Indian meals are an elaborate feast for the eyes and the mouth. Flavors and spices play a large role in every meal, even if it is a simple Indian omelette at breakfast! When our team was in India, they had this delicious omelette one morning and raved about this twist on a traditional American omelette. The beautiful fruit spread (custard apple, apples, pears and banana) was pretty great too! Try recreating it at home with your family… make the foreign familiar!
A few weeks ago, we connected with American film photographer, Elise Hanna, who lives in Chennai, India with her family. We were immediately entranced by her beautiful photography and mouth watering recipes. Reading her blog makes you feel as if you are right there with her experiencing the smells and tastes of the food she writes about and photographs. Here she shares with us the story on vada, South India’s answer to a savory donut.
While exploring India’s culture, it’s a given that you will learn about the cuisine. The smells and taste of Indian spices are enchanting as are the varied number of dishes that are available. While in India, our team traveled to many different areas. Paneer was offered in almost all of the regions and enjoyed in various dishes. Paneer is a cheese similar to cottage cheese or farmer’s cheese. It takes on multiple forms – in Eastern India it is cubed and in Northern India you’ll find it’s been kneaded and beaten like fresh mozzarella, the results a bit crumblier. It’s easy to see why it is a staple to many of meals in India!
The word chutney derives from the Sanskrit word caṭnī, meaning ‘to lick’. Associated with South Asian cuisine, these “condiments” vary greatly in flavor. Some chutney’s are fruit based while others are vegetable based. Some are chunky and some are smooth. The one thing in common with all chutneys? They’re all originally made by grinding fresh ingredients together. Popular chutneys, just as other Indian foods, vary from region to region as so much depends on the local ingredients. Chutneys are a vital combination to most Indian dishes and you’ll find they always pair well with Indian breads like chapati, naan, papadum, paratha and more!
Just like the country itself, Indian food is extremely diverse. While the spices remain constant, you’ll find very different dishes as you travel through the country. South Indian cuisine is considered to be the hottest of all Indian food. Popular dishes in the region include idlis, vadas, dosas and sambaar. Food from North India is characterized by its thick, tasty gravies. The meals are hearty and will often include several dishes — and don’t skip out on their sweets! It’s important to have the right spices on hand when making your favorite Indian recipe, so we’ve rounded up a few to help get you started!
Laddoo (or laddu), is a very popular Indian treat that is commonly made for festivals and celebrations. It can be made with various nuts or spices such as cashews or coconut. Here is an easy take on the sweet treat that thought would be fun to make with your little citizens!
On our travels to India, our team fell in love with a rich meal called Indori Poha, a traditional breakfast dish made out of poha (or flattened rice). It is super tasty and easy to make, and the best part about it is, you can garnish it with nearly anything. On our trip, we enjoyed it with spices and pomegranate seeds!