I have never been to India, but the Indian food has long captivated my curious palate. The allure began when I moved to California from Iowa. Sitting on the floor eating chickpea masala and fried pakoras stupefied my Midwestern senses.
My infatuation became an obsession after visiting Dubai for an organic trade mission in 2020. Indian people make up a large portion of the population in Dubai. They come to work and bring with them a constellation of India’s culinary traditions. I couldn’t stop making different curries for months!
A constellation of curry cultures awaits.
You may be familiar with a few like Green Goa, Tiki Masala, or Vindaloo. But have you tasted Pasanda, rich and creamy, with almonds and coconut? Or Rogan Josh, a spicy tomato sauce laced with cardamom and chilies.
Much more to Indian food than a curious curry.
India makes up the greater part of South Asia, with thousands of ethnic groups speaking hundreds of languages. These diverse people comprise one-sixth of the world’s total population. This should give you some idea of the wealth of different types of food available too.
The breadth of India’s breads will take your breath away.
Chapati, Parotta, Paratha, Naan, Bhatura and Bhakri may be chewy mouthfuls to pronounce, but their taste is tender and fulfilling. There’s nothing more satisfying than a warm flatbread taken in hand to scoop up a spicy curry or raita (yogurt with cucumbers). Or Raj Kachori, a large wheat puri filled with veggies splashed with chutney.
Different wheat varieties are used, and you can find recipes online if this is something that you would like to try making at your own home.
Fish is a catchy ingredient in some Indian dishes
Freshwater fish, along with seafood, like lobster and shrimp, are delicious and can be sustainable. It’s easy to sample some spicy laced seafood dishes at restaurants near you.
The Veeraswamy serves Kerala Prawn Curry and Lobster Malabar Curry. Prawn curry has a delicious hint of green apple, while Malabar curry boasts a beautiful blend of turmeric, coconut, and green mango.
A Climate-friendly cuisine.
With so many hungry souls living in the second-most populous country after China, Indian food is traditionally plant-based. Fruit, vegetables, legumes, grains, and coconuts are the foundation of Indian cuisine. Eating a vegetarian diet is nutritious, and growing fruits and vegetables creates fewer greenhouse gases than meat products.
Dal is an important staple, often curried and served with rice and bread. It’s an edible seed in the broad category of pulses, the same family where lentils, beans, peas, and chickpeas reside. It turns out these pulses take carbon from the atmosphere and insert nitrogen into the soil.
You don’t have to go to India or Dubai to spice up your plate.
Find an authentic Indian restaurant nearby that offers a variety of dishes to explore. Then go home and try some recipes yourself using only organic indgredients.
Because as The Organic Center reminds us “Organic practices not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but they also put carbon back into the soil to help slow down climate change. And the healthy soils that results from organic farming help farmers adapt to drought, flooding, and severe storms that are already increasing due to climate change.”
Variety is the spice of life, and life depends on a healthy climate.
What are you eating tonight?
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