5 Interesting Facts About India's Culinary History You Probably Didn't Know

Shipra Bhansali , 09 Jul 2014

1. India gave the world Gin & Tonic –
Gin and Tonic
Gin and Tonic

What gives Tonic its unique bittersweet taste is the addition of Quinine to carbonated water. The British loved their Gin and brought it along with them during the Raj but added a little quinine tonic to their cocktail hour libation as a Malaria preventative and thus was born the G&T.

2. We like our intoxicants and we have our own versions of pot brownies –
Pakoras
Pakoras

Bhang Thandais are de rigueur at Holi parties and Bhang cookies can be fun but we’ve got the savouries covered too. The Bhang Pakoda – Crunchy pakoras with Bhang leaves powdered bhang seeds mixed right in!

3. Bhoot Jholokia Is Ours!
Chilis
Chilis

While we’re the largest manufacturers of chili peppers in the world now, we hadn’t ever tasted one before the 15th century when the Portuguese brought some along with them. Indian food has never been the same! We even produce the Bhoot Jholokia, while not the hottest, certainly the most talked about chili pepper in the world!

4. Holy Cow!
shake shack
shake shack

Did you know that many Hindus in Kerala don’t consider beef taboo? Beef Chilli with Malabar Parontha is one of Kerala’s most popular street foods. Also, as a nation, we might not be the biggest consumers of beef here but we’re one of the biggest exporters of it!

5. Tea became a part of our mornings, our monsoons and our lives as the result of a trade war!
Chai Box
Chai Box

The British encouraged Europeans to grow tea in India to kick China’s ass. We only started having endless cups of chai a day with biscuit and pakoras around the 1950s when the India Tea Board successfully advertised the hell out of it.

As an ode to our nation’s great love of tea, Eatopia put together a box of beautiful, handcrafted teas and some delicious cookies from fantastic old bakeries around Bombay. You can get your Chai Box here.

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