Four Indian dishes to boost your mind and spirit at this difficult time

Due to the spread of COVID-19, people are obliged to stay home. Of course, when you’re stuck at home for a long time, you might get stressed, disconnected and even depressed. However, I truly believe that one thing that can heal you from stress is food.

For the second episode of Food Review by dtac blog. I’ve been invited as a contributor to write about my favorite food, which is the one from where I come from – Indian food.

Indian food shares many features with Thai: the mix of curries and stir-fries, the use of spice, the love of rice. If you come to Southern India like Chennai and Kochi, the food there is the spiciest among all regions. While north Indian cuisine is creamy, which plays a key role in both sweet and savory dishes. And if you visit west India, you’ll savor very fresh seafood thanks to its location on a lush, forested coastline. Northeastern India is unique for its desserts.

In term of ingredients, Indian food commonly includes ginger, garlic, coriander, turmeric and cumin seeds. These herbs are good for your health as they will boost your immunity, a particularly important feature during the current pandemic.

You can also see that Thailand and India have a lot in common when it comes to preferred ingredients.

If you’re new to Indian food, there are four dishes you have to try. But before we start, bite into the thin crispy bread called papadum. The main ingredient is often some sort of a legume such as lentils or chickpeas. It can also be made from potato or rice.

I’d also recommend a vegetable samosa. It’s a moreish Indian snack packed with spices, diced potato, carrot and shredded cabbage. It’s a popular teatime snack and is mouthwateringly delicious. The outer crust is flaky and slightly crispy. Samosa is usually served with cilantro mint sauce, which is made from a variety of herbs, such as a spicy green chutney made from coriander, green chili and mint leaves—again, a very healthy mix!

Butter chicken or murgh makhana is one of the most popular curries at any Indian restaurant around the world. Aromatic golden chicken pieces are served in a creamy curry sauce. The chicken meat is tender and juicy thanks to a deliciously spiced yogurt marinade.

The secret sauce is all about the spices that go into it. For example, garam masala, turmeric, cumin and red chili powder. However, each part of India offers a different taste. In Northeastern India, the taste is more sweet and sour. South India is spicier.

With the current stress we’re exposed to, this dish isn’t just about healthy spices. It’s a comforting dish that soothes the soul. And I’m sure that nothing can beat sitting down to a great curry to finish off a chaotic day.

The third one I’d recommend you try is grilled tandoori chicken. Every corner of the planet has its take on grilled chicken—Thais make amazing gai yang. But what makes grilled Tandoori chicken special is, you guessed it, the herbs. The red color comes from masala. It’s a yogurt-based Indian marinade poured over chicken thighs or chunks of chicken breast, then barbecued. The dish can be served during teatime or anytime you need a little break and a little boost to get you through your “working from home” routine.

And the last one I recommend is chicken biryani. It’s an aromatic and authentic Indian dish with succulent chicken in layers of fluffy basmati rice, fragrant spices and caramelized onions. It’s usually layered and steamed which creates a wonderful variation in flavor, texture and color when it’s all mixed together at the end. It’s a comforting dish for the whole family to share happily together. And being happy is key to being healthy!

Once, you finish your big meal, I recommend you try this – squeeze lime juice into your drinking water. It’s scientifically proven that it helps your digestive system.

Thailand and India don’t just share ingredients or cooking techniques. We share a deep love of food, of bold, spicy flavors, and of shared dishes for the whole family to tuck into. This truly reflects the shared philosophy of Eastern gastronomy.

Give these four dishes a try. Just open your mind. I’m sure you’ll fall in love with them.

During the promotion of social distancing, I also encourage you to use a food delivery service since restaurants are currently closed. For Indian food, you can order via our partners – foodpanda and GET FOOD – both of which have special discount for dtac customers through the dtac reward program.

Enjoy you meal, stay safe and stay home!

Like this time, I order from the authentic Indian curry house, Indus restaurant, which represents the peak of northern Indian dining in Bangkok.