1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

How different is authentic Indian food to the food we get in Indian restaraunts?

Discussion in 'Food & Drinks' started by lisasian86, Jun 2, 2016.

  1. lisasian86

    lisasian86 New Member

    I love getting Indian takeaway and going to Indian restaraunts here in the UK, the curries are so full of flavour and I really like naan breads and pickles and pretty much anything with spinach in it! I was just wondering how authentic Indian food made in India differs to the food we get here? I've heard that meat isn't used as often in India which is fine for me because I tend to prefer vegetable curries anyway. Are the flavours very different?

  2. OursIsTheFury

    OursIsTheFury Member

    I think it depends if the owner is Indian or had some experience cooking in India. I have seen lots of Indian themed places where the people running it have no idea what to do, and just base it on movies and pictures online. The food is just made to look kinda foreign, but the taste isn't that great. Maybe they do it because people (the locals) might not find Indian food appealing, as it is an acquired taste, so they modify it to make it closer to the culture of the country they are in?

  3. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    I guess some of the major differences are:
    • When it comes to curries: Most Indian foods in the UK and US use curry powders only. When you taste authentic Indian food, there's a variety of flavours and aroma simply because they use more spices, not just curry powder.
    • Addition of other ingredients: My favourite Palak Paneer has mostly vegetables and cheese in it. But the UK and US version of it adds some cream to it. Lamb Vindaloo in the US adds some potatoes to the recipe, which you won't find in the Indian version.
    • Use of other ingredients: The famous Samosas have peas, potatoes and onions inside it. But in other countries, these are replaced by meat, which isn't authentic to the Indian version.
    • Some meals aren't Indian at all: Chicken Tikka Masala is an example of this, it's not an authentic Indian food.

  4. Norjak71

    Norjak71 New Member

    Like anywhere, it's never quite the same. If you get a chance to taste real authentic Indian food you will immediately notice the difference and it is well worth it!
  5. Selena24

    Selena24 New Member

    Like yourself, I am also a big fan of takeaway Indian food. According to some of my Indian friends, a lot less MSG is used in the authentic Indian dishes you would find in India. Just like some of the previous posters have mentioned, most of the spices in Indian restaurants are used in powdered form. Whereas in India, spices like Fenugreek leaves are used in whole form.

    There are also dishes that don't receive much exposure in Western nations. An example of such a dish would be Chettinad pepper chicken which is native to the Indian city of Chennai.
  6. Normad

    Normad New Member

    To me the flavors are very different. We dine in Indian restaurants all the time when we are at home (South Africa) but when we get to India, the difference in the taste of all our favorite foods is very pronounced. Funny thing though... I seem to prefer the dishes from the restaurants. I think I've just gotten used to those flavors.
  7. Danny Luke

    Danny Luke Member

    It's never quite the same but it's not black and white either. There are definitely restaurants in the United Kingdom that strictly follow the traditional methods in preparing Indian food and some of them are really good in it. And there are those who simply label their dishes Indian food although they can't even come close to the original dishes.
  8. ladydaydream

    ladydaydream New Member

    I think this definitely depends on the owners of the take-away restaurant; if they've studied cooking in India, it could be that the food is actually pretty authentic, but occasionally you can definitely find places that simply take from recipes online or just make food that resembles Indian styled cooking. I think tasting authentic food anywhere in the world versus the out-of-country equivalents is always a really shocking experience. I think one of the biggest differences in Indian food though is the "depth of flavor" that comes from using fresh sources to spice food rather than the powdered forms that people have been commenting about.
  9. Linda Nyabundi

    Linda Nyabundi New Member

    You cant possibly compare authentic Indian food made in India and the Indian food we get in restaurants. Although they may look or taste similar, most times the ones in restaurants are not authentic. The foods made in restaurants are sometimes not prepared by Indians but by hired chefs who have only learnt the art but not an original. The ones made in India are made traditionally by Indians who know exactly how to prepare them since they have been doing so for years and they have secret recipes that most chefs may not know. That said, it doesn't mean that Indian foods in restaurants are not good or tasty or Indian, they are just not authentic as the ones made in India.
  10. iamawriter

    iamawriter Member

    Believe it or not water does play a role in giving that Indian touch besides what some other users here have suggested. Using powder masala powders which is what one does in foreign countries takes away the real taste of curries as here whole ingredients are used and they are ground to a paste.
  11. Londoner

    Londoner New Member

    I'm a Londoner of an Indian origin, and a massive foody.

    Reading this thread, it seems there are huge misconception about Indian food in the UK. Chicken Tikka Masala is a national dish of the UK.

    India is a huge country and food changes from state to state, and from city to city. It is very local, Gujarati food is very different from Rajasthani.. and so on. Large proportion of India is vegetarian, thus you may not find meat samosa everywhere, but it is very much Indian. Again, even samosa recipe differs from state to another state in India.

    First thing, using powder masala is NOT main ingredients of Indian restaurant dishes in UK anymore. Indian ingredients are now widely available on every high street in the UK.

    Indian food in the UK has evolved to local taste, and we now have fair few amazing Michelin Star Indian restaurants in London which are absolutely amazing. And chefs like Atul Kocchar, Vineet Bhatia, Reza Mahammad, Vivek Singh, Rohit Ghai are doing amazing stuff. We now have many top restaurants who experiments with Indian flavours with amazing result.

    So how does it differ? Take Chicken Tikka Masala, this dish was evolved in the UK and now a national dish of the country, and you won't find this in India. Madras and vindaloo are not Indian, Indian food is not supposed to be "chilli hot", it's delicate balance of spices. Many Indian high street take away restaurants in the UK are run by Bangladeshi, thus taste will differ to authentic Indian food. Sadly, may high street Indian restaurants have one basic sauce and thus many dishes taste alike, and far from authentic. Most high street restaurants have few of same dishes.

    So, Indian food in India will differ vastly, it will not be creamy that you may be used to. Not every restaurant in India will have a tandoor, thus naan bread will differ, roti is more norm. Vegetable dishes will have more flavours in India. Sadly, I always find people in India use far too much oil and ghee than I like.