Clarissa H. , 12-01-2022
Perfect - hver gang!

Indian food - the Bindia way

Attempting to say anything definite about Indian food is nearly an impossible task.


In the immense and colorful country of India, there exists as many kitchens and culinary traditions as regions. This is not only due to the sheer size of the subcontinent, but also due to India’s great diversity of climates, agriculture, local traditions, as well as various cooking methods and ingredients.

Spicy or mild?

In Southern India, for instance, you’ll often find very spicy curries - like the tomato-based Madras curry with its characteristic taste of anise and ginger - whereas you’re more likely to come across much milder curries in the northern regions near the Himalayas – like the well-known korma.


In the mountainous regions to the north, it’s moreover customary to use a mix of nuts, seeds, and spices as a central part of the curry making. This not only makes the curry sweet and creamy, but the nuts simultaneously provide necessary and nurturing calories for the people living in these colder provinces.


As with Indian food in general, you’ll find different nut mixes whether you’re in Kashmir, Punjab or any of the other 10 Indian states the Himalayas stretch through.


Yet, however local or specific it gets, there’s one word that seems nearly universal in relation to Indian food.

The Curry

You can hardly say “Indian food” without also saying “curry”. It’s a word that constantly pops up if you start to delve into the culinary history and peculiarities of India.


One might wonder about the seeming insistence on the usage of “curry” as well as what exactly a curry is. Whereas the Danish word “karry” typically only represents the characteristic spice mix you’ll find in the supermarket, the English “curry” usually denotes a myriad of different Indian dishes.


More precisely, a curry is a kind of stew or sauce, often seasoned with a distinct mix of crushed and roasted spices. The base of a curry mostly consists of tomato, onion, garlic, and ginger, while it’s often seasoned with spices like cardamom, cinnamon, coriander, anise, cumin, and turmeric as well as different kinds of chilis and peppers. Things like rice, bread, salad, or chutney are usually served as a side dish.

Kari?

What we today would classify as a curry originated about 4,600 years ago in India and has since spread out across the globe and become a stable in many kitchens, especially in South Asia. Nevertheless, “curry” isn’t exactly an Indian word as it isn’t found in any of the 21 languages spoken in the country. While there do exist quite a few words that sound like “curry”, which all refer to various kinds of stews, sauces, or spice blends, the more well-known word “curry” is a part of the colonial heritage from the Portuguese and British empires.


Before the Portuguese, as the first Europeans, sailed to India in the early 16th century, it was probably unlikely that any Indian would call their local dish a “curry”. Today, as then, these dishes are typically named after their ingredients and cooking methods. At some point in history, a Portuguese merchant has likely mistaken the Tamil word kari (meaning sauce) for whatever dishes he was being served.


Later the British adopted the word and started applying it wholesale to all Indian dishes. By the early 19th century, the word was firmly established as curious guests began visiting the new “Curry Houses” of England, where the exotic Indian dishes were the main attraction.

Spicy lure

Before the curry houses came into being, the homebound Brits could have their own a taste of India through the imported (and quite British) curry powders. Though obviously a commercial venture, these powders were an attempt to share a newfound fondness of the Indian curries. Just like in the very first curries millennia earlier, turmeric became one of the main ingredients in the curry powder, and ultimately gave the powders their characteristic curry colored look.


The powder was an attempt to standardize what was otherwise unique spice blends, shaped by local traditions and the chef’s schooling. In the Indian tradition, such spice blends are called masala and are often something you do at home, rather than buy premade.


Though the creation of the curry powder was partly motivated by a genuine fondness of Indian cuisine, the ‘powder method’, as applied outside India, often overlooked an essential aspect of Indian cooking; by applying the powder as if it was simply salt or pepper, many never extracted the rich and vibrant taste you get from crushing and roasting the spices first - experience one would have gained by a trip to the country then known as the “the Jewel in the Crown” of the British Empire.


Truly, the exciting Indian spices played a huge part in luring the great powers of Europe eastward and spreading the curries around the globe. Nevertheless, the diverse Indian curries aren’t only a popular export, they’re equally molded by indispensable imports.

Culinary imports

Despite the curry had emerged 4,000 years before the Portuguese established a trade central in Goa on the Indian west coast, the merchants of Portugal had a significant influence on the continual development of the Indian curries. Thus, several key ingredients, often recognized as essentials of the Indian kitchen, are, in fact, rather late additions.


When the Portuguese as the first Europeans rounded the Cape of Good Hope and arrived on the Indian west coast, they had already crossed the Atlantic and therefore carried unique ingredients like chilis, tomatoes, and potatoes, which all eventually became part and parcel of Indian cuisine.

The Bindia way

Our own kitchen at Bindia is greatly shaped by the North Indian traditions from the region of Punjab, where Bindia’s founder and head chef grew up. The Punjab kitchen is typically based on lamb and chicken curries (like the lamb korma or the popular butter chicken) with bread on the side.


The Punjab food culture is highly influenced by the centuries of coexistence between Hindus and Muslims in the region. In fact, some of the most characteristic elements of this culinary culture happened when the region was invaded the Muslim Mughal Empire during the 15th century. Foreign ingredients and habits became enmeshed with the local ones and created central elements of the North Indian kitchen like the Indian kebab or the aromatic preparation of basmati rice.


Whether it’s about cooking rice in our own bouillon, create our own unique nut mix, mold a tasty kebab, or prepare a tender butter chicken, lamb korma, or any other authentic curry, these are all traditions that we proudly honor all the while doing it the Bindia way.


Read more about our philosophy and values here.

Attempting to say anything definite about Indian food is nearly an impossible task.


In the immense and colorful country of India, there exists as many kitchens and culinary traditions as regions. This is not only due to the sheer size of the subcontinent, but also due to India’s great diversity of climates, agriculture, local traditions, as well as various cooking methods and ingredients.

Spicy or mild?

In Southern India, for instance, you’ll often find very spicy curries - like the tomato-based Madras curry with its characteristic taste of anise and ginger - whereas you’re more likely to come across much milder curries in the northern regions near the Himalayas – like the well-known korma.


In the mountainous regions to the north, it’s moreover customary to use a mix of nuts, seeds, and spices as a central part of the curry making. This not only makes the curry sweet and creamy, but the nuts simultaneously provide necessary and nurturing calories for the people living in these colder provinces.


As with Indian food in general, you’ll find different nut mixes whether you’re in Kashmir, Punjab or any of the other 10 Indian states the Himalayas stretch through.


Yet, however local or specific it gets, there’s one word that seems nearly universal in relation to Indian food.

The Curry

You can hardly say “Indian food” without also saying “curry”. It’s a word that constantly pops up if you start to delve into the culinary history and peculiarities of India.


One might wonder about the seeming insistence on the usage of “curry” as well as what exactly a curry is. Whereas the Danish word “karry” typically only represents the characteristic spice mix you’ll find in the supermarket, the English “curry” usually denotes a myriad of different Indian dishes.


More precisely, a curry is a kind of stew or sauce, often seasoned with a distinct mix of crushed and roasted spices. The base of a curry mostly consists of tomato, onion, garlic, and ginger, while it’s often seasoned with spices like cardamom, cinnamon, coriander, anise, cumin, and turmeric as well as different kinds of chilis and peppers. Things like rice, bread, salad, or chutney are usually served as a side dish.

Kari?

What we today would classify as a curry originated about 4,600 years ago in India and has since spread out across the globe and become a stable in many kitchens, especially in South Asia. Nevertheless, “curry” isn’t exactly an Indian word as it isn’t found in any of the 21 languages spoken in the country. While there do exist quite a few words that sound like “curry”, which all refer to various kinds of stews, sauces, or spice blends, the more well-known word “curry” is a part of the colonial heritage from the Portuguese and British empires.


Before the Portuguese, as the first Europeans, sailed to India in the early 16th century, it was probably unlikely that any Indian would call their local dish a “curry”. Today, as then, these dishes are typically named after their ingredients and cooking methods. At some point in history, a Portuguese merchant has likely mistaken the Tamil word kari (meaning sauce) for whatever dishes he was being served.


Later the British adopted the word and started applying it wholesale to all Indian dishes. By the early 19th century, the word was firmly established as curious guests began visiting the new “Curry Houses” of England, where the exotic Indian dishes were the main attraction.

Spicy lure

Before the curry houses came into being, the homebound Brits could have their own a taste of India through the imported (and quite British) curry powders. Though obviously a commercial venture, these powders were an attempt to share a newfound fondness of the Indian curries. Just like in the very first curries millennia earlier, turmeric became one of the main ingredients in the curry powder, and ultimately gave the powders their characteristic curry colored look.


The powder was an attempt to standardize what was otherwise unique spice blends, shaped by local traditions and the chef’s schooling. In the Indian tradition, such spice blends are called masala and are often something you do at home, rather than buy premade.


Though the creation of the curry powder was partly motivated by a genuine fondness of Indian cuisine, the ‘powder method’, as applied outside India, often overlooked an essential aspect of Indian cooking; by applying the powder as if it was simply salt or pepper, many never extracted the rich and vibrant taste you get from crushing and roasting the spices first - experience one would have gained by a trip to the country then known as the “the Jewel in the Crown” of the British Empire.


Truly, the exciting Indian spices played a huge part in luring the great powers of Europe eastward and spreading the curries around the globe. Nevertheless, the diverse Indian curries aren’t only a popular export, they’re equally molded by indispensable imports.

Culinary imports

Despite the curry had emerged 4,000 years before the Portuguese established a trade central in Goa on the Indian west coast, the merchants of Portugal had a significant influence on the continual development of the Indian curries. Thus, several key ingredients, often recognized as essentials of the Indian kitchen, are, in fact, rather late additions.


When the Portuguese as the first Europeans rounded the Cape of Good Hope and arrived on the Indian west coast, they had already crossed the Atlantic and therefore carried unique ingredients like chilis, tomatoes, and potatoes, which all eventually became part and parcel of Indian cuisine.

The Bindia way

Our own kitchen at Bindia is greatly shaped by the North Indian traditions from the region of Punjab, where Bindia’s founder and head chef grew up. The Punjab kitchen is typically based on lamb and chicken curries (like the lamb korma or the popular butter chicken) with bread on the side.


The Punjab food culture is highly influenced by the centuries of coexistence between Hindus and Muslims in the region. In fact, some of the most characteristic elements of this culinary culture happened when the region was invaded the Muslim Mughal Empire during the 15th century. Foreign ingredients and habits became enmeshed with the local ones and created central elements of the North Indian kitchen like the Indian kebab or the aromatic preparation of basmati rice.


Whether it’s about cooking rice in our own bouillon, create our own unique nut mix, mold a tasty kebab, or prepare a tender butter chicken, lamb korma, or any other authentic curry, these are all traditions that we proudly honor all the while doing it the Bindia way.


Read more about our philosophy and values here.

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