What Are Authentic Indian Recipes And Where To Find Them
The internet has transformed India, just like rest of the world. There was once a time when it was hard to find Indian recipes in other countries. Now a days it has become easier to find Indian recipes online and prepare them anywhere in the world. However, the question that bothers many is how do they find out that the recipe they are looking at is an authentic Indian recipe? What confuses them is that each website is telling the same recipe with different ingredients. Which one of them is authentic?
Before deciding the authenticity of Indian recipes on the web, perhaps we should first talk about authenticity itself. In terms of cooking, what recipes are called authentic?
To some experts an authentic recipe is the one that is presented just like the natives prepared it. To them it is very important to follow each and every ingredient the same way as it is used at the place of origin of that particular recipe. So basically it is about how some dish or food is prepared at its place of origin. The authentic recipe strictly follows the ingredients and method almost religiously.
Now if this is how we judge the authenticity of a recipe, then it would become almost impossible to find any authentic Indian recipes. India is world’s second most populous country after China. It has a population of 1.13 Billion people. These people belong to different cultures, religions, traditions and speak different languages. Each Indian culture borrows heavily from other Indian cultures and ethnicities they are living with. They share a common country, many common customs, traditions, and they also share their recipes with each other. Each cultural group adds their own flavors to what was supposed to be the original authentic recipe.
Some traditional Indian recipes are around for centuries, and these recipes were shared between different regions of India. People of each region and cultural background added their own flavors to that recipe, evolving it into something more exotic. Eventually, it becomes impossible to trace back a recipe to the source of its origin and follow the traditional recipe. Even if you succeed to find out the original source of the recipe, most likely you will find it a lot different than how it is currently done in India.
I believe that a perfect authentic recipe is the one that is somewhat closer to the original but has added flavors. In fact many flavors that were added to these dishes by people of different cultures and ethnicities add much more value to the authentic recipe. Today’s Indian recipes show the cultural diversity of India. There are many ways to prepare each authentic Indian recipe. The most common of all recipes in India are prepared differently in each region and each regional flavor is unique and I don’t think there is any harm in accepting the authenticity of these regional flavors.
Anne is an Indian cooking expert and has published books on Indian recipes. She currently lives with her husband and two daughters.