People sipping tea every few hours, opening a six compartment box during lunch hours, curries consisting of masalas each with 8-10 spices… Yes, you got it right, I m talking about India and Indian food habits. Here are few unique habits of our rich food culture.
Timing- Culture of modern India consists of three important meals- Morning meal, Mid-day meal, and an Evening meal. It starts with a morning beverage because we never had a time for a proper breakfast as sleep intervened and morning meal became morning tea/coffee. Then next comes mid-day meal being consumed in the afternoon around 2 pm, which we should be thankful about to our colleges, schools or office timings. Finally, comes the evening meal which is when Indian moms showcase their creativity, hostilities and bachelors take a detour of the city, while others enjoy their favorite local cuisines at home.
Eating with hands- Soft rotis/bread made with hands are meant for hands. Curries and dal added with masalas which are measured in terms of pinches being eaten with rice require our hands to measure it’s tastefulness. Eating with fingers lets us enjoy the seductive warmth, the pliancy and the textures of our food. Beauty lies in the hands of the beholder.
Making Masala- For many countries in the world, India is a resonance for spices. Yes! We have Spices and we are the ones who knows the best of the best use of it. Garam masalas, chaat masala, channa masala and now we even have sandwich masala and pizza masala. We can Indianize almost anything. The soul of India cuisines are these masalas. Every house of India has a secret combination masala with a newer a sensation for our taste buds. We aren’t a hot country, we are the hottest country of the world.
Rotis- Ever been to an Indian restaurant? Remember you being given the responsibility of selecting the sabji/curry for the family, while the rest of your family went on for a group discussion for selecting roti. Yes, the menu had almost 3/4 of the page just dedicated to rotis. Phulka, Varqui Paratha (Warqi Paranthas), Khamiri Roti, Shreemal, Laccha Paratha, Paneer Kulcha, Tandoori Roti, Naan… Yet the majority must have settled for every one’s favorite butter roti.
Our Hospitality- Oh! made a new dish, must go and share with our neighbors. Oh! Someone came from abroad, must invite them for lunch/dinner. Oh! it’s your birthday, must take everyone to a restaurant. Oh! You got the hint…otherwise just go to an Indian wedding. Yes, we Indians love to eat but even more love to share. Whether it is Diwali or Christmas we have our dishes ready to serve for our guests. Those family dinners, those grand receptions, those fun parties have our hospitality in common making our food even more special.
Talking of our own food culture makes us feel overjoyed, smell and taste having powerful connections with memories must have intensified your hunger and try to control your watery mouth. These habits show the richness of Indian food culture which could be preserved only if Indians feel this uniqueness of their culture. Keep enjoying it with all your senses and also keep sharing it.