The Unavoidable Indian Food Accompaniments, Indian’s penchant and enchantment for food identify no boundaries of regions, places, or even cuisines. Food for us is a blend of spices, herbs, and a ton of aroma. Though Indian food is already loaded with affluent textures and flavors, we still tend to add to the jumble of delectableness with desi accompaniments.
We truly deem that in Indian cuisine, accompaniments to a dish elevate a fine meal into an appetizing one. The sort that merits tags like ‘mouth-watering’ or ‘sumptuous’. The accompaniments typically harmonize the central dish by adding a distinction of flavors (sweetness to temper the spiciness), building on textures (like crunchiness), or providing divergent sensations (cooling to neutralize heat).
A thali is a wonderful illustration of how accompaniments are impeccably integrated into a meal. Thali is the term for ‘plate’ in Hindi and encloses abundant dishes compartmentalized in katoris (round steel bowls). Talking about a thali, everything from your entree to your dessert is dished up on a single plate. It is an exhilarating experience that allures your olfactory senses (predominantly those of sight and smell) and arouses the appetite even before you take your foremost bite.
Today let’s see the sights of a handful of these effortless and yummy accompaniments.
Pickle– Aren’t you in love with the irresistible aachar? One for each season, bottle goodness, aachar is what crafts the Indian food what it is.
Just like chocolate encompass a multitude of variations and combinations, so too does pickles. There is no restraint with pickles and you can pickle just about anything. They contain a long shelf life as they preserve the fruit or vegetable enclosed within. Pickles include chunks of fruit or vegetable and go magnificently with rice and dal, a simple vegetarian pilaf, or amid stuffed parathas. Candidly speaking, they can go with everything.
Chutney– In India, we refer to two sorts of chutneys; the initial is the sweet/sour kind we get in bottles and coalesce delightfully with whichever meal – a full-blown thali or a simple sandwich. The second sort of chutney is trendy in south Indian cuisine – they can be prepared from a blend of fresh ingredients such as coconut and tomato or mint and coriander. They are dished up alongside exemplary south Indian dishes like dosa, idli, and vadas. Indeed, from mango chutney to apple chutney, these gooey enchantments can be salty or tangy but trust us, they are mouth-watering as hell.
Raita– This is a wonderful accompaniment to biryanis and pilafs. As it is prepared from curd, it helps to scratch down the sharp taste of the dish it accompanies but furthermore acts as a souring agent, adding a sensation of tartness. Raita can be made with fragrant ground spices such as cumin, chaat masala, and chilli, with fresh herbs like mint, coriander, and dill, or could be made heavier with fresh elements like onions, tomatoes, and cucumber.
Papad– Papad can be had as is or accompanied with toppings. From masala papad to plain delights, they pair up unsurpassed with dal and rice.
These crispy cracker-like discs are prepared with lentil flours such as chickpea or black gram flour. Customarily they are deep-fried but could be roasted on an open flame also. Try crushing the papad over rice and curry on nights where you haven’t already devoured the papad as an entree.
Pakora– Insert these little deep-fried packets of vegetables (although it can also be fish/chicken) into a simple dal or kadhi for that superfluous facet of crunch or simply serve them with Chai for a morning or evening snack.
Namkeen-Did you ever try dal and rice by putting namkeen to jazz up your meal? The crispy namkeen is a must for many sorts of cuisines from Rajathani to Mumbaiya. But boy they taste splendid.
Indeed, there might be many questions by now, mainly: Are multiple crunchy items and dips & sauces actually indispensable at every meal?
Ultimately it is to be realized that yes, they are, at least in Indian cuisine, where condiments are the eventual customization tool: With every nibble you can tempt more sweetness, more heat, or more sour to the party, creating every bite of that lamb stew in front of you into a totally different experience.