Fun Facts about Indian Food

The people of India have incorporated foods and spices from other countries throughout history to give India’s culinary flavors a uniqueness that is rich and sophisticated.  As Madhur Jaffrey stated, “no foreign food was rejected, it was just made “Indian”.

Therefore, one can conclude, there is no such thing as “Indian” food.  No only does each region in India have it’s own composite of ingredients and spices from influencing regions,  the cuisine is then blended with spices from other countries.  The result is a delectable blend of flavors luring to any pallette.

Spices - Define “Indian” Food

Herbs and spices are the ingredients that bring Indian food to life.  Masala means the blending of several spices.  Fresh ground spices are chosen for the nature of the dish.  There are “warm” spices and “cool” spices.

Warm Spices

  • Bay Leaf

  • bay leaf

  • black cardamom

  • Cinnamon

  • Ginger

  • Mace

  • nutmeg

  • cayenne pepper   

Cool Spices

  • Fennel

  • Caradamom

  • Tumeric

  • Cilantro

  • Coriander

  • Saffron

  • Cummin

Culinary Influence by Region

North India Flavors

Meat and vegetables are cooked and served with the use of cream and yogurt in marinades.

South India Flavors

Rice and dal is the main staple diet.  Thin broth like dals called sambar combined with an array of seafoods.  This region is famous for its use of “kari” (curry), tamarind, and coconut.

East India Flavors

Rice is grown in this region and served with green vegetables and fruit.   

West India Flavors

This region’s cuisines offers flavorful variety of dals and achars (pickles and preserves) substituting for the lack of fresh vegetables in this area.



Indian appetizers have a variety of spices such as ginger, garlic, cloves, and coriander. The main ingredient is typically potatoes as a base combined with vegetables and spices for a low fat tasty snack.  The Samosa is a very popular Indian appetizer.

Sweet and Spicy Explosion of Flavors

Depending upon the origin region coconut milk is often used in soups.  Blending spices with this ingredient gives your taste buds a true delight.  A curry blended with vinegar, sugar, ginger and other spices keeps up the tradition of sweet and spicy.  Apple chutney is another popular topping that brings meat to life with this mouth watering sweet spicy flavoring.  And just to throw another example into the mix, fruit such as mango is often used in sweet chili marinades.  All this cannot be stated without mentioning the sweet taste of Indian desserts.     

Whether you are traveling or just out for an evening meal, Indian cuisine will dazzle your taste buds with just the right amount of spicy flavors while soothing your palette with a zesty soothing sweet sensation.