The unforgettable aroma of India is
not just the heavy scent of jasmin and roses on the warm air. It is also the fragrance of spices so important to
Indian cooking - especially to preparing curry. The world "curry" is an English derivative of "kari", meaning soice
sauce, but curry does nit, in India, come as a powder. It is the subtle and delicate blending of spices such as
turmeric, cardamon, ginger, coriander, nutmeg and poppy seed. Like an artist's palette of oil paints, the Indian cook
has some twentyfive spices (freshly ground as required) with which to mix the recognized combinations or "marsalas".
Many of these spices are also noted for their medicinal properties. They, like the basic ingredient, vary from region
Although not all Hindus are vegetarians, you will probably eat more vegetable dishes than is common
in Europe, particularly in South India. Indian vegetables are cheap, varied and plentiful - and superbly cooked.
Broadly speaking, meat dishes are more common in the north, notably, Rogan Josh (curried lamb), Gushtaba (spicey meat balls in voghurt), and the delicious Biriyani (chicken or lamb in orange flavoured rice, sprinkled
with sugar and rode water). Mughlai cuisine is rich, creamly, deliciously spiced and liberally sprinkled with
nuts and saffron. The ever popular Tandoori cooking (chicken, meat or fish marinated in herbs and baked in a
clay oven) and kebabs are also northern cuisine.
In the south, curries are mainly vegetable and inclined to be more hot. Specialities to look out
for are Bhujia (vegetable curry), Dosa, Idli and Samba (rice pancakes, dumplings with pickles and
vegetable and lentil curry), and Raitas (yoghurt with grated cucumber and mint). Coconut is a major ingredient
of South Indian cooking. On the West coast there is a wide choice of fish and shellfish; Bombay duck (curried or fried
bomnloe fish) and pomfret (Indian salmon) are just two. Another speciality is the Pharsi Dhan Sak (lamb or
chicken cooked with curried lentils) and Vinaloo vinegar marinade. Fish is also a feature of Bengali cooking as
in Dahi Maach (curried fish in yoghurt flavoured with turmeric and ginger) and Mailai (curried prawn