FOOD-THE DAILY OSCAR OF AN INDIAN
By Naushin Shaikh
First of all, if you are reading this blog in the hope of finding what to eat in Himachal Pradesh or on the streets of Delhi and Mumbai, the secret behind the Bali food theory, or what is the best thing to eat in Indian xyz region.. Unfortunately this blog is not about “what to eat in India”….It’s utterly about “How to eat in India”? And I am sure if you know ‘How’ ,you will definitely find the answer for ‘What’…This may not be my ‘Magnum Opus’ but it will help you to know ‘The Status Quo’ of Indian Food. So let’s start the beginning and see where we end up…
Food….What is that?A filler? A maintainer? A stimulator? An addiction? A tonic ? or for that matter… A fuel? World has associated food with so many words. But when I talk about ‘THE INDIAN FOOD’…I repeat “THE INDIAN FOOD”…It’s a different story. We are hard wired to take food as a treasure trove. Indians are known as ’emotional clods’… Our hearts are always ruling our minds..And with that astounding fact, our food becomes an emotion, a party, a celebration….
One more thing to note about the Indian population is ,that we are self rewarding people. And the dangling carrot is always the ’food’. It is used as a reward from ages. Or I can say Food has been celebrated daily as a reward in India.
The Food choices in India are predicated by one’s income, health condition, Living circumstances, knowledge of food, storage facilities etc. Main factor that affects the preference , quantity and
quality of food is related to the demographic, socio-economic background .It also depends on the level of Intelligence, instinct, desire and most importantly “hunger”…..For example most of the Indians are indulged into emotional eating. Eating in a huff is the most common. We Indians also believe in awards. Food is a daily award for us….And we receive that award with such pride… here is the award receiving speech…..
Feed your self…Its Charity…
The sweet Indian craving
An Indian craving can be very dangerous. It can make you drive 10kms in midnight, just for a cup of “cutting chai”, or it can be as wild as eating 8 Motichoor Laddus one after another from that ‘diwali ki mithai ka dabba’. Or as hilarious as changing the colour of the ‘beef’ from red to black. Biryani in Indian homes is not a one time meal, the craving will make you open the ‘Handi’ anew. Taking my own example, I will definitely cross the line of control to reach the fridge just to eat my Rasmalai. Talking about ‘free food’ , we love the concept of ‘free food’. It can be associated with weddings, birthday parties, functions, niyaz, prasad, langers and sometimes funerals. We are always ready to eat. Basically we are “freelance eaters”
THE GOBBLER MIND
The indian thought process starts with food and ends up with food. We search every trick in the book to fulfill our cravings. Whenever a group of friends call the shots to where to meet, it is always a place where edible materials are sold. It doesn’t matter whether you are born with a silver spoon or an iron rod, the mentality is always the same. The grandeur of an Indian wedding is always judged by the food served there. Talking about my self, the minute I enter the wedding, the first thing I search for, is the food counter. The savour of biryani puts me into a conflict of interest whether to meet the bridegroom or just attack!!! If you are getting married to an Indian guy and want to be in your In-laws’ good books, just become a good cook. Indians believe in cooking up a storm as our hearts are as big as our stomachs. This classic and adorable culture and tradition makes the ‘Indian food’ remarkable.
Sharing my personal experience, I dropped by delhi a year ago. And being a gobbler,I was not giving a toss to see those world famous monuments and forts. My one and only concern was to find that restaurant which serves the best seekh kebabs in delhi, highly recommend by my ‘paternal uncle’s nephew’s daughter’ (or whatever). And that day I definitely became a ‘Delhi trotter’ to find that indefinite restaurant. My self was gotten into a pickle, just to try those seekh kebabs, and my cab driver’s goat was gotten because of passing hundreds of traffic signals and irritating T points. But at the end of the fatigued day, I was over the moon, as I took the first bite of that luscious juicy seekh kebab. So this is how it feels being a Gobbler!!!
THE MUST EAT CONCEPT
The thought process which makes the Indian food so huge and grand is the concept of ‘I must eat this’…For instance, if you are in Gujarat, your bucket list be dhokla,fafda,thepla,the gujarati thali; in punjab it becomes dal-makhni, makke di roti, sarso da saag; in South it comes with dosa,idli,sambhar. And some usual must eat statements are….Bambai ki chowpatty kulfi aur Pavbhaji ,Delhi ke chandni chawk ke kebab(of course!),Bangali Rasgulle,Rajasthani Daal-Baati-Churma,Indore ki Kachori,Garma garam Vadapav, Samosa pav etc…etc..
But Indian food is far more classic and elegant than we think and know. When you dig more in the world of Indian Cuisine ,you will find the art, creativity, it’s incredible history and most importantly ‘the love’ in the form of those astonishing indian recipies.The vegetables, cereals,spices, herbs, fats used in the indian recipes are the witnesses of the stunning indian journey of food. So before thinking about what to eat in india….Breathe in the pride of indian food.
Because at the end the oscar for the best food goes to ‘You’…To ‘Us’…. ‘To India’… Daily…..
So, tell me which is your sweet indian craving that makes you a gobbler with a must eat concept? Share it in the comment section below!!!