Spice Leader To Candy's Name Originator, 10 Facts Of Indian Food
Image Credit: Red chillies, Pexels

India is a delightfully colourful country, the most culturally diverse in the world. Diversity doesn't only apply to tongues and people but also applies to one's plate. In India, it is virtually impossible to run out of things to eat as every culture contributes to the menu with delicious additions and much exposure from all over the world. Indian cuisine has been influenced by many others, like the Mughals, Arabs, Persian, Europeans, Central Asia and the Mediterranean.  

Indian cuisine comprises various regional cuisines that differ significantly from each other. Cooking techniques in India exhibit significant diversity across different regions. There are interesting facts about Indian cuisine due to the country's rich food history and chemistry. Here is a list of 10 incredible facts about Indian food for you.

Khichdi is considered as the national dish of India

Khichdi is one of the most diverse dishes in India. It's a dish widely prepared and consumed throughout India. Its popularity often touts it as the "National Dish of India" by Indian media, food enthusiasts, and the blogging community. Khichdi can be described as a symbolic dish representing India's unity in diversity. 

Indian Bhut Jolokia, one of the hottest peppers in the world

There is no doubt that spiciness is no stranger in Indian dishes. Bhut Jolokia (translating to "ghost pepper") is a type of chilli pepper grown in Assam, India and known for its high spiciness. According to estimates, its heat level is 170 times greater than Tabasco sauce. Its spiciness clocks in at an insane one million Scoville units!

Indians consume more rice than wheat

According to the 68th National Sample Survey conducted in 2011-12, India's average rice and wheat consumption vary between rural and urban areas. On average, a rural Indian consumes 6 kg of rice and 4.3 kg of wheat per month, while an urban Indian consumes 4.5 kilograms of rice and 4 kg of grain per month.

Wheat cultivation, Image Source: Pexels

Rasgulla is still a point of conflict 

According to some historians, Rasgulla was first made in Puri, where a round sweer crafted out of chhena and soaked in sugar syrup was offered to Lord Jagannath. However, others credit its origin to 19th-century Bengali confectioner Nobin Chandra Das in Kolkata. Both states have been granted the GI Tag for their respective types of rasgullas. Bengal's Banglar rasgulla, invented by Das, has received the tag, while Odisha's characteristic Odia rasgulla has also been granted the G.I. tag.

India consumes tea over coffee

According to the National Sample Survey Organization data, India's tea consumption is 15 times higher than coffee. Historian Lizzi Collingham notes that the development of tea production in India led to the cultivation of a taste for tea through the efforts of tea producers. Free tea samples were distributed by horse-drawn carts belonging to various businesses. Brooke Bond, an English tea company, started using horse-drawn vans for distributing teas in 1907.

Indian chai, Image Source: Pexels

At first, India was the leading producer of sugar

We Indians love something sweet for almost every occasion. It is no surprise that sugar production has a long history on the Indian subcontinent. Beginning in this country, it eventually spread to other parts of the globe via the Khyber Pass.

The word 'candy' traces its origins to Sanskrit

Khanda, also known as pieces of sugar, were historically produced through crystallizing sugarcane juice in ancient India. By the 6th century C.E., the practice had also become popular among Persians and Greeks. The term 'Candy' originated in the late 13th century. The English word for sugar candy originates in Old French çucre candi. The French word for sugar has roots in Arabic (Qandi), Persian (and), and Sanskrit (khanda), all of which mean sugar.

Dosas are still a point of conflict in South India

Dosas are undeniably one of the best South Indian dishes, loved by even people that live outside the country. However, there needs to be knowledge of which region dosas originated. Some claim that dosas emerged from Udipi, a town in Karnataka, while others believe that it emerged from the Tamilian area when it still was an independent country around 1000AD.

India contributes to 75% of spice production globally

Black peppers, Image Source: Pexels

India is commonly called the "Land of Spices". The country is a major producer of spices, accounting for over 75% of the world's supply. It also boasts the most extensive variety of herbs than any other country. Archaeological evidence suggests that black pepper has been a part of Indian cooking since 2,000 B.C.E. In ancient times, black pepper was considered a valuable commodity known as 'black gold'. The southern state of Kerala was known for its black pepper exports, which were highly valued in parts of the world.

The invention of Dal Bati was a wartime food 

The origin of the Dal Bati Churma dish, a staple of Rajasthani cuisine, is a fascinating read. The Rajput rulers of Mewar used bati, a long-lasting wheat flatbread soaked in ghee, to endure challenging circumstances during battle. Bati required only a few components and a minimal amount of water to make, which was ideal for the dry regions of Rajasthan. Troops would prepare them by burying dough in thin layers of sand and leaving them to bake using the sun's heat. As a result, the dough was transformed into precisely cooked bati or dough balls that went well with ghee, buttermilk, and curd. The inclusion of Dal and Churma has changed this meal.