Indian food is generally thought to be hot and spicy. While there is some truth to this, it can be difficult to find a single description of how Indian food tastes. This is due to the extreme variations that exist from one dish to another based on the origin. The complex fusion of a variety of spices can also make it confusing. However, we’ll see below that this unique overlapping of distinct flavors is what gives Indian food its distinguishable taste.
When tasting Indian food, you are likely to be impressed by the number of flavor profiles that you will experience in just a single dish. After all, researchers claim that there are at least 7 ingredients in every Indian dish. Each of these brings a special contribution to the dish which then results in a unique overall flavor. Another special characteristic of Indian food is the use of fresh ingredients and spices which add a great punch to meals. As a result, Indian food tends to contain strong flavors from sweet to spicy, savory, and even smokey.
It is safe to say that Indian food is delicious. Scientists have even gone ahead to find the scientific truth surrounding this by looking at it from the molecular level. The typical practice as seen with most chefs is to combine ingredients that overlap in terms of flavor. However, Indian cuisine goes against the grain by having significantly less flavor sharing in their meals. This means that each ingredient adds a unique component which is what ends up making Indian food so appealing.
Indian food is known to have a soft and creamy texture. One of the main reasons behind this is the fact that most Indian dishes tend to be gravy-based. Here, a mixture of fresh vegetables is usually added to a sauce. An example is the palak paneer which is a popular gravy dish made from tomatoes, onions, and spinach.
Even non-gravy dishes tend to have some unique softness and tenderness due to the use of pureed ingredients. The meat will also surprise you. This is due to the unique method of preparation which involves margination in yogurt and spices before being grilled the following day.
Spices are a staple in India. A blend of these fresh earthy spices is what gives Indian food its distinct taste. In fact, there are very few dishes in India that do not contain at least a few spices.
Hence, Indian dishes are considered hot by other standards worldwide. However, heat is not all there is to the Indian food flavor. There is still a lot to be enjoyed in non-spicy versions available in some restaurants. There are also some Indian meals that are naturally milder such as Korma.
It is impossible to find one word to describe how Indian food tastes. Therefore, if you are about to taste Indian food, you should avoid any preconceived notion of what it will be like. Instead, keep an open mind so that you are able to enjoy the immense flavors that it has to offer.