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Issue 125 - It's Not All About the Takeaway

Whisky Magazine Issue 125
January 2015

 

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It's Not All About the Takeaway

A flavour course in Indian cookery

Spices, herbs and fresh ingredients, have been an integral part of India, for a few centuries. Whilst the rest of the world was still being discovered, food in the Indian sub-continent was already being appreciated. Indians love their food and food forms a part of the local folklore in India.

Legacy of the rich Indian culinary culture, are an integral part of the world food history. Recipes are passed down through generations. Mothers and grandmothers guard family recipes in lockers, to be handed over to the next generation. It is not unusual to dine on dishes in traditional Indian homes, which have been prepared with recipes handed down through many generations. In fact, a few weeks back, I was in Chennai, in the southern part of the country and had the privilege of dining on a few vegetarian dishes, made with banana flowers, bamboos shoots and coconut milk, where the recipes go back as early as the 18th Century.

Focus has also been on using herbs for wellbeing. Indian food uses generous amounts of herbs and condiments for cooking. Each of these adds flavour and aroma. Garlic, turmeric, fenugreek, cardamom, etc., each have a role to play in the cuisine and our health. In fact, Indian cuisine is also quite varied and in different parts of the country there are regional variants, based on local produce and spices. Weather, language and soil play a key role in defining the local produce. Indian food also changes with the season and the weather.

Over the last few years, ...

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