Did you know?
South Asian cuisine encompasses the cuisines from India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan. As it encompasses the cuisines of various countries, there are distinct differences but there is a definite common thread. Foods are highly seasoned with turmeric, black pepper, cloves, chili, and other herbs and spices. Ginger is also a popular ingredient to make dishes, from chopped ginger in meat, pickled ginger in rice, and boiled ginger made into concentrated syrups in desserts.
Meats such as lamb, goat, and chicken are common but beef is less so because it is not eaten by Hindus and you won’t find pork served in Muslim restaurants. Southern Indian food is spicier and uses coconut and northern Indian is milder with more yogurt and cheese as ingredients.
What to eat
Curry is a well known South Asian dish. Usually, cumin and turmeric are used to make the thick sauce and cooked with various meats and vegetables. It is eaten with breads or rice. Naan is a baked flatbread, puri is a fried bread, roti and chapati are baked on a griddle and dosa is similar to a crepe.
Saag is a popular vegetarian dish that consists of creamed spinach and many spices and is eaten with rice, roti, naan, or other breads. Paneer is a fresh cheese that is sometimes added to this dish. India has a strong tradition of vegetarianism so the lentil or dal dishes are tasty and chockful of protein. Briyani is a tasty rice dish cooked with spices and meat usually.
Don’t forget dessert! Just be prepared for a high level of sweetness that counters the spiciness of the meal. A cup of milky masala chai tea brewed with spices such as cardamom is also a great way to end a meal.