Food - Drink
The Ingredients You're Unlikely To Find In Traditional Indian Food
By RYAN CASHMAN
When it comes to Indian cuisine, most of us think of dishes like biryani, chicken tikka masala, curries, and vindaloo, often served with rice and naan bread. However, many ingredients in these "classic" dishes arrived in India rather late — during the latter half of the 18th century — and are not used in traditional Indian cuisine.
The potatoes, tomatoes, peas, and carrots common to modern Indian cuisine, especially in Western countries, came from traders and merchants; none of these ingredients are native to India. An example of an Indian meal that is not adapted to foreign tastes or ingredients is the shraddha, which is eaten on the anniversary of the death of a loved one.
The ingredients used in shraddha are native to the Indian subcontinent: bananas and banana stems, broad beans, sweet potatoes, unripe mangoes, taro root, and pirandai (veld grape). These are seasoned with salt, black pepper, and cumin and served with yellow mung dal (lentil stew) to create a traditional meal with religious significance.