The world`s growing discernment about Indian food has coincided with a deepening appreciation of the country. India has ceased, in the British mind, to be about the Raj and poverty-stricken villages. To Americans, India has become the home of computer programmers, call centres and such striking films as Lagaan and Monsoon Wedding. It is no longer surprising that famous pop star Madonna orders Indian food from her favourite Indian restaurant.
Cumin, coriander and cardamom; mustard, mango powder, ginger; asafoetida, fenugreek and chillies. And then there`s turmeric, tamarind and saffron, curry leaf, coconut milk and kewara water, almonds, cashews and pistachios. The world`s supermarkets are filled with these and other Indian spices. Add to that a range of flavours, intense and subtle, as vast as the country itself and you have a memorable Indian food experience. And doesn`t the world love and relish it!
Undoubtedly the strongest influence defining Indian food is religion. Centuries of Hindu practice and the profound belief in reincarnation have resulted in the most delicious vegetarian cuisine to be found in the world. What is on display in restaurants in India and abroad barely skims the surface of Indian cuisine. From the length and breadth of the country come an amazing variety of foods that tickle the palate and stun the senses.
The varieties of curries itself is mind-boggling. With recipes like Mutton Korma, Chicken Balti, Palak paneer and Biryani dominating the scene, it seems like the world is ready for a love affair with Indian food. Clearly the flavours of India have found favour with the rest of the world.
So, welcome to a world where Curry is King.