The tastes as we know it are – Sweet, Sour, Salty, Umami and Bitter. Of the last two, one is less known and the other less liked.
Well, let’s talk about the less liked taste today, let’s talk about Bitterness.
Ever since we grew up, we have related to bitter as the taste of medicines or poison and that subconsciously triggers our brain to spit out something unexpectedly bitter.
But every region in India has used bitterness of foods to their advantage, whether it’s the Kashmiri’s love for Sounchal (the bitter-ish wild spinach) or the Rajashthanis’ love for Methi ki launji.
And who can forget the 2400 years old “karivrnta” , the bitter gourd or karela as we know it today… what would a Shukto, a starter that every Bengali lives by, be without karela in it?
Bitter has been as much a part of our food as the other tastes. Yet surprisingly, we are still grasping to come to terms with the” real” chocolate, which is of course bitter!
Oh and if you want to feel bitter..I mean, better, here are some more facts..
Bitter foods are high on free radicals, they protect the liver, reduce diabetes, aid digestion and improve hunger.
Interesting how studying food or anything food, changes our perspective about it, right?
2 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
2 whole dry kashmiri red chillies
1 stick cinnamon
1 cup chopped jaggery
1 tbsp raisins
salt to taste
Dry Masala 1/2 cup
With equal quantities of Amchur . red chilly , dhaniya jeera powder