Have you ever been looking for great restaurants in downtown Ottawa, but felt like you’ve tasted it all before? Pizza – been there, pasta – done that; but what about Indian food? For those who have never tried Indian food in Ottawa, the new flavours and foods can be overwhelming at first, but this should be no reason to deny yourself from savouring the flavour that is Indian cuisine. For Indian food novices, here a few tips and insights to questions you might have:
Why does the food smell so strongly?
Indian cuisine is packed with powerful spices, which are the culprits behind the tantalizing aromas and delicious flavours! The usual suspects include: cardamom, cumin, coriander, red chilli powder, mustard seed, turmeric and cinnamon, amongst others.
Is everything spicy?
The notion that all Indian food is spicy is a common misconception. Most of the spice achieved through Indian cooking, is from the addition of chilies or chili powder. Often recipes can be altered to make a dish either more or less spicy. Great restaurants in downtown Ottawa can provide you with a list of non-spicy dishes.
Isn’t it unhealthy?
This is another common misconception about Indian food in Ottawa. Because of the spices used, most Indian food is made from scratch and can achieve an intensely delicious flavour without any additives or preservatives. Some of the spices even have healing benefits. For example:
– Cardamom and cinnamon contain anti-oxidants.
– Cumin improves your immune system and aids in digestion.
– Chili powder and cinnamon can help speed up your metabolism.
If it’s your first time trying Indian food in Ottawa, you may also look at the menu in confusion. Although it may contain new terms, good Indian restaurants in downtown Ottawa can easily explain the menu items to you and offer suggestions based on your tastes. As a start, here are three key terms to know:
Naan: Naan, is the name for a leavened, flatbread often used in West, South and Central Asian cooking. Similar to pita bread, naan is lighter and often served warm. Try it as a wrap, to dip or as a complement to an entree.
Paneer: Paneer is the name for a cheese popular in Indian cooking. The best part about paneer? It’s usually non-melting so you can eat it with warm dishes!
Curry: Curries are dishes made using curry powder. Curry powder is a blend of spices, which usually include spices such as: turmeric, chili powder, ground coriander, ground cumin, cloves, and cinnamon, to name a few. Curry powder can contain many variations of spices. Curries can also differ in preparation and ingredients; however they all have one thing in common – curry is delicious!
On your next search for fantastic restaurants in downtown Ottawa, try something exotic – try Indian food!