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Why Indian Food Is So Underrated In The U.S.

Indian food has been winning the hearts of diners across the globe for centuries. However, in the United States, it still needs to be appreciated and is largely unknown by many. This article discusses the flavorful complexity and range of Indian food, why it should be more prevalent in the U.S., and how to find tasty Indian dishes near you!


Why is Indian Food So Underrated?

For centuries, India has been known for its spices and rich cuisine. But in recent years, Indian food has become increasingly popular in the United States. Despite this popularity, Indian food is still relatively underrated in the culinary world.

There are several reasons why Indian food is so underrated in the United States. First, Indian cuisine is often overshadowed by other Asian cuisines such as Chinese and Japanese. This is partly because Indian food is not as well-known or widely available as different Asian cuisines. Additionally, many people view Indian food as being too spicy or exotic for their taste.

Another reason why Indian food may be underrated is that it can be pretty labour-intensive to prepare. Traditional Indian dishes often require a long list of ingredients and can take hours to cook. As a result, many Americans may be discouraged from trying Indian cuisine because they believe it to be too time-consuming or difficult to make at home.

Despite these challenges, there are many reasons why Indian food is worth exploring. Indians pride themselves on their use of fresh spices and herbs, which give their cuisine a unique flavour that cannot be found anywhere else. Additionally, India is home to various regional cuisines, each with a distinct taste and style. From the fiery curries of Kerala to the delicate sweets of Bengali cuisine, there is something for everyone to enjoy in India’s culinary diversity.


Indian Food and the United States: A Timeline of Development

The earliest known reference to Indian food in the United States was from the 18th century when a British colonist wrote about “a sort of hasty pudding made of Indian meal,” which was likely cornmeal. Throughout the next few centuries, various dishes from the subcontinent would be mentioned sporadically in cookbooks and other literature. Still, it wasn’t until after World War II that Indian cuisine began to gain some traction in America.

In the 1950s and 1960s, a small number of Indian restaurants started popping up in major cities like New York and San Francisco. These eateries were typically run by families from India’s Punjab region. They served classic northern dishes like tandoori chicken and butter chicken. At the same time, Progressive Era cookbooks were published that introduced American home cooks to regional cuisines from around the world, including those from India.

In the 1970s, interest in Indian food continued to grow, thanks partly to the popularity of yoga and meditation (which often went hand-in-hand with vegetarianism). This decade also saw the arrival of Lakshmi on PBS, one of the first cooking shows dedicated to Indian cuisine. By this point, ingredients like curry powder and chutneys became more widely available in supermarkets.

The 1980s brought further exposure to Indian food with the release of blockbuster films like “Gandhi” and “Mississippi Masala.” In addition, cookbooks devoted to regional Indian dishes were becoming increasingly popular.

The 1990s ushered in the modern age of Indian cuisine in the U.S. with the rise of celebrity chefs like Sanjeev Kapoor and Vikas Khanna, both of whom have achieved international fame for their culinary prowess. The decade also saw a surge in the popularity of fusion restaurants, which combined classic flavours from India with those from other countries across Asia and beyond.

Today, Indian food has become fully integrated into American culture. You can find Indian restaurants in almost any town or city across the country and countless ingredients used to make your own delicious recipes at home.


American Attitudes Towards Indian Food

There are many reasons why Indian food is so underrated in the United States. One reason is that Indian food is often too spicy for American palates. Another reason is that Indian cuisine can be entirely unfamiliar to many Americans, who may not be familiar with the ingredients and flavours used in Indian cooking.

However, there are also several Americans who have developed a taste for Indian food and enjoy it regularly. These individuals often find that Indian food is both flavorful and healthy, and they appreciate a wide variety of dishes.

If more Americans were exposed to the deliciousness of Indian cuisine, they would likely develop a greater appreciation for it. That said, there are already many Americans who enjoy Indian food and who recognize its value as a culinary tradition.


Thoughts on the Popularity of Indian Cuisine

It’s hard to say precisely why Indian cuisine is so underrated in the U.S. Part of it may be that it’s simply not as widely available as other cuisines. Indian restaurants are still a rarity outside major metropolitan areas, so most Americans haven’t tried them.

And when they have the opportunity to try it, they may not know the need to figure order. Indian food can be unfamiliar and even intimidating to those who haven’t grown up with it. The vast array of spices and flavour combinations can be overwhelming.

But there’s no denying that Indian food is delicious. Those who have had the chance to try it often become hooked on its complex flavours and endless variety. If more Americans could just get their hands on some good Indian food, there’s no doubt that it would become much more popular.



Indian food is a trendy cuisine that has been undervalued and overlooked in the United States. With various spices, textures, flavours, and aromas, Indian food offers something for everybody’s taste buds. From vegetarian dishes to exotic curries to classic tandoori chicken – there’s no shortage of delicious meals to try. Most importantly, though – it’s full of flavour that can’t be matched anywhere else! If you haven’t experienced Indian cuisine yet – give it a try soon! You won’t regret it!


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