I just got back from a fairly decent Indian dinner near Dayton, Ohio. I wanted to try something traditionally Indian that I hadn’t had before, so I wound up with lamb saag. It was good; I enjoyed it–but . . .
There was a dish on the menu that was lamb in a tomato, onion, and bell pepper sauce that really appealed to me. Did I deprive myself by sneering that a dish containing tomato is not “traditionally” Indian?
After all, the tomato was introduced to the Old World within 30 years of the “discovery” of the Americas, and rapidly and with great enthusiasm became an intregal part of many types of food all over the world. I don’t turn my nose at Southern Italian food, rather I devour it wholesale. I’m not sure why I did so for Indian food.
Is the use of a new food for roughly 500 years enough to make it traditional?