Indian Food 101

Ya boi, Christopher Columbus, sailed the ocean blue back in 1492, but does anyone remember what he was searching for in the first place?!

No I’m not here to talk about America you pompous peeps. He was searching for Black Pepper from the Malabar Coast in India.  This country isn’t known as the ‘Land of Spice’ of nothing, these people have been perfecting their zest for a spicy palate for centuries, and I’m here to give you the low down on some dishes!

Indian Spices 101:

Dal-icious –

Each region of India has their own unique cuisine, but the one thing they can all agree on is, dhal (curried lentils or pulses). Here are the four main kinds:

  • Chaana – yellow split-pea, sweet
  • Moong – tiny yellow or green oval (mung bean)
  • Masoor – red lentils (salmon colored)
  • Ochre – colored southern favorite (tuvar – arhar – yellow lentils)

Flippin’ Fantastic Bread –

Let them eat bread. Flaky, fried, filled, and flavored. I want it all. Here’s the low down, naan is god’s gift to the world. If you haven’t tried it you haven’t lived. If you’re ever walking in India (or any other country) and see a tear drop shaped piece of bread appear out of a tandoor, then grab 4 or a dozen and run. Also, roti or chapatti is a delight!!

** Side note: A tandoor is a massive heavy cylinder clay oven that is used in most authentic Indian restaurants. **

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Mutton Matters –

Chicken, lamb, and mutton are the mainstays for meat. WARNING: Do not say the word beef in an Indian household (who you don’t know very well). Been there. It was in New Delhi. I was at a homestay and asked the hostess if she cooks beef “So do you ever serve your guest beef?” She knew perfect English but I just got the typ Indian stare down, I made a quick joke and changed the subject. Heheh oops. All these meats can be cooked in the tandoor, Tandori chicken is my favorite!

“Gato means rice…. Not cat” –

Quotes by Cur, while serving.

Rice is a staple (like many countries around the globe), depending on the region especially in Central and South India, cooked in a pulao or biryani. Rice is great with dal.

It’s proper etiquette to mix rice/and or bread with dal.

Yogurt –

It balances the hot chili and can be a sweet lassi or raita (with fruit or vegetables). It breaks down the enzymes, with good probiotic, perfect for digestion, sometimes eaten last at meal time.

Throughout your travels in India, make sure to drink bottled waters, and stay away from sketchy street food/ roadside vendors.

All images are shot from @Jamtara Wilderness Camp  – Aside from dal-icious cuisine, this wilderness camp is a gently placed surrounded by nature, in a forest that is teeming with flora and fauna just three hours NE of Nagpur.

Feeling spicy? Contact the team at 090981 87253 or email them at info@jamtarawilderness.com or gm@jamtarawilderness.com

Experience India – connect with the local cuisine, and expand your knowledge! Happy Travels!

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