Overview for The Exquisite World of Indian Cuisine
Indian cuisine is famous around the world and enjoys the enviable reputation of being unique Indeed. It reflects the variety and diversity of India that derives from a vibrant history dating back to more than six thousand years. Jawahar Lal Nehru. The first Prime Minister of India commented thus: "Ancient India... was a world in itself. A culture and s civilization which gave shape to all things. Foreign influences poured in and often influenced that culture and were absorbed. Disruptive tendencies gave rise immediately to an attempt to find a synthesis. Some kind of a dream of unity has occupied the mind of India since the dawn of civilization. That unity was not conceived as something imposed from outside, a standardization of externals or even of beliefs. It was something deeper and, within its fold the widest tolerance of belief and custom was practiced and ever variety acknowledged and even encouraged."
Through history, this vast and ancient country has seen the rise and fall of many empires and dynasties, both indigenous and foreign. The Greeks under Alexander the Great, the mighty Gengis Khan. Taimur the Lame, the Persins, Turks, Mongole, Arabs, the peoples of the Meditterranean, and later, Europeans, notably the British, the French, the Dutch and the Portuguese, were drawn to this land for power and pelf. However, the indigenous culture of India assimilated the foreign influences and out of this interface emerged a rich heritage distinctively Indian. Indian cuisine is a part of this heritage and this book explores its many facets.
For thousands of years, Indian have used spices to decorate and enhance the aroma of their cuisine. Foreign conquerors came to India in search of these exotic spices for trade.
The ethos of Indian cuisine, however, originates from the basic philosophy and thought enshrined in the ancient Vedas ( nearly two thousand year B.C.) which cleary emphasizes the importance of indigenously found herbs and spices in one's daily food.
The accent was not just on tastes and flavors but on health. Indian cuisine fascinates the gourmet with its great variety of tastes, colors and aroma derived almost entirely through the use of a large Variety of exotic spices and herbs. The author explains the reason for extensive use of these spices and their healthful benefits in Indian cuisine in great detail, often with annotations, helpful notes and glossaries providing English/ American equivalents of Indian words for ingredients used in her recipes.