If somebody would challenge me to select only one sense to describe India the best, I would choose the taste, the spicy taste that stays with you forever. India was always famous for its spices, the colonialists introduced many spices from India into European gastronomy. We learned from them how to improve the taste of our food in a more playful and healthy way. However, the Indian spicy taste is special, it’s like a magic spell that magnifies your other senses in order to discover India. If you pass the spicy’s test, you’ll open the first door in understanding their culture. I’m saying this because the spicy taste is deeply embedded in Indian culture, they don’t perceive life without eating spicy. It happened during my travel there, to ask non-spicy food and I realized that our perceptions about the level of pungency are very different.
I embraced the spicy taste of Indian food as much as I could because at some point I didn’t bear it, still, I handled to taste most of the food I had the chance to see there. This article is about some of my favorite types of food from different parts of India. My first culinary love in India was discovered at my first breakfast on the street, a special morning with a special “Paneer Paratha”.This is a popular Indian paratha made with a stuffing of paneer, coriander and green chilies. Paneer is the Indian cheese, soft and delicious in all the Indian dishes, made from buffalo milk. Even though I’ve tried the other types of paratha, like “Gobi Paratha” stuffed with flavored cauliflower or “Aloo Paratha” with mashed potatoes, paneer paratha remained my favorite.
In Kolkata, I became a fan of Bengali street food, and almost every day I was eating egg rolls with vegetables or chicken. I have to say that I’ve visited Kolkata in January so I wasn’t so afraid to try street food and especially eggs because it wasn’t so hot outside but I’ll think twice during another season. If you don’t like eggs, you could try their spicy noodles with vegetables on a banana leaf, a fresh dish for lunch.
Going further to the south of India, I’ve met the hottest Massala of all Indian food. There I noticed they have a higher endurance of spiciness that for me was unbearable. In Visakhapatnam, I’ve tried for the first time Chicken Biryani, a mixed rice dish originated in South Indian, derived from pilaf varieties brought to the Indian subcontinent by the Arab traders.
As you can notice, Indian food is diverse from region to a region, having different influences, but keeping the spicy taste. Once you’ll get used to it, the spicy taste of India will stay with you forever.