The 1 Thing That Determines If You Love Indian Food -- Or Hate It

indian food tikka

How do you feel about Indian food? Love it -- or hate it? Whichever it is, you probably have a pretty strong preference, and there's a good reason for that. There's something unusual about Indian food that makes it unlike any other food in the world. And we bet you'll never guess what that is!

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It's not about the way you digest it.

It's not about the spice -- or rather, it's not just about the spice.

It's about overlapping flavors in the ingredients. There's hardly any.

Let us explain. Most western dishes combine ingredients with similar, or overlapping flavors. But Asian dishes tend to combine ingredients with flavors that are very different from each other.

Food scientists analyzed thousands of recipes and discovered that Indian food in particular throws together the most varied flavor combinations; For example, the coriander, cumin, cardamom, cayenne, ginger, tomato, and yogurt used to make chicken tikka. Together they create a unique and exciting combination of flavors.

And that's why some of you will take a bite and say OMG, THAT WAS AMAZING! And others of you will take a bite and say OMG, THIS FOOD IS TRYING TO KILL ME! It all depends on how well you tolerate or appreciate unlike flavor combinations.

I just spent a week and a half in India, peering over my boyfriend's dad's shoulder while he cooked. I would try to guess what goes into a given dish only to be surprised at the actual ingredients. Who would ever think to combine tapioca beads, curry leaves, cumin, asafoetida, green chiles, and peanuts?!? (It's incredibly tasty, by the way.)

It must be the variety of ingredients available on the subcontinent that allows Indian food to have such diverse flavors. What lucky chefs and home cooks to have such a wide array of tastes to play with.

How do you feel about Indian food? Do you love it, or is it too much for you?

 

Image © Streeter, Clive/the food passionates/Corbis

 

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