Indian tonight?

Butter Chicken or Chicken Tikka Masala for dinner?

I was only truly exposed to Indian food when I came to live to New Zealand over a decade ago.  Surprisingly enough the Indian food here is totally different to Indian food back home in Malaysia or Singapore.

Type in ‘Indian food’ or ‘Chicken Masala’ or any of the Indian cuisine on google and a whole array of colorful and exotic dishes appear before your eyes.  It’s truly amazing the large variety of dishes have found numerous fans on an international scale, as Indian restaurants spread at an incredible rate, with an enormous success in every possible culture and in every possible corner of the World.

The Indian cuisine is very diverse because of the four different main regional styles: the North Indian cuisine (the regions Benaras, Kashmir, Mughlai, Punjab and Rajasthan), the South Indian cuisine (regions Andhra, Kannada, Kerala and Tamil), East Indian cuisine (regions Assamese and Bengali) and Western Indian cuisine (regions Gujarat, Maharashtrian and Malwani). The northern part of India is mostly rural, although it contains large cities such as Delphi or Calcutta, thus its cuisine is more agricultural than anything, wheat being a primary constituent of this region’s dishes. Southern regions however tend to be more exotic, more spicy in their dishes and rice is a constant ingredient in their food. To give the taste of their main dishes, North Indians use onions and coriander whilst southerners use a more exotic coconut base for their dishes.

When speaking to local Indians, most believe that the Indian food we find here in New Zealand has very much been customized to the kiwi taste buds.  Although I enjoy Indian food, I get that kind of sickie feeling after too much of them as almost all recipes are extremely rich and creamy unlike Southern Indian food we find in Malaysia and Singapore. Mamak stalls selling authentic Indian food, the famous banana leaf rice with an assortment of pickles, vegetables and papadum is something I do not mind eating more often than those creamy Indian cuisine we find here.

Butter chicken - Image credit Kathie Quinn Davies

Butter chicken – Image credit Kathie Quinn Davies

Chicken Tikka Masala - Image credit

Chicken Tikka Masala – Image credit

Beef Vindaloo - Image credit Mehfil Indian Restaurant

Beef Vindaloo – Image credit Mehfil Indian Restaurant

Lamb madras - Image credit

Lamb madras – Image credit

Lamb Saagwala - Image credit

Lamb Saagwala – Image credit

Nasi (Rice) Briyani - Image credit Malaysia Truly Asia

Nasi (Rice) Briyani – Image credit Malaysia Truly Asia

Indian banana leaf rice - Image credit

Indian banana leaf rice – Image credit

Indian-Chicken-Tonight-Meal-Base-Butter-Chicken-Liteindian tonight

After all these, I cannot resist and am going Indian Tonight.

Are you a fan of Indian Cuisine?  Butter or Garlic Naan?

Related articles
India Cuisine from Wikipedia
More about Banana Leaf Rice from Wikipedia
More about Tikka Masala from
Food in Malaysia Truly Asia
What is a ‘mamak stall’?


9 thoughts on “Indian tonight?

  1. You are so right. Indian food in Australia is creamy too, especially the sauces, and lack that zing of Indian food in Malaysia and Singapore. In Melbourne, not many places serve prata and sugar 😦

    • Yes Indian in Aussie are almost same as those we have here. After this post, I cooked Beef Saagwala last night (my first try). Was a success and I didn’t use any cream so was quite pleased with it. 🙂

  2. I really do like some Indian dishes but not more than once a year. As you said, many are very rich and creamy -> I have the feeling that someones needs to roll me out of the restaurant because I am so stuffed 🙂

  3. I think the Indian dishes in Australia and NZ are similar to the Anglo-Indian cuisine, which is a distinct cuisine of the Anglo-Indian community in both the UK and India. Some Anglo-Indian dishes derive from traditional British cuisine and modified by the addition of Indian-style spices, such as cumin and red chillies. Many dishes were adapted during the British Raj in India, some of which later became fashionable in Britain. One of my favourites is Chicken tikka masala, which may have originated by accident with subsequent improvisations. Given its notable absence from the Indian sub-continent, it seems most likely to have been a UK invention.

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