There’s a reason nothing else will satisfy your craving for some quality Indian food.
Researchers at the Indian Institute for Technology in Jodhpur crunched data from 2,500 Indian dishes (even though we could have told them for the price of a free meal) to uncover what makes Indian food so damn delicious.
Each dish was broken down to its ingredients, then to the molecular level, as researchers compared how often and to what degree the ingredients shared flavour compounds. Even two distinctively different ingredients – like chocolate and blue cheese – can share the same flavour compounds.
Each of the 2,500 recipes relied on a total of 200 ingredients. When researchers examined the overlapping flavour compounds in the single dishes, they discovered that – in contrast to Western cuisine – there wasn’t actually that much overlap at all.
In Indian dishes, each ingredient brings a distinctly different flavour. The less overlap in molecular flavour compounds of each ingredient, the more often it appears in an Indian dish. Spices often indicate dishes with little chemical similarities.
In the Western World, on the other hand, much of our cuisine – rich with milk, butter, bread, and rice – involves ingredients with matching flavour compounds.
We’re no culinary masters ourselves, but we think our friends on the other side of the world may be on to something.