Mughal invasion, colonization and seamless borders at a time in history have found the entire Indian subcontinent comprising India, Pakistan and Bangladesh sharing similarities in their cuisine. Skip through the pages of 5,000 years of history of the Indian subcontinent and you are bound to find diverse flavours dominating regional food, making this entire platter burst with flavours. For instance, vegetables, grains, fruits, dairy products, meat and eggs mixed with spices predominantly ruled the food here until people at large started embracing Buddhism and vegetarianism. In the middle ages, travellers who set up several dynasties in northern India brought along with them teas and spices such as saffron. Then came the British, French, Portuguese and other colonizers who introduced newer cooking methods and foods, thus giving rise to a rich cuisine in the Indian subcontinent.
Well, food from the Indian subcontinent soon started going places and found itself food lovers from across the world. One city that has embraced food from the Indian subcontinent in a big way is London. Home to some of the best Indian restaurants in the world, London’s food savourers have always enjoyed the Indian style of spicing up food. There is that mild flavour of cinnamon mingling with a strong pepper taste, and there is that lingering smell of cardamom in that milk sweet dish coloured by saffron.
When looking for famous restaurants in London, ensure you savour dishes from various parts of the Indian subcontinent. While some are popular for their authentic biryanis and kebabs that are cooked in typical mughlai and nawabi styles, there are others that serve those large plates filled with a wide variety of Rajasthani food. There are some that specialize in dishing up those ah-so-popular crunchy Dosas of south India, and there are some others that transport you straight towards the eastern part of the subcontinent with their authentic Bangladeshi food.
One great place that dishes up food from across the Indian subcontinent is Nazrul. The oldest restaurant in London’s famous eat street, Brick Lane, Nazrul has, over a period of time, added its own twist to several dishes. For instance, you might have savoured the ever-popular and much-loved Indian bread called Poori. But have you ever had a bite of prawn poori? If twists and tricks that make Indian food taste all the more interesting suits you, then Nazrul’s own specialities are a must try.
Indian food is not just about breads, rice and aromatic curries. There are a variety of sizzling grills that include vegetables and meats gently spiced with sauces and herbs, and roasted on coal grills to give them that ancient smoky flavour. Sweetmeats are an integral part of Indian food. From milky sweets called kheer to sweet cakes called barfis, rasagollas soaked in sugar syrup to the traditional Indian ice-cream called kulfi, sweets from the Indian subcontinent are an absolute treat to the taste buds. Often flavoured with green cardamom and saffron, and served with an assortment of dry fruits, Indian sweets offer that rich, creamy end to every meal.