5 Myths About Indian Cuisine You Need to Know

Authentic Indian cuisine is delicious and packed with an array of flavours. The meat is marinated in an extensive selection of tongue tingling spices and there’s a huge variety of main and side dishes to choose from. While many people think they understand good Indian food, there are many myths doing the rounds. So let’s separate fact from fiction and find out the truth about this popular cuisine. 

Myth 1: All Indian Food is Greasy and Fattening

With Indian food being a popular takeaway option in the UK, it’s easy to think of it as a fattening meal or something you should only consume as a ‘treat.’ But this isn’t always the case. Indian food is extremely diverse and there really is something for everyone, whether you’re counting calories or not. While dishes with cream and ghee may not be so good for the waistline, there are plenty of other choices loaded with vegetables, legumes and spices all known for their health benefits. Indeed, dishes such as dhal and roti (lentils and wholemeal flatbreads) are a staple of the Phjabi (North Indian) diet and are extremely good for you. 

Myth 2: All Indian Food is Super Spicy 

If you’ve only ever tasted a vindaloo or jalfrezi, you might think that all Indian food is spicy. But dishes such as butter chicken, paneer makhani, chicken korma, chicken tikka, vegetable curry and biryani don’t have to be hot. In fact, these popular delights are fairly mild and perfect for anyone who can’t take the heat. You can also order boiled rice, saag aloo, naan breads and other side dishes that will help tone down the heat of a spicier meal.

Myth 3: The Word ‘Saag’ Doesn’t Just Mean Spinach 

Many people believe that the word ‘saag’ means ‘spinach’. But this isn’t true. Saag refers to common leafy green vegetables found in the Indian subcontinent and can be used to describe spinach, fenugreek, mustard greens, collard greens and dill to name but a few. When Indians arrived in the UK looking for mustard leaves or ‘saag’, they could only find spinach. And so ‘saag’ became a term widely associated with this leafy green.

Myth 4: Indian Food is the Same Across India 

Wrong! India is a huge country with plenty of culinary diversity. It all depends on the region. As northern India is a landlocked area well-known for growing crops, the food is mainly plant based and the heat level is low. In South India, you’ll find more fish and seafood dishes in coastal areas and the spice level tends to be much higher. Coconut is also widely used in all its forms – coconut water, milk, cream, oil and fresh coconut. 

Myth 5: Indian Food is Time Consuming to Prepare 

Some Indian food is time consuming to prepare. But there are many things you can do to speed up the process. For example, marinating fresh meat in herbs, spices and yoghurt overnight will guarantee maximum flavour, even if you make a quick sauce the following day. You can even use pre-packaged spice blends to make life even easier.

If you’re looking for ‘authentic Indian cuisine near me’ don’t miss Little India. Nestled in the heart of Kensington, this restaurant serves a range of freshly cooked dishes.