Ancient Indian Food

The excavation of the Mehrgarh amount sites around 8000-6000 B.C. throws some surprising facts concerning ancient Indian food habits. The domestication of plants and animals square measure rumored within the landmass throughout that point. Wheat, barley and jujube were among crops cultivated, sheep and goats were among the animals domesticated for food.In the Neolithic amount roughly 8000-5000 B.C., agriculture merchandise were the dominant mode of food merchandise. Agricultural communities became widespread in Kashmir natural depression around 5000 B.C. As early as 4530 B.C. and 5440 B.C. wild liliopsid genus rice appeared within the Belan and river natural depression regions of northern India.

Ancient Indian Food

The earliest proof of food in ancient India comes from excavated sites within the Indus natural depression Civilization. Indus natural depression civilization relied on the significant technological achievements of the pre-Harappan culture, as well as the plow. The farmers of the Indus natural depression grew peas, sesame, dates, and rice. Agricultural activity throughout the second millennium B.C. enclosed rice cultivation within the Kashmir and in alternative Harrappan regions.
Several wild bowls of cereal, as well as rice, grew within the Vindhyan Hills, and rice cultivation, at sites such as Chopani-Mando and Mahagara, was underway as early as 7000 BC.The picture of ancient Indian food becomes much clearer after the Aryan settlement in the Gangetic planes. The compilation of the religious scriptures gives a vivid account of the food that was in vogue during that time.
The people who settled in the Gangetic plains were good farmers. They ate both vegetarian and non-vegetarian foods. They cultivated barley wheat rice, melons, and cotton. They domesticated cow, pigs, buffalo and sheep. They lived on banks of rivers and caught fish from a river with fish hooks.
Food items mentioned in Vedic literature
The Vedic literature throws considerable light on the food and drink habits of the people of the ancient India. Among the food grains, the Rig Veda repeatedly mentions barley, particularly fried barley. Of frequent occurrence is the word `anna` which may not essentially mean rice; it denotes food in general.
Foods items in the age of Brahmanas
Ancient India Foods
India Foods Rice and wheat appear to have been the staple food in the age of Brahmanas. Different products of barley and rice, mentioned in the Aitareya are data, Karam BHA, parid pa, prods an andpayasyd. These were mainly fried barley; cooked with butter, powder of dhana fried with butter, parched rice fried in butter, rice-cake, a mixture of curd and milk.
Milk and various milk products that were used include clarified butter, curdled milk, dashi (curd), Karam BHA (porridge), Phra (unmelted butter), Navan ita (cream or recent butter), dandiya (mixture of curd and milk), mixture of milk and stone, cam (milk, curd, honey, butter etc. mixed together), Sara (thickened surface of milk), etc.

Ancient Indian Food

Udumbara (sacrificial fig), jujube and berries square measure a number of the edible fruits mentioned within the Brahmanas. Shatapatha Brahmana mentions sugarcane. Aitareya Upanishad mentions shoots of Banyan trees and fruits of fig.In the Kalpasutra the mentions use of assorted food grains, particularly rice, barley, wheat, millet, benny, and pulses are found.
Meat uptake in Ancient India
In ancient India, meat wasn’t solely eaten, however, was conjointly thought to be the most effective reasonably food. The meat of barren cows and sterile ox, goat, and sheep was a delicacy. we have a tendency to learn from the Shatapatha Brahmana and Aitareya the vogue of beef-eating; it wont to be served to a king or alternative extremely respectable guests.
The Sutras conjointly bear clear testimony to zoophagous. Meat, each cooked on spits and toasted in pots, seems to possess been in use. it had been a necessary component in Madhu park offered to distinguished guests.The Dharma sutras shed significant light-weight on the meat permissible and prohibited. As regards bird-meat, the Dharma-sutras mention many birds permitted or prohibited. Also prohibited are the aquatic creatures called porpoise, Ankara, Julia, cefa, and Avaya. The Vedic texts also mention the usage of the meat of bulls, horses, buffaloes and even of dogs. Vegetarian food, excluding animal and fish meat, became the norm only after the coming of Buddhism. In the Gupta period, people mostly ate vegetables, cereals, fruits, bread, and drank milk.
Fruits and Vegetables in Ancient India
Melons and Cotton
Melons and Cotton Of the fruits, mango seems to have been common. Apastamba Gamasutra mentions it as a familiar example. Other fruits mentioned in the Sutras are Khar Jura (dates), the variety of jujube called Bandara, Karkadeh and Kuala.

Ancient Indian Food
Of the vegetables and juicy substances, prohibited are Karanja (red garlic), Himalaya (sprouts), Kyd Ku (mushroom), Osuna (garlic), Nir yd Sa (substances exuding from trees; etc.
Drinks in Ancient India
Among the drinks mentioned are sura, honey, milk and fruit-juice. The Taittiriya Upanishad, mentions sura to be extracted from certain herbs or fermented from rice. Madhu (honey) appears to have been used as an article of food. A preparation of fried rice, called laja, is mentioned. Dadhimantha perhaps means liquefied curd or clarified butter. Milk (kslra), curd (dadhi) and ghee is also mentioned. In the age of Sutras, the drinks that appear to have been in vogue besides milk are Takra (butter-milk mixed with water) and Mantha (a preparation of dry barley meal stirred in milk, curd, water or melted butter).
Intoxicating Drinks in Ancient India
Cultivated Crops
cultivated cropsThe Veda also testifies to the wide prevalence of drinking wine. In the Vedic texts, among drinks that square measure mentioned are wine and soma rasa; the latter was, perhaps, used by the upper classes, particularly in sacrifices. Somarasa appears to have been confined to the priestly class.

Ancient Indian Food
As regards intoxicating drinks, surd or spirituous liquor was the commonest. Surd appears to have been a very popular drink, especially at marriage and certain other rites. Surd is condemned in Shatapatha Brahmana. iThe Shatapatha Brahmana also condemn Parisrut that appears to have been semi-fermented liquor. The two drinks were specifically prohibited for Brahmanas. In certain ancient literary texts, female dancers drinking wine are mentioned. Other such drinks are made and Maitreya.
Popular Food of Ancient India
Their widespread food in ancient India was merchandise of wheat served with barley or rice along side fish and meat. Karambha looks to possess been a preferred food; it should mean a form of porridge created with flour and curd or a form of dish ready with unhusked, parched and kneaded barley grains.Ksirapakvaanna, apupa (cake) seem to possess been delicacies and crushed grain, mixed with curd, was conjointly relished. Puroddsa (a reasonably cake) was employed in kill offerings.Among the preparations of rice square measure mentioned odana (cooked with water) and payasa or ksiraudana (cooked with milk), sthdlipdka (rice or barley toasted with milk or water) seems to possess been a special dish meant for ceremonial occasions.

Ancient Indian Food

Dhanya is additionally mentioned, therefore is salt (pulverized grain) that was normally used. Salt and sugar seem to possess been value-added to food for adding to the style. Among the condiments, Pippali (long pepper) and America (black pepper) square measure mentioned. 2 varieties of cakes, fabricated from ground corn, are mentioned. Of these, Purodds was offered mainly in sacrifices and Appa was usually eaten by the folks.An inquisitive apply trendy in ancient India was that sure articles, including a preparation of ground rice, barley or sugarcane-juice, were offered to serpents.
Food Items Mentioned in Ramayana
Gupta Empire Food
Gupta Empire foodIn the Ramayana it is mentioned that the Aryans were accustomed to both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food. The Banaras (monkeys) were used to vegetarian food alone, their food having been fruits, roots and leaves. The Rakshasas were carnivorous. The Aryan people mainly used rice, barley, wheat, and pulses.

Ancient Indian Food

Boiled rice appears to be the most popular food. Refined rice, mixed with curd and milk, was a favorite dish. Among milk products, curd, curd mixed with sugar and ghee was used.Meat-eating appears to have been widely prevalent both among the Aryans and the non-Aryans. So far as drinking wine is concerned, the Ramayana condemns the practice, particularly among the Brahmanas.Wine appears to be of two main varieties, namely distilled and natural. Among other drinks mentioned are honey and Madhu park, the latter being an admixture of curd, ghee, honey, sugar, and water.
Food items mentioned in Mahabharata
From certain references in the Mahabharata, sesamum appears to be used as food. Milk and milk products like curd, ghee is mentioned. Of the sweets, cakes (apilpa), and sugarcane-juice (i.e. molasses) are mentioned.
Fruits, even some wild varieties, were eaten by people. As regards meat-eating, the Mahabharata permits it at some places whereas condemnatory it at others. The meat of birds conjointly seems to possess been edible; their species, however, is mentioned. Further, from sure references fish seems and used as food.The food habit of the folks in ancient Asian country was feeder and nonfeeder. whereas the feeder merchandise was supported agricultural, that enclosed cereals, fruits, and vegetables, the nonfeeder product came from domesticated animals and fishing. because the economy was primarily agriculture, there was lots of food obtainable for everybody in the ancient India

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