Food from India tends to be spicy and flavorful, but preparing it can be time-consuming and difficult if you are unfamiliar with the cuisine. Luckily, there are plenty of shortcuts you can take to help streamline your cooking process and make Indian food delights easier to prepare than ever before! These top ten kitchen shortcuts will allow you to prepare popular Indian dishes at home in no time.
A tandoor is a clay oven used to cook Indian food delights. A tandoor can either be free standing or built into your oven, with a large stone dome that heats up very quickly. It’s crucial to always use long tongs while preparing Indian food in a tandoor. If you don’t have one, an electric roasting pan will work just as well just turn it on its side and cover it with aluminum foil.
A quick search of Amazon should yield plenty of results no matter what equipment you prefer to use. For best results I recommend checking out The Great British Bake Off Cookbook by Mary Berry her recipes were developed in India using traditional methods and produce delicious Indian dishes every time!
Indian food is all about creating layers of flavor and texture to make each bite unique. Poppadoms can do just that. These thin, crispy discs are delicious in their own right but also work well as a crumbly platform on which to build a curry or a scoop of raita or chutney.
Another key ingredient that can improve your Indian food experience is a tava also called a flat griddle. The word translates to hot plate or hot skillet in Urdu. Once you’ve mastered these ten recipes try creating your own Indian specialties using these techniques and ingredients as inspiration. Don’t forget to check out our Indian food menu list when ordering take out or deciding what dishes to make at home.
One of my top go-to Indian food recipes for beginners is steaming. I love how fast and convenient it is, not to mention how healthy. To steam food (especially vegetables), you can get an Indian food recipe for beginners by simply putting a plate inside a pot with simmering water covering it and waiting for five minutes or so for your dish to be ready.
And as an added bonus, you can add lots of flavor with spices like cumin and turmeric without worrying about burning them. When in doubt have patience and try steaming first.
Commonly found in Indian soups and lentil dishes, urad dal which means black gram in Sanskrit is used extensively in Indian cooking. The dried beans are small black beans that have been split and skinned. Urad dal is widely available at Indian grocery stores natural foods stores online or at specialty groceries. You can substitute any other kind of lentil such as yellow split peas.
One of the many things that make Indian food so amazing is its use of acidity. Citric and malic acids are typically paired with a slew of spices to give dishes an extra kick especially tamarind which adds tanginess to curries and stews. The tropical fruit comes in paste or block form in addition to concentrate.
For making recipes at home, tamarind paste can be found in most ethnic grocery stores store bought varieties have already been cooked down and have a thicker consistency meaning you’ll have to simmer your dish for a longer period of time before it’s done cooking.
Lemon Juice (Nimbu Ka Nahara)
Indian food is packed with complex flavors, but if you don’t have time to properly cook an Indian dish or make your own garam masala there are quick fixes that can be used in lieu of these techniques. Try using lemon juice to season your dish as it packs a powerful punch that will still allow you to enjoy complex flavors. Remember to use fresh-squeezed lemons whenever possible!
Curry Leaves (Kadi Patta)
Curry leaves are an integral part of southern Indian cuisine, typically found in meat, fish, and vegetable dishes. While these leaves can be quite bitter on their own they take on more mellow notes when cooked. The best way to prepare these is by frying them in some oil until they crisp up; you can then use them as a garnish or add them to one of your dishes.
If your recipe calls for an Indian food menu list of 1 tsp. of asafoetida, substitute by adding 1/4 tsp. of ground ginger to it. Asafoetida is often added to recipes in small amounts (1/8th tsp. Because of its strong taste and pungent odor.
Garam Masala Powder
A blend of warming spices, garam masala literally hot spice is a key ingredient in Indian cooking. Once you’ve got it on hand try adding it to your roasted vegetable mix to give your meal an added pop of flavor. You can find pre mixed garam masala powders at any Indian grocery or in supermarkets near other spices and seasonings but making your own from scratch takes only a few minutes and can be quite a bit cheaper.