03/09/2015 05:58 pm ET Updated May 09, 2015

The Science of Why Indian Food Is So Delicious

Lara Ferroni

By Paula Forbes

Indian food is a cuisine of contrasting flavors.

What makes Indian food so delicious? Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology in Jaipur, India analyzed data from thousands of Indian recipes and found that those kormas, dosas, and tandoori chicken dishes you love are actually based on a different flavor principle than those of Western cuisines.

Science has shown that Western dishes tend to be built on combinations of similar or closely related flavors. Indian recipes, this study finds, are all about contrasting flavors. In fact, the more chemically similar two flavorings are, the less likely they'll be paired together in the same dish, according to this explanation of the study at The Washington Post. So a dish that relies heavily on cayenne will probably not include another super spicy (capsaicin-heavy) chile.

Okay, so now that you know why Indian food tastes so unique (and so good), it's time to get cooking. Explore some of our favorite Indian recipes right here: Our Favorite Indian Recipes

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