Indian Vs Persian Food: Differences Between Indian Food And The Middle East Food

Indian food and Persian food are two of many popular types of cuisines in the world.

However, it might be hard to decide which one is better if you haven’t tried either one of them or both cuisines.

Don’t worry, this article will help you determine if your taste buds will be more satisfied with which type of cuisine: Indian or Persian.  

What is special about Indian food?

Indian for Everyone: The Home Cook's Guide to Traditional Favorites
  • Agate Surrey
  • Singla, Anupy (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Indian food is a flavorful cuisine that has been around for centuries.

It’s not just about curry, there are many dishes with unique flavors and spices.

You’ll see how rich this culture is with a variety of popular dishes like Chicken Tikka Masala, Aloo Gobi, Saag Paneer, and Rasmalai, not only in the country but also worldwide.

Indians have some diet restrictions due to the large population of Muslims and Hindus.

Accordingly, they rarely or don’t eat pork and beef, but lamb and chicken instead.

Indian food also includes a lot of vegetables like cauliflower, carrots, peas, lentils, rice, yogurt/curds, or bread.

These ingredients are all homemade, there are no store-bought sauces or premade meals in this cuisine.

Indian food is typically spicy due to the use of chili pepper and a traditional spice called garam masala, a powder seasoning that consists of many other popular spices in India, including cinnamon, peppercorns, cardamom, nutmeg, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, cloves, and mace.

What is special about Persian food?

Persian Food from the Non-persian Bride: And Other Sephardic Kosher...
  • Hardcover Book
  • Reyna Simnegar (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Persian food is a unique and flavorful cuisine in the Middle East.

It can be referred to as Iranian cuisine.

Persian food has been influenced by various factors including regional, religious and cultural celebrations.

One of the main influences is from regions such as Azerbaijan which historically have had a strong relationship with Iran since antiquity due to trade routes that crossed between them.

Persian food traditions vary depending on which region they come from.

Some regions use lamb as their primary meat while others use chicken or beef, but one thing remains true throughout the country: Persian cuisine is made with plenty of herbs and spices.

The most common spices used in Persian cooking include turmeric, cinnamon, saffron, and cumin; these ingredients help create an aromatic dish that is sure to satisfy your palate.

Some Persian classics to name a few are the Biryani, a rice dish mixed with various spices and saffron, or Khoresh Gheymeh – an Iranian stew made of chicken, lamb, or beef over basmati rice that has been cooked in vegetable broth.

They also tend to serve a lot of dishes on the table, even more than the number of guests when it comes to dining time, that’s why Persian meals always look hearty and delicious.

What are the differences between Indian food and Persian food?

Below are some typical differences between Indian cuisine and Persian cuisine that set one apart from the other.

Let’s take a look:

Indian food is spicier than Persian food

It is important to learn about what spices go into the food you are eating.

Indian food is reputed for being one of the spiciest foods in the world.

They tend to use a lot of spices, especially those that create a kick of spicinesses like chili pepper, garam masala, or ginger.

On the other hand, Persian food is likely to be more aromatic rather than spicy.

Beef can be eaten in Persia, but rarely consumed in India

India is known as a vegetarian country.

People rarely eat beef because they are mostly vegetarians and the cows have a sacred status for them as well.

They can eat lamb, chicken, or seafood (in the coastal areas) instead.

But in Persia, you can eat beef, which is one of the staple meat ingredients.

Saffron is often used in Iranian dishes whereas turmeric and curry powder are used in Indian cooking

Another difference between Indian food and Persian food is their popular spices.

More than 90% of the world’s saffron comes from Iran, therefore, this treasured spice is typically used in most Iranian dishes and exhibits a more pungent flavor as well as a beautiful yellow color.

On the other hand, Indian cooking mainly uses garam masala, which is made from numerous spices, turmeric, and curry powder or leaves.

Indians usually eat with their hands, while Iranians use utensils

The last difference is how indigenous people eat their food.

Hand eating is a traditional way of eating in Indian cuisine.

People use their right hands (only fingers) to eat their dishes rather than using utensils like forks, chopsticks, or knives.

Meanwhile, in Persian cuisine, these utensils are used flexibly.

What are the similarities between Indian food and Persian food?

Despite many differences between these two cuisines, there are also some similarities that exist parallelly.

Both cuisines use fresh ingredients to cook

You are not likely to find processed or canned food in either Persian or Indian cuisine.

All their ingredients are fresh and can be easily found in their local markets, their own gardens, or in a grocery store.

Indian and Persian cooking calls for a variety of spices

There might be a slight difference in the common spices between the two cuisines, like Indian dishes are spiced with curry and chili powder, while Persian dishes use saffron.

However, the similar thing is that their food is always packed with many flavors because of their use of a variety of spices, both fresh and dried.

Rice and bread are staples while pork is forbidden in Indian and Persian cuisines

Another similarity is that both cuisines forbid consuming pork because Muslims don’t eat pork.

However, in some cases, you can see Indians or Persians who live outside these countries consume this type of meat.

Moreover, rice and bread are two staples in both cuisines.

They serve these affordable dishes with other savory dishes in almost every meal.

Which one is better?

Indian for Everyone: The Home Cook's Guide to Traditional FavoritesPersian Food from the Non-persian Bride: And Other Sephardic Kosher...
Indian for Everyone: The Home Cook's Guide to Traditional FavoritesPersian Food from the Non-persian Bride: And Other Sephardic Kosher...
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The answer to this question depends on what you’re looking for.

If you want spicy food, India will be your best bet.

However, if you prefer more mild but aromatic flavors and enjoy dishes with a lot of herbs and vegetables, Persian cuisine might suit your palate better.

Either way, the decision can’t be made without tasting both cuisines firsthand.

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