I don't know what it is about Indian food, but I'm addicted. I think it's the simplicity of some dishes, that without any fancy ingredients, get the flavor from wonderful combinations of spices. For instance, this Chana Masala. Take chickpeas, plain, maybe even boring, add some cumin, turmeric, garam masala and magic happens.
Before moving to the US I had barely tried any Indian food. It's not really popular in Spain and there's very few restaurants that serve the real deal. Plus, back then, I was a little terrified of spicy food. Then at the MIT lab I had several Indian coworkers, who introduced me to all sorts of great dishes. Not like I really had a choice! One wonderful thing about Indian culture is the concept that sharing food makes it even better. According to my labmate, if you make a very elaborate dish that takes you several hours to prepare, it's almost a duty to share it with as many people as possible. So yes, they all feed me like my mum would. But hey, share the goodness! way to go.
In my current lab, every once in a while we have Indian food lunch. That is, my coworkers make a bunch of traditional dishes and we all get to try them. Needless to say, they make them real spicy. I'm not sure as to how I got used to the heat. I think I killed several taste buds along the way and told my stomach to deal with it. So far, a few things I'm in love with are Senvian Kheer, Dhokla and of course Samosas.
By all means, if any of my readers happens to have good traditional recipes for any of them, please share them with me! I'd love to try! Also feel free to correct me if I'm not using the right names. In my attempt to recreate some Indian dishes at home,I think I'm on my way to mastering Lentil Dahl. This was my first try with Chana masala and Naan bread and they came out pretty tasty! I highly recommend you give both a shot. They're simple yet tasty foods that anyone can make.
Serves 2, adapted from here