Is Indian and Pakistani Food Always Spicy?

September 16, 2018

It’s one of the most burning questions we always get asked: “Is Indian and Pakistani food always spicy?”

And it’s probably a question that may make or break your decision when it comes to choosing the restaurant or type of food you want to eat.

So, whether you’re new to Pakistani and Indian food, or whether you’re a seasoned regular, we thought we’d put this one to rest… once and for all!

When you think of Asian cuisine, you’re probably thinking it’s hot, it’s spicy, it’s full of fat and grease and it’s really unhealthy for you. But in fact, Asian cuisine is so varied and… believe it or not, super healthy!

Pakistani and Asian cooking involves using a lot of spices used in the production of the individual dish – but it doesn’t always mean the end dish is going to blow your socks off!

What Spices Do We Use?

Some of the most commonly used spices involved in Indian and Pakistani food are turmeric, cumin, ginger, coriander, black pepper, nutmeg, clove and cardamom. You’ll probably recognise these and may even have them in your own spice rack at home.

These are used in order to give the dish it’s flavour – just like you’d use salt and pepper to add taste to the dish you’re making when you cook at home.

So, What Makes The Dishes So Spicy?!

When wanting to add heat to a dish, chillies will be used or some form of chilli powder. That being said, any reputable Indian or Asian restaurant will cook any curry or any dish according to how mild or spicy you want it by using more or less of the chilli or spices which give it that heat.

Do We Use Lots of Spices?

It’s also a widespread misconception that all Asian dishes contain heaps of spices and flavourings that have been added. This certainly isn’t the case! Not all Indian foods contain even five different spices – in fact, the majority of the time, there is just one essential key spice that is used in order to give your chosen dish its flavour.

Sometimes, all a dish needs is a little garam masala as this ingredient (a mix of spices) gives a distinctive flavour and aroma and nothing more is needed.

Are Indian Dishes Unhealthy?

Actually, Indian and Asian cuisine have lots of different health benefits. Traditional cooking, the same as what we employ at Royal Nawaab, means we always make our dishes from scratch. This means that every dish is absolutely 100% fresh on the day and includes a vast range of fresh vegetables and fruits cooked in a range of different ways.

By using only fresh produce, we actually retain many of the nutrients that are lost when reheating or cooking from frozen, and fresh produce means less preservatives and additives that you’d find in tinned goods, as an example.

Of course, we do use oil and fat in Indian and Asian cooking. But, as with any cuisine, whether it’s Italian pasta or Chinese sweet and sour dishes, there are always some dishes that have higher fat or salt content than others.

Oil is used in the majority of Indian and Pakistani cooking, particularly when preparing meat but then there are plenty of ways we prepare food that don’t involve oil or frying such as steaming, grilling and boiling.

So, hopefully we’ve quashed some of the rumours surrounding our food and indeed, all Pakistani and Indian food and whether it’s spicy. Remember, if you’re new to Asian food, then be sure to pay us a visit at Royal Nawaab Manchester and we can discuss any dishes of interest to you and ensure our talented chefs make it as mild or as hot as you like it!

If you do want to get in touch, be sure to contact us here.