|Rambagh Palace Dining|
If you happen to be a fan of British television programming like I am, you know that the Indian cuisine has had a strong influence on that nation. Likewise, India's food has also been influenced by its domination by both the Mughal (Mogul) and British empires. Of course, its many religions, particularly the Hindu beliefs, have further influenced its foods, cooking styles and dining habits. Because of this, India provides a unique blend of various cuisines, something of which is sure to delight your taste buds.
Tea is a common beverage throughout India; the finest varieties are grown in Darjeeling and Assam. It is often prepared as masala chai, wherein the tea leaves are boiled in a mix of water, spices such as cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger, and large quantities of milk to create a thick, sweet, milky concoction. Different varieties and flavors of tea are prepared to suit different tastes all over the country. I was told however, that coffee is a more popular beverage in some southern parts of India.
Inevitably after visiting India someone will ask if I had a good curry. Curry is a generic term used in Western culture to describe a variety of spiced dishes found in India with the consistency of a stew with a brown, gravy-like sauce. However, there is no particular ingredient or spice that makes something curry. The word 'curry' is not a Hindi-Urdu word. What we call curry is meat and vegetables cooked with a gravy and served with rice. With that said, you find that curry is eaten in almost all parts of the India and south and east Asia, and flavors very widely based on local ingredients and tastes. The word 'curry' appears on most menus that are translated into English.
If you haven't been to India, I would recommend it but only for the seasoned traveler. It's likely not the first international trip you would want to consider, as it is still developing and can be somewhat challenging to navigate. But for those of you who have seen most of Europe and parts of East Asia, India is highly recommended. On my next visit, I hope to tour the southern part of this beautiful country and to learn more about the region's history and its many customs and cuisines.
|Bukhara Tandoori Selections|