Three Things Indian Food Teaches Us About Life

File:Spices in an Indian market.jpg

Photo credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Spices_in_an_Indian_market.jpg

Indian food is an amazing culinary experience.  The blending of spices, aroma and colors are enough to send your palette screaming for more while your stomach is telling you to stop immediately or there will be consequences.  After consuming my favorite dishes this afternoon I felt the need to share these tidbits of insight about how Indian food can teach us to realize the most basic and tackle the most complex things in life with the lift of a fork.

Life is intimidating, so dig in and enjoy it – Most people are intimidated by many things in life – your boss, the future, your friends, death, bullies, the government.  Whatever it is that makes us feel scared to try something new or fearful of the outcome, intimidation is a part of our daily lives.  This is same reason why I feel so many people in the US are scared to try Indian cuisine.  For some it is the color.  Too much is scary to some who are on the meat and potato diet.  For others it is the smell.  The vast array of spice and curry blends definitely have a funkiness about them that many run from, but that is what makes the flavor so damn good.  For a large amount of Americans I think it is the appearance.  The look of dishes like Saag Paneer with its toxic green spinach and cheese blocks is enough to make even the creamed spinach loyalists run for the exit.  However, when you get beyond the look of may Indian dishes, the ingredients flow perfectly together in culinary harmony.

In short, life isn’t roses and rainbows everyday and not all things you face are going to look or feel familiar.  You need to observe these differences, dig in and hope for the best.   You can only then reach true enlightenment and enjoy all of the beauty the world has to give.  You never know, you might just like it.

Variety is the spice to life so eat it up – Without variety the world would be a really boring place.  If people were exactly the same and food was simply fuel for the body we would not have a very exciting existence on this planet.   In my opinion, Indian food is probably the most exciting use of spice and color that you will ever find on your culinary journey around the world.  Even by utilizing the same core ingredients this cuisine is able to transform cauliflower or a cube of chicken into seventeen different varieties each unique in taste, appearance and aroma.  This is only possible by their mastery of understanding the marriage of different spices – anise, cumin, chilies, coriander, fenugreek, fennel, turmeric, curry, clove, ginger, tamarind, basil.  These are just a few in the arsenal of the Indian chef to build their masterpiece and despite having many different aroma’s and flavors they seem to blend them together perfectly in many dishes.  Curry is a great example of how a little variety can make even the same thing different and exciting.  There are hundreds of different recipes for curry, each with their own unique twist, but most recipes commonly starting with the foundation – coriander, turmeric, cumin, fenugreek, and red pepper.  From red, yellow and green varieties to garam masala and Madras curry blends the names and combinations are endless in a rainbow of color, flavor and aroma; all because of one simple word-variety.

This word keeps us young.  Variety keeps life exciting and makes us question the things that are normal to us.  Variety is the catalyst for change and without change you have complacency and eventual demise.  It is this use of spice and color that keeps me going back for more at the Indian buffet and waking up each and every day.  Embrace change and embrace variety because it creates the environment for people to be creative and think differently.  It showcases to even the most complacent individuals that there is more to life than hamburgers and French fries.

Eat fast, because it always tastes better when it’s hot – Hot Indian food that is supposed to be consumed hot is always 1000% better than if you let it sit and get cold.  For some reason the spices are not as sharp, the aroma is not as inviting and the texture is just plain nasty.  Just like life, you need to eat fast and take in as much as possible while you can.  You never know what challenge tomorrow will bring and what it will taste like.  Chances are it will taste a whole lot better today while it’s hot, than it will tomorrow when it has had time to cool down.  We often forget just how quickly life can fly by.  You have your plan; you get up and go to work, go through the motions and sometimes forget that life is going on around you.  

The only advice I have for this is scarf it down and enjoy every minute.  Don’t put off today what needs to be done, because it will only be that much worse tomorrow.  Enjoy every minute and every bite of food like it is your last.  There is no way that the world was created with so many different types of fruits, vegetables, spices, plants, nuts and fungus that we should not be enjoying each and every one. 

I know these are things that we all know, but we often fail to remember.  Because of our busy lifestyles we tend to forget just how important these three things are to keep us happy, motivated and excited.  Just like the trip to my favorite Indian restaurant in Dayton, Ajanta, I need to be reminded at each visit of this glorious experience and how life is always better after the colorful and flavorful journey I embarked on. 

Move on; eat well and live flavorful…

Comments

  1. Your article and analysis of Indian food are bang on! It made great reading…and as someone trying to create Indian-inspired food for a global audience, I must share your piece with my followers:)

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  2. Very well written! Thank you! I must disagree with your favorite Indian restaurant in Dayton, though :). Amar is best by far!!!

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  3. It has been a while since I have had Amar, I will make that my next visit in town :-).

    Indian food always seems to brighten up my day. I appreciate the kind words and I am always looking for other blogs to follow and promote, so please pass along any that you come across.

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  4. I found my way here via Peri (at Peri’s Spice Handle) and am thrilled that I did! Just LOVED this post…quite alot of insights on life and love your take on Indian food! And love your writing style. Looking forward to exploring further here. Have a great day. You might enjoy checking out my India Journal blog… http://janesindiajournals.wordpress.com
    🙂
    with love light and JOY
    Jane

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  5. Reblogged this on India 2008-2012 and commented:
    Some wonderful insights on the joys of Indian food and on life in general.

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  6. A warm and wonderful post, thank you.

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  7. Zena Frank says:

    Enjoyed the article as someone who grew up on Indian food and knows what you are talking about and mean! Now I’m craving something hot and Indian!!!!!

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  8. wonderful post and loved to read about my own country in such a beautiful manner …thanks for sharing dear:)

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    • Thanks for reading. We put such a bad stigma on Monday’s in America. We should all just be happy we made it through another week happily and healthy. 🙂

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      • hehehe…so true but I think that’s the same here in Australia as well to be honest as no one likes it and after a weekend of boozing and partying it is so hard for many people to get back to work 🙂 But I know what you mean here …keep blogging and I will keep an eye on it 🙂

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  9. Love this post and lving flavourful :)!

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  10. francesco biasia中文名 フランチェスコビアジア 財布 http://www.francescobyhandyjp.org

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