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INDIJSKA KUHINJA

Indijska kuhinja je zelo široka, saj pojem zaobjema mnogo regionalnih kuhinj. Zaradi raznovrstnosti tipov prsti in podnebij se te kuhinje med seboj znatno razlikujejo. Vsaka uporablja tiste začimbe, zelišča, zelenjavo in sadje, ki se gojijo lokalno.

Na indijsko hrano imata, poleg naravnih dejavnikov, zelo velik vpliv tudi vera in kultura. Med njimi sta imela najvidnejšo vlogo pri razvoju indijske kuhinje hinduizem in džainizem. Eno izmed njunih glavnih načel oz. naukov je vegetarijanstvo, ki je v Indiji običajno. Na nekatere kuhinje severnih predelov Indije je vplivala tudi arabska kultura.

Osnovnsa živila indijske kuhinje so tako imenovno biserno proso (bajra), riž, moka iz polnozrnate moke (atta) in različne vrste leče, med katerimi najbolj razširjene so rdeča leča (masoor), golobji grah (toor), črni gram (urad) in fižol mungo (moong). Leča se lahko uporablja cela, oluščena ali razprta. 

Veliko indijskih jedi se pripravlja na rastlinskem olju. Na severu in zahodu indije je razširjena uporaba arašidovega olja, na vzhodu je običajna uporaba gorčičnega olja, vzdolž zahodne obale se uporablja kokosovo olje (še posebaj v Kerali), medtem ko na jugu prisegajo na sezamovo olje. Zadnja desetletja beležijo porast uporabe sončničnega in sojinega olja. Tudi hidrogenizirano rastlinsko olje, poznano kot Vanaspati ghee, je popularno. Uporaba, na maslu osnovanega, ghee-ja oziroma desi ghee-ja je pogosta, vendar ne v tolikšni meri kot nekoč.

Najpomembnejše in najpogosteje uporabljene začimbe v indijski kuhinji so čili  (mirch), semena črne gorčice (sarso), kardamom (elaichi), kumin (jeera), turmerik (haldi), asafoetida (hing), ingver (adrak) in česen (lehsun).

Zelo priljubljena mešanica začimb je garam masala, ki običajno vsebuje pet ali več suhih začimb, med katerimi so neizogine kardamom, cimet in nageljnove žbice. Vsaka kulinarična regija ima svojo garam masalo, prav tako ima lahko svojo mešanico posamični kuharski mojster. Čeprav sladka, je goda masala primerljiva začimbna mešanica, priljubljena predvsem v zahodni indijski državi Maharashtra.

Nekateri pogosto uporabljeni aromatični listi so tejpaf, koriander, grško seno in meta. Karijevi listi in korenine so običajni v gujaratski in južnoindijski kuhinji. Za sladke jedi se navadno uporabljajo kardamom, žafran, rožna voda, muškatni orešček in vrtnični srčki.

 

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