Britain may have evolved into a nation of 'tikka-masala aficionados' but the fine art of Indian cuisine is still largely unknown, often wrongly interpreted as a spiced-up version of common food ingredients. To a certain extent, this problem has been created by the colossal range of intricacies embedded within the Indian style of cooking. For starters, there is no ideal way of preparing or serving Indian food. Within the Indian mainland itself, the same dish involving the same ingredients and spices has varying methods of preparation. The authentic flavour of household Indian cooking is severely compromised in commercial joints that tend to serve glorified versions of some basic combinations that would otherwise engage some serious questioning in India.
Consider the example of biryani—one of India's most recognized contribution to world cuisine. The dish is essentially an exotic preparation of rice and a meat of choice, cooked with some particular spices. The ideal way to serve the biryani platter is to accompany it with some yoghurt or bland-tasting salads. The reason being that yoghurt tends to neutralize the palate every time it gets overwhelmed with the spicy flavours emanating from the smooth, rice-wrapped layers of meat cooked on a slow flame. However, many commercial joints tend to serve biryani with hot curries that would literally repulse someone who understood the finer nuances of Indian cooking.