If there is any cuisine of the world that would instantly appeal to Indians, it is Mexican. And that’s because, it is sweet, spicy, salty, punchy, tangy flavours that instantly beckon the Indian tastebuds!
Just as with other International cuisines, there is a limited knowledge of Mexican cuisine in our country. But this status is changing slowly especially with a large chunk of Indian professionals travelling to the US, where the cuisine enjoys a prominent status.
There are a few iconic dishes and Mexican foods that we have begun to love and embraced as our own. Here is a look at some of these.
Little parcels of flavour that explode in our mouth each time, tacos are perhaps the most identified Mexican dish globally.
Traditionally, a taco is a small corn or wheat tortilla that is rolled around or encases a filling. The filling can be just about anything though beef and pork are favourites. Tacos are not complete without garnishes and these can include salsas, guacamole, shredded lettuce, onions, sauces/dips and cilantro to name a few.
Tacos are believed to be an Indigenous food which was embraced readily by the European invaders. Perhaps this came closest to their sandwich but much more flavourful and interesting. Today, tacos can be found with equal ease in a street food van to an up market café and even in gourmet fine dining establishments. Hard shell tacos, crispy tacos, puffy tacos; this humble food has been re-invented in a zillion ways today.
One example of a traditional taco dish from the Puebla region of Mexico is chicken tinga tacos. Chicken tinga is prepared commonly in this region and used with rice and also as taco stuffing. It is simple and easy to re-create in your Indian kitchen, so check out this recipe for Chicken Tinga Tacos paired with a delicious roasted chilli salsa.
There’s no way you can go beyond the avocados and guacamole when talking about Mexican cooking.
Believed to have been created by the Aztecs, a guacamole is basically an avocado based dip. Today, the avocado is hailed as a super food and makes its appearance in just about everything…from smoothies to sandwiches to salad. But mash it with a bit of lemon and sea salt in a mortar and pestle for the most delicious guacamole and also the most delicious avatar of avocado.
The guacamole too has been re-invented into several delectable forms, one of which is this Byron Bay guacamole which uses single clove garlic. It’s going to be hard to find this one in your local Indian vegetable market so just replace it with our country garlic and believe me, you won’t know the difference. Check out the recipe to make this Mexican classic!
Another delicious offering from the Mexicans!
The burrito, as we know today, is more of a Tex Mex invention. In the earlier days, the Mexicans used wheat flour tortillas to make burritos which are similar to tacos except that the tortillas are larger and are rolled around the filling like a wrap. It is the Mexican Americans who made the modern burritos popular.
Again, there are different types of burritos but a common variety is a large wheat flour tortilla stuffed with carne asada (grilled beef), Mexican rice, beans, salsa and sour cream. But today, there are so many varieties with just about all kinds of stuffing. Grilled chicken is popular in India than beef or pork due to obvious reasons but a real burrito lover would say, it is all about the beef.
Nachos and Salsa:
And this list could never be complete without the much loved Nachos and Salsa.
Nachos are believed to have originated in Coahula, Mexico and invented by Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Anaya who was a maître d´hôtel by deep frying tortillas cut into triangles and then topped with melted cheese and pickled jalapenos. This snack quickly caught on and spread like wild fire across Texas and the rest of the US.
Today, Nachos are served in many ways – with a side of salsa or with cheese and jalapenos or topped with minced meat, cheese and pickles. Indians have a particular affinity to nachos and salsa, a snack that is increasingly being served in many cafes and restaurants and also multiplexes.
Salsa dates back even earlier and is associated with the Inca people and also to the Aztecs and Mayans. Tomatoes were crushed with chilli peppers and ground squash seeds and used as a condiment with fish or grilled meats.
The modern salsa has come a long way and there is no end to the fusion recipes. It can be served in a chunky sauce format or finely chopped for those who love a bit of texture. Fruits have made a regular appearance in salsas and a great example is this mango salsa which can easily be made in our kitchen. Make sure you bookmark this recipe for the approaching mango season and pair it with our very own pappads.
Chili con carne:
The official dish of Texas!
Move over tacos and burritos, a chili con carne can make you a serious Mexican food addict. This rich and comforting meat stew with hot chili peppers and tomatoes can give our Indian curries a run for its money especially on a cold, rainy day.
Beans may or may not make an appearance in a chili and is often a matter of much debate among the Mexicans. Personally, it’s a great protein boost. So tip it over next time you make a pot of chili. And remember, a chili has to be super hot.
And if you are in the mood for a bit of fusion, try out this dark chocolate beef chili. No, the chocolate is not there to make it sweet; instead, it is there to make it super rich and delicious.
That brings us to the end of this Mexican sojourn. Oops, forgot the margarita! Guess that has to be an entirely new post!
About Relishious:Relishious, the App that will help you look up signatures at restaurants around the city. Wait no more. Explore curations of foods that you can try when you dine out next. Download App . This blog is all about good food and it’s related experiences. You’d find just about everything that’s got something to do with good food!