The Outdoors Blog

Masala, Dal, and Curry: Oh My!

September 5, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

By Phin Upham

If you’re a lover of Indian food like I am, then you have to go to India to try the real thing! The food in India surpasses all of the Indian restaurants outside of India.

Indian cuisine is incredibly eclectic and varies by region. Northern and southern India offer very different dishes and style of cooking. However, there are some basic staples in the Indian diet including rice, lentils, and beans. Certain regions don’t eat specific meats that they view as unclean or for religious reasons. Clarified butter, known as ghee, is also typically used throughout the country. Of course when you talk of Indian food, you have to talk about the spices!

It’s no secret that Indian food can be very spicy. Some foreigners aren’t a fan of spice. There are some spices that are in virtually every single Indian dish, including cumin, turmeric, ginger, coriander, and garlic. Saffron, nutmeg, and cinnamon are traditionally used in the sweeter dishes. Yummy!

The unique thing about Indian food as compared to many other cuisines is that it not only offers intense flavors, but a whole culinary experience. It’s customary to eat with your hands and eat while sitting on the floor. Indian food is so much more than the spices, it’s also an exciting experience.

I was lucky to eat my favorite dish while there–homemade chicken biryani. Biryani is one of the most delicious Indian dishes. I highly recommend it! It’s a rice dish that’s typically made with ghee, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaves, ginger, onion and garlic. However, there are many variations to this dish. It can be made vegetarian or with various meats.

Other favorites include a lentil stew known as dal and tikka masala which is most popular in the northern state of Punjab. I wasn’t disappointed by any of the Indian dishes I tried.

Phin Upham About the Author: Phin Upham is an investor at a family office/ hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media & Technology group. You may contact Phin on his Phin Upham website or Facebook page.

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