Why do Indians prefer to eat Indian food when abroad?

Oct 28 20:08 2020 Seema Choudhari Print This Article

Indians are addicted to Indian food and cannot survive without it for even a few days. Why?

In the past decade,Guest Posting there has been a substantial increase in the number of Indians traveling. Indians from all part of the country has been making a beeline for overseas countries. We see people traveling abroad not only from metro cities but also from 2-tier cities like Chandigarh, Kanpur, and Jaipur. People of all age groups have joined the bandwagon - from the youth to the elderly. Some are planning their own trips whereas, others are traveling with group tours. We can see Indian travelers in all parts of the world - Australia, New Zealand, Eastern Europe, Southeastern Countries, USA, and many more.

Indians traveling abroad may come from different cities and may belong to different age groups, but they have one thing in common. All of them have a clear partiality towards Indian food even when they travel abroad. The youth are more open to trying new dishes and new cuisines, but not the elderly. We see Indians always searching for Indian food whenever they are traveling. They will eat other food if they cannot find an Indian restaurant, but they will always be on the lookout for an Indian restaurant. 

Why do Indians so addict to Indian food? Indian food is curry based with lots of species and oil. It is heavy, tasty, and filling. We like to eat curry along with rice or Roti. This is the way of life for them. Unless they eat rice or roti with curry or lentils, they do not get a satisfying filling.  They feel that the food is not complete. No amount of pizza, pasta, or burger would give them that satisfying feeling. Years of eating roti and rice have made them used to that style of food. Additionally, if you are used to eating spicy food, bland food would never appeal to you. The spices used in western food are very different than Indian food. Those spices do not appeal to the Indian palette so much. That is the reason we try to Indianise all western dishes and make them Indian. We have Indian versions of all popular Western Dishes - Chinese, pasta, pizza, tacos, etc.

Indians have very little taste for uncooked food, sandwiches, or salads. They liked their food well cooked - it may be fried, stir-fried, steamed, or sauteed. But it should not be raw. Western salads or raw meats have no appeal to them. 

The majority of Indians are vegetarians and they find minimal options in Western food. People in different countries have different meanings for vegetarian food. Some countries even serve fish in the name of veg dishes. So they prefer to opt for Indian food. Even non-vegetarian Indians do not eat all types of meat. They are partial to chicken and fish. Beef is taboo for them. So they decide to be safe and eat in Indian restaurants. 

The addiction to Indian food is one of the reasons that many Indians are traveling with group tours. These groups provide them with Indian food for all the meals and they don't have to keep searching for Indian restaurants on their trips abroad. With changing times and increased exposure, the youth of India is more open to trying new dishes. But due to their inherent taste buds, we see them preferring the Italian, Mexican, and Chinese (Indian version) food as it has few similarities to Indian food - it is spicy and tangy. Few of them are also open to trying bland dishes like Sushi. But such people are few and far between. 

Hopefully, in the coming decade, we will see a change in the Indian mindset and they would be open to experimenting more with their eating habits.


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Seema Choudhari
Seema Choudhari

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