Saturday, 3 August 2013

The Importance of Spices in Indian Food (Culture)

I am an Indian, and we Indians cannot do without our spices, whatever part of the world we live in. The importance of this is also reflected in my blog title; it couldn't be just salt and pepper, it is always with a lot of spice!

India, with the rich variety of climates and soil it provides, is home to a lot of spices naturally, which due to their easy availability have become so enmeshed into the Indian culture. A simplest example of this comes from an observation I recently had. Very recently, a few of my closest people like my first cousin and a really close friend have become mothers and I have been a close observer to the fascinating growing up of the two angels. When it was time for these two infants to be started on their first solid meals, I had a revelation. Unlike the bland pureed vegetables and fruits I had expected, their first meals were foods like khichdi made of properly washed and dried home ground rice and pulses cooked with a hint of spices like turmeric, red chilly powder, corriander and cumin powder and asafoetida.

I always knew spices were important to Indian food, but seeing the infant's first foods, drove the point home!

P.S. Coincidentally, this post about spices marks the 50th blog post of my blog... which is titled 'Salt and Pepper (With a Lot of Spice!) because of the fact that we can't live without the spice!