The six tastes are widely used in almost every dish and can be found consistently throughout the country. Let us explore more about these six tastes and how they impact your Indian dining experience.
Indian cuisine is known for its diverse range of dishes, which can be broadly classified into three broad categories: vegetarian, non-vegetarian, and lentil-based. Indian food is also famous for its inherent use of spices. However, not many know that there are six different tastes in Indian food. These six tastes are widely used in almost every dish and can be found consistently throughout the country. Let us explore more about these six tastes and how they impact your Indian dining experience.
The six tastes of Indian cuisine
Indian cuisine is said to consist of six basic tastes, known as Rasas:
The fundamental principle of Ayurveda is that we should balance the six tastes in order to guarantee satisfaction while eating. Five elements, including our own bodies, make up everything in the universe, and they are air, earth, water, fire, and ether. The metaphysical explanation for this is that we acknowledge that there are five elements that form everything in the universe.
Each of the six tastes is a combination of two of these five elements. Whenever you eat some of each taste, your body receives an equal amount of the five elements required to stay healthy. Your mind remains healthy once your body is healthy. Indian cuisine emphasizes the balancing of these six tastes.
We start by choosing our main ingredient. Is it squash or grain? It is very sweet.
What adds the pungent taste?
The pungent taste is the first taste that we will be discussing. Ginger, garlic, red chilies, and black pepper are the primary ingredients responsible for imparting this flavor to your dishes. However, these are not the only flavors available. Pungent food is very beneficial for your health as it helps with digestion. Pungent dishes are best enjoyed in the winter and go well with any type of roti.Pungent foods are best avoided during summers, especially during the months of April and May, as they might make you sweat even without moving.
What’s behind the sweet taste?
Next on our list is the sweet taste. The main ingredient that is responsible for bringing this taste to your dishes is sugar. Other ingredients that can add a sweet taste to your dishes are milk, jaggery, dates, etc. Sweet food is usually enjoyed after meals or during festivals and celebrations. The sweet taste is known to have health benefits as well. It helps boost your immunity and is also known to be effective against depression. So, the next time you want to indulge in some Indian cuisine, do not forget to savor some yummy desserts too.
What gives it its astringent taste?
The astringent taste is very commonly found in Indian dishes such as Dal Tadka and many other vegetarian dishes. The ingredients that are responsible for bringing the astringent taste to your dish are tamarind, pomegranate, tomato, etc. The astringent taste is best enjoyed with hot desserts such as kheer and payasam. Astringent dishes can be best enjoyed in all three seasons. Astringent dishes, however, may not be suitable for summer due to the amount of chili used. The astringent taste is known to be beneficial for your health as well. It helps in keeping away diseases and infections.
What leaves a bitter taste in our mouth?
Bitter dishes are best enjoyed with hot beverages such as green tea and coffee. Bitter dishes are good to have in the summer season and are best avoided during the monsoon season as they might make you feel heavy. The bitter taste is most commonly associated with health benefits. It helps reduce the risk of heart disease and is also known to be effective against diabetes.
Who’s responsible for a sour taste?
Sour dishes are very commonly enjoyed in the southern parts of India. The main ingredients that are responsible for bringing this taste to your dishes are tamarind, dates, etc. Sour dishes are best enjoyed with desserts such as payasam. Sour dishes are best enjoyed in the summer. It is best to avoid sour dishes during the monsoon season as they might make you feel heavy. It is believed that the sour taste has health benefits as well. The sour taste is known to enhance your overall immunity.
What gives food a salty taste?
The salty taste is one of the most common tastes that you will find in Indian food. The ingredients that are responsible for bringing this taste to your dishes are mostly Indian spices, such as the red chilli powder, the turmeric powder, etc. The salty taste is best enjoyed during all three seasons. The salty taste is known to be beneficial for your health as well. It helps prevent diseases and infections.
What gives food its spicy taste?
Finally, there is the spicy flavor. The main ingredients that are responsible for bringing this taste to your dishes are the Indian spices. Spicy dishes are best enjoyed with hot beverages such as green tea and coffee. Spicy dishes are enjoyed throughout the year. The spicy taste is known to have health benefits as well. It helps raise your metabolism and is also known to be effective against high blood pressure.
(Text Courtesy: Slurrp)