To Tell a kaleidoscope of aromas
about Indian cuisine - the same as about Soviet. As are unlike at each other Russian and Georgian, Lithuanian and Uzbek, culinary addictions and rituals of a meal at Bengalese and Kashmireans, malayal and bagkhel or other people inhabiting more than milliard multinational India are also excellent.
the Famous chess player Vishvanatan Anand, teluzhanin from the South Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, prefers absolutely other foods, than the steelmaking magnate Lakshmi Mittal who grew up in Calcutta the native of a trade caste Marwar, or a star of Bollywood Amitabh Bachchan living in Bombay the native of Northern India. Distinction in gastronomic tastes just also says that for Indians specifics of kitchen are defined by regional, ethnic, religious, exclusive, class, esthetic factors and in the latest turn fashion.
the Serious relation to food - a distinctive feature of all Indians. For them consumption of food - is not simple the food necessary for maintenance of a physical state, and first of all a basis for development of mental capacities and spiritual qualities. Each of the Indian people has special, abounding with spices and seasonings recipes of preservation of health and comprehension of wisdom. For Europeans this culinary delicacy - first of all bright, tasty and fragrant food.
the Developed opinion that India - the vegetarian country, mistakenly. According to the latest statistical data, 60% of the population - meat eaters. The fourth part among the remained 40% eat eggs though in some Indian states they are ranked as meat products and are on sale in special places not to offend feeling of adherents of vegetable food. And here the religious faith of Jains in refusal of animal food went further all, they avoid the use even of onions and garlic, and also klubnevy vegetables as at their excavation various insects therefore Jains only with what grows above the earth are fed can suffer.
Viands for every taste
If the traveler who appeared in Bombay wants to try the well-known Bombay duck, to it, surprisingly, will bring not a bird and through salted the dried-up small fish bombil, fried to a crisp from two parties in oil or in the form of a saute with addition of hot pepper, onions and tomatoes. Tell that such wrong name is a dish received incidentally: once fish for the British soldiers who are based in the mainland was transported to a compartment “Bombay post“. Its shrill aroma following a loop cars became the integral sign of the train which called dak designating “mail“. This word clung also to the transported product, and then, according to the accord, got the correct English spelling. So fish became a bird.
But nevertheless the Bombay duck - a dish from the category of delicacies. Usually in the menu of the Indian restaurants chicken meat and mutton prevail (the goat`s meat is more often). Beef and pork dishes give far not everywhere. Thus owners of institutions preserve feelings of Hindus for which a cow - a sacred animal, and also the Muslims disdaining pigs.
In usual life everything much more simply also depends on traditions and prosperity. Beef, for example, as the cheapest meat is preferred by so-called lowest castes of the Indian society. In states with big percent of the Christian population - in Kerala, Goa - cook both beef, and pork, and on North - the East of the country besides in the course of a caterpillar and larva of various insects who sell in the local markets in the portions strung as if a shish kebab, on twigs.
Across all India add a large amount of seasonings which many names have no analogs in Russian to food. The quantity and their compatibility vary not only from the region to the region, but also from the village to the village. However some methods of cooking are uniform and are used everywhere. So, for example, begin to prepare that add seeds of the Indian caraway seeds or mustard and a spoon of the powder of a turmeric giving to food to the boiling oil it is solar - a yellowish shade, and the ready dish is generously strewed with fresh cilantro. This and other herbs Indians very much love and the more so it is surprising that they do not take out fennel, catching its smell, right there hold noses.
With rare exception in a cooking everything that the earth will give rise is used: leaves, seeds, tubers, backs, stalks, fruits, flowers... But lentil soup - any of tens of versions - the king practically on any Indian table. Lentil is added, by the way, even at preparation of such exclusive as banana buds! Also the chili pepper which is once delivered from Latin America is not less popular here. Indians especially appreciate its antiseptic properties which are important in the conditions of hot climate, and ognenno - explosive sharpness of a plant they extinguish curdled milk.
By rules of etiquette is eaten with hands rather the right hand, trying not to soil fingers more than on two phalanxes. When I arrived to study to India and just overcame the European prejudices, my university professor (“sir“) not without acidity told: “Wash up twice if you doubt purity of own hands, and you will derive pleasure not only from color, taste and a flavor of food, but also from unforgettable tactile feelings!“ Words of the teacher - the law, and I learned to displace a piece of flat cake the boat and to pick up them necessary, on one sting, quantity of food, to mix fingers the burning rice with the sauce served to it, to start a forefinger in sweet medley from buffalo cottage cheese with cardamom and cinnamon and, licking it, to derive pleasure from food. It was accustomed to leave pure the left hand to transfer the general objects of a meal - for example a jug with water. Now I also do not imagine how it is possible, being in India, to do it in a different way.
the North, the South, the West, the East
Wheat flat cakes make a food basis in the Indian North, and rice - in the south. In the north eat from metal trays and display seasonings on metal sockets, in the south - from leaves of palm trees, plane trees and lotuses, and spill sauce in the flat dishes sewed from smaller leaves. In the north prefer peanut butter, onions as a cooking basis, dairy products and tea, in the south - coconut oil and coconut milk and coffee. In coastal regions in the West and the East use mustard oil and use fish and shrimps, in the remote place - wheat and rice, however a basis of food rough small loafs make badzhra of a different look prosyany - a dzhovara, and other, growing on infertile soils and at the minimum irrigation. Dishes of the western State of Gujarat are always strongly sweetened, but West Bengal which is in the east where prepare creaking from sugar rasgully is considered the most sweet place. The kitchen North - Eastern States (Nagaland, Mizoram, Megkhalaya and others) connected to continental India the “chicken neck“ passing on border with Bangladesh is through impregnated with aromas of the Chinese, Mongolian and Thai dishes and does not remind any of the Indian.
Architecture and geometry of a meal
If could move quickly in space, then I would go to a breakfast in ancient Tandzhavur entered in lists of cultural heritage of UNESCO thanks to the unique temple of the 11th century. In this part of the State of Tamil Nadu very hot. Here rice fields along Kaveri`s river were stretched. And respectively, the main product in these parts - rice. It is eaten in the morning, in the afternoon and in the evening, on weekdays and on holidays, in the mountain and pleasure, and all the rest is lost behind this rice mirovideniye. In Tandzhavure I always order to DOS - thin pancake from lentil or semolina flour, rice with addition, which is baked on the heated pig-iron surface and give accompanied by two seasonings: dense chatn and liquid sambkhar. Tamil chatn are the mix of coconut flakes, fruits of a tamarind, leaves of mint, segments of garlic and pods of Chile ground in a mortar and added some salt. (In far Kashmir, for example, chatn are prepared from fresh chestnuts, sour cherry, yellow pumpkins, a caustic radish and eat with meat.) Sambkhar - a sharp bulyonchik with seasonings on red lentil in which dip dosa pieces. DOS can be a various form: to remind a papyrus scroll, to rise as a tower, or to tilt as if a sail, - everything depends on the imagination of the cook. Complexity of architecture is reached due to the “flexibility“ of the test created by a combination of kinds of flour, and this or that degree of a zazharennost of a dosa. Inside the architectural composition remains hollow or, at the request of the eater, is filled with a sharp potato stuffing, and then the dish is called DOS masala, that is DOS with spices. At a festival of the Tamil cuisine in Tandzhavure I somehow counted more than 50 types DOS and about 140 types of sambkhar.
I prefer to Have dinner in Maharashtra, in Pune where I got used to the Indian meal. This city is chosen not incidentally: there lives “sir“, and to him I go on a visit. The teacher - the person of strict rules therefore sacredly keep traditions in his family. To my arrival near a wall in kitchen spread two stalemates - square plates for sitting. Opposite to everyone, too on a floor, put a metal tray - tkhal around which the wife of the host beforehand fills rangol - a color pattern from the painted rice or powder from small ground color kernels, adjusting thus on pleasure and filling the events with favorable sense.
In this part of India is eaten as in times peshv - governors of the 18th century when the meal found the finished geometrical contours, and the tray began to be divided into four parts mentally. Two top quadrants are occupied with seasonings: in left - a salt pinch, a lemon segment, pieces of sharp marinade from Chile and unripe mango, two - three circles of onions, a hill of salad from fresh vegetables (for example, the crushed cucumber with a peanut and cilantro in curdled milk) and bkhadzhya - tiny donuts from pea meal with an impregnation of local food herbs - all this, so to speak, collateral seasonings. In the right quadrant - the main seasonings: a baklazhanchik - the Liliputian in hot sauce and spinach mix with beans. Contents of this part of a tray change from a meal to a meal, mainly reflecting a season of these or those vegetables and food herbs - leaves. Put on the lower half of a tray actually food. In the left quadrant - thin fresh weed - the flat cakes of an abrupt wheaten batch made on a flat frying pan without fat or Pura - from small sifted wheat, blowing up as if balloons when they are fried in a deep flat dish with the boiling vegetable oil. However, I prefer rough lepekh from a dzhovar and a badzhra which before a fir-tree only in villages, but now and in the city they became as if a symbol of return to sources in addition are considered useful to a stomach. In the right lower quadrant - small broken banana in curdled milk with sugar or carrot halvah there is a little sweet, for example. By the way, it is not considered a dessert and makes an obligatory component of any meal. Components in total has to be six - according to flavoring feelings which they cause: sweet, salinity, bitterness, sharpness, tartness and acid.by
As soon as flat cakes it is finished, the wife of “sir“ (she does not eat with us, in former times it got leftovers and if the husband was happy with “half“, then she received not the worst pieces) gives the smoking boiled rice, but not earlier: in Pune the neighbourhood pshenichno - prosyany and rice is considered as a bad form. However, some of my friends, everything depends on a caste, begin with rice, in the middle eat flat cakes, and in the end demand rice again and fill in it it - the sour milk which is shaken up with water.the sir Rice divides
into several small groups: mixes one from the remains of spinach and eats, carefully kneads another with marinade, waters with a lemon and crumbles translucent papad there - the thinned dried-up leaf from rice flour with the interspersed sesame, and on the third the monitor lizard - pea soup pours out of the flat dish standing near the right top quadrant, nothing reminding Tamil sambkhar. Having washed down all with milk, “sir“ throws into a mouth several anisic sunflower seeds - for refreshing of a mouth - and, smiling, asks: “And you remember how you recovered on 15 kilograms when you arrived for the first time?“
There`s nothing to be done? India does not contradict teachers, even in questions of food residents of Pune “are literally shifted“ on food. At a meeting will surely take an interest: “Already ate?“ also inquire that. When invite on a visit, always specify: on tea - it is more official visit on which more than an hour will not be required, or on food - then at first long - long talk, and then, having been half-starved, long and silently eat. Dishes move with a heat - heat. For the period of a meal switch-off the ceiling fan, and the hostess not just treats, and forces to absorb all new and new portions.
In India, fighting against weight, I anticipated days of a post to which in different religious occasions my acquaintances adhere, but it turned out that these days the food is especially tasty, and traditional Indian hospitality is not less at all, and nothing could tear off me from a fried sago with Chile and nuts.
After such lunch even does not want to think of a dinner. To manage to digest all this till the morning...
of Idea of Indian cuisine in Russia are very limited by
of the Dish from an imperial table and are based on two of its versions - Panjabi and mogolsky which are connected with the Indian North. Versions to a company - mainly wheat flat cakes which are generously flavored with melted butter and vegetable dishes - so-called sabz - with specification of the main component, for example Alou - matar ki sabz - “sabz - an izgorokha - and - potatoes“, make a basis of high-calorific Panjabi cookery. Dkhab - roadside Panjabi small restaurants - scattered across all India, with pleasure leaning on corn small loafs with the sharpest of a sabza from a mustard tops of vegetable. The Mogolsky kitchen introduced to India by a Muslim dynasty of Great Moguls, natives of Central Asia which governed from XVI to the 19th century here is famous for products from the tandoor - the clay furnace installed in the earth and meat viands - kebabs, a jacket, and also the rice plova and biryani saturated with spices, nuts and dried fruits. In old part of Delhi, near the Cathedral mosque built in the 17th century by the governor of the Mogolsky empire Shah - Jahan, there live descendants of cooks of a dynasty. At the small small restaurants located on the first floors of their dwellings it is possible to taste foods practically from an imperial table. The well-known chicken tikka - the pickled in the ground spices and chicken fillet baked in the tandoor - was invented in due time in the London snackbars where the officials and officers of colonial army who served the term and feeling nostalgic for India gathered. Also the invention of a curry as the dry mix flavoring dishes is attributed to British. India calls the word “curry“ only a small leaf which along with other svezhetolcheny spices (15 - 20 types) is a part of seasonings.
the Feast of flesh and spirit
By the way, the food in India is never followed by tea. There is nothing to be surprised here: ate here always, and to tea conceived a liking only for the beginning of the 20th century at the time of sharp rivalry between the tea companies advancing drink unknown earlier on the boundless Indian market. At first British took out tea from China and to India turned the looks later, by the beginning of the 19th century, from - for the become complicated relations with Celestial Empire. In 1823 Robert Bruce, the official of the British administration, came across on North - the East, in Assam, on huge trees and guessed in them the outgrown tea-plants, but biological examination them recognized unsuitable. Then at the bottom of the Himalayas and on hillsides of the Southern India broke the tea plantations set with the Chinese seeds, however, later nowadays well-known Assamese tea gained recognition.
From British tea came with an obligatory makeweight - milk. The first it was tried by the Indians who were on service OST - the Indsky company, and also princes and navaba. Later time it became national drink, its thatniziruyushchy properties estimated even in the south where they began to drink in the morning tea too, and then - hours at five in the afternoon - coffee. The most real tea in India - roadside - at the price in 2 - 3 rupees, calculated on truck drivers. In the lop-sided and unsightly shops he is trained in the face of the visitor, masterly mixing prokipyachenny tea leaves with hot buffalo milk. Pour a little. In total half of a small glass or a cup, but also it is enough to cheer up and with new forces to continue travel. Also here it is possible to order masala - tea, that is tea with various spices and spices - from cardamom to a carnation it, however, is of rupees two more expensive than usual.
the Source of unusual feelings is the hair dryer. Though India is not associated with alcohol, the last was present at it always. It is enough to remember the Old Indian sura exciting gods and demons of the Indian mythology or mysterious to som - the hallucinogenic drink bringing Indra into fury of Vedic god! Modern India makes distinguished dry wines and strong port, but Goa which visited at least once will not forget for anything terrible aroma of drink to which Europeans gave the corresponding name “Dynamite“. Happens the hair dryer of two types - from cashew and cocoes. More traditional drive from fleshy, reminding a look a pear, it is yellow - orange fruits of cashew: they are kneaded hands about a stone plate with the hollowed trench on which juice flows down in a clay tub. Then under a tub make fire and the process of evaporation and clarification lasting from several hours to one days begins. The received drink can be overtaken to two - three times that not only increases degree of the final product (the strongest reaches almost to 40), but also increases its aroma. It is carried on all the district, attracting admirers the hair dryer in whose glasses it remains even after careful washing. Feni drink cooled or with ice, it is good to add several drops of a lime to it and to wash down with it fish delicacies of the Arabian Sea. In small Goa there are 4 thousand points where drive the hair dryer from cashew, in 2 thousand produce drink from a coco, and 7 thousand little shops trade in both that, and another. Recently large industrial company (Indian Drinks Major UB Group) developed the project on transformation the hair dryer from regional in a national brand. By the way, the wine makers invited for consultations concerning a smell upclassing the hair dryer from France and Germany amicably declared that to muffle “dynamite“ aroma the hair dryer - means to kill him I smother.However in rare feelings nothing can be compared by
to the sir - the traditional Indian chewing gum known at least since the 5th century BC giving according to Indians, “color of life“. As the main component of the sir serve hard nuts to crack of a supara of an areca palm tree (Areca catechu) which grows in a hot humid climate, first of all along the coast of the Arabian Sea, in Konkana.
India annually consumes more than 200 thousand tons of such nutlets. Fruits collect at any maturity, dry up on the sun, in a shadow or on wind, then boil them in milk, water or roast on the oil which is squeezed out of other nuts. Change of technology involves change of tastes. Each new option possesses the name allowing to be guided in the choice of production. Ban is brought to the Indian gods, treat with him the guests who crossed a house threshold and finish a meal. From hands of the influential patron - the patron the most talented poets and singers, artists and musicians received the sir at all times.this entertainment - the whole science is correct to give
. On a leaf of a betel (Piper betle), the gentle liana which is quite often growing under the areca palm tree and twisting its trunk along with istolchenny supar spread a pinch of extinguished lime (it is considered the best prepared from the pounded nacre of an oyster sink), cardamom, a carnation, a turmeric, nutmeg pieces, camphor, tobacco, vegetable musk and other, and also add several drops of the alkaloidny extract prepared from an acacia of a catechu (Acacia catechu). Further all this is dexterously turned. The most skillful masters give to a parcel the form of a lotus or a peacock. In a mouth when chewing a betelevy chewing gum several contradictory feelings - sweet and bitterness, salinity and tartness, a mouth appear from within as if stick together, and the feeling is created that already never to open it, and then serially and sharply breaks through heat, cold. As a result of the strengthened chewing and chemical reactions which components of the sir enter there is a plentiful saliva of bloody color which is periodically spitted out, - the origin of red spots is explained sidewalks of the Indian cities by it. In houses special spittoons are used. The sir for a long time paints lips, teeth and gums in red color. Attribute it a set of medicinal properties, besides it is bright - red lips of beloved are considered as an erotic stimulator. Ban is loved by all Indians. It, undoubtedly, the feast of flesh and spirit standing out of borders, conventions and fashion.