3 Distinctive Qualities of Indian Cuisine

I would like to start by saying that there is no such thing as “typically Indian” when it comes to national cuisine. This nation is too vast and varied for such a definition. However, some centuries-old traditions that have a beneficial effect on health have long been “rooted in the DNA” of India. Probably, many of the culinary traditions of Indian cuisine are due to Ayurveda, one of the oldest healing systems. Ayurveda originated in India over 5000 years ago. To this day, the fact that Ayurvedic principles are still integrated into the life of India never ceases to amaze. The ancient scriptures spoke of the healing properties of certain products, which was derived from many years of observational experience. Information about these medicinal qualities was passed from one generation to another. So, three distinctive features of Indian cuisine, which are more or less common throughout the country: 1. A set of spices and seasonings is a mini first aid kit. The first thing we associate with Indian cuisine is spices. Cinnamon, coriander, turmeric, cayenne pepper, fenugreek, fennel seeds, mustard, cumin, cardamom… Each of these spices boasts time-tested healing properties, in addition to aroma and taste. Indian sages attributed miraculous properties to turmeric that can heal many diseases, from burns to cancer, which has been confirmed by modern research. Cayenne pepper is known as an immune modulating spice that can help with ailments. In India, there is a tradition of chewing cardamom or fennel seeds after meals. They not only freshen breath from the mouth, but also improve digestion. 2. Fresh food. Shubra Krishan, an Indian writer and journalist, writes: “During my 4 years of study in the USA, I met more people who were preparing meals on Sunday for the week ahead. I understand they do it for practical reasons. However, our Ayurvedic tradition does not favor the consumption of “old” food prepared on a different date. It is believed that every hour cooked food loses “prana” – vital energy. In modern terms, nutrients are lost, in addition, the dish becomes less aromatic and tasty. In recent years, in the big cities of India, with a hectic pace of life, the situation is changing. However, most housewives prefer to wake up at dawn and prepare a fresh breakfast for the whole family, rather than reheat leftovers from the previous day.” 3. Most of the population are vegetarians. A vegetarian diet not only covers all the body’s need for nutrients, but also reduces the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. To quote a study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information: “A growing body of scientific evidence shows that a complete vegetarian diet offers specific benefits over a diet that includes animal products. These benefits are associated with lower consumption of saturated fat, cholesterol, and higher intake of complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber, magnesium, folic acid, vitamins C and E, carotenoids, and other phytochemicals.” However, I would like to point out that a vegetarian diet can also be high in calories if you eat a lot of fried and fatty foods.

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