Are you celebrating one of the National Holiday? This page will help you make all your celebrations a delicious experience; by learning the facts about herbs!
"Indian cuisine is one of the most popular cuisines across the globe. The cuisine is popular not only among the large Indian diaspora but also among the mainstream population of North America and Europe."
The term "curry powder" is the English equivalent of the South Asian spice mixtures known as garam masala. However in South Asian cuisine these are far more varied in their content than the generic curry powders found in Western supermarkets and grocers. The primary spices used in Indian cooking are:
- Cumin seeds: either ground or whole. They are put in the oil before cooking.
- Cardamom seeds: roasted in the oil before cooking
- Carom seeds: roasted in the oil before cooking
- Curry leaves: used in South Indian cooking (very different from curry powder, see Curry Tree)
- Garam masala: which depending on the recipe is either put in early or late in the cooking process, is a blend of roasted aromatic spices.
- Mustard seeds: which are put in the oil before cooking until they pop and release their flavour.
- Nigella (Kalonji): are small black seeds used to give naan bread its distinctive flavour.
- Panch Puran: a spice blend.
- Turmeric powder: which colors the dish.
Overall, the flavour of Indian cooking is made from a combination of these different spices, often with some of them roasted in oil at the beginning of cooking to release aromatic flavours. Whether spices are added early or late in the cooking process and cooked in oil or dry roasted can greatly affect the flavour of the resulting dish. Different recipes from the various parts of India and surrounding countries use different combinations.
Popularity and influence outside India
"In 2003, there were as many as 10,000 restaurants serving Indian cuisine in England alone. A survey held in 2007 revealed that more than 1,200 Indian food products have been introduced in the United States since 2000. According to Britain's Food Standards Agency, the Indian food industry in the United Kingdom is worth £3.2 billion, accounts for two-thirds of all eating out and serves about 2.5 million British customers every week.
"Apart from Europe and North America, Indian cuisine is popular in South East Asia too because of its strong historical influence on the region's local cuisines. Indian cuisine has had considerable influence on Malaysian cooking styles and also enjoys strong popularity in Singapore. Indian influence on Malay cuisine dates back to 19-century. Other cuisines which borrow Indian cooking styles include Vietnamese cuisine, Indonesian cuisine and Thai cuisine. The spread of vegetarianism in other parts of Asia is often credited to ancient Indian Buddhist practices. Indian cuisine is also fairly popular in the Arab world because of its similarity and influence on Arab cuisine."
"The popularity of curry, which originated in India, across Asia has often led to the dish being labeled as the "pan-Asian" dish. Curry's international appeal has also been compared to that of pizza. Though the tandoor did not originate in India, Indian tandoori dishes, such as chicken tikka made with Indian ingredients, enjoy widespread popularity. Historically, Indian spices and herbs were one of the most sought after trade commodities. The spice trade between India and Europe led to the rise and dominance of Arab traders to such an extent that European explorers, such as Vasco da Gama and Christopher Columbus, set out to find new trade routes with India leading to the Age of Discovery."
- National Youth Day (India) - 12 January / Republic Day - 26 January
- Independence Day - 15 August / Gandhi Jayanti - 2 October