it extensively over the years with tandoori chicken, tandoori naan, tandoori masala and tandoori nights!
2. As you move across the country from one region to another, dishes subtly modify themselves with flavors, colours, methods of cooking, down to even the style of cutting the vegetables prior to cooking. That makes us wonder if Kasmiri Pulao and Hyderabadi Biryani could actually be same same but different!
3. North Indian cuisine is perhaps the most popular and widely served in restaurants around the world. Broadly characterized by meats and vegetables cooked in a rich creamy gravy and yogurt based marinades we bet that a marriage somewhere even in the hinterlands of Tamil Nadu will not be solemnized without a North Indian fare.
4. Karnataka boasts of Brahmin cuisine (strictly vegetarian) as well as Coorgi food which is popular for its pork dishes. And all that lays inbetween varies from Madahagalakayi Palya, Kalangadi Hannina Sippe Dose, Bandanekayi Ennegayi and Nuggekayi among others. You can’t pronounce them, doesn’t mean you don’t try them!
5. If Bengali cuisine had to be defined in two words it would be fish n rice. There is of course much more to the spread than that apart from the mustard oil and panch phhoron (a combination of 5 whole spices) which dominate the taste. And they eat their water too, if you know what we mean.
6. The vegetarian cuisine that has dominated the western state of Gujarat has been mainly for religious reasons. The typical Gujarati thali consists of vegetables prepared with aromatic spices and accompanied by fried snacks. But to tell you the truth however adventurous or experiential they might be, a Gujarati traveler is only defined by the number of theplas he is carrying on the trip.
7. Natives from the Konkan region of Maharashtra, Goa and Northern parts of Karnataka share a common fare popularly known as Konkani cuisine. Predominantly non-vegetarian, the sea food varieties that these platters offer are mouth watering. When the English first landed on the coast all they said was – what the fish! and later improvised.
8. The Mughals changed the course of Indian cuisine by influencing local preparation with their elegant dining and use of rich ingredients such as dry fruits and nuts. From Shahjehani Murg Masala to Navratan Korma – the names are as royal as the dishes themselves!
Each type of cookery has its unique flavor and taste, however people are now experimental and do not hesitated to indulge in fusion foods. Tandoori starters with Indian-Chinese main course followed by a Bengali sweet may not seem unusual any more. While some feel that it is diluting the distinctiveness of each spread, others are of the opinion that it lets the palate evolve along with the cuisine.
India is blessed to have such diversity in culture and foods that one can never get bored of eating the same thing over and over. There’s always a different cuisine to try and experiment with. It is something that we, at Holachef, strive to do with daily new menus! Check out our special Independence Day Regional Food Fest menu right away and order an authentic meal made by some of the best chefs in the city.