Details for There’s a Scientific Reason Why Indian Food Is So Delicious!

When I die, bury me inside a vat of saag paneer. Indian food is categorically delicious: its flavors are complex, oscillating between sweet, savory, and spicy; its textures meld creamy sauces with doughy breads and tender meat and vegetables to make the slop of dreams. It’s a divine synthesis that is aromatic and sophisticated without being bougie. Hell, you can get a better-than-decent plate of it for nary more than the cost of a deli sandwich.

But what is it that makes Indian food so endlessly rich and tasty? Scientists were wondering, too, and recently performed an analysis of 2,500 recipes to find out, as first observed in the Washington Post.

Researchers Anupam Jaina, Rakhi N Kb, and Ganesh Bagler from the Indian Institute for Technology in Jodhpur ran a fine-tooth comb through—a recipe database of more than 17,000 dishes that self-identifies as “India’s #1 food site”—in attempts to decode the magic of your chicken tikka masala or aloo gobi. Sure, there are commonalities in seasoning that run through Indian cuisine as a whole, but just how varied are they?

The answer is more complicated than you might expect.