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Indians and their food

A person’s way to his heart is way through his stomach.

From the 1st century B. C. E Indians started off with the agricultural practices and they not only produced vegetables, but were also engaged in the production of herbs, spices and all kinds of cereals and pulses. At the same time, a lot of food, vegetables, cereals, meat, and other type of food was brought into the Indian subcontinent with each and every dynasty that ruled over this foodie country for hundreds of years. And India came to be known for it’s enormous variety of food – whether it is of the Indian origin or a mixture of Indi-foreign tastes – the country made it it’s own and presented it with a tinch of selfness. Centuries have passed away and the very essence of the Indianness of the Indian street and nobel cuisines.

It’s been years now, since we have been eating and experiencing a continuous change in a lot of local as well as foreign cuisines. The changing trend in this field has delighted both the restaurant chains as well as the connoisseur of food and new type of food. Not only, but Rajasthani, Bengali, Gujarati, Punjabi, or South Indian food has gained love in every Indian plate but, cuisines such as Chinese, Italian, Thai and Mexican have made their way out and is loved all over the Indian subcontinent. Street food has taken over all of the towns and cities and people eat them with great pleasure;be it Indian or Chinese or any other type of meal, everyone tend to get more and more of dishes onto their plates.

The history –

Around 700 BCE, agriculture spread from the Fertile Crescent to the Indus Valley, a wheat and barely began to be grown. Sesame, and humped cattle were domesticated in the local farming communities. By 3000 BCE, turmeric, cardamom, black, pepper and mustard were harvested in India. The ancient Hindu text Mahabharata mentions rice and meat cooked together, and the word “pulao” is used to refer to the dish in ancient Sanskrit works, such as Yājñavalkya Smrti. These evidences are far enough to provide a great example of the historicity of India and the Indian food.

The mingling of cultures –

The coming of various dynasties and rulers over the Indian land has marked a great change in the way Indians looked at their food. The Mughals, the Persians, the Turks, Dutchess, Afghans and a large number of rules that ruled over this vast country brought with them new and delicious food that mingled with the flavours of Indianness. Travellers traveling to India during the 16th century or middle ages introduced new cooking methods and products to the region. These fusioned cuisines tend to adapt India cooking and seasoning techniques and made dishes well integrated.

Change in the eating habits –

Indian texts such as The Mahabharata, Bhagvad Gita and Buddhist texts focuses primarily on their eating of Saatvic, raajsic, or taamsic food, as consumption of beef was considered taboo, due to cows being considered sacred in Hinduism. It was only after the coming up of Afghans, Mughals and Turks that eating beef or meat became an integral part of every Indian kitchen.

Today, street food have gained a lot of popularity among the youngsters as well as enthusiasts of food. Every Indian and foreign meal has taken over the Indian streets and made people fall for them. Apart from the restaurants, every dish is made available at the small shops and street vendors’ stalls, that has made the food cheaper and everyone can taste the food available at every part of the world

Indians have always been known for their food and eating habits that makes them shine on the world level. It is it’s historicity and the use of spices that has helped the Indian cuisine to be one of the favorites in the world that according to a report on Food Tourism issued by the UN World Tourism Organization states that

Over a third spending is devoted to food which shows how important the Indian cuisine has become.

Flavors of Delhi

Aloo Tikki, Afghani Street Bites, Chaat, Kebabs, Kachori Aloo, Chhole Bhature, Rajma Chawal, Parathas – these are reasons enough to call the Capital Delhi-Belly.

Delhi has always been a diverse city with people coming from all over India to settle and start a new life here. Many people know Delhi to be a city of rich cultural heritage. But Delhi, as a city, is so much more than that. And one aspect of this is the food in Delhi that makes it a great tourist place. The people of different cultures and traditions have brought with them their unique tastes to Delhi too.

It is not a hidden fact that Delhi has no particular food culture; the city acquires the identity of all types of people living here in its food preferences. The maze-like alleyways and marketplaces of Delhi are known to lure foodies with their curbside kiosks serving rich in taste street food while the studded restaurants add their own charm and elegance to the cuisine of the city.

Being an amalgamation of several cultures, Delhi is among the few places where you can find a South Indian devouring a serving of Butter Chicken and a Bengali enjoying Idli Sambhar, and it is not even astonishing anymore. The best part about this is that all these recipes are age-old, being handed down from generations after generations, helping them stay true to their original flavors.

Here’s what Delhi has to offer, apart from the traditional cuisine from all the states:

  • Mughlai Cuisine: One of the oldest cuisines being served to the Delhiites is the Mughlai cuisine. Even today the taste of the Mughal era can be felt in the Kebabs from the time of Delhi Sultanate while Nihari and Biryani have become a household name. The delicious fruit-flavored sorbets or Kulfi as we know them today were originally served in the Mughal kitchens. Karim’s and Ghantewala, famous for their Kebabs and Karachi Halwa respectively, have also served many of the Mughal emperors in the past.
  • Street Food: Another group of delicacies bringing the people together is the street food available in almost every lane of the city. Names like Sita Ram Diwan Chand, Bittu Tikki Wala, Nataraj Dahi Bhalla, Daulat Ki Chaat, and Al Jawahar have been churning out some of the country’s best street grub. There is a street named Parathe Wali Gali in Chandni Chowk which in itself is enough to show the love people of this city have for Parathas.
  • International Cuisine: Along with the traditional dishes, Delhiites have also truly embraced the authentic International cuisines which means there is no trouble finding Chinese, Thai, Italian, and French cuisine to name a few. The Churros with chocolate sauce at La Bodega, the Glass Noodles at Gung, and the Cheese Kunafa at Zizo are gradually making their way into the hearts of Delhiites.

The diversity that Delhi shows in its food culture is a mere reflection of the people who have lived here in the past and the people who call it their home in the present. It is this diversity that brings the people together and makes Delhi a better tourist spot.