Busting myths about Indian food

 

  1. Indian food is inherently spicy

This couldn’t be further from the truth. No, chili was not always a part of Indian diet. It was introduced by the Portuguese to Goa during the 1400’s along with kidney beans that is today famously used in the preparation of Rajma. 

Also, the vindaloo curry made from duck meat in Goa was initially adopted from the Portuguese, a dish named vinha d’ alhos. India has been invaded several times over the past few hundred years. Mughals, Persian, Turkish and Portugal are some of the countries that left behind imprints of their cooking.

  1. Chutney is sweet 

This is a common misconception in the West. They believe it is like a sweetened pickle. Chutney is actually made from fresh ingredients at home and there are no preservatives added. 

Chutney is never sweet. On the contrary, it is actually quite spicy. Variations like apple and mango chutney was invented by the British colonizers. So no, not all our dishes are one hundred percent authentic! It did come as a huge surprise for me too. 

  1. Chicken tikka masala is an Indian dish 

This is debatable. There are rumors that the dish might have originated in the U.K. by Indian migrant chefs who may have experimented and popularized this dish. There’s no certainty about this. 

However, there is no doubt in my mind that the dish has some Indian element to it, considering that it has the word “masala”. 

  1. Chai is a variety of tea 

Err…no! Chai is tea! It is basically the Hindi word for tea. Starbucks has a drink in their menu by the name of “chai tea latte”. Chai tea latte doesn’t make any sense because they both essentially mean the same darn thing!

  1. Curry is a type of Indian sauce that is smeared on rice 

Curry is one hell of an abused word in the Western world. Curry doesn’t always have to be a vegetable preparation that is accompanied with rice. It can also be eaten with roti. 

  1. Garam masala is one variety of spice

Again, False! Garam masala is actually a combination of various spices like cumin, cardamom and cloves. You could effectively substitute a lot of spices with this alone because its heavy on flavor.

  1. Indian food causes diarrhea

No, food that is cooked in poor hygiene conditions is what causes stomach illness. Indian food is celebrated all over the world for its nutritional value so pardon me when I say that you need to check the source of your food if you’re falling sick. Street food isn’t exactly the ideal prototype to pass judgments, is it? 

  1. Indian food is oily 

That entirely depends on how you choose to cook your food. Stereotyping an entire race is silly here. Believe it or not, roti can be cooked entirely without ghee or oil, especially in machines like Oxy Fryer and Rotimatic, oil can be done away with! Don’t believe me? Read the rotimatic reviews and find out yourself.