Indian Food Traditions: Eating Habits, Serving And Lot More
- Deepali Verma
Updated : July 15, 2022 08:07 IST
Experience the food traditions from all corners of India
The majority of the world has its own traditions, with various cultures, cuisines, and customs. Americans adore a stuffed Thanksgiving table, Chinese can't live without chopsticks, British have formal dining customs, and so on. The history of Indian cuisine is as old as our civilisation and has a rich past. Traditions serve as the foundation of Indian table manners. Almost all traditions have their roots in centuries of invasions, conquests, religious convictions, political shifts, and social conventions. The Indus valley's inhabitants used plants, herbs, and wild grains in their cooking. Today, most of them are necessities. The Mughals viewed cooking as an art form and introduced us to the taste of spices, the texture of yoghurt, and the aroma of rose water. They demonstrated to us the importance of eating.
Eating is a complex ritual, and some customs help define our culture. Here is an exploration of some old culinary customs that are the foundation of our culinary reputation and have had a major impact on our diverse cuisine. Using Your Hands to Eat This custom has Ayurvedic origins. Eating with your hands inspires emotion and passion, which is what eating is supposed to be: a sensory experience. The hands are considered to be the most valuable action-taking organs in Vedic learning. Every finger is an extension of the five elements, according to one of the Ayurvedic writings. Every finger is an extension of the five elements, according to one of the Ayurvedic writings. Space is represented by the thumb, air by the forefinger, fire by the middle finger, water by the ring finger, and earth by the little finger. These five elements are stimulated when you eat with your fingers, which aids in the release of digestive juices in the stomach. It is known that the nerve endings on your fingertips can accelerate digestion. It becomes a habit to feel your food to let your stomach know you're going to eat. You develop a greater sense of taste, texture, and scent. In addition to India, it is widespread in a few regions of Africa and the Middle East.
It is not a meal, wazwan. It's a formal event. The discovery of Kashmir's regal cuisine and culture is a pilgrimage for foodies. It is thought to have started sometime in the 15th century, after Timur's conquest brought a large number of artisans, weavers, architects, and cooks to the Kashmir valley. These cooks' offspring have been continuing the tradition. Waz is a word for a skilled cook in Kashmiri, while wan is a word for food store. Each of the 36 meals traditionally offered transports you to a different era. The custom of washing one's hands precedes eating. Tasht-Nari (a particular kind of vessel) is transported by attendants for your convenience. Four groups are given the meal to eat. Taramis are intricately carved platters that are artfully arranged with mounds of fragrant rice, succulent kebabs, and subtly spiced sauces. Some recipes that have a distinctive flavour are cooked overnight. There is nowhere else where the intricacy and variety of food can be equalled. With Phirni and Kahwa, a green tea flavoured with spices and slivered almonds, the meal concludes on a sweet note.
Particularly in Kerala, a real Southern meal is typically presented on a banana leaf. Eating off a banana leaf is thought to be beneficial. Placing sizzling food on these leaves emits many nutrients that improve your cuisine. Polyphenols, a natural antioxidant present in many plant-based diets, are abundant in banana leaves. Additionally, it improves the the flavour and scent of the food. The banana leaves are traditionally sprinkled with water before usage as a form of cleansing. Banana leaves were used before metal became commonplace. People preferred using disposable fresh leaves over wooden utensils because they were more hygienic. Given that the lotus flower is revered as sacred and pure, many Hindu temples served Prasad on lotus leaves.
The Bohri Muslim group has a custom of eating off of a single, enormous dish known as the thal. The salt is passed around the platter to start the meal. The first course is served after every member of the family has eaten it. The same plate is used by the entire family for eating, and it should never be left unattended once the meal has been set out. Each dish is placed in the middle of the thal, and each person takes their portion. The servings are just right for each person, so there shouldn't be any leftovers after the meal. Intriguingly, a dessert is frequently served as the opening dish, with a meat appetiser coming next. It is auspicious for them to begin their meal with something sweet.
Jol pan is a traditional quick snack consumed in Bengal and Assam that is frequently consumed prior to breakfast. In some cultures, it consists of a blend of many regional rice varieties that have been traditionally cooked and eaten with curd, jaggery, and pitha. Pitha is a type of pan-fried rice cake that is cooked on a hot griddle. It is served to guests and at marriages and other special events. Your body's capacity to fight sickness in a humid environment depends on your food. Therefore, curd's cooling qualities make it a fantastic pain reliever. Along with the jol pan, there is a warm cup of tea.
The thali is a filling lunch that is common in many parts of India, including Rajasthan, Gujarat, and the South. It includes light and delicious curries, regional greens, dals, rice, and Indian breads. Homemade chutneys, pickles, and crunchy papadums are essential accompaniments. It describes the manner in which Indian food is made and consumed in the majority of homes nationwide. The thali is beautiful in that it gives a scientific approach to nutrition while still being an important part of our culture. If you look at any of them, they are a representation of the modern food pyramid, with grains providing the carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables providing the fibre, and yoghurt providing the nutrients. It's a balanced diet with plenty of diversity.