Saturday, March 14, 2009

Indian Cuisine 101

I always enjoyed almost any food I tried from various cultures around the world. It wasn't until I discovered India Palace on Ottawa St. in Windsor that I found my new favourite indulgence and dietary addition! Dining at restaurants offering cuisine that is foreign to you can often be intimidating and overwhelming. But not if you know what to order and are not afraid to try new things! For those who are interested in international cuisine and world food culture I hope you nod your head along with me.

The Indian palate offers some of the most tasty vegetarian friendly dishes in the world. A mosaic of vibrant colours and potent, flavourful spices, the extensively diverse cuisine map of India makes up a menu of quality and quantity. The Indian food I eat in Windsor at India Palace and House of India comes from the Northern region. Dishes that were recommended to me that are frequently ordered and that you should order too are Saag Aloo and Mutter Paneer. Other staples consist of Basmati Rice and Naan (a pita-like bread that can be used in the place of utensils).
Saag Aloo
Ordering a medium spice level or above is not for those with shy palattes and stomachs sensitive to hot spices. Although it is important to understand that Indian spicy is different than North Amerian hot sauce spicy. But if spicy food is not for you then no worries - if this is the case then just make sure you communicate to your waiter that you want a low spice level! I personally find it an envigorating experience to eat this food - it is not one that your taste buds will forget soon. One of my favoutite spices used alot in Indian cooking is coriander - this can be used to amplify the spice level of a dish especially in the form of coriander-naan and spicy coriander chutney. Don't forget to ask for a pitcher of water! Or you could even expand your internatioanl cuisine experience to include beverage with India's Kingfisher Lager.
Mutter Paneer
I encourage you to write these dishes down and take an adventerous trip to eat some of this amazing food. My friends who are often "picky" or reluctant to try new foods became huge fans of this cuisine. I have not met anyone who didn't like it after they tried it. An open mind and the savoury tastes helped them get over the appearance and aroma of this food that was unusual to them and they now have learned about it and to love it! Just last night we all went out for an Indian food feast and ordered these plates along with Veg Samosas which often crosses over into Western menus. The Curry Chicken is also a popular choice amongst my carnivourous companions!
A necessary selection comes after the meal is over when its time for desert. Ladoo and Gulab Jamon are hands down my favourite sweet treats of all. They are similiar in shape and size but differ in consistency and taste. Both very sweet, Gulab Jamon is served hot in a pool of syrup and Ladoo is served hot or cold as it is. The most accurate emphasis on the delishiousness of these deserts is in the 2007 International film Water. Deepha Metha has also made the less physically accessible films "Earth" and "Fire". In Water, an elderly widow's last dying wish is to eat a ladoo - a succulent treat in comparison with the bland and meager diets that the widows are restricted to. So join the desire to have a ladoo waiting for you aside your death bed which of course will happen as soon as you taste one-a these babies!


Go to these places with an attitude that respects and is eager to understand or try out the foreign. The unknown is often accompanied by fear so throw out any illogical squeamishness, challenge yourself if need be and dive in! This is another veg challenge directed at YOU.

India Palace
1167 Ottawa St. (519) 256-4104
Open Tues-Sun 10am-10pm
House of India
325 Ouelette St. (519) 256 - 1122

No comments:

Post a Comment