History and Geography of food

I love eating. But mind you the food should be Indian and vegetarian.

No, it does not mean that I do not like My Pizzas and Pastas, I do. But I am much more comfortable eating Indian food.

Ever wondered why the same vegetables are cooked in different styles in our country.

Growing up I remember my Bengali neighbour cooking food in mustard oil and us cringing our nose in disgust. The smell of mustard oil is so strong. But the chorchoris, the gobhi fry were so tasty that Till date I like my gobhi fried in mustard oil only (provided that it is cooked by someone else in some other home πŸ™‚ ).

Us being Mangaloreans love food cooked in coconut oil but in those days in Bhilai (that’s where we were in those days) coconut oil used to be very scarce and so was reserved to cooking for festival days. And those days the neighbours would cringe.

Our food is so very related to our location culture isn’t it. Most parts of North India use Mustard oil as a cooking medium because of its abundance there. Karnataka, Kerala uses Coconut and coconut oil in abundance because of its abundance there. Maharashtra and Andhra uses groundnut oil for similar reasons. Of course nowadays it is usually Sunflower/ Canola oil in most households for its health benefits.

In our home rice was the staple diet being a Konkani home. Rice in the form of dosas in the morning (and of course Coconut chutney), rice in the noon and night. But because I was born in the North I have this love for wheat too. I often wonder why it was so, was it because the five elements of Bhilai unleashed this love for wheat or was it because apart from rice, rotis too were a constant in our homes.

And then there are the sweets, I love the basundi of Maharashtra, the khajas of AP, the rasmalai of Bengal and of course the payasams down south made with rice, jaggery and coconut milk. Again it is to be noted that the sweets of the north will be milk based made with sugar and those of the south will have coconut in some form and will have jaggery. Usually that is. It is not that in the North there are no sweets made with jaggery and South Indians do make sweets with sugar.

But all said and done, food has a history no doubt but the fact remains that food cooked even with the most basic ingredients will taste heavenly if made with love.

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20 thoughts on “History and Geography of food

  1. Ah the mustard oil reminds me of home. Even I am not too fond of the smell per se but the food comes out delicious indeed.
    Couldn’t agree more with your consensus. Love is indeed the mos vital ingredient for good food. πŸ˜€

  2. Love to read this post as it is based on food.As I am also from Bhilai where we adapt all the cultures of India have same liking as yours. It reminded me of our recess time in school days…. … delicious one.

  3. No doubt food cooked with love is the best food. I loved the way you described the different foods of India and the cooking oil they use. πŸ™‚

  4. Very correctly written. Indian cuisine in different regions is so different and interesting. I am a North Indian but brought up in Mumbai so exposure to Maharashtrian and Gujarati cuisines, have been living in Bangalore for many years — hence the South Indian influence. Though, I must admit that I can’t stand food cooked in coconut oil. I have made my peace of eating some coconut in my food :). I love mustard, peanut, olive, rice bran and sunflower oils in cooking and keep changing them off and on. I enjoyed your food post :).

    • Coincidence na, you wrote about nutrition and me about different types of food.
      I guess we relate more to the food we are brought up with or the region we are brought up with. LIke me not able to stand up mustard oil because of its smeell, same with you and coconut oil.

  5. This is my kind of post for some reason i hate pizzas and burgers and love homecooked food … I prefer that ..
    and i do cook myself on weekends as the rest of the days is rush rush rush

    and the types of food u explained I can try anything .. you shud try punjabi food and no not all is cooked in mustard oil πŸ™‚

    Bikram’s

    • Oh I love punjabi food and make it at home too. Mentioned the other foods because Punjabi food is now world famous. People now associate Indian cuisine with Punjabi food but there is so many more varieties isn’t it?

  6. Nice to know that you are a pure veg…..sorry for reminding about fish…..some GSB eat fish and even Bengalis do Lolz….good musings on food for thought…..by the way i lived in Orange city for 3 years.

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