Cut the Naan-Sense!

Bhewala came to be out of a desire to share traditional Indian food with the masses. We knew that in doing this, we would need to address some popular misconceptions about Indian food and its ingredients.

The first things most people think of when the hear Indian Food is Curry and Its too spicy. Lets start with the number one misconception regarding Indain Cuisine: CURRY!!

What is “curry powder” and does all Indian food contain it?

‘Curry’ is synonymous with Indian food and ‘curry powder’ is thought of as its key ingredient. This could not be further from the truth! All Indian food does not contain curry powder. The term “curry,” when used by Indians, refers to vegetables or meat cooked in varying spices, not to a generic spice or food.  Indian food is as varied by region as American or other cuisines. Curry powder, is actually a commercially prepared mixture of spices, and largely a Western notion, dating to the 18th century.

Curry is a word that was invented by the British to describe a dish that is made with a blend of several spices. This all-important powder is actually a mix of spices collectively known as Garam masala. (Which is Made Freshly at Bhelwala) It is added to some dishes along with other spices to enhance their flavor and aroma. While the basic ingredients used are the mostly the same in Garam Masala, each household has its own proportions so that the end result will often differ from home to home. The better the quality of the ingredients, the tastier the garam masala and the resulting dish in which it is used.

Lets get a little more in depth about the meaning and variations of curry. The common feature is the incorporation of spices or herbs, sometimes including a fresh or dried hot chili which provides the dish with some heat. (Chilies are removed from all of the dishes at Bhelwala) Curries may be “wet” or “dry”. Wet curries contain significant amounts of sauce or gravy based in yoghurt, coconut milk, legume purée (dal), or stock. Curry sometimes could include leaves from the curry tree but most curries do not include this ingredient

Is Indian food always hot and spicy?

While spices are used in Indian cooking, they are not what makes food spicy. As for chilies (which add the heat to a dish), they are a matter of preference and can be easily omitted when cooking most foods.

Here at Bhelwala, chilies are removed from all of the main dishes and sauces. For those that enjoy some burn, we have a few chutneys that will heat up your meal for you!

Most Indian cooking calls for the use of chilies of some kind – dry red chilies, fresh green chilies, red chili powder. Each type of chili has a different potency, heat and purpose.

In fact, many Indian recipes are not hot at all.

All Indian food is fattening and unhealthy?

Many spices used in Indian cuisine are acclaimed worldwide for their health benefits. Additionally, most Indian dishes use no oil and are prepared by boiling, grilling, roasting and/or steaming  ingredients.

Medicinal, healing spices like turmeric, ginger, garlic, green chillies plus many more are among the most commonly used ingredients in Indian cooking. That’s eating your medicine for you! Link to Health Benefits Page

Most good Indian cooks will advocate using fresh produce and preparing a dish from scratch. This is the traditional way and though it may seem time-consuming, it means you spare your body the effects of the preservatives that are loaded into pre-packaged, pre-prepared foods.

Almost all of the menu items at Bhelwala are prepared from scratch daily from the freshest ingredients. That is our commitment to you!

So, don’t listen to what other people think they know about Indian food. Dive into the amazing world of Indian Cuisine and discover the flavor for yourself. It is a journey you will never regret!