Jun 28, 2018

Adopting non-Indian cuisines

Since I emphasize a lot on eating local produce and stressing on the importance to stick to Indian cuisine (IF you are an Indian by birth AND live in India), a couple of readers have asked me why I’m against Western cuisines. First of all, let me clarify - I have no issues with any World cuisines. Food is an important part of a culture. Food narrates so many interesting stories about a region’s traditions, practices and values. Thanks to various media, programmes like MasterChef Australia and our abroad travel itinerary, most urban dwellers with a good disposable income are exposed to multiple cuisines and are more curious to try out non-Indian cuisines. People with exposure to global cuisines would love to have the “world on their plate”.

I love Italian, Chinese and Thai cuisines but I just cannot eat them on a daily basis. I do make pasta, pizza and noodles at home but occasionally.

Let’s take a look at a dish like “pasta”. Around 15 years back, not many of us would have even heard of it. Then it became a “luxury” and an “occasional indulgence”. We had access to pasta dishes in gourmet restaurants. But now many of us make it at home on a regular basis. In many urban households, pasta is the standard dinner menu.

Let’s take a moment to understand the market / ecosystem that got created because of this “want” to have pasta on a daily basis. Our kitchen pantry is now stocked up with:
Pasta shells in various shapes and sizes, imported and local brands, made from semolina OR wholewheat OR other grains
Pasta Sauces
Olive oil
Toppings in the form of imported olives
Big blocks of Mozzarella cheese


My blogging effort is not focused on telling my readers, “don’t eat pasta”. Rather, my focus is all about creating awareness on the ingredients of "numerous” packaged foods that go into creating a “pasta” dish at home. The same logic applies to many other non-Indian foods.

To prepare any non-Indian dishes, a range of packaged products are lined up on the supermarket shelves.
Noodles => noodle packs (plain / instant ones), various sauces
Sandwiches => Packaged Bread, mayonnaise, ketchup, jam, cheese spread, cheese slice, chocolate spread
Pizza => Packaged Pizza base, pizza sauce, processed cheese


Eat noodles, but be aware of the maida, salt and other taste enhancers added to the masala
Eat oats, but be conscious of the fact that quick cooking oats has very little fibre
Eat cheese, but be aware of the high sodium and preservatives added to processed cheese


Yes, there might be healthier alternatives such as millet noodles, rolled oats, steel cut oats, farm fresh cheese etc. They aren’t easily available and are quite expensive.

Last but not the least, if you expect me to recommend brands that sell healthier noodles and farm fresh cheese options, sorry.. that ain’t gonna happen. I believe strongly in my principle of “eating local” and I would happily recommend places where you can get good millet based puliogare

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