Cooking By Feel: Indian Ingredients and Flavors

Cooking By Feel: Indian Ingredients and Flavors

A4113f7cc8c2fc3cc96eb640f4534c625dde976e?w=240&h=240&fit=crop
Faith Durand
May 1, 2008
One of the things that got us cooking in earnest was a desire to learn how to cook really good Indian food. We're still a long ways off (homestyle Indian food is a lifelong pursuit) but we've learned a lot about flavors, ingredients, and elements to help create Indian spice and savor in our meals. As we work to become better at cooking without recipes, let's explore Indian food a little... Like other Asian cuisines, Indian cooking has a wide range of styles and regional specialties and variations in flavor. Here are a few of the basics... Ingredients and HerbsGingerGarlicOnions • Tamarind paste • Chilies • Mint • Cilantro • Coconut: Fresh and dried grated, as well as coconut milk • Tomatoes • Limes • Spinach • Nuts, especially cashews • Milk, especially preserved as khoya • Sugar or jaggery For a wonderful tour of the spices used in a household Indian kitchen, as well as some good storage tips and ideas, check out this kitchen tour: Devesh and Tara's Spice Pantry. Spices • Black peppercorns • Cloves • Cinnamon • Coriander • Green and black cardamom • White and black cumin • Fenugreek • Mustard seeds • Turmeric • Asofoetida • Nutmeg • Garam masala - a blend of the spices above. Make your own with this recipe. Meal Basics • Basmati rice • Paneer (homemade cheese pressed into a firm tofu-like consistency) • Homemade or storebought hot and sour pickles • Ghee - clarified butter • Lentils • Beans such as chickpeas • Potatoes Recipes and tips based on these flavorsWeekend Cooking: How to Make CurryRecipe: Butternut Squash & Coconut CurryRecipe: Lemon RasamRecipe: Saffron Rice with Peas and CashewsThe Hungry Reader: Rogan Josh in Interpreter of MaladiesRecipe: D.I.Y. Mango LassiRecipe: Indian-Roasted CauliflowerQuick Tip: How Do I Clarify Butter? Your turn! What's left off? What are your favorite Indian recipes and dishes? (Images: Sabra Krock and Faith Hopler)
Created with Sketch.