The process of gaining insight into the civilization of a particular region or state is incomplete if the research fails to incorporate subject of Food. I believe comprehending food can help us in unraveling some secrets of particular civilization.
To understand any subject we need to appreciate the concept of connecting with the soul of the subject. To elucidate this further I would like to take inspiration from the writings of noted author Paulo Coelho, who deals in great depth on the subject of “soul of the world” in his critically acclaimed novel “The Alchemist”. To put it simply soul is what connects all of us. To understand an entity or a civilization one must make a sincere attempt to connect with their soul.
The history of human civilization clearly reflects on the fact that change has been integral part of our existence. Our food has underwent a significant changes over centuries. The invasion of land would result into imposition of a new culture and ultimately amalgamation of cultures to form something that is vibrant and dynamic, a receptacle stuffed to the brim with old practices and new ideas together.
When we discuss about Indian food, spices do manage to sneak into this discussion; in fact they need not sneak in, any debate on Indian food would render itself meaningless if we do not discuss about spices. Spices are soul of Indian food. To understand Indian food, we need to connect to the soul of our food which is spices.
Cuisine of every regional or state cuisine boast of plethora of recipes, but to the core of all these recipes lies a secret masala that most of these communities guard very zealously. Masalas are nothing but concoction of various spices added in a very specific proportion and prepared adhering to every step of recipe. These masalas are usually prepared once or twice in a year and bottled in an air tight containers that would ensure that aroma and zing that this concoction would add to those gravies would stay intact.
Here are some Indian Masalas from different regional cuisines that makes classic Indian regional recipes come alive.