Are You Hungry Tonight!
This morning as I was having my late morning tea, my wife Anjali made, I could not ignore the strong flavour that wafted through the balcony of my neighbour, serving a appetisingly flavoured chutney probably with the Idli or Dosa or even a mouth-watering Pongal. I still have to walk down to the local “Saravana bhavan” to quench my irresistible urge for a sambar dosa. We hail from a northern state and even after many years we still cannot get near the distinguishable taste of mrs Shanmugam’s marvellous recipe.
Have you ever wondered why you love certain foods and prefer them often over one’s own traditional home cuisine?
Why do people from different regions in India cook and eat differently even with the same basic ingredients but differ in the cooking process and additives. What are the reasons? This will take us into the magical world of culinary cuisine and tastes. There is more of a connection between food and other aspects of life than you may think.
we grow up eating the food in our homes or relatives and friend’s homes. It forms our basic taste buds as we are young and becomes a part of our food habits. Many of us associate food from our childhood with warm feelings and good memories and it ties us to our families, holding a special and personal value for us. Food from our family often becomes the comfort food we seek as adults in times of frustration and stress. Most of as adults hold very close connections with the type of food served by our mothers especially cooked to our personnel liking. This then remains “food for thought” literally reminding us about certain events and times in our memories of growing up. We always relish these foods whenever we eat it.
Nowadays with mobility, people have travelled cross the world and had the opportunity to taste food from different cultures and regions. This has increased demand and appetite for experiencing different foods habits of people around the world.
In India we have a large migrant community in every city and it has a slew of restaurants serving a full range of region food from the north east to the south. Many cities also have foreign restaurants that serve Thai, Malaysian, Arab and Korean food.
Chinese food has been around In India for over 70 years. This was initially brought in to India by the Chinese community that settled in Kolkata in the late 1940s. They were traditionally leather saddlers to the British army and the preferred shoe makers to the general public. They were also some of the earliest public dentists in towns across India. But as the community grew into large extended families, they ventured out to put up the first Chinese home restaurants. They became instantaneous popular for its nutritional and value for money (quantity) for the common public. Their patronage grew due to its tangy chilly flavour appealed to the Indian palate. By the sixties chinese food was very popular in “Calcutta” and it hardly took time to spread to most other cities. Hence today Chinese foods like chowmein, friedrice, chicken chilly and soups is available in mostly every hotel and food shops. The noodles with Indian flavours are marketed by most ready to cook food companies.
Chinese cuisine’s attractiveness comes from a balanced combination of almost every flavour (salty, spicy, sour, sweet, and bitter) used in creative delicious cooking style. They believe that food not only needs to be nutritious but also needs to look appealing, so they put a lot of with vibrant red as their traditional color.
The famous English Marie “BISCOOT” (with tea) is another British legacy in Indian cuisine.
The famous English Marie “BISCOOT” with tea is another British legacy that was left for us Indn to savour through generations. So much so that it is a poor man’s breakfast or quick snack on the street.
As the world becomes more globalized, it is easier to access cuisines from countries. We should embrace global cuisine as much as we hold on and promote our own culinary heritage. It’s important to remember that, we live and work in a global village. Let the flavours flow and our plate be full with the best foods around the world.