Live Naturally Fred Meyer Winter 2019

Page 54

The Magic of Indian Cookery Dishes from the Land of Spices are a delectable combination of bold seasonings, creamy sauces and tangy heat. B Y R E B E C C A T R E O N




he cuisine of India may be the most diverse in the world, incorporating regional spices, vegetables, fruits and grains grown across the country, with roots millennia old. Indian food uses a range of flavors—sweet, sour, spicy—together in one dish, and there is as much variation in the regional cooking as in all of Europe combined, with spices as the common thread. The assortment of dishes reflects India’s diverse ethnicity and the religions practiced—Hindu, Buddhist and Jain communities are largely vegetarian. India’s unique cookery evolved because the country was a central player in trading with Persian, Greek and Arab cultures. Portuguese traders in the 16th century introduced new-world foods like chiles, potatoes, tomatoes and squash, and English colonial rule later influenced flavors. Indian food is one of the most popular cuisines in the world and has shaped dishes from the Caribbean to Southeast Asia. With some 20 to 30 basic spices—like coriander, turmeric, ginger and cumin—appearing throughout many dishes and with different ways to use them all, Indian food can seem unfamiliar, exotic or intimidating. “I think people are daunted by the perception that Indian cooking has so many ingredients, which is so not true—it can be accessible,” says Raghavan Iyer, author of six cookbooks and winner of an Emmy, two International Association of Culinary Professionals awards and, most recently, a James Beard award. “In my book Indian

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