Yeah, it's 'about' food, but (metaphorically), so much more . . .

#1 Mar 3rd, 2015, 23:41
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#1
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate; our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure - Marianne Williamson
#2 Mar 4th, 2015, 08:44
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Its a fascinating study and hints of an entirely different approach to good taste in the form of opposite rather than complementary tasting. This would shake up the wine tasting world. I volunteer to begin research on this for the Delhi wine club..
#3 Mar 4th, 2015, 10:27
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Now you know why so many of us Indians find western food to be so bland tasting. Salt, pepper and a dash of oregano/basil is simply not enough!!
#4 Mar 5th, 2015, 11:20
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On the same note and by the same author...

Quote:
Yesterday, we told you the secret formula that makes Indian food so delicious. But if you think your love for Indian food is shared by everyone—or even most people—in this country, you might want to think again:

Indian food may be awesome, but it's pretty unpopular.

Indian food has slowly but surely found its way into the hearts (and stomachs) of cities around the United States. There are more than 300 restaurants that serve cuisine from across the subcontinent in New York City alone, according to Krishnendu Ray, a professor at New York Univeristy who has been studying the cuisine's rise for more than a decade. Compare that to the mere 20 Indian restaurants that could be found in the Big Apple in the early 1980s. And consider that the cuisine has been pronounced, time and again, the next "ethnic food trend."

But the truth is that Indian food isn't anywhere nearly as popular as it should be.

"Indian food isn't actually as ubiquitous as people think, especially compared to other ethnic foods" said Ray. "Indian food is basically where Chinese food was a generation ago."
Why delicious Indian food is surprisingly unpopular in the US

In my observation, the above is true for not just US but in most of the 'west' and 'asian' countries. Why?. Because they are used to smelling,eating and enjoying their own kind of food. Also Indian food has been blatantly branded as 'hot' 'spicy'.

One thing I noticed with many people is their preference for familiar sounding/looking/smelling food. For example, some of my friends here are ok with japanese,chinese,korean,vietna mese,thai,malaysian etc, food but not so ok with Indian, sri lankan,Afghani, Pakistani, Nepali etc. Why?. Because the former group more or less use similar ingredients with similar cooking methods, dishes that smell and taste similar. Simple.

Same goes to europeans/anglos. Their preference for cheesy, buttery and bland food is very high over any other food. Other food falls under 'once in a while' category.
#5 Mar 5th, 2015, 12:46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prince09 View Post One thing I noticed with many people is their preference for familiar sounding/looking/smelling food.
This is specially true for Indians
#6 Mar 5th, 2015, 13:12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prince09 View Post Same goes to europeans/anglos. Their preference for cheesy, buttery and bland food is very high over any other food. Other food falls under 'once in a while' category.
Yea, I agree.

European/ Western food is dominated by meaty, creamy, and cheesy flavours; Indian food is generally governed by a wide use of spices--not necessarily hot-spices, but by a skillful infusion of an array of ingredients that coalesce beautifully to produce a distinctive Indian/South Asian taste: cardamom, cumin, coriander, mustard seeds, tamarind, chilli! et al. Spicy and tangy.

Hence the popularity Mac n Cheese, Steak, et al in the west; Hence, the popularity of richly spiced foods (chutneys, pickles et al) in India. Even the kind of Indian food that is more popular in the west is heavier on cream and lighter on spice than you'd generally find in India; Likewise, the kind of European food you get in India is often less bland (even if they simply add in more pepper, garlic and chilli flakes) in order for the taste to properly register in tongues inured to hard-hitting flavours.
Last edited by BholeBaba; Mar 5th, 2015 at 14:20.. Reason: typo
#7 Mar 5th, 2015, 13:40
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That you are able to give English names for all those spices says... that they get used in UK too. No doubt there are names in other languages too. India can't monopolise the spices! Not even chilli/pepper. One of the most "karam" dishes I ever had in a restaurant was a Hungarian stew! Where the stronger-flavours are concerned, don't forget garlic. It might have gone out of fashion in UK for a few centuries (it's back now) but other European countries made up for that.
#8 Mar 5th, 2015, 14:00
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post That you are able to give English names for all those spices says... that they get used in UK too. No doubt there are names in other languages too. India can't monopolise the spices! Not even chilli/pepper. One of the most "karam" dishes I ever had in a restaurant was a Hungarian stew! Where the stronger-flavours are concerned, don't forget garlic. It might have gone out of fashion in UK for a few centuries (it's back now) but other European countries made up for that.
Do you mean "garam" (hot), Nick?

Of course I am not suggesting that India has a monopoly over spices, or anything. Regardless, I am of the view that South Asians have over eons mastered the art of combining possibly the widest range of ingredients in the most delectable and soul-fulfilling ways. Is this because so many different kinds of spices have for long been readily and easily available? Could it also be because of the nature of India's history and its social fabric?- Many subcultures and religions coexisting side by side, each having their own customs and foods; India being home to successive invasions, with each new ruler bringing their own foods and methods of cooking. Sure, that would have happened elsewhere too....

I shudder to think what European cuisine was like before black pepper reached European shores. At least here we had pepper before we got chilli!

Another type of food that is universally liked is "fried food", whatever the cuisine. I mean everyone likes a good burger or fried chicken or fried potato, no matter the flavours added.
#9 Mar 5th, 2015, 15:25
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Quote:
Do you mean "garam" (hot), Nick?
You forget which end of India I live in

Now you come to mention it, though, perhaps the words have the same root origin?
#10 Mar 5th, 2015, 15:27
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Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post You forget which end of India I live in

Now you come to mention it, though, perhaps the words have the same root origin?
Maybe, but i doubt it. Is "karam" hot in Tamil? Or is it the Tamil pronunciation of the Hindi word?
#11 Mar 5th, 2015, 15:54
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How do you say it in Hindi? We Brits. if we are buying a packet of garam masala would ga-rum. The Tamil word has a long first syllable: kaa-rum/kaa-ram. Yes, it means hot, as in chilli-hot, in Tamil.

MRs N says you people say "garam" the same as I do.
#12 Mar 5th, 2015, 15:57
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ya. prefix a "ga" before "rum".
#13 Mar 5th, 2015, 21:44
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#13
So many from the West, I think, are overwhelmed with physical India for the reasons they are overwhelmed with Indian food - there is just so much happening . . . All. The. Time. And as the West moves in 4/4 time, India is jazz . . . a rhythm hard for many to tap their foot to . . . but back to food - for sheer depth and nuance (were I to order a "moveable feast") y'all can have Paris . . . . . .
#14 Mar 5th, 2015, 23:16
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Now now, some quote above says "compare that to the 20 Indian restaurants in the Big Apple in the early 1980s."

I used to go to Indian restaurants on E 6th street in the early 80s, and there were probably 20 Indian restaurants on that block alone, and must have been more scattered through the city.




*Well, people in the know said they were all run by Bangladeshis, I don't know.

C'mon NYCank, have you been a NYer long enough to remember E6th?
#15 Mar 5th, 2015, 23:35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NonIndianResident View Post Now now, some quote above says "compare that to the 20 Indian restaurants in the Big Apple in the early 1980s."

I used to go to Indian restaurants on E 6th street in the early 80s, and there were probably 20 Indian restaurants on that block alone, and must have been more scattered through the city.




*Well, people in the know said they were all run by Bangladeshis, I don't know.

C'mon NYCank, have you been a NYer long enough to remember E6th?


You moved from NYC to Ladakh? Wow.
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