Indian Cooking Tips

As for all cooking, it is essential to have a few ingredients in your store cupboard so that when the mood takes you towards that flavoursome spicy cuisine, it will be easy to get started. I would say the following list provides the essential ingredients needed, and with these you can rustle up a magnitude of classic Indian dishes.

Blogg - Store cupboard ingredients

Photo by Jaspal Boyce. Copyright 2013.

Store cupboard essentials:
  •  Fresh coriander
  • Fresh garlic
  • Fresh ginger
  • Fresh green chilies
  • Onions
  • Tomatoes (fresh or tinned can be used)
  • Cumin (Jeera) seeds
  • Ground turmeric (Haldi)
  • Garam masala
  • Salt
  • Sunflower oil
Top Tips:

There are whole arrays of ingredients and spices that can be used. However the few mentioned above are enough to get you started. Remember that ingredients will deteriorate over time and lose their flavour. Therefore it is important to ensure they are stored appropriately. Refrigeration helps, as the constant steady temperature prevents the deterioration of spices, which gives them a longer shelf life. So if you do not cook with spices often, then store them in the refrigerator.

Also it is worth noting that true Indian cuisine is all about flavour, and not just about how fiery it is. Fresh, good quality ingredients should be used for the best results, and don’t make it too hot. Chillies vary in hotness, so be a bit conservative to begin with and, as you get to know this ingredient better, add more if your tastes prefer a more fiery dish.

Typically, Ghee (clarified butter) is used for cooking. However, this is often replaced with oil to make it healthier. The oil needs to be neutral with no flavour, such as sunflower or vegetable oils. Other oils, such as mustard and coconut, can also be used if desired.

Ensure spices are not burned during cooking, otherwise this will add bitterness to the curry, which is not pleasant. Therefore, a good tip is to add a little water to the pan when cooking spices, to help cool it sufficiently to prevent the powders from burning. This in turn allows the pan to de-glaze, and the water helps to bring out the flavours.

Indian cuisine is a good candidate for making something ahead of time. In fact curries taste better the following day, as this gives time for all the ingredients to infuse well together, making them scrumptious!

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