India

“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”

M.H Gandhi (1869-1948)

Check out our previous blog in the History Around the Globe Series – Sparta!

By: Mr J.Z.M. Tan

Instead of boring you with a long history lesson, I thought I’d take this article as an opportunity to introduce some lovely Indian food. As they say, ‘history is a mystery, but food is good‘.

History

The continent of India was settled more than 55,000 years ago, and it’s had a very lively ancient history. I don’t want to ramble on too much about India’s ancient history, but do feel free to check that out if that interests you.

India Gate, an Indian war memorial. (Credit: flickr)

India – as we know it today – was founded in 1947 after establishing independence from the British Empire. You might know a famous guy from India called Gandhi. He’s cool (with an even cooler mustache). He fought for freedom and independence through non-violent means. Again, cool guy.

Gandhi. Cool guy. (Credit: concrete playground)

…and I’m getting hungry, so let’s talk about food!

Indian Food

If I had to recommend 3 dishes I would recommend…

Roti

Yeah, can’t go wrong with this. Fluffy on the inside (much like a croissant), crispy on the outside, this Indian bread features not only in Indian, but also Malaysian and Singaporean cuisine. It will usually come with vegetable (think: chickpeas and lentils) or chicken curry. Good for dipping into and eating. Much better than those chicken nuggets they offer these days!

Roti. Yum. (Credit: wikimedia commons)

Southern Indian Cuisine

Many Indian foods in Anglicised countries are North Indian food – think kormas, butter chickens, beef and chicken curries…but there’s so much more when it comes to food!

Southern Indian Cuisine, just like Southern fried chicken, is made with love, and it IS finger licking good. You eat it with your hands, lol.

Take, for example, this Tamil Nadu non-vegetarian meal. If you ever go to a Southern Indian restaurant, the chef will usually put the various curries and pastes onto a coconut leaf…then you eat with your hands! Definitely something to try out.

Tamil Nadu non-vegetarian meal. (Credit: Wikipedia)

Butter Chicken

Yeah, can’t go wrong with this. Nice and creamy with a bit of acidity from the added tomatoes, butter chicken is a nice ‘Indian’ dish (widely accessible in most countries). Plus they have the benefit of being in every frozen food aisle.

Yum. (Credit: Woolworths)

Check out Bollywood! Good actors, great music, and marvellous special effects! I haven’t ever watched Bollywood, so if you haven’t too, let’s watch it together!

Keen to go on exchange to India?

Want to know more about the history of India and its other countless dynasties by applying for exchange to a Indian partner university? Check out UNSW’s list of partner universities spanning across India!

Keep an eye out for future interviews with India exchange returnees for more interesting experiences around the region!

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