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Top 5 Myths About Indian Cuisine

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Uploaded on Sep 15, 2011

Myths About Indian Cuisine - as part of the expert series by GeoBeats.

My name is Smita Chandra. I am an author of three Indian cookbooks, and I am also a recipe developer.

I think the number one myth associated with Indian cuisine is that it is hot and spicy. People confuse hot with spicy. Spicy does not necessarily mean hot. A combination of different spices go into the making of a good curry, but they are not necessarily hot. The heat comes from red chili peppers or cayenne pepper and ground black pepper. So if you love a curry, but you do not want too much heat to it -- hold on to all the other spices that go into the making of a curry. Just cut back on the cayenne pepper or the black pepper.

The second myth that I think a lot of people think about when they think about Indian food is that all Indian food is curry. Now, all Indian food is not necessarily curry. A curry to an Indian refers to any meat or vegetable that is cooked in a spicy sauce. We have a whole range of dishes that do not have a sauce; that are not curried. There is a whole new world out there to Indian cuisine that is not just curry.

The third myth that I think a lot of people have about Indian food is that it is greasy and hard to digest. I think restaurant food may be greasy and hard to digest because they are cooking it in larger quantities and maybe they are using a lot of oil or butter. Home-cooked Indian food is light and delicately spiced, using fresh ingredients, fresh curry paste and sauces. It is very easy to digest -- very light, very simple -- and easy to prepare.

The fourth Indian myth that I think a lot of people have is that Indian food is labor-intensive. Certain dishes, yes they do take a lot of time. A lot of everyday cooking is simple, quick, easy and not using too many steps or too many ingredients or spices in it.

And the fifth and final myth connected with Indian cooking is that a lot of people think they can make a good curry if they just use a bottled curry paste or sprinkle some ready-made curry powder over some meat or vegetables and turn it into a curry. That is not true. You have got to have the right proportion and the right ingredients to make a good curry. Most often in most Indian homes, these are ground fresh and these are prepared fresh, not from a jar.

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