Indian food is loved across the world for its curries, mouth-watering aromas and appetizing mix of spices. But what makes Indian food exquisite and so damn tasty at all times? And scientists have now found the answers to this question.
Researchers Anupam Jaina, Rakhi N Kb, and Ganesh Bagler from the Indian Institute for Technology (Jodhpur) have decoded the mystery by analyzing several thousand recipes from a popular online recipe site called TarlaDalal.com.
They analysed each of the recipe ingredient by ingredient, and compared how often and heavily those ingredients influenced the flavor.
“We study food pairing in recipes of Indian cuisine to show that, in contrast to positive food pairing reported in some Western cuisines, Indian cuisine has a strong signature of negative food pairing,” the researchers noted. “[The] more the extent of flavor-sharing between any two ingredients, [the] lesser their co-occurrence.”
The researchers said that food tastes better when you use a combination of ingredients that don’t share the same qualities.
The research explains further that while many Western cuisines attempt to pair ingredients that share “flavor compounds”, the signature of Indian food is that it combines ingredients that don’t share these qualities at all.
“Each of the spices is uniquely placed in its recipe to shape the flavor-sharing pattern with [the] rest of the ingredients, and is sensitive to replacement even with other spices.”