In recent years, Indian cuisine has gained wide popularity in the United States. Its flavors, textures, aroma and cooking techniques have excited and intrigued the American population. With Indian restaurants common in most cities and towns across the country, the exotic and authentic flavors found in curries and tandoori - cooked dishes are readily available.
Indian dishes are characteristically high in nutrient-rich ingredients like pulses, legumes and fresh vegetables. Furthermore, the plentiful consumption of carbohydrates, protein and fiber is customary in an Indian diet.
The cooking methods used in Indian cuisine enhance food quality and reduce oil usage. For example, both steaming and roasting are popular cooking techniques: Steaming is the method of choice used in most curries. Vegetables, legumes, and/or meats are added to a tempered mixture of herbs and spices. Then, water is added to the pot or skillet, the pot is covered, and the ingredients are left to cook in the steam.
In the process of roasting, commonly referred to as tandoori cooking in Indian culture, marinated meats, chicken, and fish are first placed on skewers and then are placed in a tandoor - a hug clay oven that is customarily set in the ground and heated with charcoal. The tandoor, with its unique inner concave walls, is also used to cook a variety of flatbreads like naan, paratha and onion kulcha.