By Cearat Sood
Edited by Shambhavi Singh, Senior Editor, The Indian Economist
India has long been known as ‘The Land of Spices’, and for all the right reasons! The British, in the first place, came to India to trade spices. Our spices were famous all around the world back then, as they are even now. Indian cuisine’s popularity around the world is ever increasing. Indian dishes are spreading like wildfire, it seems that everyone wants to try them. More recently, Chicken Tikka Masala was in news because of its enormous success in Paris. CTM, as it is more popularly known, was the hottest telling item in retailer Marks & Spencer. The French demand for convenience food is one of the reasons for CTM to sell like hot cakes. The other is that Indian food is increasingly suiting international palates.
Indian cuisine was earlier deemed as ‘spicy’, which would often upset stomachs, however, this trend is changing. Food like kebabs, curries, masala dosa, filter coffee and biryani are among the most famous and liked Indian dishes abroad, they are available everywhere, from the Middle East to even China. The number of Indian restaurants abroad have also been increasing due to the good opportunities available to the entrepreneurs for opening up there. Indian cuisine, therefore is gaining recognition, however it can be made popular, if it is marketed in the right way.
Perhaps, the most famous cuisine of all, is the Mediterranean cuisine. Most famous because of its health benefits, it has found a place all around the world. The Mediterranean diet is the best way to keep your body in shape, skin clean and beautiful. It increases longevity and helps the internal organs work properly. Olive oil is a staple of the Mediterranean diet. There is also a high intake of vegetables, fruits and legumes and to top it all off, it is minimally processed. In an increasingly health conscious world, these benefits attract a lot of people, which has made their food highly desirable and famous.
Even so, Indian restaurants do not feature in the Top 100 of the world, which shows that even though our food is getting popular, it is certainly not among the top cuisines. To get our cuisine on that top level, we have to bank on our flavours, diversity and health benefits. The flavour of our food is very passionate and rich. The different parts of our country have their own tradition and culture too. In North India, wheat is the staple food, whereas in South, it is rice. In the coastal regions, seafood and fish recipes are more popular whereas in central India, vegetarian cuisines are more popular. Ayurveda, the Indian medical science’s base is healthy Indian food and herbs. Indian food and cooking is also drawn from the yogic philosophy of cooking and eating. With the popularity of Ayurveda and Yoga, people will get to know the health benefits of our food.
Cookery shows with Indian recipes can be aired on their cable channels to spread more awareness. Food Festivals and Food Exhibitions should be organised by Indian chefs, restaurants and hoteliers. To market it even further, Indian food could be developed to adapt to the international tastes, like Chinese food has become popular in India and also, burgers and pizzas have been indianised to suit our palate.
With the recognition of CTM as Britain’s national dish, the time seems right to take Indian cuisine as the most preferred food option around the globe.
Cearet Sood is a first year student studying Economics at Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi University. She likes to spend her time by reading books, whose genres range from social drama to thrillers to economics or by brushing up her general knowledge. She is a curious person, who wants to know more and more. She loves to participate in quizzes and paper presentations, where she gets different perspectives and views. She’s a person who doesn’t talk much. An introvert, who doesn’t quite fit in, but she doesn’t want to.