Is Indian Food Spicy? Not really..
Indian cuisine is known for being spicy. But what does “spicy” mean to you? Is it just chili peppers? Or maybe it’s chutneys? Or curry powder? Or even garlic?! I’m here to clear up the confusion.
Usually cinnamon and cassia bark are fried whole at the beginning cooking an Indian dish, and left in.
This is so for butter chicken, tikka, and many of the classic dishes associated with Indian cooking.
Is Indian Food Spicy?: How Chilies Are Used
Chili peppers are used in many different ways in Indian cooking, but they’re not always considered a spice. For example, some dishes use them as an ingredient and others don’t. And there are other spices that can be used instead of or along with chilies. So how do you know if something is spicy? Let’s take a look at how chilies are used in Indian cuisine:
1) In Condiments
The most common way chilies are used in India is in condiments such as sauces, pickles, and relishes. These are often served alongside meals or eaten on their own. Some popular examples include:
* Raita – A yogurt-based side dish that originated in South Asia. It has a cooling effect, especially when made from buffalo milk.
* Pachadi – An accompaniment to rice dishes, usually consisting of chopped vegetables like carrots, cucumber, green peas, potatoes, pumpkin, radish, tomato, etc.
* Sambhar – A thick lentil stew originating in North India.
2) As Garnishes
In addition to using chilies in condiments, Indians also enjoy adding them to foods as garnishes. This includes things like salads, curries, soups, and stir fries. Popular garnishes include:
* Chili Powder – A blend of dried red chilies, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds, turmeric, and sometimes black pepper.
* Garlic & Ginger Paste – A paste made by grinding together raw garlic cloves and peeled fresh ginger root.
* Green Chilly Sauce – A sauce made from finely diced fresh chilies (or canned ones), vinegar, salt, sugar, and water.
3) In Dishes
Finally, chilies are also used in dishes. They’re added whole or ground into powders. The following are popular dishes where chilies are used:
* Dal Makhani – A creamy buttery dal originating in northern India.
* Dahi Bhalle – A tangy chickpea dip originating in Punjab.
* Dhania Ka Halwa – A sweet dessert originating in Maharashtra.
Chili peppers are one of India’s greatest gifts to humanity. They are used extensively in Indian cuisine, especially in South Asian cuisines. In fact, there are over 2,500 varieties of chilies grown in India alone. Chili peppers are often added to curries, soups, salads, pickles, snacks, and even desserts.
The word “chilli” derives from the Sanskrit word “cāli.” This term refers to a variety of dried red fruits native to India. These fruits are known for their pungency and heat. When cooked, they impart a deep flavor to foods.
While most Indian cooking of savoury dishes calls for the use spices, chilies are never used in all Indian dishes, nor do they always play the same role. For example, the chilli powder commonly found in Indian restaurants is actually a blend of different types of chilies. Some people prefer milder versions while others like spicy ones.
In addition to being versatile, chilies are very healthy. They provide many health benefits such as helping lower cholesterol levels, reducing blood pressure, improving digestion, protecting against cancer, boosting metabolism, and preventing heart disease.
Is Indian Food Spicy?: Reducing Heat
If you’ve ever had trouble making a spicy meal palatable, you know how it feels to overdo the spices. But what happens when you go too far? Well, you might find yourself asking “What am I supposed to do now?”
The answer is simple: Reduce the heat.
There are many ways to do this. For example, you can use less chilli powder, water, or oil. Or you can try adding something else to balance out the spice. Coconut milk is one such option. When used in moderation, it helps to temper the heat without affecting the flavor.
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