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Indian Food Is Delicious, Science Says, Because of Ingredients

Image: Indian Food Is Delicious, Science Says, Because of Ingredients
Indian food with curries, rice, naan bread, samosas and pakora. (Joseph Gough/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Wednesday, 04 Mar 2015 01:13 PM

Indian food is so delicious because of science. At least, that's what researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology found after analyzing more than 2,000 recipes.

A new study, titled "Spices Form the Basis of Food Pairing in Indian Cuisine," came up with an interesting answer as to why Indian food is so good and it comes down to how it's prepared as compared to meals in most other Western cultures, The Washington Post reported.

The study shows that Indian dishes pair "radically different" ingredients, giving them distinct tastes and flavors, while cooks in Western cultures tend to prepare meals using ingredients with overlapping tastes.

"Chefs in the West like to make dishes with ingredients that have overlapping flavors," The Post reported. "But not all cuisines adhere to the same rule . . . And Indian food, in particular, is one of the most powerful counterexamples."

"Researchers at the Indian Institute for Technology in Jodhpur crunched data on several thousand recipes from a popular online recipe site called TarlaDalal.com. They broke each dish down to its ingredients, and then compared how often and heavily ingredients share flavor compounds. The answer? Not too often."

"We found that average flavor sharing in Indian cuisine was significantly lesser than expected," the researchers wrote in the study.

"Many Indian recipes contain cayenne, the basis of curry powder that is in dishes like red curry, green curry, or massaman curry," The Post noted. "And when a dish contains cayenne, the researchers found, it's unlikely to have other ingredients that share similar flavors. The same can be said of green bell pepper, coriander, and garam masala, which are nearly as ubiquitous in Indian cuisine."

Time magazine wrote that the average Indian dish contains at least seven ingredients, each giving a distinct component to the dish.

"This creates knockout dishes for a cuisine that uses approximately 200 of the estimated 381 ingredients known in the world," the magazine noted.

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Indian food is so delicious because of science. At least, that's what researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology found after analyzing more than 2,000 recipes.
indian, food, delicious, science
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2015-13-04
Wednesday, 04 Mar 2015 01:13 PM
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