The Flavour of India From the seemingly infinite diversity of culinary creations existing throughout the Indian subcontinent – we have chosen to present some of the more characteristic, yet legendry dishes. The common term “curry” is the English adoption of Tamil word “kari” meaning in effect a “ seasoned sauce “ and traditionally never applied to identify Indian cuisine as a whole. Incredibly varied, Indian cuisine is a combination of many nationalities and cultures. The most elaborate dishes come from the north and were inherited from the invading Persian Moghuls. Pulaos and Biryanis are rich and lavish due to the ingredients used an abundance of meat, ghee, nuts and saffron. The north Indian Kormas with their savoury sauces, Kebabs and Tandoori dishes, complemented by homemade wheat breads such as Chappatis, Paranthas, and Naan are world renowned. Hot spiced tea is the favourite drink for refreshing and in winter weather. In southern India, where most of the people are vegetarians, rice is the staple food and is served throughout the meal. The dishes are also hotter than the northern dishes with chillies being a popular ingredient as well as large amount of coconut oil and coconut milk. Southern Indians prefer Steamed food rather than barbecued tandoori food which is so popular in the north. Spices of life Around 5000 years ago, the Himalayan sages conceived the use of spices and herbs as a natural means to balance the metabolism of the body. Some spices were “ heat producing “; others were “ cooling” . the knowledge become part of Ayurveda- the Hindu “ science of Medicine”. Eventually surfacing as taste giving ingredients in Indian cooking and it is the variety , the combinations and the myriad uses 0f spices that distinguishes Indian cooking from any other cuisine in the world. The origin of the popular aphorism “ the spice of life “ can perhaps be traced to those ancient times. Tandoor : A Timeless tradition Indian villagers still use the traditional mud stoves and clay ovens, fed with coal or firewood, giving the food a special smoked flavour. One such over in the “ Tandoor “. Shaped like a barrel with live coals at the bottom , the cylinder becomes evenly heated. The food, prepared first in a special marinade, in spiked on long metal rods and inserted into the oven for rosting. The Tandoor was introduced into India from the Arab world prior to the 13th century.