5 Must-Have Indian Spices

When cooking authentic Indian foods, it’s only appropriate to have the correct spices.Here you can find commercial ovens in Saudi Arabia. Otherwise, you’re forced to use substitutes, or leave out the spice altogether. When this happens your authentic Indian dish is now lacking essential ingredients that give the Indian cuisine its trademark aroma and tastes.

Since the spices used are the distinguishing factors between Indian cuisine and other Asian cuisines, it’s important to get it right, and make sure your pantry is stocked with these five must-have Indian spices. Once these are in your pantry, you’ll be equipped to prepare a wide vary of Indian foods.

Novices are often wary of attempting to cook Indian foods due to the spice mixes and array of spices used in single dishes. Spices in Indian cuisines give off the perception of being complex, resulting in them seeming intimidating to those who enjoy Indian foods, but are too wary to attempt to cook them themselves. To add to the complexity, not only are there many spices that could possibly be used, but different spices can be used in a variety of ways. For example, spices that are found as seeds can be used fresh, as dried seeds, or ground into a fine powder.

The five must-have Indian spices that you would need before they begin to cook are coriander, cardamom, turmeric, clove, and cumin seeds. Since these are most commonly used in a variety of dishes, it’s useful to have these basic spices on hand.

Coriander

Of all the spices present in Indian foods, coriander is the most pervasive. Historically speaking, coriander is not only widely found in nearly all Indian dishes, but it is rumored to be one of the oldest-known spices throughout the world. Coriander’s appearance is a mix of colors between yellow and gold. It’s texture is slightly rough, by being somewhat ridged. This spice can be distinguished by its citrus aromas. While whole coriander can be used to cook with, ground coriander is the more common form used of the spice.

 

Cardamom

Cardamom comes in two varieties: black and green cardamom. Green cardamom is the more common of the two, and can be found in everything from Indian main dishes to Indian desserts. This spice gives off a scent that smells slightly of eucalyptus, and tastes sweet, which makes it suitable for desserts. Due to its subtleness, green cardamom can be used within various spice blends. On the other hand, black cardamom had a very strong and smoky fragrance. Black cardamom should be used sparingly since it is so powerful. Since black cardamom’s pod is very spicy in its own right, it is advised to pull of the pod, while leaving the seed in the dish, before serving the meal.

 

Turmeric

Like coriander, turmeric is another widely used spice found in many Indian dishes. Turmeric is a versatile spice, since it can be used both fresh, or after it has been dried. Something to be aware of when cooking with turmeric is that dried turmeric offers a more intense flavor, as opposed to fresh turmeric. This spice is known to give curry its signature golden color. Turmeric’s fragrance can be described as both earthy and sharp. When cooking with turmeric, wear an apron to protect your clothes as this spice is known to stain easily. Additionally, turmeric offers many health benefits such as lowering cholesterol, fighting diabetes, natural pain killer, to prevent un-wanted blood clotting, and lessening inflammation as an anti-inflammatory.

 

Clove

Another common spice used in Indian cuisine is clove. Clove also possesses notes very similar to anise. Due to the essential oils found in clove, it carries a medicinal-like flavor. However, the essential oils that give off the medicinal flavors are often pressed out of the clove before it is dried and can be used in cooking. Clove is another versatile spice as it can be used in spice mixes or on its own as a whole. Since clove can easily over-power more subtle spices, it is important to use it sparingly.

 

Cumin

Cumin gives Indian foods a smoky quality. This spice in its seed form can be identified by its brown seeds with ridged textures, and of course, its fierce scents. Don’t mistake cumin for anise or caraway though. Upon looking closer, cumin can be distinguished either by its brown color, and the difference in tastes. For maximum flavor, it is suggested to ground the cumin seeds right before they are needed for cooking.You can also roast it if required.

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Which Biriyani is best in India?

Love Indian food and want to know more about Biryani? A favourite food for more than a billion Indians, the Biryani has its own charm. If you’re headed off to India, the one dish that you do need to try out is Biryani. It is the Indian dish that you should never miss to try out on. Cooked with chicken and rice and different spices, you would see a number of variants of the dish across India – and you would want to know which one you should try out.

What is a Biriyani?

Though Biriyani has a Persian origin, it has certainly attained immense love in India. The Indian version of Biriyani has only made it even better. There are many varieties of Biriyanis in India, and each is unique in its own way.

 

Hyderabadi Biriyani

This is popular in Andhra Pradesh.This has a mughalai touch. It is different from the other Biriyanis as it does not concentrate more on the gravy and masala. Rather, the cooking of the rice and the saffron makes the difference. This adds the special taste to this biriyani. Hyderabad and Biriyani are definitely two inseparable words commonly used in India.

 

 Dindigul Biriyani

A special dish that brings out the spices in a fresh, delicious way when mixed with jeera samba rice and meat is what defines this Biriyani. The origin of this Biriyani is in Dindigul, Tamil Nadu. The home-made masala and has a fragrance that tempts making this all the more beautiful. The experience is definitely worthwhile.

 

Ambur Biriyani

This Biriyani is also a pride of Tamil Nadu. This Biriyani uses a comparatively milder amount of spices and also makes use of jeera samba rice. The side dishes such as the brinjal curry and the special raitha or pachadi that contains curd and cucumber adds an exquisite flavor to this Biriyani.

 

Malabar Biriyani

The word “Malabar” makes us clear of the origin of this Biriyani. Kerala has it’s own method of Biriyani making. The rice is cooked separately, and the meat is fried or made into a gravy separately. They are mixed in the end while serving. This paves a way to experience the flavors distinctively.

 

 Lucknowi Biriyani

It has its origin in Uttar Pradesh and this variation of the dish is low on spices. It uses a Persian method called “dum pukht” where the rice and the meat are cooked partially and layered. This special dum biriyani gives you the delightful experience of tasting partially cooked basmati rice.

 

Kolkata Biriyani

The origin of this Biriyani is in the western part of India. West Bengal is known to have dishes that are sweet or low on spices. This Biriyani uses ghee and minute amount of spices with meat and basmati rice. This gives this Biriyani an authentic Kolkata touch. Those who prefer the delicious yet subtle amount of spices are promised to relish this dish.

 

Bombay Biriyani

The origin of this Biriyani is in Maharashtra. This also makes use of the Persian “dum pukht” method where the basmati rice and meat are partially cooked. This is very similar to the Lucknowi Biriyani. The difference is the use of potatoes along with meat in this Biriyani. The taste of crispy meat and delicate mashable potatoes with the flavored half cooked rice gives this an exclusive taste.

 

Bhatkali Biryani

The origin of this Biriyani is in Karnataka and also has a subtle amount of spices. Biriyani and raitha is a familiar combination where the rice and meat are soaked in curd and consumed. Whereas, in this Biriyani making, the basmati rice and meat are cooked with curd. The use of curd not only makes it less spicy but also adds a distinguishing yet cherishable flavor to this dish.

 

Which Biryani Should You Try Out?

There may be different varieties of Biriyanis in India, but they do connect on one common term, and that is “delicious”. If you’re looking at ‘which Biriyani is best in India?’, it’s difficult to answer.

 

It all depends on your taste. If you want a Biryani low on spices, you could try out the Lucknow variant and if you want something exquisite, do not forget to try out Kolkata Biryani. One of the most popular variants, all across India though, remains the Hyderabadi Biryani.

 

 

 

 

 

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Best Indian Diet Food

The delicious blend of flavors and spices make Indian food some of the most popular cuisine in the world. Whether they are of Indian origin or simply enjoy these types of dishes, people love to eat Indian food in restaurants, from a take-out or at home by creating spicy food themselves.

However, Indian food is known for being high in fat with many dishes based on ghee or using deep frying cooking methods. For this reason, many people avoid eating Indian food while they are on a diet. You do not need to do this as there are some excellent dishes you can enjoy that are not high in fat or sugar and can be included as a tasty part of your healthy eating plan.

Chicken Tandoori

Chicken is the best option when picking a protein as this lean meat is low in fat. Tandoori refers to the method of cooking. A tandoori oven is a traditional clay oven used for many Indian dishes. With this dish, the chicken is coated with a spicy marinade before being cooked in the tandoori oven. The overall result is similar to BBQ chicken. The main reason this dish is such a good choice for dieters is because the lack of a sauce means it is much lower in fat and calories than many other Indian dishes.

Chicken or Prawn Tikka

Again, choosing prawns or chicken is lower in calories than opting for lamb dishes. Tikka is another dish that comes without a sauce, so fewer calories and fat are included. This dish should not be mistaken for tikka masala as the latter has a thick and calorie-laden sauce.

Tandoori Roti

Instead of opting for a naan bread with your Indian meal, choose a tandoori roti. This wholegrain alternative has fewer calories and is lower in fat. As it contains whole grains instead of refined flour, there are benefits to your health, including a lower risk of obesity.

Aloo Gobi

Indian cuisine is vegetarian friendly as there is a great range of meals that include vegetables rather than meat. Aloo gobi is one of the traditional Indian options. Ingredients of this dish usually include cauliflower, onions, basil leaves and turmeric. Filling up on vegetables can really help with your diet as hey make you feel full for longer but have fewer calories and fat than meats or carbohydrates.

Chana Masala

This is a chickpea-based dish that is spicy, low in fat and low in the glycemic index. Not only will this dish keep you feeling fuller for longer, it can also aid weight loss. There is no sauce with this meal and this is one of the main reasons why it is a healthy choice. Chana masala is a fantastic option for vegetarians or as a spicy accompaniment to a piece of meat for meat eaters.

Prawn Kebab

Not only are prawns lower in fat than most meats, the grilling or tandoori oven cooking methods used in making kebabs are also healthier than dishes that use frying. Typically, the prawns are marinated in spices before cooking, so you don’t miss out on flavour even though the dish is healthier.

Boiled Rice

Rice is the typical accompaniment to many Indian dishes. While there are usually several rice options to choose from to accompany your meal when you eat out, the best options for someone on a diet is boiled rice. There is no fat involved in the cooking of this side order, so it is by far the healthiest option on the menu. If you are cooking Indian diet food at home, then try to use brown rice as this has additional benefits to your health.

Cucumber Raita

When you eat out at an Indian restaurant or order a take-out, you may well be offered sauces, dips, pickles and chutneys to accompany your meal. The healthiest of these to choose is cucumber raita. Not only is this low in fat in comparison to some of the other options, it can also help to coo your mouth after eating a particularly spicy dish.

The Indian diet is extremely diverse with influences taken from different regions of the country. These are just a few of the flavor-packed dishes that you can still enjoy even if you are on a diet or following a healthy eating plan.

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Types Of Indian Food

Indian food is not limited to Butter Chicken from the local takeaway store. Yes, you can find some great Indian cuisine at the Indian restaurant on the corner but this amazing country has so much to offer in the way of food. There are also two “types” of Indian food, vegetarian and non-vegetarian. It is quite common if you are visiting a family in their home to be asked if you are vegetarian or not.

It is well known that the food that comes out of India is some of the best in the world. From Kashmir in the north, Rajasthan in the east, Gujarati in the west to Kerala in the south of India, you will find each region has it’s own variety of food – all of them being equally spectacular.

Cooking methods are varied as well as ingredients used. Spices are generously used in foods from each area and it must be remembered that every single spice which is used in an Indian dish has nutritional and medicinal benefits.

Reflecting a Central Asian influence, Kashmiri dishes are generally based around rice as the main course which is plentiful in this region. Saag which is a curry made from spinach and mustard greens is spectacular. Still in Northern India, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab seem to consume Indian breads as their staple food. Naan and chapattis are just two of the various types of bread that you will find here.

Southern Indian cuisine uses a lot of fish and coconut in their cook. Tamil Naidu uses fresh tamarind which can add a sourness to their dishes which puts them apart from other regions. The dishes of Kerala are often made from Lamb, fish, prawns and sweetened coconut milk.

In the West of India Dhal and achar – known as pickles- are used a lot in Rajasthan and Gujarat. This desert cuisine is totally unique in it’s flavour and varieties of foods due to fresh vegetables not being as readily available in these areas. Being on a coastline, Mumbai has access to a wide variety of seafood. Bombay prawn is definitely one of the most well-known dishes from this area.

Staying in the west but heading further south, Goan cuisine has been influenced by Portugese cooking styles. Vindaloo and Sorpotal which is a very traditional meal in this area are just a couple of delightful dishes from this area.

East Indian cuisine is well known for it’s use of rice and fish along with bamboo shoots. Hilsa is a delicious meal of Hilsa fish which is wrapped in a pumpkin leaf and then cooked, traditional and tasty.

Lets take a look at just a few of the amazing types of food that you will find in India.

Rogan Josh

Many of us have heard of or tried this dish. A curry that can be made with lamb but is often made with goat meat in India, this curry is very popular in Kashmir.

Tandoori Chicken

Another popular dish, chicken which has been marinated in yoghurt and spices for hours and then roasted in a tandoor which is a clay oven. The spices give this dish it’s signature red colouring.

Biriyani

Cooked with Saffron and other spices, this aromatic dish generally contains marinated mutton or chicken and is a very popular food in India and in the west.

Baingan Bharta

Baingan (eggplant) is roasted and mashed along with other spices and vegetables. This dish is the perfect vegetarian meal when dished up with flatbread.

Bhindi Masala Fry

Otherwise known as Okra or Ladyfingers, Bhindi is stuffed full of spices and then fried to make an exciting vegetarian dish.

Masala Fish

Tamarind, chilies and garlic alongside other spices are made into a spicy pungent paste and then massaged into the whole fish and fried. Seafood and spices make this an ideal summer dish.

Dosa

Rice batter served up with lentil sauce and different chutneys. This flatbread is like a crispy crepe and is perfect for breakfast.

Nethili Varuval

Coming for Chettinad in South India, this dish is made up of anchovies which are slathered in a paste of red chillies and turmeric and then fried to make an ideal crunchy snack.

Kati Roll or Roti Parcel

A wrap which uses paratha or roti and contains spices, eggs and vegetables. This is a popular street food throughout India as well as abroad. If you need to eat and run then this is the meal for you. It is also a way that families use up their leftovers.

Samosa

The food that you can eat anywhere and at anytime. Served up with tamarind and mint chutney, this snack contains potato, peas and onions and can be baked or fried.

Pakora

Onion, cauliflower, potato, chillies and eggplant are used to make this snack. They can be cooked together or alone to make a deep fried fritter.

Puri

Is a taste sensation. This small piece of round, hollowed out bread is filled with onion, potato, chickpea and tamarind and will tantalize your tastebuds.

Chole Bhature

Curried chickpeas which will be served with roti, paratha or flour bread which is fried is usually eaten as a satisfying breakfast.

Rajma

Found throughout the North of India, this dish is made from Kidney beans and accompanied by rice. A dish for winter due to its thick, flavoursome gravy and hearty flavours.

These foods are only the tip of the Indian cuisine iceberg. The many different types of Indian food available is immense and an attempt to try a lot of them should be made as your tastebuds won’t be disappointed.

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5 Reasons Why Indian Food is Extraordinarily Healthy

There’s no arguing with the fact that Indian food is incredibly tasty. It offers new tastes and textures that simply aren’t found in any other nation’s cuisine, and the enormous variety of dishes and preparations means that you can always try something new. Whether it’s the puffy bread or kabobs cooked in a tandoori oven, the spicy biryani dishes, or one of the many fantastic curries, there’s something for everyone when it comes to Indian cuisine, and people around the world are developing more and more of a taste for the delicious food from the Subcontinent.

There is some concern among health food advocates that eating Indian food isn’t doing your waistline, your cholesterol, or your blood pressure any favors. They cite the copious amounts of ghee and cream used in some dishes, as well as the deep fried options that admittedly taste delicious but do absolutely nothing for your wellbeing. However, if you can minimize the amount of ghee, cream, and deep fried foods that you eat, Indian food can be an incredibly beneficial part of any diet. Need more convincing? Here are five reasons why Indian food is extraordinarily healthy.

 

There’s an emphasis on fresh vegetables.

While the Standard American Diet (interestingly acronymed SAD) is full of fatty meats, fried potatoes, and processed cheeses galore, Indian food is loaded with nutrient dense vegetables. You’ll find spinach, cauliflower, tomatoes, peas, eggplant, peppers, onions, garlic, and many more, depending on which dish you’re eating. Plus, many Indian dishes are topped with a generous sprinkling of cilantro, an amazingly flavorful herb that’s full of beneficial antioxidants.

 

Protein means more beans and pulses, less meat.

A little meat in your diet is certainly okay, but Americans rely heavily on animal-based proteins, and that can wreak all sorts of havoc on the body. Indian food uses more beans and pulses for protein, which are known to contribute to longevity, as they contain fewer saturated fats than meat and more complex carbohydrates and nutrients as well. For example, lentils are the foundational ingredient of dal, a cornerstone of Indian cuisine. Lentils have tons of fiber, magnesium, and folate, and regularly consuming them has been shown to help regulate blood sugar. As another example, chickpeas, or garbanzo beans, are also prevalent in many Indian dishes. As an added bonus, eating beans and pulses is more environmentally friendly than eating meat.

 

The spices are delicious and practically medicinal.

The unique blends of spices present in Indian food may taste magical, but they also offer tremendous health benefits. For example, turmeric and ginger are both known to reduce inflammation in the body and, more importantly, help reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease. In fact, India has some of the lowest Alzheimer’s rates in the world, and nutritionists suspect it’s a result of Indians consuming these spices on a very regular basis. What’s more, it is traditional to chew on whole cardamom and fennel seeds after eating a large meal. Doing this not only cleanses the palate and freshens the breath, but it also helps the body digest all the fiber and nutrient rich food.

 

The heat is healthy.

Indian food may be chock full of spices, but it can also be spicy hot. Many fans of Indian food love the tongue tingling feeling of a good hot curry or a plate of spicy vegetable biryani, but those red chiles offer health benefits too. The hot peppers contain high amounts of capsaicin, which has both antibacterial and anti-carcinogenic properties, contains lots of antioxidants, and can help boost immunity.

 

Many dishes include yogurt, a healthy alternative to cream.

Cream is certainly tasty, but in terms of offering health benefits, yogurt is far superior. In addition to providing a good dose of calcium and several key vitamins, it contains probiotic bacteria to keep your digestive system healthy and keep your immunity high. Yogurt is also high in lactic acid, which is is linked to clear and healthy skin.

 

Many fans of Indian cuisine don’t need any health-related reasons to eat their favorite curries and rice dishes. They know it tastes great, and that’s all the convincing they need. However, there is some talk about Indian food being unhealthy, so pointing out the less-talked-about health benefits of this fascinating cuisine is important. Rather than eschewing Indian food entirely, seek out dishes that are low on meat and high on vegetables, beans, and pulses. Don’t be afraid to add a little heat to your food — that spice is good for you! — and go for preparations that include yogurt rather than cream. You’ll have both a happy stomach and a healthy body, and your taste buds will thank you profusely.

 

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The Best Indian Sweet Dishes That You Need to Try Out

Indian food is widely known for its spices. The other concealed side of Indian dishes are the desserts. While Indian main course dishes are mostly spicy, Indian desserts bring in the sweeter side of Indian cuisine. If you’re looking to try out Indian cuisine, here is a look at some of the best Indian sweet dishes that you need to try out.

 

Kheer (or) Payasam

This rice pudding is a remarkable combination of rice and milk. Sugar, saffron, ghee, cardamom, pistachios add a delectable flavor to this dish. This mouth-watery dessert can be prepared with the use jaggery in place of sugar, as well. This dessert is sometimes savored as a main course dish as well.

 

Gulab Jamun

This is a must-try Indian dessert. It is made up of milk solids. Milk solids are generally prepared by heating milk on low flame until the liquid in the milk evaporates. These milk solids along with flour are then kneaded into a dough and then made into small balls.

These balls are then deep-fried. These balls are then soaked in the sugar syrup which is flavored with rosewater, cardamom, and saffron. They have to be soaked in the syrup, long enough to melt on the tongue and excite the taste buds. Gulab jamun with ice cream has become a new sensational combination to try out.

 

Jalebi

Jalebi is a delightful dish that is prepared with maida (all purpose flour). It is generally prepared in the shapes of pretzels. They are deep-fried and then sugar-coated. This forms a crispy exterior texture with a crystalline sugar coating. They can be served hot or cold. They are garnished with rose water and are served. They can be eaten with or without dipping in milk or curd. This Indian dessert promises to tempt you and will not let you stop with just one.

 

Kaju Katli

The main ingredient of this dish is cashew nuts. The cashew nuts are soaked in water, overnight and grounded to a paste. Sugar syrup, ghee, saffron are then added and then cooled to be cut into diamond-shaped pieces. They are generally decorated with edible silver. These are comparatively lighter on the stomach as they are not excessively sweet.

 

Laddoo

These sweet balls are of different varieties. Each has a distinct taste from the other. They are basically made from besan (chickpea flour), rava (wheat semolina) and ground coconut. The laddoo varieties include boondhi laddoo, Rava laddoo, malai laddoo, coconut laddoo. They are served in most of the Indian festivals as well as weddings. They are also served as Prasad in the most popular south Indian Thirupathi Venkatachalapathy temple.

 

Rasa gulla

Rasa gulla is a syrupy dessert that melts in the mouth with ease. It is made out of an Indian cottage cheese called chhenna and rava (wheat semolina) which is then cooked in sugar syrup. It has it’s origin in West Bengal, the Indian state known for sweets and desserts.

 

Ras Malai

Ras Malai is also of the similar texture to that of Rasa gulla. It is basically a cheese cake without a crust. This sweet dish is also made with the Indian cottage cheese, chhenna. It is cooked with saffron, pistachios, and Kheer. This dish also has it’s origin in Bengal. The soft mashable texture adds to its beauty.

 

Mysore Pak

This has its origin in Mysore, Karnataka. This dish is of eccentric sweetness. Ghee is the main ingredient. It is basically a sugar syrup mixed with ghee and gram flour. It is heated to the soft ball stage. It is then cooled to harden. They are cut into rectangle pieces and savored. They are served in wedding feasts as a dessert.

 

What should you keep in mind when buying Indian sweet dishes?

Most often, Indian sweets are not just served as desserts. Rather, they find their way into breakfasts, lunch boxes as well as snack boxes. In a land known for spices, the sweets have an endless history and are a crucial part of the daily appetite. The delightful, mouth-watering Indian sweets, once savored, is capable of creating timely cravings and endless temptations. For one, Mysore pak can last for days in your refrigerator – and if you buy in a handful of them, you could have them whenever you want, just like you’ve chocolates!

 

 

 

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Indian Cooking for Beginners- Do’s and Dont’s

Indian food might seem intimidating and elaborate with all the spices, but only at first sight. If you come to know the Do’s and Don’ts of Indian cooking, you’ll soon realize how easy and fun it actually is.

 

DO’s

 

  1. Start off your venture by preparing all kitchen tools required for Indian cooking, such as a non-stick wide pan, a deep heavy-bottomed pot, and a non-stick/aluminum wok or kadhai.

 

  1. Observe proper hygiene like you would prepare any other dish. Put your apron on and tie your hair. Wash you hands thoroughly and constantly during cooking as well. Use separate knives and chopping boards for meat, fish, garlic, onion etc.

 

  1. Indian cooking leaves the cook, kitchen, and possibly an entire apartment with intense and powerful aroma. While some people love it, others don’t. Keep your house well ventilated prior to guests’ arrival and store clothing away from the prepping area.

 

  1. Gather all ingredients and measure them carefully as indicated in the recipe. Arrange in bowls and plates to better concentrate on cooking and not miss out on anything. Use separate chopping boards for meat, fish, onion, garlic and vegetables.

 

  1. Know your spices. The standard spices that would help you cook delicious Indian food are Garam Masala or hot spice, Dhaniya (Coriander), Jeera (cumiin seed, crushed or whole), Haldi (Turmeric), Mustard seeds, and Red Chili powder/Cayenne. Commonly used herbs include cilantro, mint, curry leaf and bay leaf. Significant flavorings include onion, salt, sugar or jaggery, coconut and coconut milk.

 

  1. Indian cooking entails using spices that have strong flavors along with the right cooking technique:

 

-Whole spices are often fried in oil or fat to extract its flavor. cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, cardamon, fennel seeds, star anise and cloves.

 

-Spice blends like garam masala, chili or curry powder have to be cooked out longer duration to get rid of their raw flavor.

 

-Add spice blends after your sauce or puree is reduced to its driest, such that it holds a lot of heat and raw spices get fried rather than boiled to eliminate any spice harshness.

 

  1. Use extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil for healthier options. Typically, sunflower/canola oil and neutral smelling oils are used in Indian cooking.

 

  1. Always buy ingredients from ethnic Indian stores, then store in air tight containers for longer shelf life.

 

  1. Plan ahead of time. Currys taste best the next day since the masalas infuse perfectly with the sauces.

 

  1. Indian cooking is comprised of a lot of vegetarian dishes. When a recipe calls for more vegetable varieties, see to it that you chop them all in the same size.

 

DONT’s

 

  1. Resist the temptation to go all out and splurge on the interesting, exotic flavors of Indian cooking that you may be clueless about. It’s best to use a spoon to measure them out instead of haphazardly sprinkling and drizzling away when adding spices.

 

  1. Ingredients like mustard and even curry leaves splatter when put in oil, so be prepared and follow precautions like covering the pan and moving away fast.

 

  1. Never add raw spices to the sauces that has already been served on the dinner table to prevent ruining a dish with uncooked flavors. If needed, heat a bit of oil in a small cooking pan then saute the chili or coriander powder quickly in it prior to mixing into your final sauce. Always taste your Indian cooking before serving the meal.

 

  1. Masalas can get burnt really fast, so don’t leave pans unattended. In case gravy becomes too dry or gets burnt, add a little water to cool them and avoid getting yourself hurt.

 

  1. Never replace an ingredient for another Indian cooking ingredient unless you are quite sure about it. The fresh ones add texture and flavor to any dish, like fresh okras, beans, tapioca, and drumsticks compared to frozen ones. The time it takes to cook meals vary for lentils, legumes and veggies so be aware when it’s the right time to put them throughout the process.

 

Once you have the necessary equipment and staple Indian spices, you can be confident about playing with them and creating your own medley for your very own sumptuous Indian cooking made from the heart and your passion for food!

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The Secrets of Indian Cooking

India has a long history of culture and tradition, and yet one of the best things that we may love about the country is its cuisine. Most people have a restaurant serving Indian cuisine in their neighborhood, and it’s one place that we need to visit once a month.

Interestingly, though, with India being the seventh largest country in the world, the food and its taste varies from region to region;North Indian food is completely different from South Indian food.

The one thing that remains same is that Indian food as a whole has a traditional typical touch with a rich heritage. Here are some of the secrets of Indian food that makes it so popular around the world.

 

Spices

Spices are the key ingredients for the rich taste of Indian food. The right amount, proportion, and combination of spices is what makes the dishes delicious. The word “masala” is a common term in India. Each masala has different combinations of spices, and different proportions of spices and each masala are meant for certain specific dishes.

Rice

Rice is the staple food of India. The Indians have a very strong knowledge on the varieties of rice. They have a prominent idea of what rice goes well with what dish. For instance, basmati or jeera samba is used for biriyani, Idly rice is used in the making of dhosa and idly batter. Raw white rice (pacharisi or pachari) is used in the making of desserts and snacks.

Flour

The flour varies from dish to dish. Atta which is wheat flour is used to make the popular main course dish other than rice called roti or chapatti. This is basically an Indian bread. Maida is also a kind of wheat flour but is bleached and has a different texture. They are basically used in the making of naan bread whereas corn flour is used in the making of pakodas, an Indian snack.

Oil

There are different kinds of oil that are used for different kinds of dishes. The taste of a dish also relies majorly on the type of oil that is being used. For instance, sunflower oil is majorly used in the cooking of the main course dishes. Whereas, gingelly oil is used in the making of dhosa, a popular South Indian dish and coconut oil is majorly used in Kerala dishes.

Garlic and ginger

Garlic and ginger are used in most of the Indian dishes which brings in an exotic new flavor to the dish. Ginger and garlic have a rich history in India. They are not only known for their exclusive flavor but also for their medicinal values.

Hing (Asafoetida powder)

This powder is one of the many spices that are used in India. It plays a crucial role in the Indian vegetarian dishes. They are added in a small amount, but they bring in a strong mellow flavor to the dishes.

Curry leaves

These trees are grown in almost all the Indian homes in their kitchen gardens. They are used in the seasoning of Indian dishes. The fragrance and flavor of these leaves are dominant and pleasant. It is an important medicinal herb as well.

Pulses

Pulses play a vital role in Indian vegetarian dishes. All the pulses are used by Indians in various dishes. The pulses are generally used in making vegetarian curries. They are generally soaked in water or boiled before being added to the curry. This gives it a mashable consistency which is very well suited with rice or roti.

The reason why Indian dishes are delicious is that the Indians have explored the distinguishing tastes and flavors of the ingredients, and they are aware of the right pairing and proportions of the ingredients to bring out an exotic, delightful dish.

There are different kinds of rice and different kinds of oil for various dishes though the underlying taste of these ingredients is the same – all because the right pairing of ingredients makes some really good dishes.

 

What do Studies Say?

A group of researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology in Jodhpur examined through 2500 Indian recipes to find out what makes Indian dishes distinct from the other cuisines. They have discovered that Indian food is delicious because there are a very few overlapping of flavors. The other cuisines always put in the ingredients of identical tastes to present a delectable dish.

Indian dishes have ingredients of different flavors, which are blended to bring out a unique yet palatable dish.

 

 

 

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The Top 20 Most Famous Indian Dishes

Cooking or eating Indian food is always an exciting experience. Indian cuisine represents thousands of years of history across a vast and diverse subcontinent. The enormous variety of exotic flavors and intricate recipes makes every Indian dish an adventure. Below are the top 20 most famous Indian dishes that you have most likely seen or eaten, but you may not have known their name or what ingredients were used to make them.

Biryani: This is a dish of spiced rice mixed with a number of possible meats (including egg) and vegetables. It is similar to the famous traditional Chinese dish fried rice, and is popular the world over.

Butter Chicken: the chicken is marinated overnight in a yogurt and spice mixture, and then it is cooked in a special sauce called Makhani, which is made from tomato puree, butter and a variety of spices that provide the famous unique flavor. This is by far one of the most popular Indian dishes for meat-eaters. It has its roots in Punjabi cuisine, but is now prepared by Indians throughout the continent.

Vindaloo and Rogan Josh: this is a highly aromatic dish of curry gravy made from lamb, goat or other  meat.

Tandoori Chicken: this widely popular chicken dish is marinated in yogurt and coated with Tandoori Masala. Tandoori chicken derives its name from the traditional “tandoor” clay over that it was cooked in.

Idli–Dosa–Vada With Sambar: this is a popular breakfast dish in Southern India based on fermented black lentils. They are served with rice and a vegetable stew called Sambar that is made from Tamarind and Toor Dal.

Palak Paneer: this traditional Northern Indian delicacy is a staple in Punjabi cuisine. It is made from spinach and cottage cheese, and reduced in a curry sauce until it is the consistency of a thick dip. It is eaten with both rice and traditional Indian breads.

Chole-Bhature: this is a combination of spicy chick peas called Chole and Bhatoora, which is a type of Indian bread that is fried. It originated in Punjab, and is mostly eaten in Northern India. It is a very popular street food that is usually eaten for breakfast.

Dal Makhani: this Punjabi delicacy is full of proteins and fiber. It is made from beans and lentils that are cooked using a tangy Masala, and the large amounts of fresh cream are added to provide a rich and silky consistency. It is widely considered the most important dish in Punjabi cuisine.

Malai Kofta: Kofta are vegetable balls that are deep-fried and Malai is the cream that is mixed with curry to create the sauce for these appetizing treats. It is a part of authentic Moghlai cuisine, and is the vegetable version of a number of famous meatball curries.

Naan and Paratha: Naan and Paratha are the incredibly popular Indian flatbreads that are found alongside almost every Indian dish. Naan is prepared in an oven and Paratha is made on a what is known as a tawa. Paratha breads are also often stuffed with vegetables.

Samosa and Pakodas: these are famous Indian snacks or appetizers that are served at tea time or as the starter course for a larger meal. Samosas are triangular pastries stuffed with a savory filling and deep-fried, while Pakodas are a simple fried pastry that has equivalents all over South East Asia.

Pav Bhaji: this dish combines Bhaji, which is a curry with a potato base, and Pav. It is usually garnished with chopped onions, coriander and a small dab of butter. It is a dish that is native to Maharashtrians, and is the Indian equivalent of fast-food.

Panipuri Chaats: this dish involves a rounded and hollow Puri that is fried until crispy, and then filled with a mix of chili, Chaat Masala, potato, Tamarind water, chickpeas and onion. It is a popular street snack due to its small size and portability.

Kebabs: these are a world-famous dish of meat that is threaded onto a skewer and then grilled. All kinds of meats are used in the dish, as well as cubes of vegetables and fruit. The most common vegetables found on a Kebab skewer are peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms and onions.

Lassi Shakes: this is a traditional Punjabi drink based on yogurt that is drunk throughout Pakistan and India. It is made by blending water and yogurt with a number of Indian spices, in particular roasted ground cumin.

Indian Tea: Indian tea is flavored with ginger and cardamom, and can be served with milk.

Indo-Chinese Manchurian: this is a type of fried vegetable ball that is served in a sweet and savory corn soup. It is a common street-food throughout Asia.

Poori Halwa: this traditional South East Asian breakfast dish contains two separate components, Halwi, a candy made from seminola, and Puri, a small round flat bread.

Mango or Lemon Pickles: Indian pickles are made of a broad range of pickled vegetables and fruits that are acidified using lemon or lime juice or by using lactic acid fermentation. The wide variety of pickles feature an enormous number of different combinations of Indian spices, and often feature vegetable oil.

Rasam: this is essentially a tomato soup that is extremely popular in Southern India. Rasam is best known for its lip-smacking taste, health benefits and engaging aroma. It is made from tomatoes, Dal, and Tamarind.

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Top 10 Indian Foods – Most Amazing food in the world

The first thing that comes to our mind when we talk about Indian food are the Indian spices. Indian food is loved all around the word. It takes a lot of technique to make Indian food and it is a mixture of many flavors. Some famous Indian food include Biryani, Chicken tikka and many more.

Here is a video that shows the top 10 Indian food. Enjoy!

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