Nonetheless, Singaporean Indian food does not compromise on the taste that Indian food is known for all over the globe. Spices, curries and herbs continue being an essential part of Singaporean-Indian food. Vital Indian food elements are retained even in the 'hybrid' Indian-Singaporean cuisine. Among the most popular Singaporean-Indian dishes are the Fish Head Curry, Indian Rojak, Murtabak, Nasi Biryani, and Indian Mee Goreng. So what makes Singaporean-Indian food so lip-smacking? Well, there is science behind it.
The science behind mouth-watering Singaporean-Indian food
Singaporean-Indian food is relished by Indians as well as Singaporeans despite its mouth-burning spices because these dishes do not have many overlapping flavours. The aromatic cuisine, which titillates your taste buds, also serves as a visual treat with the right sprinkling of colours. However, care is taken to ensure that the food does not include a lot of similar flavours. So the idea is to add several distinct flavours, instead of complimentary ones. How did we get to the conclusion? Based on the following research.
A couple of researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology studied about 2500 Indian dishes listed on a popular Indian food website. Unlike food available in the West, where ingredients sharing common flavours are put together, Indian food (along with few other South Asian cuisines) focuses on complex food pairings ensuring that each ingredient lends a different flavour to the food. As per the research, the subtle differences at the very molecular-level sets Indian-Singaporean cuisine apart from other cuisines in the world.
Most cuisines throughout the world rely on flavour-sharing food ingredients. However, the technique is slightly different in India, Singapore and few other Asian nations, where the focus is on ensuring that the flavours do not overlap. Think about it – ingredients like butter, bread and milk are widely used in Western cuisines. However, all the three share similarities in the flavour they impart in any dish.
Indian-Singaporean food on the other hand, includes a lot of cardamom, garam masala
, cayenne and tamarind, all of which lend a distinct flavour to the dish. The cuisine also includes several ingredients, which do not have many similar tasting variables. Say cayenne, for example. You are unlikely to add another ingredient in an Indian-Singaporean dish sharing flavours similar to that of cayenne.
So the next time you have any steaming hot Indian-Singaporean dish on your plate, take the time to recognise and savour all the flavours that make the cuisine so appetising.
The Singaporean Indian food has its roots back in India, mostly inspired by Tamil cuisine, which is popular among Indians in Singapore. However, North Indian food is also slowly making a mark in the Indian food scene of the island nation. Singaporean Indian food may not exactly resemble the authentic Indian food because it has been modified over the years based on locally sourced ingredients. The changing food taste of expat Indians as well as locals, is another factor responsible for the variation in Indian food available in Singapore.