By Ankita Amrit
Indian cuisine has fans all over the world. Known for its spices and heat, most people think that it is tough to master the art of Indian recipes. Let us correct you there. India is a vast country with lakhs of dishes. Not every dish is spicy. Moreover, it is just a technique that you need to master. Every house has its formula for using the ingredients. So, you can adjust yours too!
Here are 5 steps that will make you an expert in Indian recipes.
1. Use max 1-2 tbsp of oil
Contrary to the popular belief, Indian cooking relies on the flavors from ingredients and too much oil spoils it. Most homes use 1-2 tbsp of oil max. This much is sufficient to stir fry the veggies and spices. If you are making some north and east Indian dish, use mustard oil or desi ghee. Use coconut oil or sesame oil for south and West Indian dishes. Keep ghee ready to add at the end. It adds a wonderful aroma to the dish.
2. Chop finely
Most Indian dishes uses finely chopped onions, garlic, ginger, green chilies, and other veggies. Unless specifically asked, refrain from chopping large pieces. Fine pieces cook easily. There are several youtube videos that will help you with the chopping techniques. You can take a cue from this video.
3. Keep basic spices ready
As we mentioned earlier, Indian cooking is all about the right proportion of spices. So, keep the spices ready. I suggest not to rely on the readymade curry mixes. They have a very common taste. The better alternative is to keep the dry whole spices and ground them as needed. Also, you can combine them for different dishes. Some of the basic spices that will be helpful for most dishes are:
- Coriander seeds
- Fenugreek seeds
- Mustard seeds
- Red dry chilies
- Dry mango powder or dry tamarind
- Black pepper
- Green and black cardamom
- Cinnamon sticks
If you wonder how you can make spice mixes for different dishes, this website may help you.
4. Cook slowly and on low-medium flame
The ultimate secret to a mouth-watering dish with perfectly cooked ingredients is the low-medium flame. When you cook on high-flame, spices tend to burn. This takes away the flavour and color of the dish. Slow cooking is time-taking but the result is worth the effort. On a low flame, the spices, veggies and meat cook evenly leaving out the flavor slowly in the pot.
5. The final touch
You added and cooked the ingredients and the dish is done. But, the final touch is equally important. You would be surprised to know that each dish has its unique finishing touch. For example, if you are making sambhar, you finish it by adding crackled mustard seeds and curry leaves in hot mustard. If you are making chicken butter masala, adding cream, dried fenugreek leaves and fresh coriander leaves is a must. So, be sure to add the perfect finishing touch.
Indian cooking is all about adjusting according to your palate. Adjust the spices as per your wish. Wish you happy cooking this weekend!
Do you have any secret tips for Indian recipes? Let us know in the comments sections.
Ankita is a content writer specialized in health, wellness, and parenting. She considers herself to be a life-long learner. You can read her posts on her LinkedIn account.
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