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  • Kabir Ruparelia

Beyond Curry: The Evolution of Indian Cuisine

India, the land of vibrant colours, diverse cultures, and a history rich as a treasure trove, is often associated with the stereotype of being the country where everyone ate only curry. 

While curry is an integral part of Indian cuisine and its history, it's time for us to look past it, towards the flavours that go beyond this dense stereotype. The culinary landscape of India is a rollercoaster of a journey through time, filled with evolutions that blend the traditions of yesterday with the innovations of today, for the joy of the taste-buds of tomorrow.

The roots of Indian cuisine run deep. Its rich and varied history brims with various civilizations and empires, from the ancient spice roots of the Harappan Civilization and the introduction of flatbreads (rotis) in the Vedic age to the entry of the legendary saffron in sweet dishes during the Mauryan age. Indian cuisine has flourished with the influence of the Mughal empire - arguably the best time of culinary development in India, with its iconic 'biryani' and 'butter chicken' as well as the British Raj which led to the discovery of Anglo-Indian dishes. Each chapter in India's history has engraved its mark and influence on Indian Cuisine.

Fast forwarding to the modern times, with the influence of Western culture and social media as well as the onset of new-age transportation systems, cuisines of countries like Italy, Mexico, Lebanon, France, The United States of America, China and Japan have become extremely famous in India. New restaurants with these cuisines are opening daily at an astonishing rate.

Street food in India has evolved greatly. Once limited to only original Indian dishes like ‘samosa’, it is now thriving by indulging in the cuisines of other countries, but not without giving it the famous Indian Touch. We’ve invented mouth-watering eatables by infusing the dishes of other countries with the spices and ingredients of India. For example, the brilliant twist of filling the ‘shawarmas’ of Lebanon with Indian butter chicken has created the famous street food- ‘Butter chicken shawarma’.

India is a place where creativity thrives in every nook and corner, and where creativity thrives, variety is infinite. So let us go beyond curry and embark on a culinary exploration which can celebrate the past, embrace the present and await the flavours of the future!

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