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 Herbs • Ginger • Garlic • Onions • 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.
• Black peppercorns
• Green and black cardamom
• White and black cumin
• Mustard seeds
• Garam masala - a blend of the spices above. Make your own with this recipe.
• Basmati rice
• Paneer (homemade cheese pressed into a firm tofu-like consistency)
• Homemade or storebought hot and sour pickles
• Ghee - clarified butter
• Beans such as chickpeas
Your turn! What's left off? What are your favorite Indian recipes and dishes?
(Images: Sabra Krock and Faith Hopler)