Beginners Guide to Curry

An Overview of Indian Curry

India’s culinary traditions have resulted from various foreign impacts. Colonial influences are notable in many different parts of India as India has been invaded several times in history. The region of the northern plains of India has been highly affected by the Persian and Mughal cooking style.
Mughal cooking impacted greatly on the traditional techniques and therefore introduced the Indian cuisine to many new and delicious dishes by combining the two food styles. The Mughals brought with them their rich and aromatic dishes which have now become a part of the Indian cuisine. Besides the invasions leading to culinary influences, religions played a major role too. Except the northern region, the influences of the Muslim cooking styles can also be found in certain parts of south India like Hyderabad and Kerala.

The invasion by Timur in the fifteenth century was responsible for a large part of Muslim influence on the cooking techniques of the Indian cuisine. The introduction of butter sauces, cream meats and rich delicacies with nuts and dates has led to the modern dishes of korma and butter chicken over time. Besides the Indian spices the Mughals used spices they brought from their native region, hence leading to the introduction of these spices in the culinary arts of the Indian cuisine. The non-vegetarian dishes like the kebab are also due to the invasion of the Mughals.
Perhaps the most notable dish introduced by the Muslim rulers was the Pullao, a rice dish where rice is cooked with various vegetables, meat and occasionally fruits and dry fruits too. Within many Muslim communities, the cooking of pullao is considered an art form.
The nizams of Hyderabad on the other hand developed Biryani as their signature style of cooking. They introduced a style of marinating which involved putting chicken or some other meat in a large pot or cooking vessel filled with spices and vegetables. This was then placed on top of hot coal. The pot was then sealed with dough to keep the flavours of the spices and vegetables intact and hence infuse the meat or chicken with the flavours. Hot coal was then also put on top of the dough. This style is called Dumphukt and is essential to preparing the traditional Dum Biryani.
The the Mughlai cuisine is a very important part of the Indian cuisine. The cuisine is available all over the country but the centres of Delhi and Lucknow are home to his cuisine and arguably serve the most authentic Mughlai food. The influence of the Mughal cuisine is incredible. The coming of the Persians and Zoroastrians and also the spreading of Islam by the Muslim rulers brought with them their cooking styles and delicacies which were then blended with the Indian cuisine and have now been immortalised into one of the yummiest and richest cuisines of India.