Those people who know me particularly well, may have noticed that I am partial to the occasional Indian meal.
But never more than, say, two or three times a week. Well, okay then, four. Or five. At least, not unless I’m actually in India.
I never thought that I would ever write a post on cookery, but I was thinking recently about the ingredients that have travelled to India from, especially, South and Central America since the Spanish first arrived there, and thought it might be fun to explore this a little.
The obvious ones, that have had a huge influence upon cooking in the sub-continent, are chillies, peppers, potatoes, and tomatoes. I cannot imagine Indian cookery without them!
Market stall in Kalimpong
Just think. There would be no Bombay aloo
No Aloo dum.
No tomato-based sauces.
Clearly, Indian cookery must have changed in a huge way since South America was first reached in the late fifteenth century.
So it could certainly be said that the Spanish are largely responsible for Indian cuisine as it is today!
Of course, this is also true for most other countries of the world, too. Where would European cookery be, for example, without potatoes or tomatoes?
It would be interesting to know whether either of my readers know what the staple Indian dishes (other than dal) would have been before their arrival.
I would also be interested to hear whether any part of India has retained more of the traditional ingredients and, perhaps, resisted assimilating the ‘newer’ ones. Certainly, pretty well all of the regional food that I’ve had seems to accommodate those imports.