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Why Indian Food Tastes Different: IIT Jodhpur Has The Answer

Now we know why phoren food tastes subtle as opposed to our desi khana.

Updated
Health News
2 min read
(The rich,colourful,delicious Indian Thali. Photo:iStock)

Simple calculus; Indian food is all a mathematical game of spices.

And, so, when IIT Jodhpur decides to mathematically tell us what makes Indian food different – that perhaps makes for a good one minute read.

(Anyone for Mix Vegetables? Photo:iStock)
(Anyone for Mix Vegetables? Photo:iStock)

Indian food is all about mix and match

Wonder why phoren food tastes subtle – as opposed to our desi bazookas, laden with spices.

In the art of food pairing, North American and West European countries go largely matchy-matchy. In scientific terms, they use ingredients with common flavour compounds.

In their cuisines, milk, butter, bread, rice, cottage cheese and cream, are more likely to go together.

Their idea of food is that using ingredients with common flavour compounds tastes better. This is what the study calls the positive food pairing hypothesis.

But Indian food is typified by ‘negative food pairing’, which essentially means that we believe in a lot of mix and match. We mix ingredients even if they don’t have common flavour compounds.

(All you need is bhatura to go with this chole. Photo:iStock)
(All you need is bhatura to go with this chole. Photo:iStock)

The report by the researchers at IIT Jodhpur, has also identified the ingredients that give the biggest kick to Indian food.

(This is the box (masalas) that makes all the difference. Photo:iStock) 
(This is the box (masalas) that makes all the difference. Photo:iStock) 

Lal Mirchi gives the most punch to Indian food, with a negative food pairing index of -0.138, followed in decreasing order by capsicum (-0.134), coriander (-0.078), garam masala, tamarind, ginger garlic paste, ginger, clove, and cinnamon (-0.044). That’s a lot of spice, spice, baby...

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